REL 243
Islamic Law: Past and Present Fall 2018
Division II
Cross-listed WGSS 243 / ARAB 243 / HIST 302 / REL 243
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From fear of the Shari’a to its implementation in so called “Islamic countries,” Islamic law is perhaps best associated with draconian punishments and the oppression of women. Islamic law is ever present in our public discourse today and yet little is known about it. This course is designed to give students a foundation in the substantive teachings of Islamic law. Islamic law stretches back over 1400 years and is grounded in the Quran, the life example of the Prophet Muhammad, and juridical discourse. Teetering between legal and ethical discourse, the Shari’a moves between what we normally consider law as well as ethics and etiquette. The course will explore four key aspects of the law: its historical development, its ethical and legal content, the law in practice, and the transformation of Islamic law through colonialism and into the contemporary. Specific areas we will cover include: ritual piety, family and personal status law, criminal law, and dietary rules.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 10
Class#: 1381
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly responses, four 2- to 3-page essays
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 243 Division II ARAB 243 Division II HIST 302 Division II REL 243 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia
HIST Group E Electives - Middle East
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern
JLST Interdepartmental Electives

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