REL 232
Islam in Africa Spring 2023
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed HIST 202 / GBST 232 / AFR 232 / REL 232 / ARAB 232

Class Details

Islam in Africa is often relegated to the peripheries in the study of Islam, a religion most associated with Arabs and the Middle East. On the flip side, Islam is also portrayed as foreign to African belief systems and institutions. The relationship between Islam and Africa, however, begins with the very advent of Islam when early Arab Muslim communities took refuge in the Abyssinian empire in East Africa. This course explores the history of Islam and Muslim societies on the African continent by focusing on the localized practices of Islam while also connecting it to Islam as a global phenomenon. The course will begin with a historical focus on the spread of Islam in Africa from East Africa and North Africa in the seventh century all the way to the spread of Islam through Sufi brotherhoods in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The course will also take an anthropological approach, exploring the diverse practices of Islam in African Muslim communities and the social and cultural impact of Islam on African societies. Among the topics the course will cover include African Muslim intellectual traditions, local healing practices, religious festivals, early modern African Muslim abolitionist movements, and the historical interactions between African and Asian Muslim communities in the Indian ocean world.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3353
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Two essays during the semester and final project.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: REL, HIST, ARAB, AFR, GBST majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 202 Division II GBST 232 Division II AFR 232 Division II REL 232 Division II ARAB 232 Division II
DPE Notes: The course will urge students to consider how scholars construct centers and peripheries through a study of Islam in Africa that is often rendered to the peripheries in the study of Islam. The course will also explore the diversity of African Muslim communities, getting students to think about the diversity of human experiences and interpretations of shared sacred texts.
Attributes: HIST Group A Electives - Africa

Class Grid

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