On global conflicts and sultanate Delhi

With two inaugural lectures Shlomo Ben-Ami and Sunil Kumar were welcomed as the new Allianz Visiting Professors for the summer semester 2015. Through their talks, on containing global conflicts and the making of sultanate Delhi respectively, they provided insights both from their research and personal experience.

 

Shlomo Ben-Ami is holding a series of seminars in Jewish History and Culture at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) for the 2015 summer semester. During his time as Israeli Foreign Minister (2000-2001), he was one of the central negotiators at Camp David II as part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. His inaugural lecture at the LMU, entitled “Containing Conflict - A Comparative Perspective”, examined the major global conflicts since the Second World War. Ben-Ami concludes that the only way to resolve these conflicts is a multilateral approach in which the ethnical, religious and political singularities of these countries are taken into account. In addition to the USA, he feels that the United Nations, EU and Russia could all have an important role to play in what he calls coercive diplomacy. Although Ben-Ami ultimately described the entire Middle East region as a trouble spot, he stressed that he does see a historic opportunity to advance the peace process further if the conflicts are managed with a combination of multilateralism and strong leadership in the future.

Shlomo Ben-Ami is a former Israeli diplomat, politician and historian. Between 2000 and 2001, he was the 15th Israeli Foreign Minister and he is now Vice President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace.
Shlomo Ben-Ami is a former Israeli diplomat, politician and historian. Between 2000 and 2001, he was the 15th Israeli Foreign Minister and he is now Vice President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace.

The second guest is Prof. Dr. Sunil Kumar of the University of Delhi who was also welcomed as a guest professor in Islamic Studies for the 2015 summer semester. Kumar, who hails from India, began examining the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th century in his doctoral thesis. His research focuses on the sultanates and urban development in medieval Southeast Asia and India, medieval Indian history, the medieval world, history of religion (primarily Islam) and archaeology. His work is mainly concerned with questions relating to the emergence of the Muslim community, their relationship with the state, the emergence of pietistic cultures, political cultures and their ideological and institutional manifestations. For his inaugural lecture as a guest professor he had chosen the topic of “Politics, folklore and the making of sultanate Delhi, 1200 - 1300”. In his presentation he demonstrated how medieval irrigation basins served as places of legitimation for the sultan but were also appropriated by Islamic mystic to further their popular claim to holiness – a sanctity that was then transferred to the city of Delhi.

The Allianz Visiting Professorship for Islamic and Jewish studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich was established in 2003, with the first visiting professor arriving in the same year. The aim of this endowed chair is to help foster dialogue between cultures and to further understanding of Islamic and Jewish culture.

Sunil Kumar is an Indian Historian and professor at the University of Delhi. He is the first Allianz Visiting Professor dealing with the Islam in India.
Sunil Kumar is an Indian Historian and professor at the University of Delhi. He is the first Allianz Visiting Professor dealing with the Islam in India.

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Nicolai Tewes
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