Islam in Asia:   Traditions and Transformation

An NEH Summer Institute ~ June 12 to July 7, 2017 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hosted by the Asian Studies Development Program

Week One:  Islamic Origins and Early Diversification

The first week of the program will explore several of the basic issues that drive the questions underlying this Institute. The presentations will cover the main points of Islamic history such as the divide between Sunnites and Shi’ites, and how this rift has influenced the growth of Islam in part of Asia; the role of the Qur’an in daily Muslim life and society; and the application of the main principles of the Islamic law or Shari’a. Following a first-day introduction to the Institute program and a synoptic examination of key issues in Asian Islam, Co-Director Nelly van Doorn-Harder will provide an historical overview of early Islam. On Wednesday, Zayn Kassam (Pomona College) will introduce participants to the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, and will return on Thursday to discuss the division of the Muslim community into Sunni and Shi’a branches. Following on Thursday will be an afternoon session on Islamic law by van Doorn-Harder. And the week will conclude with a session by Bruce Lawrence (Duke University) exploring Muslim diversity in the context of trans-regional interactions including the transmission of Islam into South Asia.

Flask with Medallion, Ming dynasty (1368–1644),

early 15th century, China (Photo credit: www.