Welcome - Scripture and Statecraft: History of Islamic Political Thought HIST 4545   Scripture and Statecraft: History of Islamic Political Thought
This course is dedicated to understanding how Arab-centric tribal relations and networks initially defined Islamic politics in 7th-century Arabia, and how these definitions were later influenced by external 'imperial' and 'kingly' traditions (from Byzantines, Iranians, Indians). Muslim concepts of authority, however, were and still are defined by prophetic genealogies and charisma, and parts of this course will examine the shi`ite doctrine of imamate and the growth of millenarian thought. This course will also focus on the changes in political philosophy as a result of the violent arrival of the Mongols, and how traditional sunni notions of authority and state were displaced by the rise of Shi`ism and Sufism. Discussions will also focus on Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab and Jamal al-Din al- Afghani and the extent to which Islamic political thought retooled and reappraised in the wake of European hegemonic imperialism. The remainder of the course will examine the rise of Islamism, its radicalization following World War Two, and the implications of Islamism and its opponents against the backdrop of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and other religio-political movements in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.
FORMAT: Seminar
PREREQUISITES: Any 3000-level course in Middle East history or permission of the instructor