Course Detail


Sunni and Shi'ite Islam


Introduction to the Shi'ite tradition that also highlights commonalities and differences between Sunni and Shi'ite interpretations of islam. Topics include: the origins of Shi'ism and the Sunni-Shi'ite split; Shi'ite theology; religious and ritual life, piety and spirituality; development of the tradition over time; major institutions; Shi'ite Messianism; major themes in polemics between Sunnis and Shi'ites; ecumenical efforts; mediatory role of Sufism; and political thought and political ramifications of the Sunni-Shi'ite divide.

Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives distribution requirement.

Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies Middle Eastern Studies requirement.
Satisfies South Asian Studies requirement.


(not offered 2015-16.)