The nature and formation of Islam throughout the ages remain areas of intense and topical interest. As an advanced introductory course to the study of Islam, the aim of this course is to provide an overview of the structure, beliefs and practices of Islam. Special focus will be placed on a study of Islam’s historical and religious developments and its impact on world history and politics; by dealing with the formation of Islamic belief and practice and chronicling the struggle of Muslims to define their religious tenets and their Islamic way of life throughout history. It covers the most essential elements of the Muslim faith, placing significant issues, events and figures in historical context. It outlines the birth of Islamic ideals through Islam’s geographical expansion and cultural developments. Representative events, figures and religious institutions and trends will be chosen to highlight the key issues within Islamic studies as an academic field.
Knowledge: The course offers students advanced knowledge of a) the early formation of Islam, b) the Quran, its history teachings and role, c) the Muslim community in history, d) the religious life, beliefs and practices of Islam, and d) religious sciences, law and morality
Insight: students will gain insight into a) different historical vignettes of Islamic beliefs and practices which still play a significant role in the life of Muslims in the modern world, b) various key events, figures and institutions which have formed Islam in history, and c) different academic approaches to the study of Islam.
Skills: upon the completion of the course students are expected to define and recognize the cultural and religious background of Islamic beliefs and practices in a proper historical context.
See Time table
Mode of instruction
It is expected that students should actively participate in the class by writing weekly short essays.
Weekly assignments (short essays) (40%)
Written exam containing essay-questions (Dutch-speaking students can answer in Dutch) (60%)
Capita selecta of the following:
John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Daniel W. Brown, A New Introduction to Islam, John Wiley & Sons, second edition, 2009
Gerhard Endreß, Islam: An Historical Introduction (trans. Carole Hillenbrand), Edinburgh University Press, second edition, 2002
Aanmelden via uSis en blackboard
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/alacarte
Registration Contractonderwijs via: http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/contractonderwijs/
Presence is obligatory; the student can be excluded from the exam with more than 3x absence
Course language: English (or in Dutch: when all participants have a working knowledge of Dutch)