New Courses Come discover what the Religion Department has for next year!

The Religion Department has a new professor! Dr. Kameliya Atanasova is W&L's new professor of Islamic religion and history beginning in the fall. She is teaching two new classes.

HIST 170 - "History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500"  (TR 10:10-11:35)

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.


REL 283 - "Sufism: Islamic Mysticism" (TR 1:25-2:50)

This course explores the mystical expressions and institutions known as Sufism within the Islamic community. Topics include the elaboration of Sufism from the core tenets of Islam; Sufi practices of ecstasy and discipline; the artistic and literary products of the Sufi experience; the institutions of Sufi orders, saints, shrines, and popular practices; and the debates among Muslims over the place of Sufism within the greater tradition of Islam.

About Dr. Kameliya Atanasova

Prof. Atanasova researches the important roles Sufism and Sufis played in the intellectual and social history of the Ottoman Empire between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Her current project examines how Sufi (auto)biographical writing can provide scholars of religious history with glimpses into the institutional life of Sufi orders, helping to correct long-standing views that artificially separate the political from the "mystical." She also explores how Sufi masters modeled their relationship to the Ottoman state, especially its military, using advice literature addressed to high-ranking officials-works which remain largely untranslated into any modern European languages.

Prof. Atanasova received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She was previously Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College, where she taught courses on Sufism, gender and sexuality in Islam, and animals in religion. Her upcoming courses at W&L include History of Islamic Civilization, Sufism: Islamic Mysticism, and Islamic law.