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Study of World Religions MPhil Pathway

Lent Term 2024


Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and ‘Christian Europe’

Section Directors: Professor Esra Özyürek ( and Dr Daniel Weiss (


European Christendom has been marked by two notable forms of hatred: antisemitism/anti-Judaism and Islamophobia. In this module we will explore both phenomena independently, as well as in relation to one other. Some scholars argue that these two forms of hatred are essentially different, as Judaism has often been conceived of as a category internal to ‘Christian Europe,’ while Islam has often been conceived as external to it; hence, antisemitism functions as the hatred of an ‘internal enemy’ and Islamophobia as the hatred of an ‘external enemy.’ Other scholars, conversely, argue that Jews and Muslims have often been imagined in very similar terms, or even as one and the same. In this module we will explore the religious and racial dimensions of these two minorities, whether conceived of as inside or precisely at the cultural margins of a ‘Christian Europe.’ As we examine these dynamics historically, philosophically, theologically, and anthropologically, we will aim to understand how they have formed and challenged understandings of the meanings and possibilities of the idea of ‘Europe.’



Session 1: Jews and Muslims in Christian Theology


Anidjar, Gil. (2003) The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy. Stanford University Press.

Carter, J. Kameron (2008) Race: A Theological Account

Soulen, R. Kendall (1996) The God of Israel and Christian theology


Kalmar, Ivan. (2012) Early Orientalism: Imagined Islam and the Notion of Sublime Power. London: Routledge.


Heschel, Susannah. (2008) The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible In Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press.


Mufti, Amir (2007) Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Culture of Postcolonial Culture. Princeton University Press.

Topolski, Anya. 2020. The dangerous discourse of the ‘Judaeo-Christian’ myth: masking the race–religion constellation in Europe. Patterns of Prejudice.

Westerduin, Matthea. 2020. Questioning religio-secular temporalities: mediaeval formations of nation, Europe and race. Patterns of Prejudice.

Shohat, Ella. 2020. The Split Arab/Jew Figure Revisited. Patterns of Prejudice.


Session 2: From Anti-Judaism to Antisemitism


Bauman, Zygmunt. (1997) Postmodernity and its discontents.


Adorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer. (1997) Dialectics of Enlightenment


Nirenberg, David. (2013) Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. New York: Norton

Hochberg, Gil. 2020. From ‘sexy Semite’ to Semitic ghosts: contemporary art between Arab and Jew. Patterns of Prejudice.

Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin. 2015. “Secularism, the Christian Ambivalence Toward the Jews, and the Notion of Exile.”

Hess, Jonathan. 2002. Germans, Jews and the Claims of Modernity


Session 3: Islamophobia


Runymede Report (1997) Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All


Silverstein, Paul. (2005) Immigrant Racialization and the New Savage Slot: Race, Migration, and Immigration in the New Europe. Annual Review of Anthropology.


--- (2010) The Fantasy of Violence of Religious Imagination: islamophobia and anti-Semitism in France and North Africa. In Islamophobia/Islamophilia. Indiana UP.


Kumar, Deepa. Islamophobia and The Politics of Empire. London: Verso.

Fekete, Liz. 2009. A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration, and Islamophobia in Europe. Pluto.


Rana, Junaid. 2011. Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora. Duke University Press.


Said, Edward. 1981. Covering Islam.


Session 4: Jewish-Muslim connections in Europe


Brann, Ross (2021)  Iberian Moorings: Al-Andalus, Sefarad, and the Tropes of Exceptionalism


Stroumsa, Sarah (2019).  Andalus and Sefarad: On Philosophy and Its History in Islamic Spain


Meedeb, Abdelwahab and Benjamin Stora. (2014) A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations: From the Origins to the Present Day. Princeton University Press.


Bunzl, Matti. (2007) Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Hatreds of Old and New in Europe.


Meer, Nassar (2014) Racialization and  Religion: Race, Culture, and Difference in the Study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia. London: Routledge


Gilman, Sander. The Case of Circumcision: Diaspora Judaism as a Model for Islam?

Esther Romeyn, ‘Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: spectropolitics and immigration’, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 31, no. 6, 2014, 77–101.


Katz, Ethan. (2015) The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France


Klug, Brian. (2013) Interrogating new Antisemitism. Ethnic and Racial Studies 36(3): 468-482.


Baer, Marc. (2020) German, Jew, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus. Columbia University Press.


Stranger/Sister documentary

Module 2. Lent Term. The Varieties of Hindu Devotional Experience


Module Coordinator: Dr Ankur Barua (


The module explores some distinctive forms of Hindu devotional love (bhakti) of God from historical, sociological, and theological perspectives. For several Hindu traditions, these forms are central to their conceptualizations of liberation (moka) in, through, and beyond the empirical structures of the everyday world.


Teaching  provision. 4 x 1.5 hour classes


Supervisions. Two supervisions of one hour each will be given. Supervisions will be arranged by the module coordinator.


Aims. The module aims to highlight the textual foundations of bhakti in some classical scriptures and commentaries; its sociohistorical locations across South Asia; and its theological, ritual, and experiential structures within the wider matrices of Hindu religious existence.

Objectives: The module objectives are to learn to appreciate some of the distinctive philosophical, theological, and experiential flavours of bhakti, and also explore their ongoing receptions, reformulations, and retellings in conditions of modernity. By focusing on a set of themes relating to bhakti, students will be able to understand how it is interrelated with a range of other concepts and practices in constellations of Hindu religiosity.


Seminar topics:

    • Seminar 1: Looking for Bhakti in Scriptural Sources
    • Seminar 2: The Knowledge of the Self and the Love of God
    • Seminar 3: Configuring Bhakti as Subaltern Protest
    • Seminar 4: Western Receptions and Recalibrations of Bhakti


Assessment: The module is assessed through a 5,000-word essay.


Sample Questions:

    • Is bhakti a Vedic concept or an extra-Vedic import into later developments of Hinduism?
    • How might one characterise the flavours of bhakti in the Bhagavad-gītā and the Bhāgavata-purāṇa?
    • Can a follower of an Advaita Vedānta lineage participate in devotional modes of worship (bhakti) of a personal deity?
    • Can lovers of God (bhaktas) be characterised as mystics?
    • Is the Hindu God passible?
    • Can medieval bhakti be seen as a textual resource for generating subaltern resistance?
    • Sketch the contours of a theodicy constructed with concepts relating to devotional love (bhakti).
    • What is the significance of the doctrine of avatāra in worlds of Hindu devotion?
    • How is bhakti expressed in the poetic theologies of premodern Hindu holy individuals (sant)?
    • Is the bhakti of the ISKCON movement true to the scriptural sources?