This course explores classical and contemporary understandings of Islamic law, with an emphasis on Islamic legal methodology. Part of the challenge in studying Islamic law is its heterogeneity: there are several “schools” of Islamic law and there is no central religious adjudicative body. So our initial inquiry we will be to examine what, exactly, Islamic law is. The course will begin with an analysis of the major schools of Islamic law and will then move to classical and contemporary understandings of how differences are resolved in Islamic law. Among the specific areas we will cover are: criminal law, apostasy, gender, Islamic finance, and Islamic constitutionalism. Students will be graded on class participation and on a series of short analytical essays. There will be no laptops allowed in class, and attendance is mandatory.