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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Undergraduate Course: Medieval Islamic Philosophy and Theology (IMES10036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will start by providing an introduction, first, to medieval Islamic intellectual history, focusing on the traditions of philosophy (falsafa) and rational theology (kalam), and second, to the state of the contemporary academic field of study specialising in these subjects. It will then take a closer look at the main schools, trends, philosophers and theologians, providing an overview of the nature of their thought and their key doctrines and contributions.

The course will then turn to a selection of topics, which are likely to vary from session to session. Most will consist of problems and debates in which both philosophers and theologians engaged, which will thus provide opportunities to shed light on both their doctrines and their contrasting methods of enquiry. These may include problems relating to ethics (e.g. the nature of ethical value, and the problem of evil), psychology and human nature, metaphysics (e.g. the existence and nature of God), and the philosophy of religion (e.g. theories of prophecy, and the relation between philosophy and religion).

Teaching will consist of a combination of lectures and seminars. In the latter, the class will engage in discussions focused around selections of primary texts, translated into English, and secondary texts, as well as sets of discussion questions. No knowledge of any language other than English is required.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Islamic History: From the Origins of Islam to the Age of Suleyman the Magnificent (IMES08035) OR Islamic History A: The Formation of the Islamic World (IMES08033) OR Islamic History B: From the Crusades to the 'Gunpowder Empires' (IMES08034))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Before enrolling students on this course, you are asked to contact the IMES Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504182, e-mail
Additional Costs n/a
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 courses in a suitable subject area at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students:
1. should have acquired knowledge of the history of medieval Islamic philosophy and theology,
2. should have a good understanding of key philosophical and theological concepts, problems and debates, and of their broader historical and intellectual contexts,
3. should be able to read and understand various types of medieval Arabic intellectual texts in translation,
4. should be able critically to examine and interpret historical materials, and
5. should have competence in analysing medieval intellectual notions and modes of reasoning.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsIMES MedIsPhil
Course organiserDr Richard Todd
Tel: (0131 6)51 3202
Course secretaryMrs Eleanor Birch
Tel: (0131 6)50 4182
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