REL 4404: Comparative Muslim Cultures
Course Description for Comparative Muslim Cultures
Comparative Muslim Cultures
Description: This course concerns popular or local "Islams" throughout the world. This course will take an anthropological perspective and will use Muslim examples to explore the theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of religion. We will also employ a variety of approaches to the study of religion to help the student understand a variety of social and cultural phenomena including religious education, the construction of gender identities, revitalization movements, fundamentalism, and religion and politics. The anthropological approach to Islam is clearly distinct from a theological or philological one. In other words, we will concentrate more on the culture and practice of contemporary Muslims than on Islam's sacred texts. We are particularly interested in the cross-currents that are found in otherwise diverse societies.