REL 240 Fall 2013 Islam and Muslims in South Asia

South Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, has been home to a rich tapestry of expressions of Islamic culture and thought. From the arrival of Muslims in Sindh in 711 to the Delhi Sultanate through the Mughal Empire, British colonialism, to the present nation-states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, South Asian Muslims have developed intellectual, religious, and cultural traditions that have both been locally rooted and part of the broader Islamic world. In this course, we will survey diverse Muslim theological, philosophical, religious, juridical, literary, artistic, political, and spiritual traditions across the different regions of South Asia and in different temporal contexts, with a view to understanding how the broader Islamic tradition becomes embedded in particular cultural contexts. We will look at both Sunni and ShiĆ¢'i, mainstream Twelver and IsmaĆ¢'ili, scholarly and popular traditions. Particular attention will be paid to Sufism, the Islamic mystical tradition, and the major role it played in Muslim life in South Asia. One theme of the course will be the multifaceted encounters of Muslims with Indian religious traditions: we will explore Muslim narratives on Indian religions, mutual encounters resulting in borrowing, assimilation, and hybridity, and the transformation of these relationships under British colonial rule resulting in new religious identities and the construction of modern forms of "Hinduism" and "Islam". We will also look at the major changes in South Asian Islamic traditions in the modern period and the emergence of new intellectual schools and forms of Muslim modernism, messianism, fundamentalism, traditionalism, and nationalism.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: active engagement, short weekly assignments, final paper or project
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Religion majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ARAB Arabic Studies Electives, REL Islamic Tradition Courses
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 1995
REL240-01(F) LEC Islam and Muslims Division 2: Social Studies Fuad S. Naeem
TR 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Schapiro Hall 241 1995
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