JR SEM: THE CRUSADES IN HISTORY
2014/2015, Semester 1
Non-Faculty-Based Departments (College of Alice & Peter Tan)
Modular Credits: 4
GEM 1034 Junior Seminar: The Crusades in History
Dr Daniel Jew
Office: CAPT, #B1-50G
As part of CAPT’s focus on community outreach and community engagement, this seminar is focused on relations between the Christian and Muslim faith communities. The Crusades have arguably had a greater impact on those relations than any other event in history. This semester we will study the Crusades and the way they have been perceived by people from different countries and different faiths in later generations. We will work on clearing up misunderstandings and misperceptions from the distant past up until the present to have a better and more accurate understanding of the Crusades' legacy. We will look at different episodes or "snapshots" of world history to understand relations between the Christian and Muslim worlds.
This seminar will consist of a combination of short lectures, discussions, and student-led debates. The lectures help explain the history of the Crusades as well as the historical events in later centuries which revived the memories of the Crusades among Christian and/or Muslim communities. Generally speaking, each week's debates and discussion will cover the topic of the previous week's lecture, so that you will have a chance to digest and reflect from one week to another, and to prepare for debates.
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
Identify and critically analyze religious bias in selected text, pictures and video
Make connections between historical memory and religious discourse, and perceptions in the present
Apply Said’s theory of ‘Orientalism’, to problems of representing the Other in new contexts
Explain how geopolitics has influenced relations between global faith communities
Develop critical arguments and positions in verbal debate, supported with reasoned secondary arguments and counterarguments
Reflect on the concept of pluralism in the Singaporean context, and arrive at preferred position
Your overall mark will be based on your participation in discussions and/or class quizzes (20%) and in three class debates (each worth 20%, for 60% total). The final 20% is a 1,200-word critical reflection paper.
Week 1 (14 August)
Lecture: Introductory Questions on Islam and Christianity
Fighting for Christendom
Saladin Eldin Al-Ayubi, “The Reality of the New Crusaders’ War” (Al-Qaeda document – download from IVLE Workbin)
Debate group formation
Word association activity
Rubric creation activity
Week 2 (21 August)
Workshop: Samuel Huntingdon’s Concept of “Class of Civilizations” as a model for relations between the West and the Muslim World
Huntingdon, “The Clash of Civilizations?”
, vol. 72, no. 3 (1993) (download from online journal through LINC from NUS Library page)
Debate motion 1: The Islamic and Christian faith communities have more in common than they have differences.
Week 3 (28 August)
Workshop: Edward Said’s Concept of Orientalism as a lens for examining relations between the West and the Muslim World
Debate motion 2: Subsequent world events have proven Huntingdon’s
Clash of Civilizations
thesis to be correct.
Week 4 (4 Sept)
Lecture: Overview of the Crusades
The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
, pp. 50-84
Riley-Smith, “The State of Mind of Crusaders to the East, 1095-1300” in Riley-Smith ed.,
Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades
Debate motion 3: The overall effect of technology and social media has been to reinforce, rather than remove, the problem of stereotyping the Other.
Week 5 (11 Sept)
Lecture: Long-term Impact of the Crusades
, ch. 26 (“The Crusades and Christian Society in the Later Middle Ages”)
Chronicles of the Crusades
, ch. 4 (“The Third Crusade”)
Debate motion 4: Given the social, political, economic and religious forces at work, it was inevitable that the
and Christendom would come into direct conflict by the 11
Week 6 (18 Sept)
CAPT International Student Symposium (CAPTISS) tie-in, 19-20 Sept
No class on 18 Sept.
Please attend at least one plenary session and one panel session at CAPTISS instead, and answer the following question in your reflection paper:
“The power problems of representing the Other described in Orientalism are relevant to attempts to engage disadvantaged communities today.” Do you agree? Please support your answer with examples. (1000-1200 words)
REFLECTION PAPER DUE FRI, 3 OCTOBER, 11.59pm
(Submit to IVLE workbin and check the Turnitin checkbox. It is possible to rewrite and resubmit if needed, before the deadline.)
Week 7 (2 Oct)
Lecture: Memories of the Crusades: European Imperialism in the 19
The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam
, ch. 3 (“Crusading and Imperialism”)
Two sermons and a letter (reading)
Debate motion 5: The greatest impact of the Crusades, up to the 19
Century, was that both Muslims and Christians became less tolerant of the Other.
Week 8 (9 Oct) - Date subject to final confirmation
Fieldtrip to MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore)
Guest Lecture: Ustaz Irwan Hadi bin Mohd Shuhaimy, MUIS Academy
The Singapore Muslim community: approaches and challenges to multiculturalism and interfaith relations
No debate this week.
Week 9 (16 Oct)
Lecture: From Palestine to Israel
Collins & Lapierre, O Jerusalem!, ch. 1-2, Epilogue
Adwan et al.,
Side by Side
, ch. 4 (“The War of Independence and the Founding of the State of Israel”/”Al Nakbah, 1948”) [please note that this is two parallel histories of the same events; the Israeli version is on the lefthand pages and the Palestinian version is on the righthand pages]
Debate motion 6: It was a fundamental error for Europeans in the 19
century to associate Christianity with imperial expansion.
Week 10 (23 Oct)
Lecture: The US and the Muslim World
Douthat, “America’s Not-Always-Disastrous Middle East Record
Eurasia Review, “US Foreign Policy from a Middle Eastern Perspective”
Rashid, “Why Muslims Hate America”
(all from the Workbin – these are all short!)
Debate motion 7: The geopolitical problems caused by the founding of modern Israel could have been avoided.
Week 11 (30 Oct)
Lecture: Western Christianity and the Muslim World
Mayer, “Christian Fundamentalists and Public Opinion towards The Middle East”,
, vol. 85, no. 3 (2004) (download through LINC)
Lewis, “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (Atlantic Magazine, Sept. 1990) (from Workbin)
Debate motion 8: “Christianity versus Islam” is an inaccurate description of the tensions between the US and the Muslim world.
Week 12 (6 Nov)
Final Thoughts and Questions – Clash or Convergence?
The Great Convergence: Asia, The West, and the Logic of One World
, Excerpts from Chps 4 & 5
Debate motion 9: Tolerance of other religious beliefs is more important that free speech in plural societies like Singapore.
This module is currently open only to students of the College of Alice & Peter Tan, University Town
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week