Philosophy, Modernity and Islam

Course code PHIL3251Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

This course provides students with an understanding of the problematic relationship that exists between some elements of Islam and modern society, and dispels common misconceptions which some westerners (and some Muslims) have about Islam, and which some Muslims (and some Westerners) have about modern society. Students are first introduced to the history, beliefs, values and varieties of Islam, and to the history, philosophical foundations and values of modern society, before moving onto to examine the relationship between Islam (in its various modern manifestations) and modern society. There is a particular focus on the relationship between Western political, economic and cultural imperialism and modern Islamic movements, the limited extent to which this relationship is indicative of a 'Clash of Civilisations', and the problems faced by Islamic communities and individuals within the Western world and by western communities and individuals within the Islamic world.

Available in 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
Previously offered in 2013, 2012, 2011
Objectives1. To provide students with (i) a basic understanding of Islam and some common misconceptions about its history, beliefs and values, and (ii) a basic understanding of modern society and some common misconceptions about its history, values and philosophical foundations.

2. To provide students with an understanding of the conflict that exists between elements of Islam and modern society that allows them to distinguish between the aspects of this conflict that stem from religious differences (actual or perceived) and those that stem from non-religious factors.

3. To enable students to distinguish between Islam and the non-Islamic cultural and political practices with which it has become historically associated (honor killings, female circumcision, terrorism and suicide bombing), and between the philosophy of modern society and the cultural practices and imperialist actions with which it has become historically associated.

4. To provide students with insight into the problems faced by Islamic communities in the western world and by western communities in the Islamic world.
ContentIslam: its history, beliefs and values, and misconceptions about its history beliefs and values; modern society: its history, values and philosophical foundations, and common misconceptions about its history, values and philosophical foundations; sources of conflict between Islamist elements of Islam and modern society; the theory and practice of Islam; the theory and practice of modern society; problems faced by Islamic communities within modern society; and problems faced by modern communities in Islamic society.
Replacing Course(s)RELI3251
TransitionStudents who have completed RELI3251 are not eligible to enrol in PHIL3251.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge40 units at 1000 level
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsSeminar Paper 800 words, 20%
Essay; 2,000 words; 40%
Examination: Take Home2000 words; 40%.
Contact HoursSeminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for PHIL3251