PoliticsPOLI 257 Women Interpret Islam

Examines how prominent female Muslim thinkers have interpreted the Islamic tradition since the early 20th century. It surveys how thinkers who belonged to different intellectual traditions (liberal, Marxist, Islamist, feminist, etc.) engaged Islamic exegetical, legal, philosophical, theological and mystical traditions to find answers to the questions raised by their historical and sociopolitical contexts. These questions included: What is/are the Islamic understanding(s) of the purpose of individual and collective lives? What does freewill mean in Islam, and what is its relationship to responsibility towards oneself and one's community? Is there an Islamic notion of justice, and how does it relate to the way justice is defined by other intellectual traditions? What are the legitimate ways of exercising social and political authority to establish the Islamic vision(s) of the good life? How is establishing that vision related to the notion of jihad (striving in the path of God)? What implications does that vision, and its concomitant notions of justice and freewill, have on developing an Islamic understanding of the relationship between different genders, classes, and human groups?


Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.