Develop your understanding of Muslims and their faith through an exploration of communities in Britain.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world today and dominates much of the current geopolitical discourse. People are increasingly bombarded by dramatic and at times disturbing headlines. Yet general knowledge of Muslims and their faith can be poor. There is consequently a need for a balanced and well-informed understanding of the current debates around this internationally significant topic.
This course uses Britain as a case study to shed light on wider issues relating to the growth of Islamic communities across the culturally Christian and increasingly secularised Western World. Topics include:
Islamic Practice An outline of Islamic practices and beliefs plus an introduction to the different viewpoints within Islam.
History of Islam in Britain An exploration of the longstanding associations between Islam and Britain, including Islamic influences on British society and the well-established connections between Britain and the countries from which many British Muslims originally hailed.
Settlement Patterns The origins and makeup of today’s British Muslim communities.
Cultural Diversity Confronting the ‘myth’ of a homogenous Muslim community through an exploration of the various religious and cultural influences that characterise and inform Muslim communities in Britain today.
Contemporary Debates An examination of how the above topics feed into the contemporary debates and what the future might hold.
Given current debates about multiculturalism, integration, and the spectre of fundamentalism, this course will appeal to a wide audience not only in Britain but far beyond.
The course is open to anyone with an interest in religion, culture and history, whether you are a beginner, experienced learner or returning to study.