The seminar provides an introduction to study of religion in several Muslim societies and the ways in which its role has been restricted, expanded, or transformed by various social actors. It consists of a series of case studies that go beyond politics, law, and intellectual debates into other societal domains, such as everyday life, the economy, media, and pop culture. The seminar has a wide geographical focus extending from South and Central Asia, through the Middle East and West Africa, to Muslim minorities in Western countries. At the center of analysis is the interaction between local, regional, and global developments on the nature of religion (mainly Islam, but not exclusively) and its relationship to other social spheres. The case studies are discussed with reference to theoretical and methodological debates in the sociology and anthropology of religion regarding the possibility or impossibility of a global comparative study of religion.

Semester: ST 2020