The beginnings of Islamic theology and law; the doctrines of the sects, especially those of Shi'ism; the development of philosophy, and, in particular, mysticism; the rise of Islamic modernism and reformism; and contemporary practices.
- Historical background to the rise of Islam,
- The life and career of the Prophet Muhammad,
- The main sources of Islam (the Qur’an and the Sunna)
- Islamic theology and philosophy
- Sufism and spirituality
- Current issues in Muslim societies.
If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:
- Give a clear and accurate account of the origins of Islam and its development, and recognise the centrality of the Qur’an in Islam and the role of the prophet
- Identify and differentiate between different strands of contemporary Islamic thought
- Demonstrate an understanding of the problems associated with the interpretation of religious texts;
- Select and organise material from a range of primary and secondary sources, including resources selected from the lists of further reading;
- Identify and focus in detail on key issues within each topic studied;
- Conduct a critical analysis of key arguments;
- Construct a sustained argument, drawing on material from secondary sources and their own analysis.
- Represent the views of others with fairness and integrity
- Show an ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments
- Show open-mindedness and make sound judgements
- Produce clear, well-structured written work
- Write fluently, with minimal grammatical and typographical errors
Indicative reading list
- Abdel-Haleem, M. A. S. (tr.), The Qur’an: a new translation, OUP, 2004
- Elias, Jamal. J. (ed.) Key Themes for the Study of Islam, Oneworld, 2010.
- Murata, S. and Chittick, W. The Vision of Islam, London, 2006.
- Brown, J. A. C. Hadith: An Introduction. Oxford: Oneworld, 2009.
- Hallaq, W. An Introduction to Islamic Law. Cambridge, 2009.
- Esposito, J. Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford, 1988.
- Brockopp, Jonathan E. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
- Mattson, Ingrid. The Story of the Quran: Its History and Place in Muslim Life, Blackwell, 2008.