Indiana University Bloomington
A photo collage of images. Click on the images to learn more.
Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Islam and Modernity in Central Eurasia
CEUS-R 627
Edward Lazzerini

Current events have brought the Islamic religion and its putative supporters to the headlines of the daily media, usually in ways that emphasize the Arab-Israeli conflict and/or the equally painful results of terrorist acts and smart bombs. The task of bringing knowledge of Islam to a broad non-Islamic public requires more than news items or political rhetoric; rather, it demands serious and fair reading of the primary sources of the religion and its attendant cultures, as well as appreciation of the rich diversity within dar al-Islam (the world of Islam) and the centuries of internal conflict and controversy among intellectuals, poets, and men of God.

In recent centuries, followers of the Islamic faith, as those of other literate, manuscript traditions rooted in the teachings of one or another prophet or thinker presuming to speak for God(s) or man, have been challenged by forces collectively identified by the slippery concept of modernity. As a result of these forces—epistemological, above all, but technological, social, economic, and political as well—disenchantment, disequilibrium, and displacement abound globally, not least in those regions long guided by Islamic principles. In Central Eurasia, where Islam has roots since the eighth century, the path along modernity’s continuum has been a veritable tightrope, whereon even the sure-footed have lost their balance. How Muslims of this region, often in comparison with Muslims elsewhere and adherents of completely different manuscript traditions, have responded since the middle of the nineteenth century to the perception, reality, and representation of modernity is the primary theme of this course.

• No books to purchase
• No examinations
• One paper from 12-15 pages in length on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor.
• Serious reading
• Grades will be determined on the basis of the paper and participation in class discussions