HISK00018U CANCELLED, Islam in the 20th and 21st Century

Volume 2017/2018

Curriculum for Master's program in Islamic Studies, 2008


This class on I’slam in the 20th and 21st Century’ is one of two parts of the special elective master class on ’Islam and Muslims in the Modern World.’ The other is ’Lived Islam.’ Each can be taken individually or togehter for a full semester of credits.

The class is taught in two linked modules: ‘New visions of a Muslim World’ (weeks 36 – 41) and ’Method and History of Research in Islamic Studies’ (weeks 43 – 50).

’New visions of a Muslim World’ (weeks 36 – 41):  During the 19th century, much of the Muslim World became colonized by European powers and exposed to European organization, technology and thought. Major Muslim powers that avoided this fate found themselves forced to import European technology and culture, as well. Muslim responses to these developments varied greatly, but some patterns can be identified, from the defensive to the visionary. Taking its point of departure in the Islamic civilization as it had evolved over the centuries, this first part of the Islam in the 20th and 21st Century course introduces the changes and developments in Islamic thinking, politics, and institutions that emerge in the 19th century. We shall look at classical Islamic fields such as law, Sufism, and ethics to register how they evolve, but we shall also look at Muslim responses to completely novel features in e.g technology, medicine and economy. We shall trace the major reform movements and thinking and the rise of lay interpretations of Islam in the first half of the 20th century and in the early decades of independence.  Rather than focusing on the Middle East, this course will explore and recreate the Islamic world in much wider terms.

Suggested and relevant readings:

  • Tolan, J. V., Veinstein, G., Laurens, H., & Todd, J. M. (2013): Europe and the Islamic world: A history. Princeton University Press.
  • Esposito, J. (1995): The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. London, Oxford University Press
  • Landau, Jacob: The Politics of Pan-Islam. Oxford UP, 1994.
  • Hourani, A. (1970) Arabic thought in the liberal age, 1798-1939, London: Oxford University Press.
  • Sedgwick, Mark. Against the modern world: Traditionalism and the secret intellectual history of the twentieth century. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Bulliet, R.: Islam. A View from the Edge. 1994.
  • Zaman, M. Q.: The Ulama in Contemporary Islam. Custodians of Change. Princeton UP, 2007


Method and History of Research in Islamic Studies’ (weeks 43 – 50): We move on to focus on the scientific tradition, and the goal is to give a clear, proportional, critical, methodical and theoretically well-founded basis for continued work with Islam relevant material. One important aspect of this is to make sure that the study of Islam and Muslims does not end in essentialism, in apologetics, in political abuse or one-sidedness, and that we teach the problems inherent to our academic tradition and demonstrate how controversies are intrinsic to our field.

Suggested and relevant readings:

  • Dale F. Eickelman and Jon W. Anderson, New media in the Muslim world: the emerging public sphere. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2003.
  • McAuliffe, Jane Dammen, (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’ān. Cambridge Companions to Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Rippin, Andrew. Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qurʾān. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.
  • Sami Zubaida, Law and power in the Islamic world (London ; New York: I.B. Tauris, 2003).
Learning Outcome

KA Islamiske Studier, 2008
Islam in the 20th and 21st Century (fagelementkode HISA04651E)

The student submits a curriculum of 2.000 pages. The curriculum must be approved by a member of the Islamic Studies teaching staff.

General knowledge on Islam
Lecture and class teaching including active participation from the students. Throughout the semester the islam research of the staff of the institute will be included through guest lectures and workshops as part of the master class framework on “Islam and Muslims in the Modern World.”
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 100
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 284,5
  • Total
  • 412,5