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Intercultural Studies

Liberation Theology and Latin America
Intercultural Studies 313 CP Chamorro
4 credits
A religious movement that has had a powerful impact on the social and political consciousness of people across Latin America, Liberation Theology spread rapidly throughout the continent in the 1960s as a compelling response to the crisis of the times and the failures of ill-conceived economic policies aggravated by violence and political instability. Indeed, Liberation Theology has played a decisive role in shaping the future of a number of Latin American countries; it has had an impact on populist social movements by promoting an awareness of issues deeply rooted in troubled societies desperate for solutions and change. This course will explore the tenets of Liberation Theology in the context of the historical, political, and sociological impact of churches in Latin America. The course will also explore connections between Liberation Theology and the Latin American feminist movement.
Last taught S08.
The Arab World
Intercultural Studies 314T CP Asfar
4 credits
This course examines a variety of texts pertinent to the cultural history of the Arabs. Since the advent of Islam in the 7th century, Arab culture has been markedly affected by the last of the three great monotheistic religions that emerged from the same region. Islam permeates Arab culture; thus, the focal point of the course is the Qur’an and the body of Islamic law known as the Shari’ah. Readings, discussions, and writing assignments focus on such topics as pre-Islamic Arabia; early Islam and the Five Pillars; oral traditions and the development of written religious texts; Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims; Islam in Africa and Europe; bedouin versus urban culture, oral poetic and written literary forms; the Sufi traditions, stereotypes, and the ideologies of Orientalism; and the pros and cons of Westernization. Prerequisites: Arabic 100–101 CP or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered as a tutorial.