Course Description:This course will explore the relationship of body, mind, and spirit as refracted through the tradition of Islamic mysticism, generally known as Sufism. Topics will include concepts of the body in Greek and Arabic medicine, Islamic doctrines of resurrection, spiritual/physical practices such as fasting and breath control, healing and miracles, and related issues, including the practice of yoga in Sufi circles. The course will include extensive use of multimedia and Internet sources and live videoconferences with offsite contributors.This seminar will be taught jointly at UNC and Duke, meeting alternately at each campus on Monday evenings, 7:30-10 p.m. For dates and locations see the Schedule page.
Note: first meeting will be Wed., Jan. 9, 7:30 pm, at Duke, 220 Gray, just to the right of Duke Chapel on the West Campus on Campus Drive; click here for a Duke campus map and driving directions. The second meeting, at UNC, will be Monday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., Gardner 308; with Jan. 21 a holiday (MLK day), third meeting will be Jan. 28 at UNC. Click here for a UNC map [this is a PDF file; zoom in at 200% to see print; from Morehead Planetarium bus stop, head to the Old Well, cross Cameron, and Gardner is between Hanes and Dey Halls] and parking). Transportation between the two campuses will be facilitated by the Duke/UNC express bus service sponsored by the Robertson Scholars program; click here for schedule.
Prerequisites/Permission: No prerequisites for advanced undergraduates or M.A. students. UNC Doctoral students may register through an independent reading course (UNC RELI 299) with permission of instructor. UNC medical students may participate in connection with elective courses (e.g., SOCM 403, 404, 416) precepted by Medical School faculty, and similar arrangements may be made by Duke medical students. Please contact the instructors with questions.
Exams/Papers: One research paper, on a topic chosen in consultation with instructors.Students will also present preliminary versions of papers in short oral class presentations.
The Book of Sufi Healing, by Shaykh Hakim Moinuddin Chishti
Health and Medicine in the Islamic Tradition : Change and Identity, by Fazlur Rahman
The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, by Al-Ghazali, trans. T. J. Winter
The Pool of Nectar: Muslim Interpreters of Yoga, by Carl W. Ernst (unpublished manuscript)
Ibn 'Arabî's "Divine Comedy": An Introduction to Islamic Eschatology, by James W. Morris (unpublished manuscript)
The Dagger of Love: Chishti Sufism In South Asia and Beyond, by Bruce B. Lawrence and Carl W. Ernst (forthcoming book)
meets West: The Practice of Unani (Greek) Medicine in India, c.
by Claudia Liebeskind (unpublished book)