HDS 3962

Why the West Fears Islam: Explorations of Muslims in Liberal Democracies

Jocelyne Cesari


With the rise of islamophobia, the question "Are Muslims threatening the core values of the West? has become central in European and American politics. This course will respond to this question by providing unique testimonies of Muslims in France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA. These data come from an unprecedented exploration of Muslims religious and political life based on several years of field work in Europe and in the USA conducted by the islam in the west program. It will show that the reality of Muslims of "flesh and blood" is far from the "Islamic artefact" at the core of European and American politics and it will provide original insights on the ways Muslims act as believers and citizens. Through a methodic investigation, it will analyze the crisis around Sharia, Burqa, and minarets, unveils the specifics of western liberalism and secularism and its transformations since 9/11. Its unique interdisciplinary scope allows for in depth analysis of Islam in liberal democracies by taking a broader approach to religion, liberalism and democracy.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Fall 2013
Mon 2pm-4pm
Divinity Hall Room 211

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Islamic Studies
  • Religions of the Americas
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
  • Religion and the Social Sciences
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
  • Islam
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None