Course Offerings

Madrasa-Midrasha Courses

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Spring 2023

HRIR-1500  Islamic & Jewish  Mysticisms
Instructors: Sam S.B. Shonkoff & Fateme Montazeri | Mondays, 2:10pm–5:00pm

Does mysticism transcend the boundaries of particular traditions, or are even the most transcendent experiences always nonetheless culturally embedded? This classic ambiguity makes mysticism a particularly illuminating case study for interreligious study. In this course, we will explore Islamic and Jewish mysticisms. On one hand, students will gain familiarity with each distinct tradition, as it unfolds from antiquity through present times. On the other hand, there will be ample opportunity to engage in comparative reflections, appreciating both similarities and differences in the theological, cultural, political, and aesthetic aspects of Jewish and Islamic mysticisms. This course is co-taught by Fateme Montazeri and Sam S.B. Shonkoff.


Spring 2024

HRIR-1500  Islamic & Jewish  Law
Instructors: Ahmed Khater & Madeline Wyse | Mondays, 2:10pm–5:00pm

We will examine and compare the role of textual sources, transmitted sources, communal consensus, and various modes of interpretation as authoritative sources in Islamic and Jewish law. We will pay special attention to the ways both legal traditions have wrestled with the ambiguity, multiplicity and doubt inherent both in the task of interpreting the sources of law and in the task of determining the facts of a given case. We will also examine the ways Muslims and Jews have historically navigated spaces with multiple religio-legal authorities, whether in cases of “madhhab shopping” or of Jews using Islamic courts as a strategic alternative to Rabbinic courts. Evaluation based on class discussion, final project and presentation. This course is open to all degree programs at the GTU and has an inter-religious orientation. This course will be co-taught by Professors Ahmed Khater and Madeline Wyse in a concurrent hybrid format.

Spring 2022

RSIR-8100  Justice and Religion: Interreligious Perspectives
Instructor: Mahjabeen Dhala | Mondays, 2:10pm–5:00pm

This course is an introduction to theological and moral philosophies of justice in the Jewish and Islamic traditions including reflections from some Dharmic and Christian understandings of justice. Classical faith perspectives on justice will be brought into conversation with contemporary theories of justice to explore topics which include human rights, economics, displacement, migration, and the environment, and issues of justice around race, nationality, gender and sexuality. The aim of this interdisciplinary and interreligious course is to introduce students to thinking about justice theologically, morally, and theoretically and to explore faith-inspired movements that engage religion and religious spaces, the arts, and pilgrimage to raise concerns of social justice.


Spring 2021

HR-2041  Women and Gender in Jewish and Islamic Texts and Practice
Instructor: Mahjabeen Dhala; Guest Instructor: Naomi Seidman

This course explores the discourse on gender in Judaism and Islam paying particular attention to women’s narratives and experiences. How is gender understood in Judaism and Islam, and how do these religious constructs shape the experiences and practices of Jewish and Muslim women? The course will be organized around a number of keywords, including body, piety, family, activism, leadership, and ritual; for each of these keywords, we will study how these themes play out in each tradition. Prof. Naomi Seidman will lead the discourse on these themes from the perspective of the Jewish tradition.