MIDEAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Middle East Studies
Section: 001 Qur'an and its Interpretations
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Islam’s sacred scripture, the Qur’an, is the primary repository of the beliefs, values, ritual actions, and symbols of Islam. To a lesser or greater degree it is present in the lives of over 1.6 billion people worldwide. For practicing Muslims, it is the primary guide in life and source of identity. We will examine the history, structure, and contents of the Qur’an as a text and the major source of Muslim faith and practice, paying special attention to the manifold ways in which it has been received, understood, interpreted, and disputed by Muslims for over 1,400 years now. After familiarizing ourselves with the history of the Qur’an’s composition, literary features, and major themes, we will explore how it has shaped the lives and thought of Muslims since its inception until today. Among the themes discussed are the aural/musical, devotional, social, and material dimensions of the Qur’an, issues of its translation into other languages, and debates over its interpretation and the authority (credentials) necessary to interpret it.

Course Requirements:

Grading: 1. Two short essays (4-5 pp. each): 15%; 30% overall. 2. One mid-term exam (essays/commentaries on Qur'anic passages and ID's), 20%. 3. A take-home final exam (commentaries on two Qur'anic passages): 30%. 4. Attendance and participation in discussion: 20%. Of this, up to 10% will be based on a class presentation prepared by students on a topic of their choosing or one assigned by the instructor.

Intended Audience:

First-Year Students

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly

MIDEAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Middle East Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780393927054
Qur'an., Publisher: W W Norton 2017
ISBN: 9780521539340
The Cambridge companion to Qur'a?n, Publisher: Cambridge University Press 2008
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