The faculty and affiliate faculty of the Center for Middle East Studies teach a variety of courses on or relating to the Middle East throughout the University of Denver. Here you will find a comprehensive list of those courses on offer for SPRING QUARTER 2014, broken down by the department through which they are offered.
Please note, the courses listed below combine those at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The Middle East has long been an area marked by political violence and instability. Its conflicts have ranged from military coups (Turkey, 1960, 1980) to revolutions (Iran, 1989), civil wars (Lebanon), regional conflicts (Arab-Israel, Iran-Iraq) and wars involving such external actors as the U.S., Europe, and Russia (the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Gulf War). However, the Middle East is also a region with a rich history and culture that is undergoing rapid social, economic, and political change. The U.S. has been a major force in the politics of the region. Now it is the target of terrorist attacks that originate in the Middle East. Why is this the case? Why do so many Muslims regard Osama bin Laden as a hero? Why do many Arab rulers fear him? Why does he hate the U.S.? Has U.S. policy towards the Middle East, especially its support of Israel, created the present situation? What are the implications of Islamic terrorism for the safety and security of the U.S.? What policies should we adopt to deal with the terrorist threat? These are the kinds of questions that we shall try to answer in this course. (5 credits)
This course is shaped in three parts; each focuses on a set of critical human rights questions drawn from different phases of the Arab uprisings. Part I focuses on the Arab Uprising and Promises of Human Rights Progress, and asks: 1. What can we learn from past contagion of human rights struggles when we analyze the Middle Eastern social transformations? 2. What are the main causes that shook the Arab Middle East? 3. What was/is the role of major social actors? Part II covers the Rise of the 2012 Islamist tides, which gained new momentum after the electoral victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia and Egypt, and asks: 1. Are these religious trends consistent with human rights efforts? What accounts for waves of revival of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and North Africa before and after 2012? 3. What is the impact of religious fundamentalism and nationalism among Israelis and Palestinians? Part III analyses the Possible Paths of Democratization and Human Rights in the Middle East and explores: 1. What accounts for different Revolutionary Arab Paths? 2. Is there a human rights answer to the Israeli/Palestinian quandary regarding one or two state solution? What are the current and possible roles of external forces for the region (international and/or regional)? (5 credits)
RLGS 2102 - Judaism, Christianity, Islam (Online, Rashke)
This course introduces students to the three major monotheistic religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the process of tracing the long and rich histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we examine the beliefs and practices that became central and definitive for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We begin with the ancient heritage of each religion (scriptures, founders, early institutions). Then we explore how these foundational traditions were preserved and re-invigorated in response to centuries of social change and critical moments of political upheaval. Most significant, in this regard, is the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim encounter with their respective holy Scriptures--as generation after generation of adherents have attempted to understand the revealed words of God, to proclaim their continual relevance for all places and all times and to inscribe them upon their bodies and hearts through prayer, worship, and daily life. (4 credits)
RLGS 3001 - Judaism (Schofield)
A literary and historical journey through Judaism. This course examines the "Jewish story" from its roots to its modern-day manifestations, focusing on select, classic Jewish texts in their historical contexts. From them, students explore Jewish tradition and practice and actively engage with and in the vivid interpretive imagination of the authors of Judaism throughout the ages. Cross listed with JUST 3001. (4 credits)
RLGS 3503 - Qur'an and Hadith (Stanton)
This writing-intensive course introduces students to the key texts of Islam--the Qur'an and hadith--including their origins and meaning as well as how they have been interpreted by Muslims over time, and focusing as well on case studies that highlight issues of crucial relevance for today and the future. (4 credits)
world Languages & Literature
Basics of Modern Standard Arabic. Three quarter sequence. Prerequisite: ARAB 1001 or equivalent. (4 credits)
Continued study of Arabic language with an enhanced cultural component. Two quarter sequence. Prerequisite: ARAB 2002 or equivalent. (4 credits)
Continued study of Hebrew language with an enhanced cultural component. Three quarter sequence. Prerequisite: HEBR 2001 or equivalent. (4 credits)