An exploration of the classical texts, spiritual teachings, epic narratives, and religious movements that have shaped a complex civilization for some three thousand years, from the Indus Valley to today. Readings in primary sources – Vedas and Upanishads, Buddhist and Jain teachings, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, Bhakti and Sufi poets, Sikh gurus and Muslim kings. Attention to the creation of a rich and composite civilization and the ways in which these sources continue to be of significance to the understanding of modern India.... Read more about CULTBLF 60/HDS 3429: Religion in India: Texts and Traditions in a Complex Society
In this course we will explore the major genres of classical Persian Sufi poetry and prose. In addition to examining the formation of these genres and their contexts of composition, we will pursue a range of broader questions, including: What is Sufism, and how do we discern ‘Sufi’ from ‘non-Sufi’ literature? What have the purposes and functions of literature been in Persianate Islamic contexts? What is the relationship between language, realization and experience Is Persian Sufi literature, and how do authors in the Sufi tradition deal with the problem of ineffability? What is the place of love in Persian Sufi literature and how is it conceptualized? And, how do Persian Sufi authors deal with the diversity inherent in human experience?... Read more about HDS 3045/RELIGION 1804/PERSIAN 108: Persian Sufi Literature
This course will survey Islamic history from the rise of Islam to the end of the 15th century. The course will survey political, religious and sectarian developments in this period. Topics include debates about the Quran, Muhammad, hadith and the caliphate.Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Islamic Civilizations 135.
This course offers an overview of the development of classical Persian literature through the lens of ethics (broadly conceived as normative or prudent conduct), from the 10th through 15th centuries. Students will become acquainted with the key themes and beliefs at work in pre-modern Persian literature, and with the variety of literary forms, images and rhetorical devices employed to train the reader.... Read more about HDS 3046/PERSIAN 105: Beyond Akhlāq: Ethical Literatures of the Persianate World
This course will take place in January 2019. In this interdisciplinary field study seminar we will examine a diversity of narratives regarding displacement and belonging in both Israel and the West Bank. Through direct encounters with representatives from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and a variety of civil society sectors in the region, students will hear diverse examples of what sociologist Ariel Hochschild calls “deep stories” that frame how individuals and communities make sense of their worlds.... Read more about HDS 3335: Learning in Context: Narratives of Displacement and Belonging in Israel and the West Bank
Does the Qur’an enunciate a distinctive concept of femininity? If so, what is it? This course explores the meaning of gender and femininity in the Qur'an by approaching the text on three levels: vocabulary and grammar; meaning in context; and what can be called "the latent meaning of the text." Most traditional Qur'anic exegesis is on the second level, interpreting verses and vocabularies in light of their context.... Read more about HDS 3041: Discovering Femininity in the Gendered Language of the Qur’an
Sperry Room, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue
On September 28, 2018, the Alwaleed Program hosted a day-long conference in honor of Professor William A. Graham's career and scholarship. Professor Graham retired in July 2018 after a long and distinguished career at Harvard that included serving as the Faculty Director of the Alwaleed Program, Dean of Harvard Divinity School, Faculty Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern...