External Harvard Links

Harvard University

HDS 3345 - Sick and Pious: Medicine, Piety and Patienthood in Medieval and Modern Islam or return to Course Catalog Search

207979 – Section 01   

Harvard Divinity SchoolHDSAhmed Ragab
TermDay and TimeLocation
Fall 2018  (show academic calendar)Tu   3:00 p.m. - 5:59 p.m.Rockefeller 117 (HDS)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level

How did pious Muslims get sick? Rooted in the prophet?s experiences with medicine and healing, Muslim pietistic literature developed cosmologies in which physical suffering and medical interventions interacted with religious obligations and spiritual health. In this context, health and sickness developed as social categories implicated in, and influenced by the production of pious selfhood in its gendered, racialized and socioeconomically located manifestations. Here, the prophet, the Imams and their companions stood as examples, not only of legally mandated behavior, but as pietistic models of propriety conditioning new meanings of piety and observance. At the same time, and in being connected to the physical experiences of health and disease, these modes of pietistic observance were particularly embodied and physically manifested.This course traces the development of prophetic medical literature and religious and medical writings around health and disease to look at the production of pious patienthood from the medieval into the modern period. We will ask about the legacy of the prophet, the imams and their companions, the making of embodied piety from the medieval into the modern period. The course will commence with a comprehensive introduction to Hadith sciences, and to the study of sira. It will then move to discussing the production of Muslim piety with a focus on embodied experiences on illness and health. Students can choose between two tracks: Hadith/Sira track; and Medicine track. Each track includes a number of additional readings focusing on either the hadith or medical aspects. Students have the opportunity to change their track or to take both tracks without additional assignments. The Hadith track can serve as an introduction to Hadith and Muslim scriptures.

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.