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Islam in the Modern World


Admission requirements

Students should have basic academic knowledge of Islam, for example, having followed succesfully an academic course in the Introduction to Islam. Students who do not fulfill this requirement, will have to contact Dr. N. Kaptein per email before the start of the course.


This course links up with the Introduction to Islam Course and explores how the various aspects of Islam become manifest in the modern world (approximately from 1900 onwards). In the course, a selection of countries of various regions in the world will be dealt with, namely the Middle East and North Africa, the West and Asia and Africa. Amongst others, the following countries will be discussed Egypt, Turkey, Iran, the Netherlands, India, China and Indonesia, the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world.

Course objectives

  • basic knowledge of the different manifestations of Islam in the modern world, e.g. in the nation state;

  • insight into the interaction between the normative prescriptions of Islam and different social, political and historical settings.

  • insight into the unity and diversity of the different expressions of Islam in the modern world.


Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load for the course is 140 hours.
Lectures: 13 × 2 = 26 hours
Preparation lectures and exams (studying the compulsory literature) = 114 hours

Assessment method

  • A written examination with short open questions on the capita selecta from Shepard and the prescribed reading during the exam week after the first period.

  • A final exam on the capita selecta from Shepard and several articles (to be specified) during the exam week after the final lecture.

  • There is no resit opportunity for the first written examination. The final mark is determined as follows: first written exam (40%) and final exam (60%). The resit for the final exam (before the start of the second semester) is only available to students whose average mark of the written exam and final exam is insufficient (< 5,49). The resit will then make up 100% of the mark.

Reading list

  • William Shepard, Introducing Islam, Second Edition, Routledge 2014.

  • Articles to be announced


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte.




Dhr Dr. N.J.G.Kaptein


A detailed programme with reading assignments per week will be available through blackboard before the start of the course.

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).