EGMT 1530: Debating Islams

Instructor: 

This Engagement is designed to enhance the understanding of religious diversity and conflict within our global world order. We will examine through the lens of religious difference questions of theology and political ideology, nationalism, and culture and law in Islam and the Muslim world. We will assess together how these categories are constructed in shaping and defining global as well as local religious identity today. The course also will encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of religious difference and conflict through a series of case studies examining the relationship between Islam and political ideology, the nature of religious difference and violence, and the question of the “clash of civilizations.” Lastly, in terms of this Engagement’s “shared experience,” this course includes the following: A visiting lecture from a policy maker working on the intersection of religion and politics at the U.S. Department of State, particularly with respect to the “Islamic world” and the nature of American foreign policy and public diplomacy; and an on-site visit to the University of Virginia’s Special Collections Library to examine its holdings of religious texts, including manuscripts of polyglot Bibles, Korans, and Thomas Jefferson’s “Bible.”