PHIL 7017 What is Islam?

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102585

Coordinator Milad Milani Opens in new window

Description The 'Muslim question' has been a topic of interest to Western scholarship for over four hundred years. The subject addresses this question in two ways: firstly, by exploring internal historical conceptualisations of the faith-identity of Islam, and examining how these have shaped modern understandings of Islam from within the faith; secondly, by introducing students to multidisciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and inviting them to consider the construction and deconstruction of Islamic Studies as a field of study at various stages of history. The subject provides students with the opportunity to gain increased awareness of both debates within the field and those that scrutinise the field, that is, becoming comfortable with interrogating the cluster of theoretical and methodological strategies for scholarly inquiry into the study of Islam.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Religious Studies

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify major historical, anthropological, and sociological approaches to the study of Islam.
  2. Analyse key texts from scholarship on the study of Islam.
  3. Apply reflexive methodologies and theories to reading Islam in modernity.
  4. Recognise key influences and changes within Islamic history and in the history of field.

Subject Content

Situating Islam in academic discourse
Historical Islam, imagined Islam, and unknown Islam
Categories and typologies of ?ebeing Islamic?f
?eNormative Islam?f and the ?eAuthenticity debate?f
Understanding Islam: the insider-outsider tension


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
Discourse Analysis 2000 words in total 50 N Individual
Essay 4000 words 50 N Individual