Muslim Philosophy and Theology, an introduction

Philosophy and theology as the foundation of Shari’a law; Islamic philosophy as a part of medieval philosophy under the influence of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. Impact on western philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas; major concepts, issues of Islamic philosophy and translation of two trends: from Greek to Arabic, from Arabic to western languages. Brief discussion on mysticism, ethics and politics. One course.

Understanding the Qur’an

Qur’an as central text of Islamic ritual and belief, national reflection, and transnational exchange for nearly all Muslims. Will examine question of translatability as well as issues of interpretation from non-Muslim, secular or non-theological perspectives. Possible usefulness of analogies to literary critical study of Bible. The Internet as a resource for exploring multiple interpretations by Muslims and non-Muslims. One course.

Jesus in Film

Studies a variety of cinematic and television films that focus on Jesus; compares and contrasts documentary approaches with dramatic depictions; views the films alongside scholarship on Christian origins and asks what these films reveal about their creators, their social locations and their source material; investigates the reception of these films in both academic and popular culture. One course.