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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARAB3072 Islam and Modernity

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Mustapha Sheikh

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The concept of modern Islamic thought represents a wide variety of intellectual currents dominating the contemporary Muslim world since roughly the revolution of the Young Turks in 1908, the rise of the nation-state and the beginning of the de-colonization process. With regards to modernity and Westernisation, Muslim responses have ranged from acceptance and justification, to rejection and a call to violence. It is possible to delineate three movements which have responded to Western hegemony of the Islamic world: 1) Liberal reformism; 2) Political Islamism; 3) Militant Islamism. This module seeks to acquaint students with the major themes and thinkers in modern Islamic thought in accordance with this typology. There is, further, an examination of Islamic Feminism and Pluralism.


Central to the objectives of this module is to give students a solid grounding in contemporary Muslim discourses that have evolved as a result of Islam's intellectual encounter with modernity. The main focus will be on modern thinking in the field of Qur'anic hermeneutics, Muslim gender studies and Muslim political discourses.

Learning outcomes
Students will become acquainted with the general topography of modern Islamic thought, the challenges which have faced Muslim scholars and thinkers since the turn of the 20th century and the various ways in which modern thinkers engage with and utilise the Qur’an, Prophetic Tradition and the body of classical Islamic thought with the aim of making sense of Islam in the modern world.

Skills outcomes
Students will gain confidence in approaching classical/medieval Islamic legal texts in English translation, and accessing modern studies on the same. They will also become familiarised with Muslim legal terminology.


-Introducing Modern Islamic Thought
- Islam (Re-)Interpreted
-Muslim Feminist Thought
-Theological Pluralism
- Militant Islam
- Political Islam (Islamism)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study refers to researching and writing up of essay; reading in preparation for lectures and seminar discussions; watching course-related films/ listening to relevant radio programmes; researching for oral presentation; exam revision; undertaking all other assigned readings as suggested by tutor through the course of the module; contributing to online discussion room.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through seminar discussion, oral presentations (including the tutorial in preparation for this), participation in discussion room and final essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay5000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)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: 29/04/2022 15:22:22


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