Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
World Regional Islam
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 hour lectures with some discussion in each session
Other A fieldtrip to a mosque or number of mosques either at local facilities or accessible by train. The aim of the fieldtrip is for students to engage first-hand with Muslim communities here in the UK. They are provided to experience some of the themes from lecture firsthand and to illustrate how within the small Islamic community in the UK there remains an immense amount of variation and diversity.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 Hours   In-term Examination  2 hour written seen examination answering 2 questions (in-term)  50%
Semester Assessment Coursework  One coursework essay of no more than 3000 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Re-assessment same as above  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe with comprehension, the basic tenets and beliefs of Islam as well as the development of Islamic history and civilization.

Explain with breadth, and in depth, the nature of culture regions and their capacity to engender regional cohesion despite ethnic and linguistic diversity.

An ability to apply understanding of Islam, Islamic culture and the diversity of Islamic thought to a particular problem, case, issue or debate within the literature

Brief description

This module has three principle aims:

1. 1. To introduce students to the diverse and varied nature of Islam.
As a religion predicated on a sacred text, Islam has a long tradition of interpretation, explanation and commentary which has allowed it to be flexible and relevant to various communities at different times and places. My aim is to introduce Islam as a tradition with an origin and as a tradition that developed beyond this origin as it evolved into a global religion.

1. 2. To illustrate the geographical nature of Islamic diversity.
From as early as 750 AD we begin to see the emergence of different schools of Islamic jurisprudence developing in specific realms of the Islamic empire. This is to say that interpretation has always had a very local and geographic character. Thus, we may explore Islamic mysticism in Egypt, Islamic governance in Iran, Islamic interpretations of gender relations in Africa and Islamic justice in Indonesia.

1. 3. To demonstrate how diversity and variation can support, rather than undermine, community belonging.
This module will explore theoretical ideas that can explain how cultural and religious forms of attachment can inculcate a sense of unity in the imagination even as they allow for diversity in practice.


The module is divided into three main sections

1. Culture and culture regions
This section examines the idea of a culture region. Specifically it draws upon current trends in cultural and political theory, as well as long-standing theories of regional geography, to illustrate how various kinds of social, economic and political flows can facilitate an imagined cultural identity that gives an area a sense of collective belonging even as that area encompasses a wide-range of different ethnicities, languages and traditions.

2. The rise of Islam
This section examines the historical events that lead to the rise of Islam as a potent political and social force in the region. Specifically, it takes an historical geographic perspective by examining the rise of Islam as a phenomenon steeped in a global trading system and unique systems of state formation distinctive to the late-antique world.

3. The emergence of a culture region
This section examines the cultural and political dynamics that managed to transform Asia from a political community ruled by Islamic rulers to a culture region that defined itself by its association with (and investment in) Islamic civilisation. Specifically it looks at the high point of the Islamic empire (the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphate) and examines the dynamics of rule, law and religion that allowed the Islamic rulers to institute not simply a new religion but a new form of identity that would come to define the region.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not developed through this module
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through essay writing and examination. Oral skills will be assessed indirection through individual and group discussion
Improving own Learning and Performance This goal is not directly addressed in the module, though the required coursework may well have an impact in this area.
Information Technology Students will need to utilize appropriate information technology in the course of their research projects.
Personal Development and Career planning This goal is not directly addressed in the course.
Problem solving Problem solving will be indirectly addressed through lecture content but not explicitly developed through the module.
Research skills Students will be encouraged to develop their research through collating, synthesizing and analyzing academic literature
Subject Specific Skills Techniques for analysing buildings will equip students with one previously unfamiliar method of analysis that depends upon more than just conceptual facility (see 7. above)
Team work Developed through working with colleagues in class discussions

Reading List

Essential Reading
Armstrong, K. (1992) Muhammad: a biography of the prophet Harper: San Francisco Primo search Berkey, J.P. (2003) The formation of Islam: religion and society in the Near East, 600-1800 Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Primo search Goldschmidt, A. (2005) A concise history of the Middle East Westview Press: Boulder Primo search Lapidus, I.M. (2002) A history of Islamic Societies Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Primo search Sardar, Z. (2001) Reading the Quran: the contemporary relevance of the sacred text of Islam Hurst & Co : London Primo search
Recommended Text
Armstrong, K. (2002) Islam : a short history Modern Library: New York Primo search Aslan, R. (2005) No god but God: the origins and evolution of Islam Delacorte Press: New York Primo search Denny, F.M. (2006) An introduction to Islam Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River Primo search Esposito, J.L (2002) What everyone needs to know about Islam Oxford University Press: Oxford Primo search Esposito, J.L. (1999) The Oxford History of Islam Oxford University Press: Oxford Primo search Hodgson, M. G. S. (1974) The venture of Islam: conscience and history in a world civilization University of Chicago Press: Chicago Primo search Kennedy, H. (2001) The armies of the caliphs: military and society in the early Islamic state Routledge: London Primo search Kennedy, H. (2007) The great Arab conquests: how the spread of Islam changed the world we live in Weidenfield & Nicolson: London Primo search Kennedy, H. (1986) The prophet and the age of the caliphates: the Islamic Near East from the sixth to the eleventh century Longman: London Primo search Sells, M.A. (2007) Approaching the Quran: the early revelations White Cloud Press: Ashland Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6