Dickinson College Visiting Scholar to Discuss Religious Identity and Extremism in Africa

Portrait of Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob

Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Countering violent extremism

by Kaila Basile ’20

Religious identity in Africa and its influence on violent religious extremism will be discussed during “(Dis)Owning God: Religious Identity and Violent Extremism in the African Sahel Region,” a lecture by Dickinson Visiting International Scholar in International Relations Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob on Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room.

Jacob will discuss both the factors that lead religious identity to cause acts of violence and how the media misrepresents acts of violent extremism. Jacob argues religion is intimately tied to class systems, and members of religious groups often claim their belief system is superior in order to change their position in society, sometimes using violence to combat beliefs and identities counter to their own. Jacob will also discuss how present-day conflict follows or diverges from past conflicts.

Jacob is a visiting professor from the American University of Nigeria, where he served as the chair of the Communications & Multimedia Design Program and interim dean in the School of Arts & Science. He previously held a visiting position at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. He has done extensive research in the Lake Chad Basin, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Jacob has led the implementation of peace-building initiatives in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He worked with the U.S. State Department on a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) project using peace journalism to counter the Boko Haram insurgency. He is the author of Convincing Rebel Fighters to Disarm: UN Information Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and his research has appeared in publications such as the Global Peace Operations Review.

The event is part of the Bechtel lectureship, which was established in honor of late emeriti faculty Dan Bechtel (Religion) and Joan Bechtel (Library Resources) to support speakers and events regarding Africa at the Clarke Forum. It is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Bechtel Lectureship Fund.

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Published April 5, 2018