HDS 3965

The Development of Islamic Modernism (Islamic Modernism 3)

Baber Johansen


The third of these courses will focus on the end of Arabic Liberalism in its party form and as an intellectual power center, because it is no longer compatible with the type of authoritarian state that characterizes the post-colonial period and that now claims to represent modernity. The Islamic Mass Movements that had attacked the Liberal State find themselves persecuted by new forms of dictatorship. It is the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that requires a new outlook on Islam by the Iranian and Arab intellectuals: the model of the earliest history of Islam is no longer adequate as a program for government in the name of Islam. The justification, on doctrinal grounds of a modernized version of Shi'ism, of state authoritarianism and the dissatisfaction with its political practice stimulate new forms of Islamic Modernism that take their distance from the state as the supreme value of Islam. Iranian intellectuals develop new forms of Islamic hermeneutics and an interest in new forms of politics that leave more room for oppositional forces and for individual and collective rights. It is from this constellation that a new understanding of Islam, a new form of liberal secularism, and the transformation movements of the Arab world are born. The relation between Islamic modernism and the intellectual and political movements of the 21st century remains at the very heart of the transformation movements that search a new society and a new state.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 233


0.50 credits
Expected to be offered Spring 2016
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