AMCULT 229 - The Qur'an as Utopian Text
Winter 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
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Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In this course, we read the Qur’an as a great book and as a utopian text. What does it take to create and sustain the ideal community? In its guidelines for living in community and in its words of encouragement and strength for the individual believer, the Qur’an recognizes that creation is always imperfect and always working toward perfection. In this course, we read the Qur’an alongside the writings of (mostly) American Muslim scholars and artists, who interpret the book as a way to think through the pressing social, political and personal issues of the day. We discuss how American Muslims are contributing to the emergence of a new, global interpretation of Islam, able to respond to the social, economic and environmental challenges that face the planet in the 21st century. We read the Qur’an from beginning to end, along with selections from modern scholars that study the Qur’an from the perspective of ecotheology, feminism, and social and racial justice, and literary, artistic and musical works inspired by the Qur’an. We also listen to Qur’anic recitations and look at images of Qur’an manuscripts. For anyone interested in learning more about the Qur'an and emerging American Muslim engagement with the Qur'an.

Course Requirements:

You will contribute to two crowdsourced study guides, write three response papers, produce a final project reflecting on the Qur'an, and complete regular reading quizzes.

Intended Audience:

This course is for students at any level (First Year through Senior), especially students interested in religious studies.

Class Format:

Lecture and discussion


AMCULT 229 - The Qur'an as Utopian Text
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
002 (DIS)
 In Person
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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