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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARAB1100 Introduction to Islamic Theology

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Tajul Islam

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module traces the historical development of Islamic theology from its earliest formulations up until the pre-modern era.Particular attention is given to early theological disputes - Qadarite vs Jabarite, Sunnite vs Shi'ite, Hanbalite vs Mutazilite/Ash'arite - the development of kalam, the interaction between kalam and falsafa and Theosophical Sufism.


Students will be expected to navigate through the main reference works in Islamic Theology. They are expected to gain an acquaintance with the Qur'an, the Tradition (Sunna) of the Prophet and the most important classical definitions of the Islamic Creed.

They will become acquainted with the thought of, and major studies on, theologians, philosophers and Sufis who have shaped theological discourse. They will gain knowledge of a certain group of texts set for special study in English.

Learning outcomes
- A critical understanding of the main trends of Islamic theology.
- Informed insight into the different schools of Islamic theology and philosophy.
- A clearer understanding of modern Islamic thought, through a familiarisation of the intellectual environment in which it was nurtured.

Skills outcomes
Students will gain confidence in approaching classical/medieval Islamic theological texts in English translation, as well as acquire key Arabic terminology related to the subject area.


- Theology in the Qur'an and Sunna
- Early theological disputes
- Mu'tazili Theology and the development of Kalam
- The Early Ash'aris and Hanbalis
- Later Ash'aris and the Maturidis
- Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya
- Islamic Philosophy
- Theosophical Sufism
- Later Developments.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

preparatory reading for lectures/seminars, completion of coursework as well as preparation for presentations and exams

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Student questionnaires
- Office hours
- Essay and seminar presentations
- Access to tutor.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words30.00
PresentationOral presentation of 15 minutes20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/12/2013


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