Thursday 2/11: Rachel Farell, “E’tibar nist: Shi’i Ritual Expression in Contemporary Afghanistan”

Dear colleagues,

Please join us for Thursday’s workshop session:

Rachel Farell (CMES): “E’tibar nist: Shi’i Ritual Expression in Contemporary Afghanistan”

Thursday, February 11th, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Swift Hall room 106

A vegetarian lunch will be provided.

For more information, including past events, please visit the Islamic Studies Workshop

website.

 

Hope to see you there!

Francesca Chubb-Confer

Graduate Student Coordinator

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Thursday 1/28, Timothy Gutmann: “Enforcing Intimacy: Tradition, Mass Education, and the Person Question”

Dear colleagues,

 

Please join us for Thursday’s workshop session:

Timothy Gutmann (Divinity School): “Enforcing Intimacy: Tradition, Mass Education, and the Person Question”

Thursday, January 28th, 12:00pm-1:30pm

Swift Hall room 106

Abstract: “This presentation summarizes some of the main issues in chapter three of the dissertation “Traditions and Progress”. Work on this chapter is ongoing. The focus is on the question of religious minorities in Egypt around the turn of the 20th century. The chapter addresses the theme of the enforced intimacy of the classroom and the novelty of teaching across differences. Exploring the interaction of “the [minority] question” and the advent of mass education, the chapter engages recent work by scholars such as Aamir Mufti, Marwa Elshakry, Saba Mahmood, and Kathryn Gines.”

A vegetarian lunch will be provided.

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Thursday 1/14: Aamir Bashir, “Roots of Deobandi Sufism: Shah Wali Allah’s (d. 1762) Influence on Early Deobandi Elders”

Join the Islamic Studies Workshop for our first session of the winter quarter:
Aamir Bashir (NELC): “Roots of Deobandi Sufism: Shah Wali Allah’s (d. 1762) Influence on Early Deobandi Elders”
Thursday, January 14th, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Swift Hall room 106
A vegetarian lunch will be provided.
Abstract: “This paper seeks to identify the key persons and ideas that link Deobandis to Shah Wali Allah. In particular, I seek to identify what led the early Deobandi elders such as Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (d. 1905) and Qasim Nanotvi (d. 1880) to oppose their Sufi shaykh, the Chishti Haji Imdad Allah (d. 1899) and articulate a more Naqshbandi version of Sufism (emphasis on conformity to Islamic law and more attention to Hadith) that seemed more in line with Shah Wali Allah’s ideas then that of Deobandis’ own Chishti master.”
Hope to see you there!
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Winter 2016 at the Islamic Studies Workshop

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back! We have an exciting quarter of presentations and events at the Islamic Studies Workshop. Sessions will take place on alternate Thursdays from 12:00pm-1:30pm in Swift Hall 106 (note the change in location from last quarter) unless otherwise indicated.
If any students or faculty are interested in formally responding to any of these presentations, please get in touch with me at fchubbconfer@uchicago.edu.
For more information, including past events, please visit the Islamic Studies Workshop website.
January 14th: Aamir Bashir (NELC), “Roots of Deobandi Sufism: Shah Wali Allah’s (d. 1762) Influence on Early Deobandi Elders”
 
January 28th: Timothy Gutmann (Divinity School), “Enforcing Intimacy: Tradition, Mass Education, and the Person Question”
 
February 11th: Rachel Farrell (CMES), E’tibar nist: Shi’i Ritual Expression in Contemporary Afghanistan”
 
February 19th (Friday), 12:00pm-2:00pm: mark your calendars!  This will be a special session co-hosted with the Craft of Teaching Program at the Divinity School:  
 
“Syllabus Workshop: Teaching Islamic Studies Across the Institutional Field”
 
This session is a panel discussion on syllabus design of introductory-level courses in relation to student audience: how do pedagogical approaches to the same material shift in relation to institutional contexts?  Lauren OsborneMun’im Sirry, and Jawad Qureshiall doctoral graduates or candidates of the Islamic Studies program at the Divinity School, will share representative syllabi and discuss teaching strategies based on their experiences with graduate and undergraduate students in research universities, religiously affiliated institutions, and liberal arts colleges.
 
February 25th: 12:00pm, Pick 218: Dr. Marion Katz (New York University), co-sponsored with the Middle East History and Theory Workshop  and part of the 2015-16 lecture series on Gender and Sexuality in Middle Eastern History
 
March 1st (Tuesday), 4:30pm, Cochrane-Woods Art Center room 152: Jessica Mutter (NELC), co-sponsored with the Workshop on Late Antiquity and Byzantium, “Evolving Depictions of Religious Transformation in Eighth-Century Greater Syria”
 
Hope to see you there!
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Thursday 12/3: Antonio Musto, “Beyond Mere Asceticism: The zuhd of Wakīʿ b. al-Jarrāḥ (d. 196/811)”

Please join the Islamic Studies Workshop for our last session of the fall term this Thursday!

Antonio Musto

“Beyond Mere Asceticism: The zuhd of Wakīʿ b. al-Jarrāḥ (d. 196/811)”

Thursday, Dec. 3rd, 12:00pm

Swift Hall room 208

Abstract: In secondary scholarship, the term zuhd is rendered as asceticism or renunciation, and its origins are said be found in the Qur’ān, the example of Muḥammad, and the actions of his companions (ṣaḥaba pl. aṣḥāb).  While in the subfield of Sufi studies, zuhd is understood to be a rough precursor to mysticism, and is thus relegated to a mere stepping stone in the course of Sufism’s history. Recently, however, scholars have shown that the notion of zuhd goes beyond the simple abnegation of material things and includes a prescriptive, ethical component.  Building upon these recent developments, this talk will provide biographical information on the life of Wakīʿ b. al-Jarrāḥ, an early Muslim intellectual, and elucidate his conceptualization of zuhd as encapsulated in his work titled Kitāb al-Zuhd.  These two endeavors will show us that zuhd deserves to be explored in its own right and offer us an important glimpse into the pious milieu of the 8th and 9th centuries CE, a time where the Islamic sciences were very much in their incipient stages.

Hope to see you there!

Francesca Chubb-Confer

Graduate Student Coordinator

Islamic Studies Workshop

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Thursday 11/19: Nathan Miller, “Hudhayl: The Conversion of a Tribe”

Please join us for tomorrow’s session of the Islamic Studies Workshop, co-sponsored by the Middle East History and Theory Workshop (MEHAT):

Nathan Miller (NELC), “Hudhayl: The Conversion of a Tribe”
Thursday, November 19th, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Swift Hall room 208
 
Hope to see you there!
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Friday 11/13: Sarah Waheed (Davidson College), “Ethics and Censorship: Angare and the Politics of Indo-Muslim Respectability in Late Colonial India”

Please join the Islamic Studies Workshop for a special session this Friday:

Sarah Waheed, Davidson College
“Ethics and Censorship: Angare and the Politics of Indo-Muslim Respectability inLate Colonial India”

Friday, Nov. 13th, 3:30pm
Swift Hall room 106

There will be a dinner at the Nile restaurant after the talk at 6:30pm with Prof. Waheed for interested students and faculty. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Francesca Chubb-Confer (fchubbconfer@uchicago.edu).

Hope to see you there!

 

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Studying Religion in Iran: Between University and Seminary

Co-sponsored with the Craft of Teaching program at the Divinity School!

 

Studying Religion in Iran: Between University and Seminary

Thursday, November 12, 12:00-2:00, Swift Hall Common Room

Iran is well-known for its centuries-old centers of Islamic scholarship where students from all over the world learn jurisprudence, sciences of hadith transmission, Qur’anic exegesis, theology, and philosophy. It is less commonly known that academic scholarship on religion has also been burgeoning outside the direct sphere of the hawzah (seminary) system. Join us for a conversation with visiting scholars from the University of Religions and Denominations in Qom who will discuss the philosophies, methods, and approaches these different institutions have adopted – not only in the study of Islam, but more broadly in comparative scholarship on religion.

Dr. Naeimeh Pourmohammadi is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Religions and Denominations
Dr. Fatima Tofighi is Assistant Professor of Women and Religion at the University of Religions and Denominations
Mahdi Salehi is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Theology and Director of International Relations and Cooperation at the University of Religions and Denominations.

Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the
Anthropology of Religion, will moderate the discussion.

– See more at: https://divinity.uchicago.edu/111215-studying-religion-iran-between-university-and-seminary#sthash.VnMV5xdF.dpuf

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Pascal Held (NELC), “ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī’s Theory on the Origin of the Term ‘ṣūfī’”

The Islamic Studies Workshop presents:

Pascal Held (NELC), “ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī’s Theory on the Origin of the Term ‘ṣūfī’”
Thursday, November 5th, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Swift Hall room 208
Abstract:  This presentation aims to examine the interpretation of the origin of the word ‘ṣūfī’ by the well-known ḥanbalī mystic ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (d. 1166), as set out in his work al-Ghunya li-Ṭālibī Ṭarīq al-Ḥaqq. The theory most commonly accepted in the medieval Islamic world as well as in modern scholarship holds that ‘ṣūfī’ derived from ‘ṣūf’, meaning ‘wool’, which originally designated individuals in early Islam who adopted woolen clothes as part of their ascetic lifestyle before the term would come to be applied generally to mystically inclined Muslims.  ʿAbd al-Qādir’s theory diverges fundamentally from this as he perceives ‘ṣūfī’ to originally stem from the verb ‘ṣūfiya’ based on the root ṣ-f-ā rather than ṣ-ā-f, as in the case of the prevailing opinion. Instead of identifying a person donning a woolen dress, it represents, according to his interpretation, a person characterized by inner purity. ʿAbd al-Qādir was not the first individual to make use of this etymology. It appears to have been floating around in mystical circles beforehand; allusions to it are found in major works such as by Kalābādhī (d. 990s) and Hujwīrī (d. 1070s). More recently, Louis Massignon and Alexander Knysh have pointed to it. That said, ʿAbd al-Qādir is perhaps the first mystic to take a definite and well-elaborated stand for this etymology. What’s more, his viewpoint in this matter ties in with his broader ideas and therefore opens a window to trace the major stages of his proposed mystical path. Beyond adding an important contribution to the discussion on the origins of the term ‘ṣūfī’, ʿAbd al-Qādir’s theory also provides us with a valuable glimpse into the contemporaneous evaluation of ṣūfīs and Sufism as a whole.
Hope to see you there!
Francesca Chubb-Confer
Graduate Student Coordinator
Islamic Studies Workshop
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Fall 2015 at the Islamic Studies Workshop

 

 
The Islamic Studies Workshop is pleased to announce our fall lineup!  Workshop sessions will take place on alternate Thursdays from 12:00pm-1:30pm in Swift Hall room 201.  Refreshments will be provided.
 
For more information, including past events, and to view our call for papers, please visit the Islamic Studies Workshop website.
 
 
October 8th:  Professor Michael Sells, “Thinking toward PhD Applications in Islamic Studies.”  This discussion is primarily geared toward 1st and 2nd year MA students, but all are welcome.
 
October 22:  Nora Jacobsen Ben Hammed (Divinity School), “The Mystical and the Rational Paths: Miʿrāj of the Rational Soul in Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī”
 
 
November 5th: Pascal Held (NELC), “ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī’s Theory on the Origin of the Term ‘ṣūfī’”
 
 
November 19th: Nathaniel Miller (NELC), “Hudhayl: The Conversion of a Tribe” (co-sponsored with the Middle East History and Theory Workshop
 
 
December 3rd: Antonio Musto, “The zuhd of Wakī‘ ibn al-Jarrāḥ”
 
 
We look forward to a quarter of lively discussions!
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