“Amidst all the prognostications in American and European political punditry, really only two diametrically opposed views can be heard; both of which have little merit. One predicts the rise of a radical Islam that will engulf the Middle East and pose a grave threat to democracy and the West. The second envisions the emergence of democratic secular forces that will reject Islam and join the global community of nations in freedom.” — Dr. Blain Auer
Auer, professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Comparative Religion at WMU, recently posted an article for the Religion Dispatches magazine titled “Neither Radical Nor Secular: The West Struggles with the New Islamism.” This essay addresses the Western world’s common misconceptions about Middle Eastern politics in terms of the religion.
Auer earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 2009. Auer generally focuses on the religious, cultural, and historical dimensions of Islamic societies, especially in the context of South Asia. A second area of research focuses on modern ritual, pilgrimage, and relics connected with burial places in Islam.
Auer said that his favorite class to teach is his Introduction to Islam class, because it allows students to truly become engaged in the fundamentals of Islam in a greater world context. “They’re learning to uncover some of the mysteries in our communication with the Islamic world,” he said.
Essay for RP Magazine
Meet Dr. Blain Auer, professor of comparative religion: