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PPR.241: Contemporary Issues in Christianity and Islam

Tutors: Christopher Partridge (Michaelmas) and Shuruq Naguib (Lent)
Terms: Michaelmas and Lent

Course Description

This course considers Christianity and Islam, two of the world's major religions which belong to the so-called 'Abrahamic religions'. It can be thought of as a 'bridge', which builds on knowledge acquired in RST 100, and provides a foundation for more specialised study in other second and third year courses. The aim is to investigate the varied ways in which these two traditions have responded to modernity, particularly in relation to authority, politics and gender.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a developed knowledge of Christianity and Islam.
  • Offer a critical account of what is meant by 'modernity'.
  • Summarise the major transformations which have taken place in these two traditions in the modern period, and relate these transformations to modernity.
  • Describe Muslim and Christian key figures and movements in modern times.
  • Analyse some of the most important ways in which the interpretation and use of the scriptures of the two traditions studied has changed in modern times, and relate these changes to modernity.


40% coursework and 60% exam.

Coursework: 2 essays of 2500 words each. Exam: 3 hours.

Teaching Method

Lecture (2 hours) weekly, and seminar (1 hour) fortnightly.

Introductory Reading

D. Waines An Introduction to Islam

L. Woodhead & P. Heelas Religion in Modern Times

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