HUMN 3061 Mystical Islam: The Emergence of Sufism in World History

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102495

Coordinator Mory So Opens in new window

Description Global Islamism has projected a particularly severe, even militant face of Islam across much of the world. Much less well known is the fact that for much of its history Islam has had a quite different face: it has been mystical and contemplative more than proselytising. The Sufist tradition was formed within the first three centuries of Islamic history; its influence spread far and wide across the Muslim World where "Sufis" played a pivotal role in engaging non-Muslim peoples both within and on the fringes of their world. The subject explores religious pluralism and an alternative narrative in Islam.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Sociology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

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Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Sufi historical past leading up to the present;
  2. Analyse key figures and events that define the Sufi mystical tradition;
  3. Comprehend the history of scholarship and approaches to the study of Sufism;
  4. Apply multidisciplinary methodological approaches to the study of Sufism and mystic traditions;
  5. Identify significant influences in the process of development and impact of Sufi ideas to the present age; and
  6. Exhibit learned research techniques and awareness of relevant source materials.

Subject Content

Module 1 Overview and Approach
Module 2 Before Sufism
Module 3 The Sufi The Dervish
Module 4 Silence and Sobriety
Module 5 Intoxicated Speech
Module 6 Consolidation and Systematisation
Module 7 Principal Teachings
Module 8 Mysticism and the Religion of Love
Module 9 Mystical Poetry
Module 10 Theophany
Module 11 The Female Mystic
Module 12 The Divine Feminine
Module 13 Resistance and Change


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,500 words 45 N Individual
Essay 2,500 words 55 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Knysh, Alexander. Islamic Mysticism. 1st ed. Brill: Leiden, 2010.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Mory So Opens in new window

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Penrith (Kingswood)


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