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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA2175: Encountering the Other: "Un-Islamic" Culture and the Dar al-Islam

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Emily Selove (Convenor)

Professor Christina Phillips (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will challenge assumptions about what constitutes “Islamic” culture. Covering material from the Late Antique to the modern periods, you will learn the ways that “Un-Islamic” ideas played a central role in the development of the multifarious, diverse, and rich cultures of the Islamic world, exploring the contributions of pagan, Christian, Jewish, and other religious discourses, contact between Muslims and non-Muslims in the pre-modern period, intoxication, heresy, homoeroticism, science, mysticism, and magic. This will culminate in a discussion of the modern “Muslim world” and questions of secularisation, environmentalism, feminisism, and other questions intended to provide nuance and complexity to what is often an overly simplistic view of Islamic culture.

You will read course material in English translation, and although optional readings for those with knowledge of the Arabic language can be provided, knowledge of Arabic is not required. You will acquire an interdisciplinary specialist understanding of the topic addressed.

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