HDS 3492

Processes of Innovation (tajdid) in Language, Culture, and Law

Baber Johansen


In the secondary literature Muslim Law is widely characterized as tradition-bound and oriented towards the past. In this seminar we are going to read (in Arabic) legal and historical texts of the eleventh and twelfth centuries that define language, culture, and law as continuing processes of innovation. The relation between an assumed divine origin of these processes and a historically evident human contribution to its innovative development will be the focus of our discussion.The theoretical debate on the institution of language (wad' al-lugha) will be the starting point for our discussions. We will follow the influence that this theory exerted on the understanding of change and innovation in other disciplines and forms of life.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Expected to be offered Fall 2014
Course times to be announced.
Course location to be announced.

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Islam
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None