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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO1015 Introduction to the Study of Islam

10 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Professor Sean McLoughlin
Email: s.mcloughlin@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

- How have Western studies of Islam changed since the Middle Ages? - How much do we know about the life of Prophet Muhammad and how do we know it? - What is the place of the Qur'an in the daily life of Muslims? - Why is religious law so important for Muslims today? This module seeks to answer these and other questions that arise in the study of Islam and of Muslims' religious life in the past and present. Your studies will include the origins of Islam in seventh-century Arabia, the Qur'an and the Prophet, differing sectarian views of the faith, spiritual life, law and major rituals such as the pilgrimage to Mecca. You will also reflect on the challenges facing Muslims in the modern world and their various responses.The module is taught by a weekly lecture throughout Semester 2. It is suitable for anyone with an interest in the study of Islam and no previous background is necessary. It is also suitable for those who have studied Islam in a Religious Studies 'A' Level. There is a 2-hour examination, consisting of 3 short essay-style questions, in the examination period at the end of the semester.

Objectives

To introduce the emergence and spread of the religion of Islam, its salvation history and different traditions.
To locate the academic study of Islam in terms of some of its different disciplinary contexts and methodologies, e.g. textual and historical, as well as social and cultural, studies.
To provide a broad base from which students might progress to more specialised modules at Levels 2 & 3.

Skills outcomes
Listening, reading, evaluating, note-taking, discussion in small groups, speaking publicly, writing under time-limited conditions.


Syllabus

After a brief consideration of the key contexts relating to academic the study of Islam, the module focuses first on an understanding of the formative period of Islamic salvation history, most especially in terms of sources for the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the text and themes of the Qur'an. At this point there is also an examination of what the Prophet and the Qur'an mean to ordinary Muslims.

The module continues with an analysis of the consolidation of the dominant Sunni tradition in Islam, in terms of its historical context, intellectual discourses (classical theology and law) and main ritual practices (the five pillars of Islam).

By way of conclusion, some links are suggested between the formative, classical and modern periods of Islamic history, with particular reference to the themes of revival and reform.

1) Introduction: Why Study Islam?
2) Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman
3) The Qur'an: its character, themes and collection
4) Sources for the Life of Muhammad
5) Islamic Theology
6) Islamic Law
7) The Five Pillars of Islam
8) Shi'ism
9) Sufism
10) Islam in the Modern World
11) Conclusion and Revision.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar51.005.00
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

You should spend on average 4 hours each week in lecture and seminar preparation (44 hours total) including related gathering of resources/reading/thinking/note-taking/generating questions.

Approximately 40 hours of exam preparation (e.g. 5 topics x 8 hours) is also recommended. This builds upon lectures, private study and related support in seminars.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance, feedback in lectures, informal conversations, email enquiries / exchanges, 'test' and optional tutorials

Methods of assessment


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

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: 25/03/2019

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