Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Religious Studies


Dr Aydogan Kars



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)
  • Second semester 2016 (Online)


The unit will examine developments in Islamic thought and leadership from the end of the Ottoman Empire through the colonial and post-colonial periods. In many cases, this era saw the breakdown of the classical Islamic paradigms of political and spiritual leadership, and the consequent development of new Islamist ideologies and movements. Examples will be considered from both Sunni and Shiite perspectives, and the lives and works of significant figures in modern Islamic history will be studied in order to understand how Islamic religious thought has responded to the colonial age.


Students will demonstrate their grasp of a range of Islamic responses, intellectual and political, to the breakdown of traditional Islamic structures and ways of thought in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century and then of Western colonialism in traditionally Islamic regions of the world.

Will have the capacity to evaluate critically theories of post-colonial encounter in relation to Islamic thought and its response to the West.

Will be able to analyse the contribution of individual thinkers and leaders within the Islamic world in the twentieth century.

Will acquire research skills enable them to assess the impact of both Western and non-Western cultural practices on the articulation of Islam in a range of historical and contemporary contexts, as a response to colonialism and post-colonialism.


Within semester assessment: 70%
Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study