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Islam and Society


Admission requirements

  • Students of the BA programme Midden-Oostenstudies

  • Students of the minor Islam: Religion and Society, who have successfully completed the propedeutic exam of an (Academic) Bachelor programme.


This course focuses the multiple meanings that Muslims give to Islam in their daily lives, in Muslim majority countries as well as in the West. We will study Islam as a social practice, which brings us to relate beliefs and practices of Muslims to the social conditions in which they live. Hence, diversity and comparison are central issues. We will also devote ample attention to history, also in order to understand current situations better.

Course objectives

The course will lead to a solid understanding of Islam as a social practice, and the tools (theories, concepts, methods) that scholars in the humanities and social sciences have developed to come to this understanding.
Students will learn how to critically engage with scholarly work in the field and how to prepare to do some research themselves eventually.
Another major aim is to contribute critically to the public debate about Islam and Muslims in present societies by writing informed essays according to academic standards.


Timetable minor Islam

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars. Participation in both is compulsory.

Course Load

140 hours Lectures and seminars 26 h
Studying literature 50 h
Assignments (essays and paper) 64 h

Assessment method

  • Participation and oral presentations (20%)

  • Midterm (30 %)

  • Paper (50 %)

The paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.

Reading list

  • Bowen, J.R. (2012) A new Antropology of Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • A full list of readings will be provided on Blackboard.



Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. C. Strava