Thomas Jefferson and Islam: A Re-examination of Founding Precedents
Mon, October 21, 2013 • 4:00 PM • UTC 4.112
Denise Spellberg, The University of Texas at Austin
What did Jefferson know about Islam, and how did this knowledge differ from his views about Muslims as potential future citizens? The lecture presents a new vision of founding American precedents, locating the origin of Jeffersonian ideas about both Islam and religious toleration toward Muslims in key European texts, then demonstrating how this complex Founder sought to move beyond these inherited ideas in his quest for political equality regardless or religion.