POLITICAL SCIENCE 650: THE KORAN AND ISLAMIC POLITICAL THOUGHT

 

Fall, 2005

DuSable 466

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:10 pm

 

Instructor:  Larry Arnhart

Office: Zulauf 404

Office hours:  Wed, Thurs, Fri 12:30-2:00 pm, other times by appointment

Telephone: 815-753-7049

E-mail: larnhart@niu.edu

 

 

TEXTS

 

The Holy Qur’an, trans. A. Yusuf Ali; Alfarabi, Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, trans. Muhsin Mahdi (Cornell University Press, 2001); Alfarabi, The Political Writings, trans. Charles Butterworth (Cornell University Press, 2001); Michael Cook, Forbidding Wrong in Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2003); Michael Cook, The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2000); Michael Cook, Muhammad (Oxford, 1983); John L. Espositio, ed., The Oxford History of Islam (Oxford, 1999); Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (HarperCollins, 2002)

 

 

GRADING

 

The final grade will be based on the grades for the journal writing (30% for journal entries #1-6 and journal responses #1-5, 30% for journal entries #7-13 and journal responses #6-12), class participation (15% for the first half of the semester and 15% for the second half), and a final paper (10%).  Grades for the first half of the semester will be handed out in class on October 18.

 

For the journal writing, you will be put into a journal group with two other students.  You should bring to class three copies of your journal entries and journal responses—one for the professor and two for the other two members of your group.

 

The journal entry should be at least two double-spaced typed pages on the reading for the week.  The point of the journal entry is for you to set down your thoughts about anything in the reading.  This will be your attempt to struggle with any issue that comes up in the reading.  Usually it is best to take up one issue that you can develop a little in two pages.

 

You will write journal responses for each of the two journal entries you have received.  Each journal response should be at least one double-spaced typed page.  The point of the journal response is for you to respond in some fruitful way to the thoughts of your journal group members.

 

The final paper should be at least ten double-spaced typed pages.  The point of the final paper is for you to elaborate your thinking about some topic related to the readings and discussions in the course.  You might build upon something that has come up in your journal writing.  The final paper will be due no later than 12 noon, December 5th in the professor’s office.  (You may slip the paper under the office door.)

 

 

 

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS

 

Aug  23:  Introduction

 

 

Aug  30:  No class

 

 

Sep     6:  Cook, Muhammed; Cook, The Koran; Suras 1-2:86

                Journal #1

 

 

Sep   13:  Suras 2:87-6:165

                Response #1

                Journal #2

 

 

Sep  20:  Suras 7-14

               Response #2

               Journal #3

 

Sep  27:  Suras 15-24

               Response #3

               Journal #4

 

Oct   4:  Suras 25-37

              Response #4

              Journal #5

 

 

Oct  11:  Suras 38-58

               Response #5

               Journal #6

 

 

Oct  18:  Suras 59-114

               Response #6

               Journal #7

 

Oct  25:  Espositio, History, pp. 1-153

               Response #7

               Journal #8

 

 

Nov  1:   Esposito, History, pp. 269-303; Alfarabi, “The Attainment of Happiness”

               Response #8

               Journal #9

 

Nov  8:  Alfarabi, “Selected Aphorisms” & “Book of Religion”

              Response #9

              Journal #10

 

 

Nov 15:  Cook, Forbidding Wrong, pp. 1-95

               Response #10

               Journal #11

 

Nov 22:  Cook, Forbidding Wrong, pp. 97-171

               Response #11

               Journal #12

 

 

Nov 29:  Lewis, What Went Wrong?

               Response #12

               Journal #13