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Jack Goldstone - Secular and Religious Cultures in the Middle East

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Published on Jul 5, 2011

Brought to you by http://www.rumiforum.org, http://rumiforum.blogspot.com

Turkey, Israel, and Iran are all among the most ancient cultures of the Middle East, and today they are its most powerful nation-states. Yet all are having difficulties bridging the two concepts of a modern, secular, national state and a traditional religious culture rooted in history, holy writ, and ethnic identity. Yet bridging this gap is essential, for a focus on the claims of traditional culture can only lead to conflict, as these claims often become exclusive, demanding, and uncompromising. The way out is not to impose a wholly secular state, which would alienate and offend the majorities invested in their ethnic identity and historical culture, but to find in traditional culture essential human values that can anchor modern states in cooperative beliefs focused on human rights and peace.

Jack A. Goldstone is the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Jr. Professor at the George Mason School of Public Policy and an Eminent Scholar. His work on issues such as social movements, revolutions, and international politics has won him global acclaim and tens of thousands of dollars in research grants. The author or co-author of 9 books, Professor Goldstone is a leading authority on regional conflicts, has served on a U.S. Vice-Presidential Task Force on State Failure, and is a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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