Spring 2008

Revival & Reform in Islam

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-54


Kenneth J. Garden (Section 01)


Many discussions of the current wave of Islamic "fundamentalism" accept its proponents' claims that the fundaments of the religion can be indisputably identified and restored. However, the long and diverse history of Islamic renewal and revival itself suggests otherwise. Calls for the revival of Islam are as old as the tradition itself, but though these calls have been consistent, understandings of what revival entails have varied significantly over time. In this course we will read the revivalist writings of several Muslim thinkers, examining both the substance of their agenda and the rhetoric they use to make their vision compelling. These primary texts will be supplemented with theoretical readings on tradition and change, as well as historical background reading to put these thinkers in context. Second semester. Visiting Professor Garden.