Today Cold War Studies is introducing its first ever online minicourse. I’m really excited about this and hope that you’ll want to join me in exploring Introducing Islam.
Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Islam has been in the headlines. And, most often in the western world, the religion has not generated positive press. Still, it has generated a lot of interest. Now people who couldn’t even spell it before have read the Qur’an. Or, at least they claim to know its message.
This introductory course is my attempt to provide you with reliable information on the history and background of Islam.
Regular readers know that I — along with my family — spent several years living and working in the Middle East. Before making the move, I read everything that I could get my hands on that would give me some insight into the social and religious traditions of the region. Then, while living in Iran, I learned more.
Introducing Islam will start with the basics of one of the world’s great religions and then move into its more political aspects. The course will conclude by drawing attention to some of the main issues facing us now as we strive for religious tolerance and understanding in today’s contentious world.
Here are some of the topics that the course will address:
1. Introducing Islam
2. The Prophet Mohammad
3. The Succession
4. The Split: Sunnis and Shi’as
5. The Shi’ite ‘Twelvers’
6. Other Shi’ites
7. Assasins, Alawis, and Druzes
8. Safavids and Sufis
9. The Community: Religious Organization
10. Fundamentalism: Wahabism and Salafis
12. Islam and the Arab Spring
If you’re interested in receiving Introducing Islam in your e-mail inbox, please sign up below. As soon as you sign up and confirm, you’ll be directed to the first installment. Subsequent articles will arrive in your inbox once or twice a week.
I’m excited about the course and hope you’ll join me. Also, I’d love to hear your ideas about courses that you’d like to see Cold War Studies present in the future.
Once again, use the link below to sign up for Introducing Islam:
Enjoy the course!