This Masters degree in Political Islam has been specifically designed for those who wish to comprehend the main currents of Islamic thinking during the modern period. This will involve investigating a number of radical Islamic movements as well as alternative understandings of Islam.
Why this programme
◾The University of Glasgow offers a number of course options that may be taken by students, such as the courses provided within the Global Securities programme.
◾The course is taught by experts in Theology and Religious Studies. Assistance is offered by staff who teach outside of the Islamic tradition, which will be of use for those interested, for example, in Islamic-Christian relations or forms of literature within the Islamic tradition.
◾The programme is sufficiently flexible to enable students to concentrate on specific areas of study, or to concentrate on a more general range of issues.
◾Linguistic ability in Arabic, Persian, Turkish (or any other non-European language) is not essential.
◾Students are encouraged to participate in the wider seminar series offered in the subject area in order to gain a comprehensive knowledge of religion and culture in the contemporary world. (There are experts in Chinese religions, Judaism and Christianity with Theology and Religious Studies).
◾Glasgow has a large Muslim community. There are possibilities to engage with this local community.
This MSc in Political Islam investigates a number of “radical” Islamic movements such as Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic revival in Iran post-1978. At the same time, alternative understandings of Islam will be examined including the so-called “liberal” version, Islamic feminist thinking and contemporary manifestations of Sufism (the so-called “mystical” side of Islam).
As the course progresses the topics will engage with the historical Islamic tradition, so that students will appreciate the wide variety of “Islams” that have appeared in modern times. An understanding of Islam is imperative in the contemporary period, with issues such as security, identity and immigration appearing on a daily basis in the Western media. Islam is no longer a religion that is confined to the Middle East, but needs to be understood as an integral part of British society and culture. The challenges and issues that Muslims face require urgent investigation, and this course provides the framework for students to engage with the changes that affect everyone in society.
The programme is designed for small groups that will discuss the topics in a seminar environment. There will be formal lectures and the occasional guest speaker. The basis of the programme will be textual, and will involve class/group discussions about the material provided. Core teaching is delivered in two semesters, followed by a dissertation. The project dissertation is an opportunity for students to identify an area of interest and to create a research project that allows in-depth critical exploration of this.
With the current interest in Islam, this degree provides essential knowledge and skills for those involved in teaching, the civil service, government, the police and the military. The degree also provides an excellent entry into a PhD related to Islamic Studies.