Contemplative Islam: An Introduction to Its History, Thought, and Practice

A historical-experiential introduction to Sufi history, beliefs, and practices in a five-day intensive retreat course. One part of the course will explore the historical development of a mystically oriented movement in Islam, a movement which both understands itself to be older than Islam and which develops widely divergent attitudes to Islam. Its evolution will be pursued from Arabia to Central Asia and Egypt to modern Turkey, India, and the United States. The second part of the course will focus on the distinctive features of Sufi culture, mystical theology, subtle physiology and psychology, as well as training and practice. In this course, students will engage both historical and traditional texts, learn about traditional Sufi teaching and training contexts, and participate in experiential exercises in order to gain a firsthand experience of contemplative practices in Islamic culture.
Course Number: REL314
Units: 3.0