Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1121
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
Law; Anthropology; Religion; Islamic Legal Theory; Classical Islamic Texts (Fiqh, Tafsir, Hadith, Tasawwuf); Contemporary Muslim Societies; Human Rights; Middle East; Southeast Asia
- “The Fiqh of Revolution and the Arab Spring: Secondary Segmentation as a Trend in Islamic Legal Doctrine.” Muslim World 105 (2015): 398-421.
- “An Epistemic Shift in Islamic Law: Educational Reform at al-Azhar and Dār al-ʿUlūm.” Islamic Law and Society 21 (2014): 209-251.
- “An Ethical Solution to the Problem of Legal Indeterminacy: Sharīʿa Scholarship at Egypt’s al-Azhar.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 20(1) (2014): 93-112.
L23 3465 Islamic Law
This course provides an introduction to premodern Islamic law. The course focuses on the history, development, and doctrinal content of the Sunni legal tradition, although some attention is given to the Shi'ite and Ibadi legal traditions as well. Students will be introduced to doctrine on ritual law, family law, commercial law, and penal law. They will also study rules related to war and rebellion as well as rules governing non-Muslim minoities. Other major topics covered in the course include Islamic legal theory, the four classical Sunni legal schools, legal education, and judicial practice. Attention will also be given to how the discipline of Islamic law is linked with other traditional Islamic disciplines such as hadith, theology, and Sufism. 3 units. Same as home course L75 JINE 346.
L23 3540 Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies
This course introduces students to anthropolocial and sociological scholarship on Muslim societies. Attention will be given to the broad theoretical and methodological issues which orient such scholarship. These issues include the nature of Muslim religious and cultural traditions, the nature of modernization and rationalization in Muslim societies, and the nature of sociopolitical relations between "Islam" and the "West." The course explores the preceeding issues through a series of ethnographic and historical case studies, with a special focus on Muslim communities in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Case studies address a range of specific topics, including religious knowledge and authority, capitalism and economic modernization, religion and politics, gender and sexuality, as well as migration and globalization. Same as home course L75 JINE 354.
L23 3622 Topics in Islam: Islam, Society, and Culture in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the world (240 million). Moreover, the history of Islam in the region spans nearly a millennium. This course explores the Muslim communities of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. The course looks at the history of these communities during the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods. Focusing on religion, culture, and politics, we examine how Islamic traditions have shaped and been shaped by local social life. We also examine how such traditions have been transformed by modernity. Students will gain a foundational understanding of Islam as a regional and global phenomenon. They will also gain a multidimensional understanding of Southeast Asia and its complex cultural history. Same as home course L75 JINE 3622.
L23 3622 Topics in Islam: Islam and Human Rights
This course examines human rights in relation to both Islamic religious teachings and Muslim communities across the globe. Topics to be covered include: (1) the complex theoretical issues raised by attempts to define and apply human rights concepts in different cultural contexts; (2) aspects of the Islamic tradition that have provoked human rights concerns, including legal doctrine related to religious minorities, women, and LGBT individuals; (3) efforts by Muslim activists, Western states, and various NGOs to promote liberal reforms within the Islamic tradition; (4) the social and political dynamics of human rights activism in different Muslim-majority countries, with special attention given to the Middle East and Southeast Asia; (5) human rights controversies sparked by Muslim minorities living in Western countries, including debates related to religious freedom, secularism, tolerance for cultural difference, and the "global war on terror." Same as home course L75 JINE 3622.
L23 368 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
This course provides an overview of theories and methods used in the study of religion. Topics to be covered include: (1) major theorists of religion such as Frazer, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Geertz, Habermas, MacIntyre, and Asad (2) hermeneutic methods for the analysis of religious texts and religious history, with a focus on the German Historicist Tradition and the related concept of Geisteswissenshaften (3) ethnographic methods for the collection of data on contemporary religious communities, institutions, and practices (4) the nature and function of religious ritual (5) the role of power and social practice in producing both religious belief and religious disbelief (6) the relationship between religious belief, reason, and science, with special attention given to the secularization thesis (7) religion and politics, including issues such as secular governance, freedom of religion, and international human rights standards.
L23 396 Islamic Philosophy, Mysticism, and Theology
How does an individual achieve access to knowledge and access to God? To what extent is such access dependent upon scripture? To what extent is such access dependent upon reason? Are there forms of truth and experience that only reveal themselves through mysticism? Questions of this sort are central to the interrelated disciplines of Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, and Islamic mysticism (i.e., Sufism). This course examines the preceding three disciplines, with a focus on the premodern period. Students will be introduced to major figures within these disciplines, including al-Ghazali, Ibn Sina, Ibn al-'Arabi, Ibn Taymiyya, and Rumi. Moreover, students will also examine how these disciplines have shaped various aspects of social life within premodern Muslim communities. Although the course addresses a range of issues, special attention will be given to the following topics: (1) the relationship between Islamic scripture/law and Islamic philosophy, mysticism, and theology (2) the relationship between Islamic religious teachings and the forms of both "high" and "popular" culture found in premodern Muslim societies (3) free thought, scientific inquiry, heterodoxy, skepticism, and blasphemy in premodern Muslim societies (4) Muslim institutions and social movements dedicated to promoting philosophy, mysticism, and theology (5) the aesthetic significance of philosophical, mystical, and theological teachings, and the expression of such teachings in Islamic ritual, poetry, literature, music, dance, painting, and architecture.