The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism

Oct 26, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
GOOD Free and open to the public



Event Description

On October 26, please join Suzanne Schneider for a discussion of her new book, The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism, which delves into the politics and the ideology of the Islamic State (or ISIS as colloquially known). Noting the unprecedented proliferation of Islamic militant groups over the past forty years, Schneider asks why the present age has proven so generative of this particular form of violence, a question she argued must be answered in historical, not merely theological, terms. Far from being the unwelcome residue from less enlightened times, Schneider finds that today’s jihad is a hypermodern phenomenon: a microcosm that illustrates global shifts in notions of subjectivity, community, governance, and violence. As such, she contends that contemporary jihad has less in common with its classical or medieval forms than with the reactionary political formations and acts of spectacular violence that are upending life in Western democracies -- from authoritarian populism to mass shootings, xenophobic nationalism, and the allure of conspiratorial thinking. With a response from Professor Bernard Haykel, the event will explore these issues while also raising theoretical questions about the relationship between ideological and materialist modes of historical analysis and the potential--and limitations--of situating jihad in a cross-cultural framework.


Suzanne Schneider is Deputy Director and Core Faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, specializing in the political and social history of the modern Middle East. Her books include Mandatory Separation: Religion, Education, and Mass Politics in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2018) and The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism (Verso, 2021). Her writing about political violence, religion, militancy, and American foreign policy has appeared in The Washington Post, n+1, Foreign Policy, Religion Dispatches, Mother Jones, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.

The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia (TRI)