ANT4130 Survey of Anthropology of Religion: Islam

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Ken Maximiliani Hallman

Course Description:

Survey of Islam as a religion and investigation of what it means to be Muslim in terms of culture (genres, media, material culture), practice (rituals, moral teachings, daily comportment), and ideas (dogmas, ideologies, political engagements). By examining primary sources, secondary readings, and visual materials, students will gain a foundation in Islamic precepts and history, together with their various cultural articulations.

How This Course Benefits Students:

The Bachelors level course gives students basic understanding of how theological and legal teachings of Islam are expressed in Muslim practice and culture. It equips students with rudimentary knowledge of Islam in its diverse forms, and prepares them for interactions with Muslim practitioners. The Masters level course adds to these skills a deeper understanding of diverse socio-political factors and contexts that have shaped different forms of contemporary Islam in various nation-states. It also allows students to identify points of convergence and contrast in Muslim and Christian conceptualizations of God, sin, human nature, and Jesus.

Why This Course Is Important:

As the world’s second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing major religions in the world, Islam has over a billion followers spread over Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Moreover, with its prominent contemporary presence, historical significance, and shared theological references, Islam represents a religious tradition that challenges Christians to better understand their own cultural roots, religious precepts, and foundations of practice.