RELIGION 461 - Islamic Intellectual History
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


After examining Islam as a concept (or, rather, an array of different conceptualizations), a subject of academic inquiry, and an intellectual challenge (in terms of defining what is included into and excluded from this elastic category), we will undertake a comparative exploration of Islamic discursive theology (kalam), legal theory (fiqh), philosophy (falsafa), and modern-day Islamic reformism (islah) and “fundamentalism” (Salafism; salafiyya). We will pay special attention to the question of how these diverse fields of intellectual endeavor – varying in methodology and purpose – have conceived of God and his relationship with the world he created, especially the world of human beings. Islamic doctrines and practices have always evolved within concrete socio-political circumstances that decisively, if indirectly, shaped their evolution across time and space. Recent and current debates inside and outside the Muslim world over current and future directions of Islamic thought and practice, as well as the burning geopolitical issues faced by the global Muslim community (umma), will be discussed in detail. Last, but not least, we will evaluate the usefulness and suitability of recent Western sociological, hermeneutic, and anthropological methodologies in explaining the intellectual, ritual, and spiritual aspects of the life of the umma. We will also attempt to formulate and propose new, original ways of approaching the complex and multi-faceted phenomenon that we call “Islam.”


RELIGION 461 - Islamic Intellectual History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for RELIGION 461.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

No Syllabi are on file for RELIGION 461. Click the button below to search for a different syllabus (UM login required)

Search for Syllabus

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)