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Teaching Interreligious Encounters$
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Marc A. Pugliese and Alex Y. Hwang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677565.001.0001

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Challenges in Teaching Islamic Studies in Western Universities

Challenges in Teaching Islamic Studies in Western Universities

The Problem of Streamlining Islam for Undergraduates

(p.117) 8 Challenges in Teaching Islamic Studies in Western Universities
Teaching Interreligious Encounters

Imranali Panjwani

Oxford University Press

When teaching Islam to undergraduates, the question of pedagogy is crucial. Modules must be designed to capture the breadth of the religion, including ethics, spirituality, worldview, role of holy figures, history, scientific disciplines, cultural formations, and contemporary developments. Although Western universities should be commended for introducing Islamic Studies to undergraduates, they streamline Islam to the extent that it is reduced to Islamic history. This means Islam’s intellectual tradition is seen as a contribution of the past rather than a living contribution for current human problems. In this chapter, I will share the challenges I faced as a tutor in Islamic Studies at King’s College London within the context of two pedagogical issues: (1) how Islamic Studies modules could be designed more effectively and (2) how effective learning environments can be created for undergraduate students of Islamic Studies.

Keywords:   Islamic Studies, Orientalism, pedagogy, teaching, undergraduates, Western universities

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