Central Eurasian Studies at Harvard University
SPRING COURSE- The Meanings of Islam in Central Asia
Posted by: John Schoeberlein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Spring Term Course:
The Meanings of Islam in Central Asia
Islamic Civilizations 160
Spring term, Wednesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 (First meeting: Wed., Jan. 30)
Room: CGIS South S-354
The course examines the changing role of Islam in Central Asia through
history from a multidisciplinary perspective. It considers the
diversity and multi-dimensionality of Islam as it influences social,
cultural, political and religious life. Themes include: Islam and
social order; Islam under Russian and Communist rule; Sufism,
modernist Islam, "fundamentalism" and other forms of belief and
practice; and the dynamic new role of Islam in the region following
independence in 1991.
The following are some of the major topics to be addressed:
1) The historical development and diversity of Islamic civilization in
2) Islam under the rule of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union, and
3) Islam and its relations to other traditions: Issues of conversion,
syncretism, and confrontation with other religious traditions and
4) Islam as religion and belief system: Central Asia's role in the
broader traditions, schools, orders and reform movements.
5) Islamic principles of social order: Hereditary roles, teachers,
judges, healers, Islamic principles of authority, of community, of
family relations, and of government and participation.
6) Islam as way of life: Ritual practice, other Muslim cultural
practices, principles of daily behavior, and the mixture of Muslim
ways of being with Soviet and post-Soviet ways.
7) Islam as a principle and structure of political mobilization:
Islamic opposition, state legitimacy, reform, and "fundamentalism";
Roles of Islamic movements in relation to secular, non-Islamic, or
The realm of Islam in Central Asia is currently undergoing tremendous
change with far-reaching implications for the future of the region and
beyond -- making it a fascinating topic to explore.
Please pass this information on to other who you think might be
interested in joining the course.
For more information, contact:
Dr. John Schoeberlein \ Director
Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus
Davis Center \ Harvard University
1730 Cambridge St., Room S-320 \ Cambridge, MA 02138 \ USA
Central Asia Program website: http://centasia.fas.harvard.edu
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