Jonathan Ac Brown
NEAR E 430
Examines concept and use of scripture in Islam, with special attention to issues of canon and commentary, heavenly books, talismanic uses, and the place of scripture in ritual. In English. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 430.
This class with discuss the history and important functions of hadith literature in Islamic civilization, investigating how the words of the Prophet Muhammad were employed (and exploited) in the fields of law, theology and Sufism. The class will also discuss the various methods Muslims used to uncover forged attributions to Muhammad, as well as Western criticisms of the hadith tradition. Finally, we will also examine the debates going on within the Muslim world today about the proper role of hadiths in interpreting Islam in the modern age.
Student learning goals
Familiarization with the Hadith tradition and its important role in Islamic civilization
Discuss issues concerning the historical reliability of the Muslim historical tradition
General method of instruction
lecture and discussion
Students should have taken Intro to Islam 211, Intro to Islamic Civilization 210 or have a background in Islam. Students with no familiarity whatsoever with Islam will find it difficult to keep up.
Class assignments and grading
Readings, short essays and discussion
Final Exam, short essays, group presentations and class participation