RELIGION 461 - Islamic Intellectual History
Section: 001
Term: FA 2019
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

After examining Islam as an intellectual construct and an intellectual challenge (in terms of defining what does and does not belong to this category), this course will undertake a comparative examination of Islamic discursive theology (kalam), legal theory (fiqh), philosophy (falsafa), and [neo-] fundamentalism (salafiyya). Special attention will be given to the question of how these diverse fields of intellectual endeavor – varying in methodology and purpose – have conceived of God and the relationship between him and the created world, especially the world of human beings. These areas of Islamic thought evolved within concrete socio-political circumstances that decisively, if indirectly shaped vectors of their evolution. Recent and current debates inside and outside the Muslim world over problematics of these fields and new, burning issues faced by the global Muslim community (umma) are also discussed. Last, but not least, the course examines the usefulness and suitability of recent Western sociological, hermeneutic, and anthropological theories when applied to the study of intellectual life and production of Muslim societies and Muslim diasporas worldwide. Students will be encouraged to formulate and propose new, original ways of approaching these complex and fascinating issues.

Prior to Winter 2016, this course was listed as AAPTIS 469. All content has been retained; only the subject and number has changed.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation; Short essays; Class Presentation

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students with prior knowledge of Islam and Islamic civilization

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly

RELIGION 461 - Islamic Intellectual History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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