Michael E. Meeker
NEAR E 496
Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.
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.
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%).