ARAB-610 Religious Violence in the Medieval Muslim World
Fall for 2008-2009
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This seminar focuses on the origins and development of Islamic historiography through a comparative analysis of a series of seminal moments of religious violence in pre-modern Muslim history. The class begins with an examination of the methods and forms of Islamic historical texts with a focus on modern studies which emphasize the literary inclinations of medieval historians and the variable worth they assigned to historical veracity. The remainder of the semester focuses on a wide range of historians from disparate eras through a textual comparison of five historical episodes: (1) the /wasiya/ of Abu Hashim (91/710), (2) the revolt of Zayd b. ‘Ali (122/740), (3) the biography and murder of ‘Ali b. Musa al-Rida (late 3^rd /9^th century), (4) the disappearance/assassination of the Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (d. 411/1022), and (5) the Shafi‘i-Hanbali riots in Baghdad (469/1077).
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