What does the Islamic tradition say about religious diversity? What do the primary Islamic sources say specifically about Judaism, Christianity, and other religions? Are they deviations, inventions, or divinely intended phenomena? Should they be tolerated, eradicated, or embraced? Is Islam the only ‘valid’ religion or are all religions essentially the same?
This course will critically and intensively engage these questions, beginning with an examination of the Qur’an and portions of the Sunna (biography of the prophet and collections of aḥadīth). Upon this foundation, it will explore a variety of traditional and contemporary approaches to religious diversity (including those stemming from exegetical, legal, mystical, and polemical discourses), with the objective of highlighting conclusions as well as underlying methodologies. Throughout all, special emphasis will be placed on developing a nuanced understanding of the central resources for and main obstacles to the positive valuation of religious diversity within the Islamic tradition.
- Professor: Jerusha Rhodes