HDS 3939

Ismaili History and Thought

Ali S. Asani


This course explores the doctrines and practices of the Ismailis, adherents of a minority branch of Shia Islam that recognizes the continuation of religious authority after the Prophet Muhammad through a particular line of his descendants known as the Imams. Focusing on their historical evolution and manifestations in diverse political, cultural and social contexts, the course will consider three major communities: the Nizari Ismailis (in Syria, Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia); the Tayyibi (Daudi Bohra) Ismailis (in Yemen and South Asia) and the Druze (in Syria and Lebanon). Principal themes to be considered include conceptions of the Imamah and notions of authority, messianic doctrines, philosophy, ritual practice and devotional traditions. The course will also briefly consider the contemporary situation of these communities as minorities in North America and Europe.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: No
Jointly offered as Religion 1816


0.50 credits
Spring 2014
Thurs 3pm-5pm
FAS Sever Hall Room 107

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Islam
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None