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Islam in Asia and Africa


Admission requirements

Successful completion of course Introduction to Islam; or sufficient knowledge at the discretion of the course coordinator


Although in the present world most Muslims live in Asia, within Islamic studies traditionally most attention is given to the Middle East and North Africa, and more recently to Islam in the West. This course breaks away from this conventional paradigm and deals with Islam outside these two fields. The course will focus on Asia and Africa from approximately 1500 onwards, and will be taught by specialists from the entire Faculty of Humanities who will teach about their own region of expertise. A major part of the course will deal with Islam in Indonesia, the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world. In addition to this attention will be given to South Asia (India and Pakistan), China, Central Asia, and Africa.

Course objectives

The student will gain knowledge on Islam in major countries of Asia, like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, China, and some selected countries in Central Asia and Africa. In addition to this the student will get insight in the translation of Middle Eastern Islam to regions outside this area, and in patterns of diversity which this causes in the fields of relation between Islam and state, Islam and local culture, and other aspects.


The course is new and will be given for the first time in the second semester.

Mode of instruction

Lectures by various specialists.

Assessment method

Written examination. One after block 3 (40%) and one (covering all subjects dealt with) after block 4 (60%)



Reading list

Robert Pringle, Understanding Islam in Indonesia: politics and diversity, Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, chapters 1-5.

Separate articles, to be announced.


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