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Handbooks Courses Units

RLM5040 - Islamic thought in the modern world

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Constant J. Mews


Caulfield Second semester 2008 (Day)


This unit examines various major trends in the contemporary Islamic world, situating them in the context of the major tension of Islam with modernity, in North Africa, Turkey, India, and other parts of the Islamic world. Consideration will be given both to movements demanding strict implementation of traditional sources of authority and to contextualist schools of thought concerned with interpreting Islamic principles within evolving socio-economic conditions. The impact of socialism, feminism, secularism and concern with human rights on a range of contemporary Islamic thinkers will be studied, both within a range of traditionally Islamic countries, and among Muslims within the West.


Students successfully completing RLM5040:

  1. Will have acquired a broad knowledge of the principles, main varieties and characteristics of the mainstrands of contemporary Islamic thought;
  2. Will be familiar with the social and political context of the main varieties of contemporary Islamic thought;
  3. Will be familiar with the major contemporary debates within Islam and relation to its encounter with other contemporary intellectual, social and political movements;
  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; and
  6. Students taking this unit at 5th year level will be expected to incorporate a range of disciplinary perspectives into their research essay.


Review exercises (2000 words): 20%; Research Essay (7000 words): 70%; Seminar participation: 10%.

Contact hours

1 X 2 hour seminar, per week

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