HIST-468 Islamic Modernism
Spring for 2016-2017
Virtually all modern Muslim thinkers focus on reform of Islamic societies, recovery from colonialism, and facing the challenges of post-colonial development. Some approaches to these issues are hostile to modernity, stressing the importance of returning to traditional norms, for example, or developing innovative but highly conservative social coping mechanisms. This course focuses on a diverse range of efforts by Muslim thinkers over the past 150 years who actually engage with modernity and try to articulate Islam’s place in it. Modernist discourse both reflects and affects sociopolitical developments; studying it helps us understand those developments. And those developments are part of a wider web of developments in world history. Therefore, as we try to understand what modernists are saying, why they are saying it, and their communities’ responses to what they are saying, we will examine the sociopolitical issues they are addressing, why they facing those issues, and how their responses affect their societies. That means we will be working at the intersection of various trends in the study of world history. Remaining aware of those trends is also a theme of the course.
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Spring '17: Sonn T (file download)
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