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Fall 2019 Middle East GU4238 section 001

Call Number 14871
Day & Time
M 6:10pm-8:00pm
208 Knox Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Hussein A Abdulsater
Course Description

This graduate level course studies the major themes of Islamic theology. Following theoretical and historical discussions, it covers the early debates concerned with Muslim views of God, the nature of the Qurʾan, the prophethood of Muhammad and the status of Islamic law. It also discusses divine vs. human will, the role of politics in Muslim view of salvation and the limits of rationality. The course traces how these topics moved from simple formulae to complex concepts due to socio-political controversies and conditions, whether they were sectarian or interreligious conflicts, crises of legitimacy, colonialism or modernity. The arguments of various schools are presented, and translated excerpts from prominent theologians are studied (texts will also be available in Arabic). As we read these texts we ask ourselves a number of questions. For example, what alternatives were possible for theologians other than what later became standard Muslim doctrines? What is the importance of imagination in the creation of these theological systems? Do modern Muslim theologians adapt the classical tradition to address current challenges, or are they circumventing classical answers in search for desired responses? Can a woman be a prophet? How does theology intersect with Sufism and Islamic jurisprudence? For religious studies, the course is meant to help students see the problems of theology from an Islamic viewpoint that deepens their understanding of broader questions. For Islamic studies, focusing on theology offers students an opportunity to engage with major debates from an important, though understudied field.

Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 9 students (20 max) as of 4:05PM Thursday, October 17, 2019
Subject Middle East
Number GU4238
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20193MDES4238W001

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