ARTS115-20SU1 (D) Summer Jan 2020 start (Distance)

Islam and Islamic Societies

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 6 January 2020
End Date: Sunday, 9 February 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 10 January 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 24 January 2020


This course is an introduction to Islam, highlighting its principles, rituals and various manifestations in today's world. Offering a multi-disciplinary and global perspective, it aims to familiarize students with contemporary debates on various issues including political Islam, the role of Sharia, gender and Islam, Jihad and terrorism, Islamophobia and Islamic civil society. The course covers a wide range of countries including New Zealand.

What are the origins of Islam? How was it founded? What are its monotheistic traditions? After briefly tracing the development and expansion of Islam, the decline of Muslim empires as well as the challenges brought about by modern European colonialism, the course will focus on the role of Islam in contemporary societies.  

In this course, we will consider the growing role of Islam in society and government, and the challenges that creates for both Muslim minority communities in Western democracies and Muslim majority societies in the Middle East and the rest of the world.  The course will also explore issues and current debates in contemporary Muslim societies. Why do many Muslim women choose to wear the hijab? What are the stereotypes associated with Islam and Muslims? What is Sharia law? Why is there a perception that Islam is not compatible with democratic principles and values?

The course covers a wide range of countries including New Zealand and provides an overview of Islam and Muslim societies within a global context. It considers expressions of Islam and Muslim identity in various countries and the impact of globalization on the worldwide Muslim community (Ummah).

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of Islam as a religion and how it is practiced
  • Become familiar with the role of Islam in society and politics
  • Identify major issues and current debates on Islam and on Muslim societies
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of identity in bicultural and multicultural contexts, particularly here in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Develop an understanding of the impact of globalisation on identity
  • Develop ability in communicating ideas cogently and forming reasoned arguments independently and in groups
  • Evaluate and use appropriate evidence
  • Develop ability in doing research independently and writing logically and coherently
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Timetable Note

Distance students may listen to the lectures online at any time after the lectures are delivered.

Course Coordinator

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences Head of Department

Course contact: Dr Naimah Talib


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 35%
Four weekly exercises 20%
Tutorial participation 10%
Final test 35%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no textbook required for this course. All readings will be available through Learn and the Library.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All ARTS115 Occurrences

  • ARTS115-20SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2020 start
  • ARTS115-20SU1 (D) Summer Jan 2020 start (Distance)