Fall 2021

Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Apostasy in Islam

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-283  |  Religion, as RELI-283

Moodle site: Course


Tariq Jaffer (Section 01)


(Offered as RELI 283 and ASLC 283) What is correct Islamic belief and practice? Is there such a thing? Who has been labeled a heretic, unbeliever, or apostate in the history of Islam, and why? How did Muslim “freethinkers” contest Islamic orthodoxies? We will discuss the ways that a wide variety of Muslim sects or denominations developed in the history of Islam. Our objectives are to examine how groups and individuals established, prescribed, or remade standards of Islamic belief and practice; and to examine how they faced the plurality of Muslim sects and other religions. We will pay special attention to the theme of salvation, which shaped the ways that Muslims classified sects and other religions. As we explore the above issues we will read from a range of Islamic discourses, including scripture, theology, law, and mysticism. All readings are in English. Open to all students.

Fall semester. Associate Professor Jaffer.


Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2021