Gender & Sexuality - Progressive Muslims
class you were each to read and respond to the
Diversity and Ethics in the Agenda of Progressive Muslims" by Scott
Siraj al-Haqq Kugle from a book called Progressive Muslims: On Gender Justice and
Pluralism ed. Omid Safi (London, Oxford, One World, 2003).
Our discussion will cover some questions and topics raised by the
- Who is Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle?
- What is Kugle's definition of sexuality?
- What are our attitudes towards sex and sexuality? What are
some Islamic attitudes towards sex and sexuality?
- The interpretation of sacred texts.
- Islamic sacred texts and sexuality: the Qur'an, the hadith,
Shariah, and other commentaries.
Thursday will be our last Religious Studies discipline seminar before
we return to the inquiry group process. On Thursday we will spend
some time exploring religion and ritual. We have already spent
time considering the role that sacred stories and texts play in
religion. Religious rituals often include the reading of sacred
texts or the re-telling of stories/myths. Another key component
of religious rituals is the use of
symbols. Rituals involve symbolic actions and physical
symbols. A symbol, very simply put, is something that stands for
or represents something more than the object itself. For example,
we learned that the veil is a complex symbol that had many meanings for
the Muslim women.
you to think about something that works as a symbol for you. It
does not have to be a religious symbol. Most of us have things
that represent something else for us and that serve as a reminder to
us. For example, I keep a copper plate that I won during a
national basketball tournament. Literally, it was a reward for
good play. But it continues to hold meaning for me beyond
that. It reminds me of my years playing basketball and the many,
many things I learned during those years. I still feel deeply
connected to the women that I played with and against for
years. Sometimes it just makes me feel proud of myself when I see
it. Sometimes, when I'm not feeling so good about myself or when
I feel overwhelmed, it reminds me of the resources that I have within
me and it serves to encourage me. Sometimes my kids ask me
stories about my experiences when they see the plate and it serves as a
way for them to learn more about their mother. You get the
picture . . . Culture jamming is way of bringing to consciousness
the many symbols that corporations use to capture "mind share".
Choose a symbol from your own life and bring it to class on
Thursday. Be prepared to explain what it is and why it holds
meaning for you. There might be several layers of meaning.