Graduate Theological Union

Courses in Islamic Studies

In cooperation with several GTU member schools, the Center for Islamic Studies offers introductory and advanced courses in Islamic history, theology, philosophy, culture, arts, and religious practice. It is affiliated with departments at the University of California, Berkeley that intersect with the study of Islam -- such as African Diaspora Studies, Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, South and Southeast Asian Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. The following list consists of courses within the GTU consortium and at UC Berkeley.

 

Fall 2013

General Ethics
Course Number:  PH-1008
Instructor: Farina (DSPT)
Location and Time: DSPT 1, M 7:10PM-9:40PM
 
Description: This course will introduce students to the ethical theories of world philosophies. Through lecture and discussion, we explore writings from the ancient to contemporary periods, including readings from women philosophers, Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and Islamic thinkers. Three short papers, book review and class presentation are required. [Auditors with faculty permission]

 

Introduction to Islam
Course Number: HRRS-2500
Instructor: Ataie (GTU)
Location and Time: CDSP B, M 9:40AM-12:30PM
 
Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to the basic tenets of the Islamic faith tradition. We will explore the fundamental religious beliefs held by Muslims for over 1400 years by covering the three dimensions of Islam as outlined in the famous hadith of Gabriel: practice (islam), faith (iman), and spirituality (ihsan). The format is lecture; there will be quizzes, a midterm exam, and final project (presentation)/ examination). MDiv, MA, MTS, DMin. This course is taught by PhD student Ali Ataie with a Newhall Award. [30 max enrollment]

 

Introduction to Sufism
Course Number:  HR-4825
Instructor: Markwith (GTU)
Location and Time: CDSP 113, Th 7:10PM – 9:40PM
 
Description: This course will examine the origins, doctrines, history, and contemporary manifestations of Sufism or Islamic spirituality through reading translations of Sufi texts, lectures, and discussion. We will look at key leitmotivs in Sufism through reading selections from the Quran and Hadith, poetry from Hallaj, 'Attar and Rumi, and prose from Ghazzali, Suhrawardi, and Ibn 'Arabi, as well as secondary sources that shed light on historical, cultural, and religious context. In addition, the course also analyses Sufi texts in relation contemporary issues such as religious pluralism, war and non-violence, and Sufism in the West. The focus will be textual and historical allowing classical and modern sources to define Sufism according to its diverse doctrinal and ritual manifestations in Muslim cultures and the West. Assessments will be based upon attendance, engagement with the material, participation in class discussions, weekly reflections, a current event report, and final research paper. No previous knowledge of the subject is required. This course is taught by PhD student Zachary Markwith with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Marianne Farina. [25 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]

 

Religion and Peacebuilding
Course Number: STRS-2689
Instructor: Sunhwa (JST)
Location and Time: Mudd 103, W 7:10PM-9:40PM
 
Description: The aim of the course is to examine religious and ethical perspectives on war and peacebuildng. The course will examine the role and limitation of religion in the process of peacebuilding. Such a perspective will illuminate appeals to religion both in generating conflict and in the process of peacebuilding and their implications in the rise of religious fundamentalism affecting security. The course will also evaluate the role of religious and political institutions and non-governmental organizations in addressing consequences of conflict and the search for lasting peace. The required readings for the course are mainly drawn from public theology, political philosophy, social science, and political science.
 
Topics to be explored include: 1) Foundation of public values; 2) Human rights and the common good; 3) Political of identity,inclusion, and multiculturalism; 4) Religious conscience, political responsibility, and social organization; 5) Christian pacifism and political realism; 6) Just war theory; 7) Islam ethics of war and peace; 8) The convergence of forgiveness, justice and politics; 9) Ambiguity and limitation of religion; 10) Methodologies of conflict resolution and social reconciliation; 11) Peacebuilding, democratization, and governance; 12) The role of non-governmental organizations in peacebuilding. Open to students in all programs; evaluation based on class participation, written summaries of readings, one 20-25 page paper. [25 max enrollment]
 
Topics in Islamic Studies
Course Number: HRRS-5785
Instructor: Jiwa (GTU)
Location and Time: Mudd 101, T 6:10PM - 9:00PM
 
Description: FRAMES, THEORIES, METHODS IN CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC STUDIES
This is an advanced seminar in which we will discuss frames, theories, methods, approaches and themes in the study of Islam and Muslims in contemporary contexts. Topics covered include: conceptual frameworks in the study of Islam; public Islam in secular contexts; modernity and power; Muslim majorities/minorities; citizenship and identity; and Islamophobia. Case-studies in the global media representation of Islam will serve to expand theoretical concepts, and students will have an opportunity to apply some of these frames, theories and methods to their own research projects.
 
 
Topics in Islamic Art
Course Number: 04925
Instructor: Griebeler (UCB)
Location and Time: 104 Moffitt, W 4:00PM -5:00PM
 
Description: This course will treat in depth topics in Islamic architecture and topics in Islamic art. Subjects addressed may include painting, calligraphy, and book production. 
 
 
Introduction to Islamic Art and Architecture 
Course Number: 61528 
Instructor: Mostafa (UCB)
Location and Time: Moffitt 103, Tu/Th 2:00PM – 3:30PM
 
Description: The course will treat in depth topics in Islamic architecture and topics in Islamic art. Subjects addressed may include painting, calligraphy, and book production.
 
 
Islam (Near Eastern Studies)
Course Number: 61558
Instructor: Ibrahim (UCB) 
Location and Time: Le Conte 3, Tu/Th 3:30PM – 5:00PM 
 
Description: A comprehensive and detailed introduction to the sources, doctrines, practices, and institutions of Islam, together with their historical development and elaboration in a select number of ethnic and geographic environments and an overview of Islam in the world today.
 
 
Muslims in America (Asian American Studies)
Course Number: 05542 
Instructor: Bazian (UCB)
Location and Time: Latimer 120, M/W 4:00PM – 5:30PM
 
Description:  The course traces Islam's journey in America. It will deal with the emergence of identifiable Muslim communities throughout the U.S. and focus on patterns of migration, the ethnic makeup of such communities, gender dynamics, political identity, and cases of conversion to Islam. The course will spend considerable time on the African American, Indo-Pakistani, and Arab American Muslim communities since they constitute the largest groupings. It also examines in depth the emergence of national, regional, and local Muslim institutions, patterns of development pursued by a number of them, and levels of cooperation or antagonism. The course seeks an examination of gender relations and dynamics across the various Muslim groupings, and the internal and external factors that contribute to real and imagined crisis. The course seeks to conduct and document the growth and expansion of mosques, schools, and community centers in the greater Bay Area. Finally, no class on Islam in America would be complete without a critical examination of the impacts of 9/11 on Muslim communities, the erosion of civil rights, and the ongoing war on terrorism.
 
 
Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds
Course Number: 32981 
Instructor: Moallem (UCB)
Location and Time: Moffitt 101, Tu/Th 11:00AM – 12:30PM
 
Description: Examines differences and similarities in women's lives in the Muslim/Arab worlds, including diasporas in Europe and North America. Analysis of issues of gender in relation to "race," ethnicity, nation, religion, and culture. 
 
 
Introduction to Sources for the Academic Study of Islam 
Course Number: 61798
Instructor: Ahmed (UCB)
Location and Time: Barrows 18, Tu/Th 12:30PM – 2:00PM
 
 
Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies 
Course Number: 83347
Instructor: Faruqui (UCB)
Location and Time: Dwinelle 204, M 2:00PM – 5:00PM
 
Description: Sensory history is an exciting and relatively new field of historical inquiry. It explores the roles of the senses, sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste, in shaping history. Drawing on a wide variety of readings, this seminar will introduce participants to the most interesting analytical insights and methodological approaches offered by the leading practioners in the field.
 
 
Mughal India through Memoirs, Chronicles and other Texts
Course Number: 84021
Instructor: Faruqui (UCB)
Location and Time: Dwinelle 223, Tu/Th 12:30PM – 2:00PM 
 
Description: This course is designed to provide a dual chronological and thematic approach to the study of one of the greatest empires in human civilization: the Mughal Empire. Although the bulk of this course will focus on the Mughal Empire during its heyday between the 1550s and the early 1700s, careful attention will be paid to the larger historical and geographical contexts that both enabled the emergence and, ultimately, decentralization of Mughal power. In so doing, this course will not only study South Asia's complex history on its own terms but also examine the intricate web of political, economic, and social links that connected South Asia to the rest of the world. Simultaneously, this course will also pay particular attention to a series of common misconceptions that dog the study of pre-modern Islamic polities. Among them, the supposedly lesser role played by women in politics; the dogmatic and central role of Islam in "Muslim" states; and the economic and political superiority of Western Europe. Crucial to these questions also is an examination of the historiography and historiographical traditions that have come to define contemporary understanding of the Mughal Empire.
 
 
Intermediate Arabic 
Course Number: 62024 
Instructor: Bazian (UCB)
Location and Time: Barrows 271, MTWTF 10:00AM – 11:00AM
 
Description: This course is proficiency oriented. Authentic reading in modern standard and classical Arabic and the understanding and application of grammatical and stylistic rules are emphasized. Students deliver oral presentations and write academic papers in Arabic.
 
 
Advanced Arabic  - CURRENTLY FULL 
Course Number: 62033
Instructor: Bazian (UCB)
Location and Time: Dwinelle 187, Tu/Th 11:00AM – 12:30PM 
 
Description: Intensive reading and analysis of texts of different genres. Guest lectures, films, documentaries, oral presentations, research papers. Formal and informal styles of writing and correspondence. Extensive vocabulary building.
 
 
 

Spring 2013

Faith in Human Rights
Course Number: PHCE-4960
Instructor: Farina (DSPT), Yuen (GTU)
Location and Time: DSPT: 1, Th 12:40PM-03:30PM
 
Description: This seminar course will explore concepts of justice in several world religions, including
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism in order to discover the way these notions can inform universal human rights discourse. We will investigate how philosophical and religious teachings, especially in cultural contexts, such as Confucianism and Native peoples traditions challenge western contemporary human rights thinking by offering alternative interpretations to contractualistic visions of social engagement. Through cases studies we will also examine human rights struggles in local and global contexts and the various ways these concerns are addressed by the religions and the larger society. Three short reflection papers and a final research paper will be required. [20 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded]. This course is co-taught by Dr. Marianne Farina and PhD student Mary Mee-Yin Yuen, with a Newhall Award.
 
Islam
Course Number: NEAR EASTERN STUDIES 146B P 001 LEC 9 (UCB Course Control Number 61595)
Instructor: Ahmed (UCB)
Location and Time: TuTh 2-330P, 166 BARROWS (effective 01/22/13)
 
Description: A comprehensive and detailed introduction to the sources, doctrines, practices, and institutions of Islam, together with their historical development and elaboration in a select number of ethnic and geographic environments and an overview of Islam in the world today.
 
Islam in the Public Sphere
Course Number: HRRS-3931
Instructor: Jiwa (GTU/CIS)
Location and Time: Mudd  102, T 11:10am-2:00pm
 
Description: This course will introduce students to some of the frames. themes and theories in the stody and representation of Islam and Muslims in the public sphere, with a focus on Europe and the United States. Using interdisciplinary approaches and sources, the topics covered include: conceptual frameworks in the study of Islam/Muslims, the public sphere and public Islam in secular contexts; modernity and power; racialization of Muslims in America; Islamic feminist discourses on rights; cultural media, aesthetics; the production of Islamophobia; the politics of pluralism; interreligious relations and dialogue through theology, environment and humor.
 
Islamophobia and Constructing Otherness
Course Number: ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES 132AC P 001 LEC (UCB Course Control Number 05436)
Instructor: Bazian (UCB)
Location and Time: MW 4-530P, 277 CORY (effective 01/30/13)
 
Description: This course will examine and attempt to understand Islamophobia, as the most recently articulated principle of otherness and its implications domestically and globally. The course will also closely examine the ideological and epistemological frameworks employed in discourses of otherness, and the complex social, political, economic, gender-based, and religious forces entangled in its historical and modern reproduction.
 
Women in Chinese Islam
Course Number: HR-3943
Instructor: Bruntz (GTU), Berling (GTU)
Location and Time: GTU: Hedco, T 02:10PM-05:00PM
 
Description: This course is an advanced introduction to Islam in China, with specific focus on contemporary Muslim women. Using women as the subject, this course will trace the history of Islam in China, the diverse ethnic groups, and the unique experience of women. It emphasizes hybrid discourses of Islam and Confucianism that shape Muslim women's self perception, traditional mosques and Madrassas exclusively for women and women's education, and contemporary political situations - including global Islamic currents and debates - that affect women's religious agency. This course is intended for both MA and MDiv students. Prior knowledge of Islam will be useful but is not a requirement. [20 max enrollment].  This course is taught by PhD student Courtney Bruntz with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Dr. Judith Berling.
 

 

Fall 2012

Christian-Muslim Dialogue
Course Number: HRST-2083
Instructor: Farina (DSPT)
Location and Time: DSPT: 1, M 07:10PM-09:40PM

Description: This seminar course explores important elements and critical issues about interreligious dialogue. The study will include an examination of theories of dialogue and the history of Christian-Muslim dialogue. The course includes site visits, attending events in Christian and Muslim communities, short papers, book reviews and a final project or research paper. Intended audience: MDiv, MA, MTS, PhD. [20 max enrollment; PIN code required]

Introduction to Islam
Course Number: HR-1902
Instructor: Siddiqi (GTU/CIS)
Location and Time: CDSP: B, T 11:10AM-02:00PM

Description: This course provides an introduction to Islam as a religious system focusing on its origins, foundational sources, history, culture, values, and its impact on Muslims, non-Muslims and the world.

Islam
Course Number: Near Eastern Studies 146A (UCB Course Control Number 61540)
Instructor: TBA
Location and Time: 126 Barrows, T/Th 02:00PM-3:30PM

Description: A comprehensive and detailed introduction to the sources, doctrines, practices, and institutions of Islam, together with their historical development and elaboration in a select number of ethnic and geographic environments and an overview of Islam in the world today.

Islam and Society in Southeast Asia
Course Number: Southeast Asian 137 (UCB Course Control Number 84115)
Instructor: Hadler (UCB)
Location and Time: 215 Dwinelle, T/Th 11:00AM-12:30PM

Description: This undergraduate seminar will be an investigation into key discourses on Islam in Southeast Asia, focusing on history, literature, and culture. We will trace the processes through which Islam entered the Malay world in the 13th century, and explore the European colonial encounters with Islam in Southeast Asia and the ways that Islam interacted with and resisted colonialism. We will discuss the role of mysticism and of reformists and will also explore the struggles of Islam as a minority religion in the Philippines and Thailand. Readings will include primary sources in translation, literary texts, ethnographic works, and writings by colonial and local scholars.

Islam in South Asia
Course Number: South Asian 144 (UCB Course Control Number 84027)
Instructor: Faruqui (UCB)
Location and Time: 182 Dwinelle, T/Th 12:30PM-02:00PM

Description: The aim of this course on the culture and history of Muslim communities and institutions in South Asia is to introduce students to the broad historical currents of the expansion of Islam in the Indian subcontinent, the nature of Muslim political authority, the interaction between religious communities, Islamic aesthetics and contributions to material culture, the varied engagements and reactions of Muslims to colonial rule, and the contemporary concerns of South Asia's Muslims. While this is a lecture course, ample time will be set aside for discussion and the active engagement of participants will be expected. Lectures will be supplemented with visual material, music, and movies where possible.

Islamic Religious and Philosophical Texts in Arabic
Course Number: Arabic 108 (UCB Course Control Number 62036)
Instructor: Hayes (UCB)
Location and Time: 252 Barrows, M/W 03:00PM-04:30PM

Description: Readings in the basic texts of Islam (Qur'an, Huran, Hadith, Sira, commentary) and in theological, mystical, and philosophical texts.

Muslims in America
Course Number: Asian American Studies 128AC (UCB Course Control Number 05445)
Instructor: Bazian (UCB)
Location and Time: 145 Dwinelle, M/W 04:00PM-05:30PM

Description: The course traces Islam's journey in America. It will deal with the emergence of identifiable Muslim communities throughout the U.S. and focus on patterns of migration, the ethnic makeup of such communities, gender dynamics, political identity, and cases of conversion to Islam. The course will spend considerable time on the African American, Indo-Pakistani, and Arab American Muslim communities since they constitute the largest groupings. It also examines in depth the emergence of national, regional, and local Muslim institutions, patterns of development pursued by a number of them, and levels of cooperation or antagonism. The course seeks an examination of gender relations and dynamics across the various Muslim groupings, and the internal and external factors that contribute to real and imagined crisis. The course seeks to conduct and document the growth and expansion of mosques, schools, and community centers in the greater Bay Area. Finally, no class on Islam in America would be complete without a critical examination of the impacts of 9/11 on Muslim communities, the erosion of civil rights, and the ongoing war on terrorism.

Quranic Studies II
Course Number: HRBS-4828
Instructor: Anwar (SKSM)
Location and Time: SKSM, W 02:10PM-05:00PM

Description: Quranic Studies II: Major Themes. In this course, in conjunction with scholarship on the major themes and narrative of the Quran, the students will also be reading the text of the Quran directly (through translations) and enacting some of the narratives for an embodied understanding of the texts. Gender analysis will be one of the ways that the Quranic stories will be read. The critical methods applied to the study of the narratives will include gender analysis. The course will taught within an Islamic context simulated through the sound of the Azhan (call to prayer) and exposure to Islamic art. PhD students will be required to write a 5,000 word research paper on a topic chosen by individual students and approved by the instructor. [15 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded].

Rumi & deVitray-Meyerovitch
Course Number: HR-4811
Instructor: Farajajé (SKSM), Lipowitz (GTU)
Location and Time: SKSM, M 09:40AM-12:30PM

Description: This course will examine the Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi's greatest text, the Masnavi. The Masnavi's key themes and ideas, including love and the spiritual evolution of the human being, the role of the Saykh or spiritual teacher, and the struggle to control (or "tame") the unruly lower self, the nafs, will be explored. Another aspect of the course will focus on the work of the French scholar Eva deVitray-Meyerovitch, who dedicated her life to the study of Rumi and Mevlevi culture. Using counter-oppressive and multireligious perspectives, this course will study Mevlana by moving beyond colonialist Orientalist constructions of "Sufism." Some reading knowledge of French would be helpful, but is not required for this course. Seminar; reflection papers and a 15-20 page research paper. Intended audience: MA, MDiv, PhD/ThD. This course is co-taught by PhD student Cassie Lipowitz with a Newhall Award, and Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé.

Themes in the Anthropology of the Middle East and Islam
Course Number: Anthropology 181 (UCB Course Control Number 02678)
Instructor: Pandolfo (UCB)
Location and Time: 9 Lewis, T/Th 03:30PM-05:00PM

Description: Cultures of the contemporary Near East, with special emphasis upon Arab populations.

Topics in Islamic Art
Course Number: History of Art C121A (UCB Course Control Number 05211)
Instructor: Mostafa (UCB)
Location and Time: 106 Moffitt, T/Th 02:00PM-03:30PM

Description: The course will treat in depth topics in Islamic architecture and topics in Islamic art. Subjects addressed may include painting, calligraphy, and book production. Also listed as Near Eastern Studies C121A.

Topics in Islamic Studies
Course Number: HRRS-5785
Instructor: Jiwa (GTU/CIS)
Location and Time: TBA

Description: Theories and Methods in Contemporary Islamic Studies.  This is an advanced seminar in which we will discuss research methods, approaches and themes in the study of Islam and Muslims in contemporary contexts. Topics covered include: conceptual frameworks in the study of Islam; public Islam in secular contexts; modernity and power; Muslim majorities and minorities/identity; and Islamophobia. Case-studies in the global media representation of Islam will serve to expand theoretical concepts and students will have an opportunity to apply some of these theories and methods to their own research projects.