november, 2018

201822nov2:00 pm4:00 pmResearch Workshop: Ethics as Politics. Shari‘a Training in Lebanon—Jean-Michel Landry (McGill University)2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Institute of Islamic Studies, 170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto


Event Details

This paper seeks to engage and broaden anthropological approaches to ethics by looking at classes on ethics offered in Lebanese Shi‘i seminaries. I show that what future clerics learn to fashion in these classes is not so much their ethical selves, but the moral conditions of the community they aspire to serve. In and outside classrooms, they learn to conceptualize ethical flourishing as a collective endeavor. By examining the field of concerns that these seminaries lessons bring into view and the repertoire of practices taking shape in them, I map out a domain of thinking and engagement that reaches far beyond the register of the self and, as I suggest, flows into politics. I do so by drawing, in part, on what political theorists call the tradition of political ethics, one that connects the work of Antonio Gramsci, Simone Weil and Bertolt Brecht. Based on my analysis of the Shi‘i classes on ethics, I revisit certain elements of Foucault’s late work, which has been foundational in establishing the new anthropology of ethics.

Jean-Michel Landry is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and a affiliated researcher at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 and, in 2017, he received the award for the best dissertation from the Association of Middle East Anthropology. His work appeared in L’HommeOxford BibliographiesTelos, the Immanent Frame and Syndicate.


(Thursday) 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto