Islamic Theology: Schools and Methods

Subject 110-482 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Taught intesively between Start: 5 - 15 May 2008
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Islamic Studies (coursework and minor thesis), Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies, or permission of the coordinator
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Prof A Saeed & Dr M Kamal
Subject Overview:

This subject looks at the history and development of Islamic 'theology' from its origins to the present day. Students will explore early religio-political and theological debates within a socio-historical context. The rise of theological schools and their contributions to the development of Islamic theology will be examined. This subject covers all major Sunni and Shiite schools of theology and faith. Case studies of specific schools and their methods will be conducted, paying attention to how and in what context they developed. The rise of kalam (scholastic theology) and subsequent anti-kalam movements will be studied, including the mainstream Sunni critique of philosophy prior to and after Ghazzali. Students will study theological developments thereafter, the modern revival of Mu'tazili inspired rationalism through the writings of 'Abduh for instance, and the attempts at reforming or opposing kalam. Texts by early and modern theologians will be studied, including literature on sects (firaq). Contemporary theological debates as an extension of past debates will be looked at, paying attention to how they manifest themselves as religio-political and social tensions between Muslims of different theological orientations.

Assessment: An essay of 5000 words 100% (examination period)
Prescribed Texts: Materials supplied by the Institute
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • exercise critical judgement with regard to a diverse range of scholarly interpretations of primary texts;

  • analyse scholarly writings and present these in written form;

  • construct arguments within the framework of a methodology.


Previously available as 110-558 Islamic Theology: Schools and Methods. Students who have completed 110-558 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. Subject will be taught intensively between 5th and 15th of May 2008.

Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Islamic Studies)

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