Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics (DIVI10045)
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This level 10 course introduces key themes in Islamic law and jurisprudence, as well as offering a sustained examination of modern debates on Shari'a, the modern nation-state, Political Islam, human rights, and Muslim reform movements. While a background in Islam would be beneficial, there are no pre-requisites. Visiting students interested in law, religion, politics, and Islam are encouraged to enrol. Although this course does not have any pre-requisites, it is designed for students who have studied two full years of Divinity/Religious Studies beforehand. If you have not studied this subject area to that level, it is your responsibility to ensure the course is an appropriate level for you during the first week of teaching, and you must drop this course (before the Course Change Deadline) if you do not have the required background knowledge/skills.
This course offers students an introduction to classical Islamic Law - its theories, methods, modes of argumentation and sources. After building this foundational knowledge, the course critically examines the place and purpose of Islamic Law today with reference to issues such as debates on the nation-state, human rights, gender, liberal democracy and religious minorities. The course is intentionally interdisciplinary and aims to attract students from both within the School of Divinity, but also from the School of Law, the School of Social and Political Science, and from the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department.
Academic Description: This course offers students an introduction to classical Islamic Law - its theories, methods, modes of argumentation and sources - as well as critical examination of the place and purpose of Islamic Law today. The course will examine the debates in and around Islamic jurisprudence with reference to issues such as constitutional law, human rights, gender, liberal democracy and religious minorities. Syllabus/Course Outline: This course will begin by introducing students to the development of classical Islamic Law - its sources, methods, and modes of argumentation. We will examine the place of the Qur'an and other scriptural sources of Islamic Law, the various uses of analogy, consensus, and legal reasoning in the formation of legal-ethical thinking, and the development of distinct schools of Law (both Sunni and Shi'a). After building this foundational knowledge, the second half of the course critically examines key issues in the colonial and modern period such as Islamic Law's place in Muslim majority nation-states, proposal for reform in Islamic ethics and law, and debates in Islamic jurisprudence on human rights, gender, liberal democracy, constitutional law and religious minorities. Students will be introduced to both Islamic legal texts and various theoretical frameworks for interpreting Shari'a. Student Learning Experience Information: The course involves one two-hour seminar per week, which will consist of a combination of lectures and discussion based on readings prepared in advance. Each student will be required to give a short presentation at one seminar during the semester on an issue related to the theme or text for the day. Through participation in discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Written Exam 50%, Coursework 40%, Practical Exam 10%
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