HDS 3625

Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture, and Identity

Ali S. Asani


South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in the world. This course introduces students to a variety of issues that have characterized the development and evolution of South Asian Muslim communities. While the course will briefly survey the historical development of Islamic and Muslim institutions in the region, its central focus will be the formation of identity—as expressed through language, literature, and the arts—among South Asian Muslim communities. The issues that influence these identities will be considered with regard to the constantly evolving religious and political contexts of South Asia. Special attention will be given to recent attempts to redefine Muslim religious identities through reform and revivalist movements as well as state policies of Islamization. We will look at the impact of these policies on issues such as the status of Muslim women, relations between Muslim and non-Muslims and the growth of sectarian tensions between Muslim groups. The course is appropriate for those who wish to acquire a bird's-eye view of the Islamic tradition in South Asia, as well as those interested in exploring some of the issues confronting Muslim populations in contemporary times.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: No
Jointly offered as Islamic Civilizations 178

Course website


0.50 credits
Fall 2014
Thurs 1pm-3pm
FAS Sever Hall Room 210

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religion and the Social Sciences
  • South Asian Religious Traditions
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Islam
  • South Asian Religions
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None