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HonorsÕ Freshman Sequence

HHI 21: Identity: Self in the World

Fall 2009

Themes/Discussion Handout


Monday, November 2 and Wednesday 4

Origins of Islam: Reinterpreting the Spiritual Self

Expansion of Islam: Unified Faith, Diverse Communities

Text: Chap. 11, chaps. 12 and 13.

Sources: Muhammad and the Koran (273-83), Al-Farabi (pp. 284-91)

1)      How did Mohammed become the visionary and prophet for Islam?

2)      What is the setting for this new religion?

3)      What are the two types of Arab peoples?

4)      How does Islam treat peoples of other faiths?

5)      What are the five pillars of Islam?

6)      What are the holy texts of Islam?

7)      What are the differences between Sunni and ShÕia Muslims?

8)      What is Shariah?

9)      How far-reaching were the Islamic conquests?  What were the consequences for the Islamic religion?

10)What qualities, according to Al-Farabi, should the ideal leader possess?  What happens if no one is to be found that meets the ideal?


Friday, November 6

Medieval Synthesis: Religious Identities

Text: chap. 9 (pp. 224-31)

Sources: Church and State (pp. 329-35).

1)      According to the ŌSecond Letter of Gregory VII to Hermann, Bishop of Metz (March 15, 1081), what rights, powers and prerogatives does the Papacy claim to have?  How do they justify their position?

2)      In Boniface VIIIÕs Unam Sanctam, how is the Church defined?

3)      According to Boniface, how far does the authority of the Church extend? What is the specific metaphor he uses?

4)      What punishment can the Papacy use against those who challenge its authority?