BA Film Studies and Middle Eastern Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Introduction to Islam

Unit code MEST10061
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course includes a critical survey of relevant introductory and reference works the field of Islamic studies in order to consider theoretical problems surrounding studying Islam as a living tradition. It explores core texts in Islamic sciences (Qur’an, hadith, prophetic biography) in relation to the scholarly traditions (Islamic law, theology, Sufism) that have emerged as an effort to make the revelation relevant to the everyday social practices of Muslims. This process is carried out in combination with a chronological survey of significant developments in the history of major Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East.

Pre/co-requisites

Available on which programme(s)?

All MES and R&T programmes 

Aims

This course aims to:

  • Provide students with a general introduction to the academic study of Islam and the lives of Muslims in historical and contemporary social contexts.
  • Explore the doctrinal principles of Islam and how they shape the lives of Muslims from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Introduce students to major historical developments which have shaped Islamic history since the time of the Prophet.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will have acquired:

  • Knowledge of the intellectual history of Islam and the development of various scholarly approaches to the core texts.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the core texts of Islamic sciences (the Qur’an, hadith, prophetic biography).
  • Demonstrated familiarity with major trends and dynasties throughout Islamic history.
  • Appropriate command of key concepts and terminologies related to Islamic studies.
  • Ability to discuss theoretical issues surrounding studying Islam and the lives of Muslims.

Syllabus

1. Introduction to the Study of Islam

2. The Quran

3. The Prophet Muhammad

4. Fitna: the Origins of Sunni-Shi’ite Division

5. The Hadith Literatures

6. Early Islamic Caliphates

7. The Ulema’: Theology and Jurisprudence

8. Sufism

9. Later Dynasties and Gunpowder Empires

10.  Contemporary Islam

Teaching and learning methods

  • Directed Reading
  • Course work
  • Blackboard E-Learning

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will have acquired:

  • Knowledge of aspects of the intellectual and political history of Islam and the development of various scholarly approaches to the core texts.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the core texts of Islamic sciences (Qur’an, hadith, prophetic biography).
  • Appropriate command of key concepts and terminologies related to Islamic studies.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will have acquired:

  • Understanding to discuss theoretical issues surrounding studying Islam and the lives of Muslims.
  • Read selectively and differentiate between primary and secondary sources on Islamic studies.

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will have acquired:

  • The ability to locate and use library and online resources.
  • The ability to review and critique scholarly writing.
  • The ability to present ideas in a clear and orderly manner.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will have acquired:

  • The ability to present ideas clearly (oral and written).
  • The ability to manage time and punctuality.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Critical thinking and analytical skills.
Research
Understanding of historical development and cultural contexts of particular traditions, disciplines or bodies of knowledge.
Other
Broad intellectual and cultural interests.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative

Length

Weighting within unit (if summative)

Essay

Summative

2 x 1500 words

50%

Examination

Summative

1.5 hours

50%

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment task

Length

Weighting within unit

Examination

1.5 hour

 

 

Feedback methods

 

·         Written feedback on essays 1 and 2 and written exam

·         Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment
 

Recommended reading

  • Dupret, Baudouin et al. (eds.). Ethnographies of Islam, Edinburgh: Edinburgh U.P., 2012
  • Ernst, Carl W. Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004
  • Gilsenan, Michael. Recognizing Islam: Religion and Society in the Modern Middle East, Revised Edition. London: IB Tauris, 2000
  • Hodgson, Marshall G. S. The Venture of Islam. Vol.1: The Classical Age of Islam. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press , 1974
  • Hourani, Albert. A History of the Arab Peoples. London: Faber and Faber, 2002
  • Rippin, Andrew. Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 4th Edition. London: Routledge, 2012
  • Saeed, Abdulla. Islamic Thought: An Introduction, New Edition. Oxford: Routledge, 2006

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Tom Woerner - Powell Unit coordinator

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