Resource 

Incorporating Islam into Sociology of Religion Courses

Abstract:

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Much of the coverage of Islam in sociology of religion courses focuses on Islamic fundamentalism and/or terrorism. This single-minded focus does an injustice to a diverse religious tradition. It also does an injustice to students, many of whom are interested in learning more about Islam. This essay presents three concepts derived from the work of Max Weber (the three types of legitimate authority, the idea of the “crisis of succession,” and church/sect theory) which shed light on the main division with Islam, between Shia and Sunni Muslims. The hope is that the essay can aid instructors who may have little knowledge about Islam itself but who are nevertheless interested in helping students understand the diversity of belief and practice which constitutes Islam.

Details:

Resource Type(s):
Essay 
Author(s):
William Tsitsos 
Date Published:
9/24/2010 
Subject Area:
Religion 
Class Level:
any 
Class Size:
Any 
Language:
English 


Usage Notes:

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This material can be incorporated into a sociology course at any level. It is most clearly relevant to courses in the sociology of religion, but since the Weberian concepts addressed here (the three types of legitimate authority, the idea of the “crisis of succession,” and church/sect theory) are not...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
To help students understand the diversity of belief and practice that constitutes Islam
Assessment 1:
This is intended more as a resource for instructors than as a classroom exercise, lecture, activity, etc. So there are not built-in goal assessments, but instructors should be able to integrate the material into existing goal assessments (exams, etc.).
Goal 2:
To demonstrate that Weber’s ideas, and ideas from classical sociology more generally, are applicable/relevant to societies outside of Western Europe and the US

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Teaching Islam for TRAILS.docx
citation.docx