ML 410 – Islam and Modernity



The course would examine both themes and individuals. It explores the phenomenon of modernity in its different guises, various intellectual reactions to its advance in Muslim societies, and main currents of thought that have emerged in the Muslim world as the result of encounter between Islam and modernity. The views of influential Muslim thinkers, who have tried to respond to the challenges of modernity will be critically examined.
This first part of the module seeks to introduce students to the Modernity, providing an overview of the topic and examine the following core issues:
 What is this thing called modernity: historical and philosophical roots
 Modernity, Modernism, Modernisation
 Later Modernity, Post-Modernity, Anti-Modernity
 Secularisation
 Tradition-vs. Modernity
 Anti-Rational Modernity and Anti-Modern
 Muslim Responses to Modernity (Pragmatic & Ideological Responses)
 Muslim Responses to Modernity (Rational and Post-modern Responses)
The second part of the module aims at focusing on specific modern ethical issues, each session will address the contemporary issues of special importance from an Islamic viewpoint. Students are expected to join the discussion sessions on agreed themes. The topics covered in the second part of the module include:
 Family Planning
 Abortion
 Genetic Screening
 Artificial Insemination
 Crises of Modernity towards a New Theory of law
 Surrogacy and Cloning
 Organ Transplantation
 Brain Death and Euthanasia
 Women under Islamic Law

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Assessment Scheme
Apart from class contributions, students are expected to develop their ideas through research and preparation leading to a research based essay and discuss the topic during class seminars. The module will be assessed by one 4,000 words assignment demonstrating significant research and should aim to critically evaluate a particular subject as suggested by the tutor.

Assessment Weighting
Individual coursework: 100 out of 100

Learning materials

Core readings
Chittick, W. (2007) Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul. London: Oneworld
Cooper, J (2000) Islam and Modernity: Muslim Intellectuals Respond. IB Tauris
Esposito, J. & Voll, J. (2001) The Makers of Contemporary Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kurzman, C. (1998) Liberal Islam: A sourcebook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Masud K. M (2009). Islam and Modernity: Key Issues and Debates, Edinburgh University Press
Moaddel, M. &Talattuf, K. (ed.) (2006) Contemporary Debates in Islam: An Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought. US: St Martin’s Press.
Mc Donough, S. (1984) Muslim Ethics and Modernity: A Comparative Study of the Ethical Thought, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
Rahman, F. (1984) Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition. University of Chicago Press
Roy, Olivier. (2004) Globalised Islam: the search for a new Umma. London: Hurst & Company