The summer study program at Oxford will take place
June 24th, -July 20th, 2012
Two courses will be offered:
- Islamic Law, Politics, & Religious Liberty - Thomas Folsom, J.D. and Joseph Kickasola, Ph.D.
- Anglo-American Constitutionalism - Jeffry Morrison, Ph.D. and Garrett Sheldon, Ph.D.
Each course will run for two weeks. Students may enroll for one individual course or for the entire Oxford Program. See Important Dates for more details.
*Tentative dates & faculty, subject to change.
|ISLAMIC LAW, POLITICS, AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (3 Credits)|
A survey of the law and politics of Islam as they relate to religious liberty in its various dimensions – belief, speech, practice, proselytization, and conversion – and as articulated in such documents as the International Convention of Human Rights. The course will be presented in three parts: (1) the traditional Islamic political and legal axis, including the orthodox/classical sources of Shari'a law; its consensus on political consequences and criminal punishments for apostasy, heresy, hypocrisy, blasphemy, and insults to the established religion; and its conditions for the protection of unbelievers and disbelievers; and (2) contrasting views, including the arguments of at least one of the new generation of Islamic scholars who seek to transform the traditional consensus; culminating in (3) discussion and evaluation of at least one specific controversy in which the issues are raised.
The emphasis throughout the course will be on the implications for international law and policy of the Islamic legal and political tradition, both as it stands and as it might be transformed. These policy implications extend not only to majority-Muslim nations but also to all other nations. We will include discussion and debate of at least one case study illustrating specific controversies involving Islam and religious liberty arising in Western nations
|ANGLO-AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONALISM (3 Credits)|
The American Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in force in the world today. Perhaps its stability is due to the deep roots that nourish and support American constitutionalism. The taproots of the U.S. Constitution re very deep, and reach back beyond the first colonial settlements, to England, among other places. The Mayflower Pilgrim William Bradford acknowledged this when he wrote, in his History of Plymouth Plantation,
What could now sustaine them but the spirite of God & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers, rightly say: ‘Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness?’
Many of the ideas and political and legal folkways colonials carried with them to the New World were English, and this course is designed to study Anglo-American constitutionalism in the light of English political and legal culture. This study will include the English philosophical, theological and legal roots of the American constitutional order. Specific topics covered will include political institutions, an unwritten versus a written constitution, and the place of the church in political life.