Martino Diez is associate professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Catholic University of Milan. He is also scientific director of the Oasis International Foundation. From January to July 2019 he was visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton - School of Historical Studies. Since January 2020 he has been consultor of the Pontifical Council of Interreligious Dialogue.
personal page: http://docenti.unicatt.it/ita/martino_diez/
Islamic Political Thought: an Introduction
Pre-modern Islamic societies devoted considerable intellectual resources to the elaboration of several, often contrasting, political doctrines. Starting from the Qur’an, the course will illustrate the historical genesis of the Sunni-Shi’a divide, their competing political and religious views, centered around the caliph and the imam respectively, and the challenge, in both cases, of reconciling ideality with reality.
The second part of the course will offer some insights into how different classes and groups conceptualized and negotiated power in classical Islam, from jurists and authors of mirrors for princes, to philosophers, Sufis, merchants and the common people.
At the end of the course, students will gain a deeper understanding of the main categories elaborated in classical Islamic political thought, many of which are still relevant, at least as symbolic mobilizing forces, for the comprehension of contemporary Middle Eastern politics.