WGS 340 • THE QUR'AN
Adherents of Islam make up nearly one-fourth of the world's population. For Muslims, the ultimate source of divine guidance is the Quran, which has infused not only religious practice but also Muslim law, etiquette, literature, and the arts. To the beginner, however, the Quran can be a daunting text. In this introductory lecture course, students will be guided through Islam's sacred text. To this end, we will read extensively from the Quran itself (in translation), as well as from other texts. In our studies, we will focus on Qur'anic cosmology (eg, God, human nature, satan, and the afterlife), ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, and legal injunctions. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Quran. Students will have the opportunity to compare Quranic and Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The syllabus also includes an inquiry into role of the Quran in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression (for example, in calligraphy). Finally, we will discuss those themes and verses of the Quran that engender the most controversy in the world today, ie those surrounding politics, warfare and gender.