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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael E. Meeker
NEAR E 496
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization

Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.

Class description

The Place of Islam The religion of Islam challenges the individual to accept or to refuse its truth. Thus, this religion, perhaps more typically than other world religions, acknowledges a context that actively resists and contradicts its message. This raises the question of how Islamic belief and practice are confronted by a place that opposes their competence. How have believers understood the political projects of tribalism, empire, city-state, and nation? What sense have they made of the social environments of village, town, and city? How have they responded to ever changing technologies of transport, communication, and warfare?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The course explores the place of Islam in different kinds of societies during different periods of history. The course objective is understand how religion shapes social and official practices even as it is itself transformed by conditions of tribalism, empire, nationalism, and modernity.

Recommended preparation

Some course work at the 200 level on Islam or the Middle East OR some course work at the 200 level in the social sciences is required.

Class assignments and grading

The class will consist of lectures, readings, discussions, and films.

Readings, one mid-term exam on readings (30%), one final exam on readings (30%), and 10 pages of written essays outside of class (40%).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Michael E. Meeker
Date: 12/01/2006