CHASS Connect: 2009-2010 Sequences

(Fulfills Religious Studies, Fine Arts and Social Science)

These three courses will provide students with some tools for understanding Islam as a multi-faceted way of life. You will explore the history of Islam, the interconnections between religion and politics, and gender relations in the "Muslim" world.

Fall 2009
Professor Ali
Islam: Texts and Interpretations

We will gain an introductory knowledge of Islamic scriptures and their interpretations in historical contexts. We will focus on the history and the main themes of the Qur’an and the Hadith, and Islamic traditions of theology, law, mysticism, philosophy, ethics, arts, science, and interreligious relations. You will be equipped with some theoretical tools for understanding Islam as a multi-faceted way of life, as well as how Islam is situated in history and in the contemporary world.

Winter 2010
Professor Aslan
Religion and Politics

Although these are the two topics to avoid at all costs when dealing with friends or family, in this class we will discuss them at length in regards to the development of the Middle East. In this vital region, the line between religion and politics is very hazy at best. Islam as a religious ideal often permeates every aspect of society. Only by examining how religion influences politics can we can derive a more informed analysis of the situation that led to the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and to the continuing cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Spring 2010
Professor Hafez
Muslim Societies and Cultures: Gender, Modernization, and Social Change

This course will introduce students to the broad themes in the scholarship of the "Muslim World." We will begin with analyzing the approaches to the study of Islamic societies and cultures; then explore gender relations in Islam, the family, and nationalism; and finally look at social change and development. All of which will shed a critical light on the major themes, questioning rather than addressing issues.