Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Arab World

LAU New York Headquarters & Academic Center

Book Talk­­ – Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World.

Moving from the 19th century to the present, this groundbreaking book explores the politics of pluralism during the Ottoman Empire and in the post-Ottoman Arab world. Rather than judging the Arab world as a place of age-old sectarian animosities, Age of ­­­­Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World (University of California Press, 2019) describes the forging of a complex system of coexistence, what Dr. Makdisi calls the “ecumenical frame.” He argues that new forms of anti-sectarian politics, and some of the most important examples of Muslim-Christian political collaboration, crystallized to make and define the modern Arab world.


Dr. Ussama Makdisi is a professor of history and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University.

He is the author of Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (Public Affairs, 2010). His previous books include Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2008), which won the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, and was a cowinner of the 2009 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize given by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies.

Dr. Makdisi has also published widely in peer-reviewed journals on Ottoman and Arab history as well as US-Arab relations and US missionary work in the Middle East.  


Executive Director of the LAU New York Headquarters and Academic Center Nadim Shehadi is an associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House in London.

Shehadi was previously the director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He was also a senior member of St. Antony’s College Oxford where he directed the Centre for Lebanese Studies from 1986 to 2005.

A trained economist with an interest in the history of economic thought, he has produced several publications, contributes regularly to media coverage of Middle Eastern affairs and has advised several governments and international organizations.


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