Islam has a 14 centuries old presence in Europe. According to some scholars, Europe has been in permanent conflict with ‘Islam’. Other scholars argue that ‘Islam’ represents a civilization that has contributed greatly to European culture as we experience today. With regard to current times, discussions rage to what extent ‘Islam’ is compatible with ‘European values’.
These assumptions raise a host of questions that will be addressed in this course: what do we mean by ‘Islam’ and ‘Europe’; what was the nature of interaction between Muslims and Europeans; are experiences of the past relevant to the present; how can we assess current events related to Islam and Muslims, and what does the future hold in store.
The course will consist of two parts: the first six lectures will deal with the history of Islam in Europe, and the next seix lectures with the current issues regarding Islam in Europe. Concepts that will be addressed are religious tolerance, minorities in Europe, freedoms of religion and expression, culture and civilization, othering. The vantage points used to cover the wide range of topics are historical, political, legal, anthropological, theological which makes the course highly multi- and interdisciplinary.
The instructor’s background will give this course a practical dimension: he has worked for more than thirty years in the field of Islam in Europe as a policy advisor, journalist, legal consultant, and academic, and he engages in political and public debates and regularly teaches courses for police, military, judges, imams, diplomats.
This course is not a seminar, but the instructor will be open for, and possibly initiate discussions during the lectures.
Knowledge: the student will have knowledge of the various events, issues and concepts that have shaped the notion of ‘Islam in Europe’.
Insight: the student can a) identify different legal, theological, political and social approaches that exist with regard to Islam in Europe, both in history and in the present, and b) understand and explain the legal, social and political backgrounds and justifications of these approaches
Skills: the student can use the insights and knowledge acquired in this course to conduct a constructive dialogue with people who have different views on these topics
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
One Final Exam with multiple choice as well as short open questions. If failed (lower than 5.5) the student can take a Resit Exam.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Maurits S. Berger, A Brief History of Islam in Europe (Leiden University Press, 2014, also available through open access).
Various articles (to be listed in program).
Registration Contract teaching and Exchange
Information for those interested in taking this course in the context of Contract teaching (including taking examinations), e.g. about costs, registration and conditions.
Exchange students having questions regarding registration, may contact the Humanities International Office.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof.