Spring 2012

Islam and the Muslim World

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-182


Mentor Mustafa (Section 01)


The commonly held assumption about "Islam" and the "Muslim world" is that these are monolithic categories. Indeed, the study of Islam and the Muslim world show that the forms of religious life and their meanings vary widely. This course provides an historical and ethnographic examination of Islam through time and across space. This course will historicize Islam as a world religion and situate Muslims in the contexts of their own cultural traditions. The overall aim of the course is to introduce students to the people and cultures of the Muslim world and to understand what holds the Muslim world together, the commonalities of Muslim religious experience across cultures, and Islam’s varied social and religious forms. To tend to these overall objectives, we will begin by considering the social context, both the underlying principles and tensions, of the early formative period of Islam and how these were expressed in the social and religious relationships that emerged. Considering the religious alongside the political and moral forces that brought Islam into being, we examine changing roles of religion in human history. We explore how individuals organize, construct and discuss everyday senses of personal, ethnic, national, and religious identity, and deal with issues of being a majority or a minority Muslim population in a society. We will make use of ethnographies, biographies, autobiographies, and artistic expressions (poetry as well as visual arts) by and about Muslims in order to capture the historical and contemporary diversity of Islam and the Muslim world.

Spring semester.  Visiting Lecturer Mustafa.


Community Based Learning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012