Studying Islamic Studies

A Short Introduction to the degree in Islamic Studies

The degree courses offered in Islamic Studies comprise a Major and a Minor program, both at the Ba and Ma level. The Ba degree programs in Islamic Studies impart a sound and wide-ranging knowledge of the past and present of the Islamic world and the Middle East on the basis of intensive language training. Students are required to learn Arabic and, optionally, Persian and/or Turkish and acquire the skills necessary for a precise understanding of original texts and linguistic expressions in their chosen languages. They also obtain a sound basic knowledge of the Islamic world through thematic classes from the three subject areas: history, religion, and culture.

The Ma in Islamic Studies provides in-depth, research-based expertise in the past and present of the Islamic world and the Middle East. Thematically, the program concentrates on the two core areas of the History of Ideas and the Modern Muslim World with the possibility of specialization. Depending on the topic, the courses combine relevant approaches from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences with methods of critical textual analysis. The area History of Ideas deals with topics of Islamic philosophy, religion and history of knowledge throughout the ages, as well as the normative traditions of the Islamic world. Students gain a deeper insight into the many different forms of knowledge, including both "secular" and "religious" traditions. The area Modern Muslim World deals with topics from social and cultural history of the Muslim Middle East from the 18th century to the immediate present from a problem-oriented and theory-based perspective. The focus here is on processes of cultural transformation and the subject of Islam and society.