R S 358 • Saints & Shrines In Islam 42825 • Moin, A. Azfar Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GEA 114 (also listed as ANS 340, ISL 372); Flags: GC
Often called wali or “friend” of God, saints have played a key role in shaping the Muslim religious imagination, especially from the eleventh century onward. This course provides a broad survey of the history of sainthood (walayat) in Islam and the religious customs surrounding saint shrines in Muslim societies across the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. Through a series of important case studies, we will explore how sainthood developed into a major religious phenomenon in Islam, how saints and shrines played a role in the spread of Islam, and how they shaped other spheres of cultural life, including the political, the literary, and the aesthetic. Our survey will end in the modern era with a focus on “reform” movements that seek to contain and counter belief in sainthood in various parts of the Muslim world.
R S 375S • What Is Religion? 42860 • Friesen, Steven J. Meets MW 300pm-430pm BUR 436A ( Contact instructor for permission to register!) Flags: II, Wr
Religion has been a powerful force throughout human history, but what kind of force is it? This course allows students to examine some of the most important answers to that question from the last 150 years of academic study. We will consider psychological, sociological, economic, phenomenological, and anthropological explanations of religion. Participants in the course will also choose examples of religious phenomena and see how well the theories apply to those examples. Course sessions will emphasize discussion and analysis.