Students, faculty, and community members packed McCosh 50 April 20 to see Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan in conversation with Princeton professor Eric Gregory on the subjects of Islam, Christianity, and the problem of oppression.
The event served more as a way for the two to share the views of each faith than it did as a way for the two to agree on how the faiths can work together to combat oppression.
Ramadan, a professor of Islamic Studies, spoke at length on the ways in which the basic tenets of a spiritual life in Islam inform Muslims’ understanding of how to resist oppression.
He explained that everyone possesses two competing tendencies – a dark side and a light side – and oppression results from letting the dark side take over. By nature, Ramadan explained, humans are engaged in an intimate struggle between their evil and benevolent sides, and to lead a spiritual life is to control one’s darker half with his enlightened half.