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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Spring 2008

R S 358 • Islamic Theology-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44555 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
par 302

Course Description

What is the nature of God? Do we have free will? Where does evil come from? How do we know the true from the false, the good from the bad? Do we rely on revelation alone, or also on reason? How are we to live in a pluralistic world? What is the relationship between philosophy and religion? Between science and religion? These are the types of question that exercised -- and continue to exercise -- the greatest theologians of Islam. In this writing-intensive, upper-division course we will study Islamic cosmological and theological doctrines in both the medieval and the modern periods. We will learn how historical context influenced religious doctrines, and how those doctrines in turn influenced socio-political events. Some of the outstanding figures we will study are the following: the medieval Sufi theologian al-Ghazali, the Aristotelian philosopher and jurist Averroes (Ibn Rushd), the forefather of contemporary political intellectual Abdolkarim Soroush.

Grading Policy

5 bi-weekly essays (30%)
Research paper (40%)
Oral presentation of research (5%)
Class participation (25%)


Ess, Josef van, The Flowering of Muslim Theology.
Leaman, Oliver, An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy
Hovannisian, Richard, ed., Ethics in Islam
Course Packet


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