GBST 234
What is Islam?
Last Offered Fall 2018
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ARAB 234 / REL 234 / GBST 234 / HIST 208
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course introduces students to Islam as a varied and contested historical tradition. The course will trace the historical development of Islam, focusing on religious and intellectual thought, political developments, and the practices and lived lives of Muslims. We will begin with situating the rise of Islam within the context of late antiquity, followed by an examination of the life of Muhammad, and the rise of Muslim empires. These developments will form the framework through which we investigate the theological, philosophical, legal, mystical, and literary writings of Muslims from the classical to the early modern periods of Islamic history. The main aim of the course is to develop a framework for understanding the historical developments through which Muslims have constructed ideas about normativity, authority, and orthodoxy in debates around Islam. Sources will include pre-modern historical and religious texts (in translation).
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1404
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: reading responses, two essays, final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Religion majors (or those considering Religion as a major), then Arabic Studies and History majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARAB 234 Division II REL 234 Division II GBST 234 Division II HIST 208 Division II
DPE Notes: This course looks role of power, in particular imperial and colonial power in the construction of religion. To that end, the course will explore how the rise of Muslim empires shaped the construction of pre-modern Islam and subsequently the role of European colonialism in shaping the emergence of modern Islam. This course will teach students critical tools in postcolonial theory about the relationship between power and the production of knowledge and the agency of the colonized.
Attributes: HIST Group E Electives - Middle East
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

Class Grid

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  • GBST 234 - SEM What is Islam?
    GBST 234 SEM What is Islam?
    Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
    Not offered

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