A broad introduction to Islam, including the history, culture, and religion of the people and places that came to be influenced by Islam and that constitute a world civilization. What makes something (an empire or state, or a work of art or music) Islamic? When and how did that which we think of today as Islamic come about? How has “the Islamic” changed over time? With these questions in mind, this course introduces students to major figures, events, themes, institutions, and intellectual currents in Islamic history, from its beginnings in the 7th century to the modern period. Key topics to be covered include the rise and spread of Islam, the Qur’an and the role of Arabic, political thought, law and society, and literary and artistic expressions. Attention is paid to the geographical and ethno-linguistic scope of the Muslim world, demonstrating the diversity of peoples and traditions that make up Islamic civilizations.
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (History, Religion)