Spring 2019 REL 174 The End
This course deals with “The End.” and future of human and cosmic life as prophesized within the Islamic sources, and interpreted and envisioned by Islamic tradition and Muslims. It surveys death, afterlife and the world to-come, apocalypse, and messianic themes within Islamic thought, culture and history. We will begin with an orientation to the “Islamic Myth” of creation and flow of sacred history. We then will examine Personal eschatology where we explore human death and the afterlife, the journey from the grave till The Day (of Judgment), depictions of heaven and hell, and purpose and meaning of death (and by extension life). Here, we will also consider various interpretations and debates amongst Muslims about the end of times, including gendered and Shi’ite contestations. Finally, we approach Cosmic eschatology where we will detail Islamic understanding of the apocalypse and the End of times, the Messianic figure of the Guided One (Mahdi) and individual and collective judgment of humanity. We will also explore the imprint & impact of eschatology on Muslim culture, politics, history & contemporary times. The course will end with reflections on the relevance of Islamic eschatology for the world we live in.
Excerpt from the course: