Academic Programs 
      

Religion and Modernity: Christianity and Islam   (HI-670)
January Interession and Winter/Spring 2007

A historical overview of the development of modernity in the West and its impact on both Christianity and Islam. Special attention will be given to contemporary Christian and Muslim writing on modernity, postmodernity and the resurgence of traditionalism.

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
D.Min Schedule -- Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 30, February 27, March 20, April 17 and May 8



Ibrahim Abu-Rabi
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations 


Contact Information:

phone: 
(860) 509-9500
email: 

 

Course Syllabus



The main goal of this course is to introduce the student to the major themes of modernity and postmodernity and how they bear on religion. We often read these terms in current literature, be it philosophy, sociology, religion, and intellectual history, without being able to locate them in our religious and scholarly experience. The course seeks to encourage students to think deeply about modernity, secularism, nationalism, ideology, and identity in the twenty first century.

REQUIRED READING:

BOOKS:

1) Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity.
2) Fazlur Rahman, Islam and Modernity;
3) C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite [New Edition];
4) Fouad Zakariyya, Myth and Reality in the Contemporary Islamic Movement;
5) Thabit Abdullah, Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq Since 1989;
6) Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance.
7) Galal Amin, The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World;
8) Ray Kiely, Empire in the Age of Globalization: US Hegemony and Neoliberal Disorder (Pluto Press);

ARTICLES

1) Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘, “Beyond the Post-Modern Mind.” American Journal of the Islamic Social Sciences, 1990;
2) Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air (excerpts];
3) Mike Davis, “Fear and Money in Dubai.” New Left Review, 2006.

 

Breakdown of Sessions

First Session:

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISCIPLINE OF THEOLOGY AND MODERNITY AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MODERNITY

READING:

Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity.

Second Session:

HISTORICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF MODERNITY

READINGS:

a) Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity;
b) Excerpts from Michael Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity;
c) Fouad Zakariyya, “Secularism: A Civilizational Requirement.” In his Reality and Fiction in the Contemporary Islamist Movement, tr. by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘ (London: Pluto, forthcoming in 2004);
d) Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘, “Beyond the Post-Modern Mind.” American Journal of the Islamic Social Sciences, 1990;

Third Session:

ISLAM AND MODERNITY; THE UNITED STATES AND MODERNITY

READINGS:

1) Fazlur Rahman, Islam and Modernity;
2) C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite [New Edition];

Fourth Session:

MODERNITY BETRAYED? The Examples of Iraq and Muslim community in Holland

READINGS:

1) Thabit Abdullah, Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq Since 1989;
2) Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance.

Fifth Session:

MODERNITY UPSIDE DOWN?

READING:

Mike Davis, “Fear and Money in Dubai.” New Left Review, 2006.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENT

1) Class attendance and participation
2) At least one presentation
3) Two book reviews are required. The books to review are: Galal Amin, The Illusion of Progress in the Arab World; and Ray Kiely, Empire in the Age of Globalization: US Hegemony and Neoliberal Disorder (Pluto Press). Each book review should be around 10 analytical pages.

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