I first met Dr. Deanna Womack in Canada at a conference in which we both were presenting papers and wish to draw attention to her scholarship. Now at Emory University, she has completed important work on the history of North American missionaries in Beirut in the 19th century. She discusses the inter-religious interaction between Christians and Muslims in the Ottoman Syria. Like any set of sociopolitical relations, it’s complicated.
I found her work compelling and timely in light of this year’s election. Let us not oversimplify. Let us not vilify. Let us guard against gross overstatements. Let us be even-handed and generous. Let us resist categorization and confirmation bias. Let us think more critically than to merely represent “‘the other’ [as] 1) a collectivity rather than recognizing individual identities and 2) to presume to speak authoritatively without taking the subjects’ own perspectives into account.”
Dr. Womack’s profile available here.