Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in anthropology. Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty.
Islam is the world's second largest religion--practiced by billions of people not only in the Middle East, but in Africa, Asia, Europe and in increasing numbers in the U.S. Although the religion began in the Arabian Peninsula, as it spread across North Africa into Europe and West Africa, across central Asia, and through India into South and Southeast Asia, local cultural traditions and beliefs were incorporated into Islamic practice. As a result regionally unique styles and practices of the religion developed, leading anthropologists and other scholars to distinguish between the theological system of Islam and its many cultural interpretations, referred to as "islams". This course will examine the rich and diverse cultural expressions of these "islams" around the world. Topics covered will include saint worship and shrines, Sufism and brotherhoods, magical beliefs, the creation of Islamic spaces, veiling and modesty, and the role of Islam in art forms such as Quranic recitation and the Whirling Dervish dances.
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