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ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION 145B MODERN ISLAMIC THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY Fall 2013

Lectures: Thursdays 3-5 in Sever Hall 103 Sections: One hour - time and place to be arranged.

Khaled El-Rouayheb Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Room 308, Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue Tel: 617-495-1681 E-mail: kel@fas.harvard.edu Office hours: Mondays 2-4, Tuesdays 2-4 or by appointment. Teaching Assistant: Naseem Surhio nsurhio@fas.harvard.edu

Islamic Civilizations 145B offers students a chance to read and discuss some of the major writings of Islamic philosophers and theologians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the Egyptian reformist scholar Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) to the contemporary Iranian thinker Abd al-Karim Soroush (born 1945). Some of the central themes in these writings are: the relationship between reason and faith; the core message of Islam and its significance; the place of Islamic civilization in the broader history of humanity; and the contemporary relevance (or irrelevance) of the older Islamic philosophical and theological

traditions. The emphasis will be on reading (in English) the works of modern Islamic philosophers and theologians themselves, as opposed to second-hand accounts by contemporary academics. Any student is welcome who would like to know more about the thought of major Islamic theologians and philosophers of the modern period. No prior knowledge is presupposed, and all readings will be in English. The course may

be taken independently of Islamic Civilization 145A (which deals with the premodern period).
Assigned readings, additional handouts, and announcements for the course will be available through the course web site.

Prerequisites: None. All readings will be in English. No prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic history is assumed.

Requirements: Students will be required to: a) Read the assigned readings posted on the course website (approx. 80-100 pages per week). b) Prepare brief (1-2 page) responses to the readings each week for section discussions. c) Complete a take-home mid-term handed out in class on October 10 and due by Monday, October 14, 5:00 pm. d) Complete a final take-home exam handed out in class on December 5 and due by Friday December 13 at 5:00 pm.

Course grading: Course grades will be determined as follows: - Section presentation and participation 30% - Mid-Term 30% - Final exam 40% Any student whose academic program allows it may take this course Pass/Fail.

Schedule of Lectures:

September 5 September 12

Introduction Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905): The Theology of Unity, pp.27-93

September 19

Muhammad Abduh: The Theology of Unity, pp. 94-160

September 26

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938): Reconstruction of Religious

Thought in Islam, pp. 1-94


October 3 Muhammad Iqbal: Reconstruction of Religious Thought in

Islam, pp. 95-199


October 10 Said Nursi (1878-1960), selections from The Words, pp. 145-190; 259-279; 295-323; 481-496 October 17 Abul-Ala Maudoodi (1903-1979): Towards Understanding

Islam, pp. 1-128


October 24 October 31 Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966): Milestones, pp. 7-116 Murtaza Motahhari (1919-1979): Fundamentals of Islamic

Thought: God, Man and the Universe, pp. 25-131


November 7 Murtaza Motahhari: Fundamentals of Islamic Thought: God,

Man and the Universe, 135-216


November 14 Ali Shariati (1933-1977), selections from On the Sociology of

Islam: Lectures, pp. 39-125


November 21 Abd al-Karim Soroush (born 1945), selections from Reason,

Freedom and Democracy in Islam: Selected Essays, pp. 325; 69-87; 88-104; 184-197. November 28 THANKSGIVING RECESS

December 5

Sadik Jalal al-Azm (born 1934), selected articles: (1) The Tragedy of Iblis; (2) The Importance of Being Earnest about Salman Rushdie; (3) Islam and the science-religion debate in modern times; (4) Islam, Terrorism and the West Today.