Skip to content | Change text size

HSY2140 - Faith and Power: Islam in History and Society

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Assoc.Prof. Ian Copland


Not offered in 2007


The overarching theme of this unit is this extraordinary story of Islam's worldwide expansion from the 7th Century in particular, how it was facilitated by the establishment of Muslim states and empires. Connected themes are: the tussle within Islam between religious and political authority; the Sunni-Shi'a schism; the role of mysticism in Islamic thought; the treatment by Muslim states of non-Muslim populations; the reactions of Muslim rulers and thinkers to the rise of the West; Islam and nationalism; the theory of a 'clash of civilizations'


Students successfully completing HSY2140:

  1. Will have acquired a broad knowledge of the main landmarks and currents of Islamic history from the 7th to the 20th centuries;
  2. Will be familiar with the main elements of Islamic belief and ritual;
  3. Will be familiar with the major debates in the field of Islamic studies about the reasons for Islam's rise and decline from the 16th century in the face of a resurgent West, and for its 20th century renaissance, about the treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic states, and about the relationship between political and religious authority within the Islamic world;
  4. Will have developed a capacity to work effectively with others and a capacity to express ideas verbally in group situations;
  5. Will have developed considerable facility in bibliographic research, analysis, and written expression.


Secondary source exercise (1000 words)20%; Essay (2500 words)40%; Examination (one hour)(1000 words)30%; Class Participation 10%

Contact hours

One 90-minute lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week.