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Islam and Society


Admission requirements

This course is intended primarily for students of the minor Islam: Religion and Society, and for students of the BA programmes Midden-Oostenstudies (track Islamstudies) and Religiewetenschappen. Other interested students should gain the lecturer’s permission to follow the course.


This course offers an overview of the multiple ways in which Islam, as a performative, is lived in Muslim majority and minority contexts. It treats interpretative resources and social practices of Muslims in relation to the wider social conditions. Topics include: law, marriage, gender, dress, food, music, circumcision, charity, and migration. A field trip to a mosque forms part of the course.

Course objectives

After successfully completing the course, the student is able:

  • to recognize how theoretical perspectives, concepts and methods in the anthropology of Islam shape our understanding of how Islam is lived in various societies;

  • to provide an in-depth overview of interpretative resources and social practices of Muslims in relation to wider social conditions;

  • to conduct a critical literature review of a given topic within the study of Islam and society;

  • to report about it orally and in writing.


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


Partial Assessment Weighing
Participation and reading assignments 40%
Oral presentation of the final paper 10%
Final paper (2,000 words) 50%

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher. The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who submitted their assignments on time but scored an overall insufficient grade are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given the chance to hand in a second version of the final paper.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

John R. Bowen. A New Antropology of Islam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
A full list of readings per meeting will be posted on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar on the right.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: De Vrieshof.


Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.