Chapel Hill - Summer II 2005
RELIGIOUS STUDIES 025
Upcoming lectures, exhibits, and performances relating to the Middle East and Muslim civilizations
I. Introduction to the Study of Islam
June 23 The Study of Islamic Civilization Today
the first two articles about
the UNC Qur'an controversy.
Why was this such a big deal? Why did this become a national issue?
2. June 27 Religion, Islamic Civilization, and History
Reading: Ernst, Following Muhammad, chapter 2, "Approaching Islam in Terms of Religion" pp. 38-69; Berkey, pp. 1-53. Notes.
Study question: changing meaning of "religion" and "religions" in the colonial era; characteristics of the religions of the ancient world, particularly in relation to empire
Notes: Islam and the World of Muhammad
al-Khazina ("the Treasury"): Princeton web site on Islamic studies
II. Sources of Islamic Tradition
3. June 28 The Prophet Muhammad and the Qur'an
Reading: Ernst, Following Muhammad, pp. 71-105, 108-119; Berkey, pp. 57-69; Notes
The Sura of the Cave (Qur. 18), trans. W. N. Crest (you will need userid and password no. 1); See "Questions to Consider" in the prefatory remarks to this reading, for suggested study questions on "You" verses and "Say" verses
Web assignment. Examine one of the following extreme Christian fundamentalist sites on Islam:
Questions that can be addressed include:
4. June 29
Texts, gender, and
early Islamic society
Arts, especially calligraphy
Museum Tour. We will go to the Ackland Art Museum (click here for a map) to see the permanent Islamic art collection.
6. July 5 Rethinking
early Islamic society
III. The Dome of the Rock and the imperial politics of the Caliphate
July 6 The Rock, part 1
Exercise: Visiting the Dome of the Rock.
Log into the Electronic Media Cooperative, click on Courses, go to Reli 25, and examine photos of the Dome of Rock.
Examine the Qur'anic inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock as summarized by Bruce Lawrence (here; you will need userid and password no. 1). Why were these verses chosen? What would be the impact of reading them as one circumambulates the shrine?
10. July 12
early Islamic society (cont'd)
IV. Religion and Culture in Early Islamic Civilization
July 13 Overview of the early Caliphate
Photos of tombs of the Imams in Medina -- why would theWahhabis of SaudiArabia have destroyed all these tombs in 1925?
Photos of shrines relating to Ali
Photos of shrines relating to the martyrdom of Husayn
Photos of shrines relating to the 10th, 11th, and 12th Imams
Tears for Kerbala, a children's book on the martyrdom of Husayn
Chart of the 14 Infallibles
Sa`di's elegy on the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols. How do you reconcile this lament with the fact that his patron assisted the Mongols?
V. Samarkand: Religion, History, and Culture in Seljuk Persia
16. July 21
in the Present: in Search of Omar's Manuscript
Past in the Present: Omar, Baskerville, and Middle Eastern modernity
edited essays to your partner on your own, on June 27
Final Exam Essay Due by Fri., June 29, 3 pm (my mailbox in Saunders 125)