Islam and Questioning of Modernity

Subject 110-563 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 6 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Islamic Studies (coursework and minor thesis)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Nadine Blair
Phone: 40160
Subject Overview: This subject is a study of Islam's historical experience as a major world religion and a politically dominant force that, with the onslaught of the modern European colonial power, had to come to grips with being vanquished and subdued. This colonial experience brought with it an ambivalent attitude towards modernity within Islam. As a result two major forms of reaction developed: to adopt modernity as the very reason behind the West's conquering power; or to resent and reject modernity as a part of the West which had to be fought. These positions are represented by the Modernist and Neo-Modernist trends, and the Revivalist and Neo-Revivalist trends. This subject explains the background and the substance of these trends, as they revolve around Muslims' questioning of modernity on the one hand, and rediscovering Islam aas both an intrinsically modern culture in itself, and as an alternative to a westernising model of modernity.
  • critically evaluate conteporary political and social phenomena from a cross-cultural perspective;
  • develop concern for issues of cultural and political diversity;
  • examine conflicts of understanding and present these in a scholarly fashion;
  • have an understanding of the major challenges facing Islam and Muslims in the modern period;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the key issues related to the concept of modernity;
  • gain an overview of the historical circumstances behind much of the debate on Islam and modernity;
  • be familiar with the major philosophical and theological trends in Islamic thought.
Assessment: An essay of 2000 words 35% (due during the examination period) and a 3-hour written exam 65% (at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Materials prepared by the Institute.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop understanding of social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness/openness to the world;
  • develop thinking in theoretical and analytical terms through lectures, tutorial discussions and essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences;
  • develop written communication through essay and assignment preparation and writing.

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