Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Full Year
Since this course picks up on the relevant session in the 1st year UG course “Islam: Foundations” (158000189), it is strongly recommended that this was successfully attended beforehand.
This course is taught in seminar style, i.e. there will not be any formal division in lecture and tutorial, but a reading-based classroom discussion with the occasional elucidation by the course tutor.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of this course, a student should be able to:
- evaluate the place of the Shiʿi groups within the broader context of Islamic history;
- identify and explain the distinguishing features of Shiʿi doctrine(s);
- assess the interdependence of religious and political ideas, both in general and in speciﬁc relation to the Shiʿi grand-narrative;
- evaluate the relationship between personal charisma and religious authority, both in general and in relation to the Shiʿi grand-narrative;
- apply general undergraduate skills, e.g. in writing, critical thinking and argument, necessary for the academic study of a religion within a Study-of-Religions framework.
Method of assessment
Two 2 500 words essays (worth 30% each); two 2 000 words book reviews (worth 20% each).
- 'Shi'i Islam: an Introduction' by Najam Haider (Cambridge, 2014)
- Halm, Heinz (1991) Shiism Edinburgh
Acknowledgment: SOAS gratefully acknowledges the support of the Shi'ah Institute which funds this module.