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HISTORY 380B: The Birth of Islam: Authority, Community, and Resistance (GLOBAL 134, GLOBAL 234, HISTORY 280B)

This course explores the historical problem of how authority and community (in both the political and religious sense) were defined and challenged in the early Islamic period. Chronological topics covered include: the political, cultural, and religious world of Late Antiquity into which Muhammad was born; the crystallization of a small community of believers who supported Muhammad's message of radical monotheism and aided him in the conquest and conversion of the Arabian Peninsula; the problems of legacy and leadership in the community of the faithful after Muhammad's death; the Arabo-Islamic conquests beyond Arabia during the 7th and early 8th centuries and the establishment of the first Islamic empire under the rule of the Umayyad clan; the Sunni/Shi'a split (and further splits in Shi'ism); the revolution of 750 A.D. and overthrow of the Umayyads by the 'Abbasids; the flourishing of a sophisticated world of learning and culture under the 'Abbasids; and the waning of the 'Abbasids empire in the tenth century and political reconfiguration of the Islamic lands.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5
Instructors: Izzo, J. (PI)
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