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Spring 2021 Middle East GU4265 section 001
Sufism, Sharia, and Politics
Sufism, Sharia, and Polit

Call Number 10924
Day & Time
W 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Wael Hallaq
Method of Instruction On-Line Only
Course Description This seminar is geared toward advanced undergraduate students. Arguably, Ṣūfism and Sharīʿa constituted the two central domains of premodern Islamic cultures. A central domain is recognized as one that defines other domains. If a domain becomes central, “then the problems of other domains are solved in terms of the central domain—they are considered secondary problems, whose solution follows as a matter of course only if the problems of the central domain are solved” (C. Schmitt). Within this understanding, the seminar aims to introduce the fundamental concepts and (briefly) histories of both Ṣūfism and Sharīʿa, with a focus on how the former overlapped with and was often integral to the latter; how Ṣūfism produced traditions and institutions; and the role it played in the political landscapes of Islam. By necessity, then, the seminar moves from a coverage of Ṣūfī thought and praxis, to community and institution building, to political activism (or inactivism, which is seen here as a move toward the political or ethical). The coverage, deliberately tilted toward Ṣūfism,1 aims to be historical and considerably chronological, moving from the earliest Islamic period to late modernity, including the migration of Ṣūfī entities to the West. In keeping with the claim of Ṣūfism as a central domain, we will examine how this phenomenon, together with the Sharīʿa, rendered the other domains subsidiary to their imperatives. The subordinate idea here is also to try to map out the strongly symbiotic relationship of the two domains, and isolate for analysis contestations and antagonisms. Although the sources – especially the Orientalist – are underdeveloped theoretically, class discussions will call upon the help of various relevant theories in philosophy, intellectual history, politics, and anthropology.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 9 students (25 max) as of 11:38AM Sunday, November 28, 2021
Subject Middle East
Number GU4265
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20211MDES4265W001

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SIS update 11/28/21 11:38    web update 11/28/21 11:41