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More than 90 minutes
  • Religious Literacy
  • Educator

If this is your first Religious Traditions course, we recommend familiarizing yourself with key frameworks used in religious studies before beginning. Methods of Religious Studies – Review

  • Introduce themselves to the tradition
  • Investigate the diverse beliefs, behaviors, and experiences of belonging related to shariah
  • Explore the intersections of Islamic traditions, law, and government


As you begin an exploration of Islamic traditions, consider the following questions:

  • What do you know/think you know about Islamic religious traditions?
  • Where did you learn this information? Do you believe these sources are credible? Why or why not?
  • Have you personally spoken with someone who self-identifies as Muslim about their religious identity or religious tradition?


  • “Introduction to Islam” Andrew Henry and Hussein Rashid

Return to the reflection questions above and review the responses:

  • What have you learned in this module that has changed or deepened your understanding of Islamic traditions?


Read the following short essays from Harvard University’s Pluralism Project:

  • Did the featured articles adequately address the internal diversity of the beliefs, behaviors, and experiences of belonging in Hindu traditions? Provide specific examples.
  • Given the diversity of Hinduism, is it more appropriate to speak of a “Hinduism” or multiple “Hinduisms?”


  • Examine this interactive map of Islamaphobia in the United States from the Mapping Islamaphobia Project at Grinnell College. You can filter by type of incident and zoom in to see details of each incident. The map includes data from 2011 to 2017.
  • Are certain types of incidents more common in different regions? What incidents have occurred in your area of the country?
  • You may also want to explore maps on the accumulation of Islamaphobic incidents from 2010 to 2018, incidents by year, and incidents by gender.

  • How do the readings and video in this module demonstrate how religions are embedded in culture? How is Islam influenced by the American context and how is American political landscape influenced by Islam?
  • How do identities such as religion, race, and country of origin influence how individuals act and react in the public and political sphere? How do the readings and video in this module demonstrate the intersections of American Muslims’ beliefs, behaviors, and communities of belonging?

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