- Code MEAS4117
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Non Language Asian Studies, Middle East Studies, Central Asia Studies
This course explores the historical, political, social and cultural aspects of the evolution of Islam in Central Asia from the 8th century CE to the present. It investigates the reasons and mechanisms of Islam's expansion in the region as well as its dynamic interactions with local religious traditions and ways of life. Rather than reducing Islam to a homogenous, static, and dogmatic creed, the course analyses diverse Muslim identities and practices across time and space, and how different communities of believers have adapted Islam’s common patterns and denominators to survive in the frequently challenging environment.
The course applies historical, anthropological, and political science perspectives to provide insights into Islam’s common framework, and the complexity and fluidity of Central Asian religious identities within this framework. By the end of the semester, students should be able to appreciate how seventy million Muslims in Central Asia follow their faith in terms of ritual, intellectual discourse, politics, and daily life.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Display familiarity with Central Asia as a geographic and cultural entity, and major phases in its historical development.
- Reflect on, and discuss the key concepts, themes, and schools of thought pertaining to the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of Islam in Central Asia.
- Distinguish various trends in scriptural, mystical, and popular Islam extant in the region.
- Analyse the relationship between Islam and politics at the national and regional level.
- Locate and collate materials on a topic relevant to Central Asian studies, and present findings in a coherent manner on paper and orally.
Indicative Assessment4000 word research essay (60%), Learning Outcomes 1-5
Final Examination, 3 hours (held during the formal examination period) (40%), Learning Outcomes 1-5
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingLyudmila Polonskaya and Alexei Malashenko, Islam in Central Asia. Reading: Ithaca Press, 1994.
Maria Elisabeth Louw, Everyday Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia. London; New York: Routledge, 2007.
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