Loren D. Lybarger is an associate professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions at Ohio University, Athens, where he teaches courses on Islam, Sufism, Political Islam, Theories of Religion, Religion and Violence, and American Religions. He is the author of Identity and Religion in Palestine: The Struggle between Secularism and Islamism in the Occupied Territories (Princeton, 2007). Currently, he is completing research for a second book, titled, Secularism and the Religious Return among Palestinians in Chicago: Transformation of Identity in Exile. Supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, and the Ohio University Research Council, this project explores the generational processes through which Palestinians in Chicago have come to embrace Islamic sensibilities in place of a once dominant secular-nationalism. The effects of this shift are complex, entailing a renegotiation of identity along diverse trajectories. How this process works and what its implications are for living in the US diaspora constitute the primary concerns of this research.
Loren Lybarger, Senior Fellow