Below, you can find a variety of academic research, conference workshops, and books on the Druze history, religion and culture.
The Druze: Celebrating a Thousand Years of Diversity
The Center of Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut organized an international conference in October 2018, which brought together leading researchers who have contributed to the field of Middle Eastern Studies with particular reference to the Druze. The conference focused on the political, social and cultural evolution and/ or political role of the Druze over the past millennium.
This two-day conference held at the American University of Beirut also featured a number of activities covering art, food and culture, allowing the public to become more familiar with these socio-cultural tools which help the Druze community to maintain a distinct identity while simultaneously being part and parcel of their societies.
Research and Presentations
- The Georgetown Fellowship
- More resources coming soon!
Druze in America – The Early Years
The ADF created and published a book on Early American Druze Immigrants, titled “Druze in America – The Early Years. A Collection of Stories.“
This book is a compilation of stories about American Druze who immigrated from Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine to the United States of America in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Following a brief introduction highlighting the history, geographic distribution, faith, and values of the Druze people, as well as the conditions that led to the spike in immigration from the homelands, is a gripping presentation of individual stories of immigrants from this early period. The stories are actual recollections of the immigrants themselves, largely recorded in their own words or in the words of their descendants, of their journeys to their adopted home country, and of their new lives there. The book focuses on significant events in the voyage that brought the immigrants and their beloved ones to the New World. It covers details of life in America. The newcomers’ accounts highlight their dreams and hopes of peace, freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. They are testimonies to their struggles, worries, sacrifices, failures and successes – their own individual realities. Expressed in this work is the immigrant’s courage, perseverance, resilience, unwavering attachment to their roots, and loyalty to the land of their dreams, America. The stories published in the book represent materials that were made available prior to book publication on people of varied backgrounds, statuses, and achievements. Druze in America – The Early Years. A Collection of Stories is an unprecedented endeavor that documents the lives of our beloved fathers and forefathers, safeguarding their memories for generations to come.
This book won the 2016 Printing Industries of America (PPA) Certificate of Merit Award. You can order the book directly from Amazon.
The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid
The ADF supported the research and publication of the book “The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid”, Syracuse University Press 2006, by Anis Obeid M. D.
This book is intended for Druze individuals and families born and/or raised in the West, particularly the U.S., who do not have access to Druze religious writings or teachings designed for the Western mind.
The Druze & Their Faith in Tawhid is also intended for individuals and groups from outside the Druze community who have a keen interest regarding the Druze in general, and their faith in particular. In either case, based on the author’s interpretation of the message of Tawhid, the aim was not to preach but to enlighten and to have an ongoing quest for spiritual and moral growth and evolution. According to Dr. Obeid, Tawhid is built on cyclical stages that spiral upwards from one level to the next and not on linearity with a defined beginning and end. It incorporates into its core concepts philosophy and mysticism, in addition to the religious traditions of monotheistic faiths.
The most recent of these cycles took place in the era of the sixth Fatimid Caliph, al-Hakim bi Amr Allah, about a thousand years ago.Starting with a brief introduction on the historical backdrop of the Islamic incubator from which the most recent cycle emerged, the book moves on to discuss the basic tenets of the faith. These are grouped under three main headings:
- First is the concept of God who, in the absolute sense (Lahut), is totally beyond human capacity to comprehend. Yet, God reveals aspects of his countenance as reflections in human image, the clarity of which depends on individual capacity.
- The second concept deals with the idea of creation whereby the first of God’s creation is the Universal Mind, which emanates from the Creator by Divine Will. As such, the Mind is a concept that preceded the emergence of space and time and is beyond historical parameters. From the Mind followed a cascade of five Cosmic Principles leading to the creation of the physical universe.
- Reincarnation is the third major tenet. Through reincarnation, the body dies and the soul continues its journey from one abode to the next, until the end of time. And from each stage, the soul carries the gist of spiritual experience to the next level in the spiral of evolution.
In addition to the basic tenets are a set of behavioral traits advocated by the faithful: truthfulness in tongue and deed; care for brothers and sisters in faith and humanity at large; excision of falsehood and idolatry; rejection of tyranny and injustice; devotion to Tawhid of God at every age and at every stage; and acceptance of and submission to God’s will. The author then deals with how Tawhid fits (or should fit) in the Islamic and global spiritual traditions and paths. He highlights the need for reforming the Druze traditions to adapt to an open and changing world. Having few rituals and no proselytizing, the Druze can become an example of inter- and intra-faith harmony and understanding.