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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Islam: A Literary & Historical Survey
Module Code TP522
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jonathan Kearney
Semester 2: Jonathan Kearney
Autumn: Jonathan Kearney
Module TeachersJonathan Kearney
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The aim of this module is to introduce participants to the complexity and diversity of Islam in its historic and contemporary manifestations. Participants will gain familiarity with the foundations of Islam and trace its subsequent development through a close reading of a number of primary texts and some key readings in the secondary literature. Though recognising the complexity and diversity of Islam, the module will also seek to identify underlying commonalities and equip participants with the necessary knowledge and tools to continue the specialised study of Islam. The module will also reflect on the usefulness of the term ‘religion’ to describe the diverse cultural phenomena usually referred to as Islam. Though primarily focused on Islam as understood, articulated and practiced by Muslims, the module will pay some attention to the construction of Islam and Muslims by outsiders and the role that construction has played in the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the fundamental features of Islam as a religious system
2. Identify key phases in the historical development of Islam from the period of late antiquity to the present
3. Problematize concepts and categories such as 'religion', 'Islam', 'Muslim', and 'Islamic'
4. Demonstrate familiarity with landmark texts and thinkers in Islam and Islamic thought
5. Navigate ongoing debates on the nature of Islam, Islamic identity, Islamic history, and Islamic cultural complexes

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study226No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Defining Islam: Boundaries and Authority

The Qur’ān and Ḥadīth

The Production and Transmission of Knowledge in Islam

The Early Caliphate

The Early Shīʿa

The Muʿtazilites

Ibāḍī Islam

The Rise of Sunnī Islam

Islamic Jurisprudence

Wahhābī Islam

Reformist Thought

Islam and Postmodernity

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • William Shepard: 2009, Introducing Islam, Routledge, Abingdon: Routledge, 2009,
  • Jon Armajani: 2011, Modern Islamist Movements, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 9781405117425
  • Ahmed El Shamsy: 2020, Rediscovering the Islamic Classics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 9780691174563
  • Mehran Kamrava: 2013, The Modern Middle East, 3rd edition, University of California Press, Berkeley, 9780520277816
  • Albert Hourani: 1983, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 0521274230
  • Albert Hourani: 2002, A History of the Arab Peoples, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 0674010175
  • Amina Wadud: 1999, Qur'an and Woman, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 0195128362
  • Roberto Tottoli: 2020, Islam: An Advanced Introduction, Routledge, London, 9780367491109
  • Werner Ende,Udo Steinbach: 2010, Islam in the World Today, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 080144571X
  • Najam Haider: 2014, Shi'i Islam: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1107625785
  • Christine D. Baker: 2019, Medieval Islamic Sectarianism, ARC Humanities, York, 9781641890823
  • Farhad Daftary: 1992, The Isma'ilis, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 0 521 42974
  • Valerie Jon Hoffman: 2012, The Essentials of Ibadi Islam, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 9780815632887
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MATHWRMA in Theology & World Religions
MPTPMPhil (Theology, Philosophy & Music)
TPPMMaster of Arts

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