Wahhabism and the World
A Conversation with Peter Mandaville
Showing the Wahhabism and the World Video
March 28, 2022
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar
For more than half a century, Saudi Arabia—through both official and non-governmental channels—has poured billions of dollars into funding and sponsoring religious activities and Islamic causes around the world. The effect has been to propagate Wahhabism, the distinctively rigid and austere form of Islam associated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's religious establishment, within Muslim communities on almost every continent. This webinar explored Saudi Arabia’s global impact on Islam through a conversation with Berkley Center Senior Research Fellow Peter Mandaville, editor of the newly published Oxford University Press volume Wahhabism and the World: Understanding Saudi Arabia's Global Influence on Islam (2022). This book—the first ever comprehensive academic study of the topic—features essays by leading scholars who explore the origins and evolution of Saudi religious transnationalism, assess ongoing debates about the impact of these influences in various regions and localities around the world, and discuss possible future trends in light of new Saudi leadership.
In a discussion moderated by Annelle Sheline, research fellow for the Middle East at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Mandaville highlighted some of the book’s key findings and offered his reflections on the future role of religion in Saudi Arabia’s external relations under Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Alexander Thurston, assistant professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati and one of the contributing authors to the volume, also joined the discussion to speak about Saudi Arabia’s evolving religious influence in the Sahel region of Africa.
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