Religious Studies | Studies in Islam: Gods, Prophets, and Demons: Islam in South and Southeast Asia
R553 | 16555 | Jaques, R.


This course will explore the experience of Muslims living in South
and Southeast Asia through the myths, folktales, legends, and modern
novels they have produced to represent their environments,
challenges, and aspirations. The primary focus of the class will be
on how Muslims, living in cultures heavily influenced my Hindu and
Buddhist traditions, have sought to build communities that were
sometimes cooperative with those around them and at other times
resistant to what some see as corrupting influences that endanger
Muslim identity. The purpose of the course is to explore theories of
syncretism, acculturation, and religious identity through the matrix
of stories Muslims have used to depict their worldviews. The course
will be divided into three sections and will introduce interpretive
theories before launching into discussions of the stories. No prior
knowledge of Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism is necessary.
Expectations: Attendance is required. There will be weekly reading
journal entries in which student will keep notes and reflections on
the readings. Students will also have a midterm and final exam.
Graduate students will be required, in addition to the general
reading assignments, to write an extended analysis of three stories
that originate in South or Southeast Asia that explore one of the
three theoretical themes of the course. Primary source work in an
original language is encouraged but not required.