Academic Programs 
      

Islam in America and Western Europe   (HI-665)
Winter/Spring 2005

This course considers the historical and current realities of Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Muslim worship and devotional life, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in western society. 


Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
 
Wednesdays 4:30-6:50 p.m. beginning January 26

Jane I. Smith
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

 

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 509-9500
email:

 


Course Syllabus



General Description: Islam is said to be the fastest growing religion in America, and is second to Christianity in all the countries of Western Europe. This course considers the historical and current realities of Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Muslim worship and devotional life, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in a western society. Attention will be given to the immigrant experience in America and to the growth of American-born (including African American) Islam.

Required Reading:

  1. Books to be purchased in Seminary bookstore:
    1. Schmidt, Garbi. Islam in Urban America. Sunni Muslims in Chicago. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.
    2. Anway, Carole L. Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam. Lee’s Summit, MO: Yawna Publications, 1996.
    3. Tariq Ramadan, To be a European Muslim. The Islamic Foundation, 1999.
  1. Selected essays available on reserve in the library for reading or copying.

 

Topics of Class Sessions:

Week One (January 26): Introduction

Week Two (February 2): Overview of Islam in America[i]

ReadingGarbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 1-2
Karen Leonard, Muslims in the United States (2003), chapters 1-2
Smith, Jane, Islam in America (1999), chapters 1-2 [NOTE: read only if you know nothing about Islam]

Week Three (February 9): First, second and third generation immigrant (or: American-born) Muslims

  Reading: Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapter 3, M.A. Muqtedar Khan, “Living on Borderlines. Islam beyond the clash and Dialogue of civilizations,” in Zahid Bukhari and Sulayman Nyang, Eds., Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square (2004), pp. 84-113, Yvonne Haddad, “The Dynamics of Islamic Identity in North America,” in Yvonne Haddad and John Esposito, eds, Muslims on the Americanization Path (2000), pp. 19-46.

Week Four (February 16): African American Muslims

Reading:  Jane Smith, Islam in America, chapter 4, Sherman Jackson, “Preliminary Reflections on Islam and Black Religion,” in  pp. 201-221, Robert Dannen, “The Greatest Migration?” in Yvonne Haddad and Jane, Smith, eds., Muslim Minorities in the West (2002), pp. 3-24.

Week Five (February 23): Becoming Muslim (conversion)

            Reading:  Carol Anway, Daughters of Another Path, entire

DUE: first 5-page essay

Week Six (March 2): American Shi‘i and Sufi movements

Reading: Liyakat Takim, “Foreign Influences on American Shi‘ism,” in The Muslim World (Fall 2000), pp. 459-477, Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 4-5.

Week Seven (March 9): What is American Islam

Reading: Aminah Beverly McCloud, “Conceptual Discourse. Living as Muslims In a Pluralistic Society,” in Bukhari and Nyang, pp. 73-83, Abdul Hamid Lotfi, “Spreading the Word: Communicating Islam in America,” in Muslim Minorities, pp. 3-24, Gwendolyn Zohara-Simmons, “Are we up to the challenge: The need for A radical re-ordering of the Islamic discourse on women,” in Omid Safi, ed., Progressive Muslims 2003), pp. 235-48

Week Eight (week of March 16): catch-up

Week Nine (March 23): BREAK 

Week Ten (March 30): Overview of Islam in Western Europe[i]

Reading: Grace Davie, Religion in Modern Europe, pp. 5-23, Tariq Ramadan, To Be a European Muslim, Part II (read for next 4 weeks), 

Week Eleven (April 6): Islam in Northern Europe (Britain and Scandanavia)

Reading: Jorgen Nielsen, “Transnational Islam and the integration of Islam in Europe” in Stefano Allievi and Jorgen Nielsen, Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and across Europe (Brill, 2003), pp. 28-51  

DUE: second 5-page essay

Week Twelve (April 13): Islam in Middle Europe I (France, Belgium and Switzerland)

Reading: Tariq Ramadan, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, pp. 144-73, 214-23

Week Thirteen (April 20): Islam in Middle Europe II (Germany and Netherlands)

Reading: Schirin Amir-Moazami and Armando Salvatore, “Gender, Generation, And the Reform of Tradition: From Muslim Majority Societies to Western Europe, in Allievi and Nielsen, pp. 52-77

Week Fourteen (April 27): Islam in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal)

Reading: Tariq Ramadan, To Be a European Muslim, Part II (discussion)

  

Course Requirements:

  1. Reading and class discussion of assigned texts and articles. Each student will be responsible for leading discussion of one of the texts, guided by a brief list of questions distributed beforehand. As many people as possible are expected to participate in the discussion.
  1. Two 5-page written reviews of assigned readings.
  1. An individual or group presentation to the class about Islam in one country or area of Western Europe. Some basic research materials will be on library reserve; students are also expected to do research on-line if possible. Presentations should include a description of the general situation, problems and possible solutions, and (if possible) suggestions of how circumstances for Muslims in Europe compare in general with those of Muslims in America. Individual presentations should be accompanied by a one-page hand-out for the class.
  1. A 5-page essay summarizing one’s own class presentation.

 

[1] Guest Professor Cynthia Woolever
[2] Guest President Heidi Hadsell

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500  info@hartsem.edu