2019-2020 Catalog

RELS 270 Islamic Legal and Political Thought

The course examines the relationship between the theological and ethical principles of Islam and political thought. After introducing the emergence and articulation of Islamic law (Shari'ah) and the Caliphate in the Islamic Empire we will study key scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. We will pay attention to the ways in which revelation and reason the individual and the state freedom and obedience are taken up in Islamic political philosophy as well as how these ideas have been in dialogue with the West (from engagement with ancient Greek philosophy to engagement with Western economic cultural and political modernity from the 18th century on). Finally studying the work of both modernizing and reactionary anti-modern Islamic thinkers the course will culminate in an examination of the ways in which contemporary Islamic legal and political thought addresses the relationship of religion and the state and the Western concept of "the secular".


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Pre-1800
  • Regional Focus