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Anthropology of Islam in Contemporary Europe

A Mosque in London
A Mosque in London
What might an anthropology of Islam in Europe look like?

Employing Europe as a lens for the study of Islam presents us with a remarkably diverse set of religious forms of life, while also raising over-arching questions about pertinent contemporary issues. This module within the Study of World Religions pathway takes a broadly anthropological approach to the study of Islam in Europe: we draw on both theoretical materials and a growing literature of case studies of Muslim communities across the continent to engage with some key areas of academic and wider interest, such as questions of identity, community, culture, society, and politics.

In doing so, we encounter some important themes within the Anthropology of Islam, such as universalism, authority, tradition, uniqueness, and representation. Additionally, students will develop their methodological skills in analysing the possibilities, conditions, and limitations of anthropological research. And, as we discuss some fascinating empirical accounts of lived Islam in contexts such as Bosnia, France, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Britain, and Turkey, we will also see how this interrelates with a complex set of debates and structures shaping imaginations of contemporary Europe.

The module is assessed by coursework essay of 5000 words. Students may select a question from the list provided, or formulate their own in consultation with the course coordinator, Chris Moses. For further details, please see the course outline.