Oct 28, 2021
CLWR 3330 - Introduction to Islam
Introduces Islam as a religious and cultural system. Topics include pre-Islamic Arabia, the Prophet Muhammad and the first Muslims, the Qur’an and shari’a, basic ritual practices, mysticism, theology and philosophy, Shi’ism, the visual and musical arts, women, modernism, fundamentalism, and Islam in the USA. Draws on historical, sociological, anthropological, and literary-critical approaches and utilizes a range of primary and secondary material to examine the development of Islamic religious practices and ideals as they interact with larger social and cultural processes. While we will be concerned to understand how practitioners of Islam interpret their beliefs and actions, we will also place ‘insider’ perspectives in a broader social and historical context. Religion is a segment of culture, and thus we undertake our inquiry into Islam in the spirit of the Quranic injunction that ‘humanity consider from what it is created’.
Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 2CP
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
- Describe and analyze at least one of Islam’s central theological debates (freewill vs. predestination).
- Describe the history, categories, and processes of juridical reasoning (sharî`a and fiqh).
- Develop research and analytical writing skills by preparing a ten-page paper that addresses a topic of interest to the student.
- Discuss the historical background, organizational structures, concepts, and practices of Sufism.
- Explain what does and does not constitute plagiarism and cheating.
- Explain why there has been an Islamist revival in the 20th and 21st centuries, what concerns and ideals animate this revival, and what forms this revival has taken.
- Identify and analyze the diverse interpretations Muslims have given to the life and meaning of Muhammad.
- Identify and analyze the relationship between sound (recitative styles) meaning (rhetorical and thematic features of the Qur’an’s earliest verses.
- Identify and discuss at least three key issues that concern Muslims, today.
- Identify and discuss the historical factors that gave rise to the Caliphal system and it Shi`i alternative.
- Identify and explain the historical context and main features of Islamic artistic traditions.
- Identify and explain the key doctrines and ritual practices of the Islamic religious system.
- Identify the main cultural and historical sources of Islam and their relationship to Judaism and Christianity.
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