Saturday, April 07, 2007

Professor Richard Landes Joins GI Team

Professor Richard Landes, a Professor of Medieval History at Boston University, the co-founder and Director of BU's Center for Millennial Studies and a fellow of the Open Society Institute Boston University, has accepted our invitation to join the Galilee Institute team.

Prof. Landes is the author of the popular Augean Stables blog and has recently launched a new media analysis project, The Second Draft, which takes as its first case study the Mohammed al-Dura affair and the phenomenon that Landes' research team calls 'Pallywood', or 'a practice among Palestinian journalists to turn staged drama into news.

This fictional news industry then feeds Western news reporting, who don't seem to suspect they're being duped.

Professor Landes' specialty is popular behavior at the turn of millennial dates. The subject of his first book was a monk-historian who lived in the millennial generation of 1000-1022.

Dr. Landes has been paying attention to contemporary millennial manifestations for over 25 years and offers a unique historical perspective for understanding current apocalyptic and millennial phenomena in light of the past.

Dr. Landes received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and attended Harvard and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He has written articles and editorials for The New Republic and The Boston Globe. His publications include: Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History, Ademar of Chabannes (989-1023) (1995) and The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France Around the Year 1000 (1992).

Landes has been honored with numerous awards including a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship and an Olin Foundation Fellowship. Landes is currently working on several new publications, including: While God Tarried: Disappointed Millennialism and the Genealogy of the West, The Apocalyptic Year 1000: Studies in the Mutation of European Culture, and Surviving the End of the World.

A proud progressive and lover of Israel, Professor Landes explains how leftists, if they are to take their values seriously, must take stock of how much the crisis in the Middle East is driven by ideologies in the Arab and Muslim world that threaten the essence of liberalism. Landes emphasizes that empathy, even sympathy, does not mean projecting our values and intentions onto others; it means listening carefully to what they say; and it most certainly does not mean accepting, or explaining away what we hear.

The liberal who cannot acknowledge and confront the virulent anti-Semitism that is rampant in the Arab world today, says Landes, does neither the Arab world nor Americans any good.Professor Landes teaches at Boston University, where he is the director of the Center for Millennial Studies and a member of the history department.

His work focuses on the relationships between elites and commoners in various cultures, and on the impact that messianic beliefs have on those relationships, as well as on the interactions between various religious communities.

He has published, lectured and given interviews widely on both medieval subjects and those concerning current trends in globalization, liberalism, and the Middle East.

Landes will help audiences understand the impulses and psychology of the left and explain how they can be Israel’s - and the Arabs - greatest allies rather than contributing to everyone's misery with naïve good intentions.

Lecture Topics:

I'm a Leftist and Pro-Israel: Progressive Politics and the Jewish State

Why Decent People Systematically Misread the Middle East Conflict

Psychological and Historical Dimensions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Anti-Semitism

Contact Dr. Landes at