Harvard Offers Course on Ismaili Islam (Ismailism) in Spring 2017 — Ismaili Gnosis

Harvard University is offering a course on Ismaili Muslim History and Thought in the Spring 2017 Term. This will be the third offering of this course which was designed and will be taught by world class Professor Ali Asani – Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University. The course is open to all Harvard students.


Course Website: RELIGION 1816 Ismaili History and Thought

This course explores the doctrines and practices of the Ismailis, adherents of a minority branch of Shia Islam that recognizes the continuation of religious authority after the Prophet Muhammad through a particular line of his descendants known as the Imams. Focusing on their historical evolution and manifestations in diverse political, cultural and social contexts, the course will consider three major communities: the Nizari Ismailis (in Syria, Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia); the Tayyibi (Daudi Bohra) Ismailis (in Yemen and South Asia) and the Druze (in Syria and Lebanon). Principal themes to be considered include conceptions of the Imamah and notions of authority, messianic doctrines, philosophy, ritual practice and devotional traditions. The course will also briefly consider the contemporary situation of these communities as minorities in North America and Europe.

Course Highlights


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