This panel stems from an interest to create a bridge between the anthropology of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Its aim is not only to draw these disciplinary strands into a conversation, but also to consider whether this engagement on shared concerns can be grounded in a common language.
This panel seeks to create a bridge across the anthropological study of monotheistic faiths. Despite theological and historical commonalities and overlaps in the contemporary study of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, there appears to be little conversation between these disciplinary strands. For instance, debates on ethical self-cultivation and moral ambivalence in Islam rarely consider parallel tensions in Pentecostalism between "born again" Christian life and attachment to past relations and ways of being. There are also important overlaps in discussions about citizenship among diasporic Christian, Muslim or Jewish populations, which are rarely explored in much depth. The aim of this panel is not only to draw these disciplinary strands into a conversation, but also to consider whether this engagement on shared concerns can be grounded in a common language. Can the recent discourse on ethics serve as a meeting space? Is there any value in returning to the older and broader category of "religion"? Does the anthropology of humanism offer another alternative for situating discussions around the tensions in leading moral lives within Muslim, Christian and Jewish worlds? Can existential anthropology, with its focus on the complexities and ambiguities of lived experiences, offer potential points of connection? We welcome proposals from scholars working within the anthropology of Islam, Judaism and Christianity interested in initiating a cross-cutting dialogue, as well as those concerned with debating the broader value of approaches such as, but not limited to, the anthropology of ethics, existential anthropology, humanism, citizenship, selfhood and subjectivity.