John L. Esposito
Ph.D., Temple University
John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, and Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He earned his B.A. at St. Anthony College, his M.A. at St. John’s University, and his Ph.D. at Temple University…
University professor and international government and media consultant John L. Esposito guides you through the facts and myths surrounding Islam and its more than 1.2 billion adherents.
How familiar are you with the world's second largest and fastest-growing religion? Many in the West know little about the faith and are familiar only with the actions of a minority of radical extremists.
This course will help you better understand Islam's role as both a religion and a way of life, and its deep impact on world affairs both historically and today. It is important to understand what Muslims believe, and also how their beliefs are carried out privately and publicly as individuals as well as members of a larger community.
Learning about Islam: What Does the Future Hold?
What does the future hold for Islam and the West in the coming century? How will it change under the influence of conservatives, reformers, and extremists?
"The focus of this course will be to better understand Islam's role as a religion and as a way of life," says Professor Esposito. "In 12 lectures, moving from Muhammad to the present, from the 7th to the 21st centuries, we will explore Muslim beliefs, practices, and history in the context of its significance and impact on Muslim life and society through the ages, as well as world events today."
You will learn about:
Muslim beliefs about other faiths
whether the Quran condones terrorism and what it says about God
the contributions to math, science, and art made by a flourishing Islamic civilization
the role of women in Islam
whether Islam is compatible with modernization, capitalism, and democracy.
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is one of the great monotheistic faiths that traces its ancestry to Abraham. Professor Esposito discusses the similarities and differences in the three great Abrahamic faiths and explores more closely the core beliefs that serve as the common denominators that unite all Muslims throughout the world.
"We will see that Islam is not monolithic," says Professor Esposito. "Although Muslims share certain core beliefs, the practices, interpretations, images, and realities of Islam vary across time and space."
Dr. Esposito is Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam, and The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. He has more than 25 books to his credit. An international consultant, he is University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He specializes in Islam, political Islam, and the impact of Islamic movements from North Africa to Southeast Asia.
The Stunning Growth of the Muslim Community and Its Golden Age
The growth of the Muslim community has been stunning; within 100 years of Muhammad's death, it became a vast, dynamic, and creative Islamic empire that stretched from North Africa to India.
Islamic civilization flourished under the Umayyad and Abbasid empires. Under Abbasid rule (7501258 C.E.), the Islamic community became an empire of wealth, political power, and cultural accomplishments.
Muslims made original creative contributions in law, theology, philosophy, literature, medicine, algebra, geometry, science, art, and architecture.
Arabic became the language of literature and public discourse. Centers were created for the translation of manuscripts from Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Persian into Arabic.
Europeans, emerging from the Dark Ages, turned to Muslim centers of learning to regain their lost heritage and to learn from Muslim advances. Through Islamic philosophy, Greek philosophy was re-transmitted to Europe.
Examining the history of Islamic civilization helps us to appreciate the remarkable achievements of its "Golden Age" and to understand the sources of sectarianism, religious extremism, and the conflict between Islam and Christianity, epitomized by the Crusades.
Understand the Development of Islamic Law
Professor Esposito takes a closer look at the historical development of two great Islamic institutions: Islamic law, (the Shariah) and Islamic mysticism (Sufism).
Islamic law has been seen as the ideal blueprint guiding Muslims' correct action, that is, what to do in their public and private lives in order to realize God's will.
Sufism resulted from efforts to experience a more direct and personal sense of God. Both law, the exterior path to God, and mysticism, known as the interior path, developed as responses to what was perceived as the abuse of the enormous wealth and power in the Islamic empires.
The historical tradition of Islamic renewal and reform was developed to fight internal disintegration and upheaval in the Muslim world caused by outside forces from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Professor Esposito examines the variety of religious sociopolitical movements that struggled to address weakness and decline in diverse Muslim societies through the ages, and discusses how and why these efforts continue to inspire Islamic modernists and contemporary movements in our time.
Discuss the "Struggle for the Soul of Islam"
The lectures examine the worldwide "struggle for the soul of Islam" occurring today between conservatives and reformers, mainstream Muslims and extremists. Among these issues, none is more fraught with controversy than the debates about women and Islam.
Professor Esposito discusses women and their changing roles in the modern world, a hotly contested topic, not only in the Muslim world but also in the West. Issues include diversity of dress, social status, education, and roles for women in the family throughout the world.
Professor Esposito expands this human dimension to spotlight the ever-increasing reality of Muslims as our neighbors and colleagues in Europe and America, examining how and why Muslims came to Europe and America and the issues of faith and identity, integration and assimilation that face them in their new homelands and how they are grappling with these challenges.
Harold McFarland, Editor of Midwest Book Review, writes about this course: "This is easily the most accurate, even-handed, and thorough survey of Islam that I have seen to date. The extent of coverage, breadth and depth of Professor Esposito's knowledge, recognition of the various groups and beliefs within Islam and scholarly treatment of the subject makes this a very highly recommended lecture series and the only one on the subject that I could recommend to date."
My other posts
After the New Testament - The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
Discovery of Ancient Civilizations - Brian Fagan
Govind Sreenivasan - Europe And The Wars Of Religion
Great Ancient Civilizations Of Asia Minor - Kenneth Harl
Great Figures of the Old Testament Amy-Jill Levine
Great World Religions - Christianity Robert Oden
History of Ancient Egypt - Bob Brier
History Of Science - Antiquity To 1700 - Lawrence Principe
Kenneth W. Harl - The World of Byzantium
King Arthur And Chivalry Bonnie Wheeler
Louis Markos The Life and Writings of CS Lewis
Michael Sugrue - Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues
Philosophy and Religion in the West - Phillip Cary
The Apostle Paul Luke Timothy Johnson
The Bible and Western Culture
The Foundations of Western Civilization - Thomas F. X. Noble
The Other 1492 - Ferdinand, Isabella, and The Making of an Empire - Teofilo F. Ruiz
The Terror of History - Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition
Phillip Cary - Luther - Gospel Law And Reformation
Ancient Near Eastern Mythology - Shalom Goldman
Rome and The Barbarians - Kenneth W. Harl
Practical Philosophy - Greco-Roman Moralists
History Of Ancient Rome Garrett G Fagan
James Hall - Philosophy Of Religion
Bob Brier - Great Pharaohs Of Ancient Egypt
Plato's Republic - David Roochnik
Americas Religious History - Patrick N Allitt
Patrick Allitt - Victorian Britain
David Roochnik - Introduction To Greek Philosophy
The High Middle Ages - Professor Philip Daileadeк
Kenneth Bartlett - Italian Renaissance
Jeremy Adams - Thomas Aquinas, The Angelic Doctor
History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts - Robert Bucholz
William Cook - Francis of Assisi
Philip Daileader - The Early Middle Ages
Gary W Gallagher - American Civil War
History of the United States Part 1,2,3 Allen C. Guelzo
Teofilo Ruiz - Medieval Europe
History of Russia - From Peter the Great to Gorbachev - Mark Steinberg
The Odyssey Of Homer - Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
The Iliad Of Homer - Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
Herodotus, The Father Of History - Elizabeth Vandiver