Fall 2018 REL 279 Islamic Ethics

This course is an overview of Islamic ethical life and thought through 1) a survey of various modes of Islamic ethical thinking and 2) a close reading of seminal Muslim ethical texts. There are three stages in our journey. In STAGE I we will learn about the foundations of Islamic ethics, i.e., the mythical, theological, scriptural and prophetic background of all-things-Islamic, i.e., the Qur’anic ethical viewpoint, and ethical life built on the imitation of the Prophet’s example. In STAGE II we will survey the various modes of ethical thinking and lived practice within the Islamic religious and intellectual tradition. Here, we will explore legal, religious, theological, literary, mystical and philosophical strands of Islamic ethical life and thought. STAGE III will be a synthesis and culmination of various ideas discussed in STAGES I & II and our basis for wider claims and conclusions about Islamic ethical life. Here, we will also explore how the various ethical modes have fared or have been transformed in contemporary times. (NOTE: In view of the view that learning is an evolutionary process, course map, readings and intellectual practices may shift and adjust as necessary.)