RELI 180: Introduction to Islamic Civilization

This course is an introduction to some of the major themes, issues, people, places, sights, and sounds of Islam past and present. Being an introductory course, it presumes no prior knowledge of Islam. This course is intended to highlight the manifold expressions of Islamic piety in diverse historical, cultural, and geographical contexts. Its two broad aims are, first and foremost, to provide basic knowledge of Islamic history, belief and ritual life; and secondarily, to provide knowledge necessary for critically and actively analyzing discussions of Islam in media and contemporary world events.

Required Texts:

  • Ernst, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World, Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. ISBN: 978-0807855775
  • Curtis, Muslims in America, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0195367560

View a sample course syllabus.

Contact the Friday Center at with any questions or for more information.

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