Islamic political thought

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Course Description[edit]

These courses are intended toprovide an advanced survey of the long and rich tradition of Islamic political theory and thought. There are two courses designed to divide Islamic political thought into two periods: 645-1500 CE and 1500 CE-Present. The pre-modern course is conceived as a prerequisite for the modern course because the modern period deals with the lingering problems of the pre-modern period.

Classical Islamic political thought (645-1500 CE) spans from the historical context within which Islam emerged to the end of the classical period of Islamic political thought. Early modern and modern Islamic political thought (1500 CE-Present) spans the dynastic period beginning with the Safavids to contemporary political thinkers.

The goals of this survey of Islamic political thought are:

  1. To gain a broad understanding of the key thinkers making contributions to Islamic political thought
  2. To understand the key concepts developed by Islamic political thinkers

Assignments[edit]

Chapter Summary: A chapter outline is required for each reading assignment due the day we discuss the reading. These outlines should be detailed and include a general summary of the arguments made in each chapter under discussion, highlight the key concepts and political thinkers, and include thoughts and questions regarding the reading. These summaries will serve as a basis for class discussion as well as demonstrate comprehension of the reading material.

Tests: There will be a mid-term and a final examination, both essay exams.

Wiki Project: We will develop our work on Wikipedia and integrate the knowledge and readings into both the Wikipedia and the Wikiversity at Islamic Political Thought. This assignment will develop as the course develops and we will have to create a mechanism to ensure that quality work is submitted to the Wikipedia and Wikiversity.

Student Led Discussions: Concurrent with the Wiki project, the students will select a specific figure or movement to study. As this is a highly individualized project, the chapter summaries will be, in the second half of the course, focused on the readings of that particular student. The student is responsible for the material, and, periodically, must lead a discussion or small-lecture on their work.



Pre-Modern Islamic Political Thought: 645-1500 CE[edit]

Course Objectives[edit]

This course is intended to be an advanced introduction to the political philosophy and ideas of Islam. The political thought of Islam has a long and often debated tradition. This course is intended as a stand alone introduction to the history of Islam and its political ideas from Muhammad through Ibn Khaldun or as an introduction to the main themes of the politics of Islam that will be continued in the course Modern Islamic Political Thought. The area of this course covers chronologically from 645-1500 C.E. The goals of the course are as follows:

    1. Understand the historical background of pre-Islamic Arabia, the political, religious, and social situations that gave the nascent Islamic umma (community) the requisite support to consolidate and solidify the rise of Islam as the dominant force in the area.
    2. Understand the main theological and social tenets of Islam.
    3. Learn about the expansion and tensions in the post-Muhammad umma.
    4. Identify and compare the themes of political thought in these periods: the role of the Caliph, the Sultan, the separation of church and state, the right to rebel against authority, human nature, the tension between traditionalism and rationalism, and the rule of elites and their relation to the masses.
    5. Finally, the students are expected to pick at least one figure or movement, read some primary and secondary sources, and modify or add to the pre-existing Wikiuniversity project begun in Spring 2007.

Readings[edit]

  1. Aslan, R. (2006). No god but god : The origins, evolution, and future of islam. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks.
  2. Black, A. (2001). The history of islamic political thought : From the prophet to the present. New York: Routledge.
  3. Lapidus, I. M. (1996). State and religion in islamic societies. Past and Present, (151), 3-27.
  4. Hodgson, Marshall G.S. (1974). The venture of islam: conscience and history in a world civilization. 1. the classical age of islam. University of Chicago Press.
  5. ----------------------------------. The venture of islam: conscience and history in a world civilization. 2. the expansion of islam in the middle periods. University of Chicago Press.

Course Outline[edit]

Week One

  • Introduction and Overview
Pre-Islamic Arabia
The Life of Muhammad<br

Muhammad's Life and his political contributions to the first Islamic State

Basic tenets of Islam
Sunni and Shi’a

Twelvers

  • General Overview & Early History of Islamic Political Thought
Discuss Wiki Project
Aslan, Chapters 1-5

Week Two

  • Early History of Islamic Political Thought


  • Early History of Islamic Political Thought


Week Three

  • Early History of Islamic Political Thought/Early Dynasties
Hodgson Book One, I-II

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • Early History of Islamic Political Thought/Early Dynasties
Hodgson Book One, III; Book Two, I

The Abbasid Caliphate

Week Four

  • History of Islamic Political Thought/Dynastic debates
Hodgson, Book Two, II-III

Nasir al-Din Tusi

  • History of Islamic Political Thought/Dynastic debates
Hodgson, Book Two, V

Ibn Khaldun

Week Five

  • History of Islamic Political Thought/Dynastic debates
Hodgson, Book Two, VII
Work on Midterm

Week Six

  • Midterm Due
Begin Compiling research for Wiki project.
  • Feminism and Islam
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Three, I-II

Week Seven

  • Student Lead Discussions
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Three, III
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Three, IV

The Spanish-Muslims

Week Eight

  • Student Lead Discussions
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Three, V
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Three, VII

The Spanish-Muslims, continued

Week Nine

  • Student Lead Discussions
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Four, I
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Four, II-III

Week Ten

  • Student Lead Discussions
Hodgson, Volume Two, Book Four, IV. Lapidus, “State and Religion in Islamic Societies”


Finals

  • Wiki Project Due

Modern to Contemporary Islamic Political Thought: 1500 CE to Present[edit]

Course Objectives[edit]

This course is intended to be an advanced introduction to the modern political philosophy and ideals of Islam. The political thought of Islam has a long and often debated tradition; and the roots of modern and contemporary problems and events are inextricably linked with the past. Therefore, one must have completed the course Pre-Modern Islamic Thought in order to be eligible for this class. The course covers chronologically from 1500-2009 C.E. The goals of the course are as follows:

    1. Understand the historical background of modern Islamic Arabia, the political, religious, and social situations that shaped the dynastic era, colonial era, and contemporary era Islamic umma (community).
    2. Understand the main political movements of modern Islam: Dynastic, modern caliphate, pan-Islamism, pan-Arabism, and the Islamic reformation.
    3. Learn about the expansion and tensions of the modern and contemporary umma; including the rise of violent resistance, modes of struggle, imperialism, neo-colonialism, and debate over religious and political authority in Islamic cultures and states.
    4. Identify and compare the themes of modern political thought in these periods (in comparison to the classical period): the role of the Caliph, the Sultan, the separation of church and state, the right to rebel against authority, human nature, the tension between traditionalism and rationalism, and the rule of elites and their relation to the masses.
    5. Finally, the students are expected to pick at least one figure or movement, read some primary and secondary sources, and modify or add to the pre-existing Wikiuniversity project begun in Spring 2007.

Readings[edit]

  1. Aslan, R. (2006). No god but god : The origins, evolution, and future of islam. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks.
  2. Black, A. (2001). The history of islamic political thought : From the prophet to the present. New York: Routledge.
  3. Brumberg, D. (2001). Dissonant politics in iran and indonesia. Political Science Quarterly, 116(3), 381-411.
  4. Euben, R. L. (1997). Comparative political theory: An islamic fundamentalist critique of rationalism. The Journal of Politics, 59(1), 28-55.
  5. Hodgson, Marshall G.S. (1974). The venture of islam: conscience and history in a world civilization. 3. the gunpowder empires and modern times. University of Chicago Press.
  6. Kazemzadeh, M. (1998). Teaching the politics of islamic fundamentalism. PS: Political Science and Politics, 31(1), 52-59.

Course Outline[edit]

Week One

  • Introduction and Overview
Problems of modern political Islam
i. Colonialism
ii. The World Wars
iii. Independence?
iiii. Nationalism/Pan-Islamism/Pan-Arabism
Aslan, Chapters 6-10

Twelver Shi'ism

Week Two

  • History of Islamic Political Thought
Discuss Wiki Project
Black, Parts I – II, Parts VI-X

Week Three

  • Comparative Political Theory
Finish Black,
Euben, R. L. (1997). Comparative political theory: An islamic fundamentalist critique of rationalism. The Journal of Politics, 59(1), 28-55.
Thursday – Begin Hodgson, Volume Three

Week Four

  • Modern Islamic Political Thought
Hodgson, continued
Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

Afghani lecture

Week Five

  • Modern Islamic Political Thought
Finish Hodgson
Work on Midterm

Week Six

  • Wiki Project
Midterm Due
Begin Compiling research for Wiki project
Brumberg, D. (2001). Dissonant politics in iran and indonesia. Political Science Quarterly, 116(3), 381-411.
Kazemzadeh, M. (1998). Teaching the politics of islamic fundamentalism. PS: Political Science and Politics, 31(1), 52-59.

Week Seven

Moghadam, V. M. (2002). Islamic Feminism and its Discontents: toward a resolution of the debate. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 27 (4), 1135-1171.

Week Eight

  • Student Lead Discussions

Week Nine

  • Wiki Project

Week Ten

  • Student Lead Discussions

Finals

Wiki Project Due

Bibliography[edit]

Pre-Modern

  1. Averroës, & Rosenthal, E. I. J. (1969). Commentary on plato's republic (1st ed.). Cambridge Eng.: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Averroës, Shaltūt, M., & Peters, R. (1977). Jihad in mediaeval and modern islam : The chapter on jihad from averroes' legal handbook 'bidāyat al-mudjtahid' and the treatise 'koran and fighting' by the late shaykh-al-azhar, mahmūd shaltūt. Leyden: Brill.
  3. Berman, L. V. (1961). The political interpretation of the maxim: The purpose of philosophy is the imitation of god. Studia Islamica, (15), 53-61.
  4. Butterworth, C. E. (1972). Averroes: Politics and opinion. The American Political Science Review, 66(3), 894-901.
  5. Butterworth, C. E. (1972). Rhetoric and islamic political philosophy. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 3(2), 187-198.
  6. Leaman, O. (1987). Continuity in islamic political philosophy: The role of myth. Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), 14(2), 147-155.
  7. Rosenthal, E. I. J. (1953). The place of politics in the philosophy of ibn rushd. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 15(2), 246-278.
  8. Walzer, R. (1963). Aspects of islamic political thought: Al-farabi and ibn xaldun. Oriens, 16, 40-60.


Modern

  1. Ahmed, L. (1992). Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press [particularly Chapters 9 and 10].
  2. Ali, K. (2006). Sexual ethics and Islam : feminist reflections on Qur'an, hadith, and jurisprudence. Oxford: Oneworld.
  3. Foley, R. (2004). Muslim Women’s Challenges to Islamic Law: The Case of Malaysia. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 6(1), 53-84.
  4. Halliday, F. (1995). The politics of 'islam' - A second look. British Journal of Political Science, 25(3), 399-417.
  5. Majid, A. (2002). The Politics of Feminism in Islam. In T. Saliba, C. Allen, & J. Howard (Eds.), Gender, Politics, and Islam (pp. 53-93). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  6. Moghadam, V. M. (2002). Islamic feminism and its discontents: Toward a resolution of the debate. Signs, 27(4), 1135-1171.
  7. Moghadam, V.M. (2001). Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism: A Secularist Interpretation. Journal of Women’s History, 13 (10), 43-45.
  8. Najjar, F. M. (1980). Democracy in islamic political philosophy. Studia Islamica, (51), 107-122.
  9. Said, E.W. (2001). Power, politics, and culture : interviews with Edward W. Said. New York : Pantheon Books.
  10. Saliba, T. (2000). Arab Feminism at the Millennium. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 25 (4), 1087-1092.
  11. von Kugelgen, A. (1996). A call for rationalism: "arab averroists" in the twentieth century. Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, (16, Averroes and the Rational Legacy in the East and the West/ Ibn Rushd wa al-Turath al-'Aqlani fi al-Sharq wa al-Gharb), 97-132.
  12. Zubaida, S. (1988). An islamic state? the case of iran. Middle East Report, (153, Islam and the State), 3-7.