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RT1216: Shi`a Islam (RT1216)

Level and Credit Rating: 20 Credits at Level 2

Lecturer: Richard Cawley

Course Description

The Shiat Ali (or ‘Party of Ali’) are one of the most important and influential schools of thought within the Islamic tradition. From their origins in the seventh century to the present day, the Shia have constituted a very distinct and longlived minority within Islam, today accounting for some 15% of the world’s Muslim population. This module aims to explore the historical and theological development of Shia Islam. Particular focus will be given to exploring the religious, political, social and cultural contexts within which Shia Islam emerged and developed. Another major aim of this module will be to understand Shia theology, particularly with regards to its key concept of the Imamate. We will look at the Twelver school of thought, as well as at the Zaydi and Ismaili strands, as well as exploring the development of a number of ‘extremist’ groups (ghulat), such as Kaysaniyya and Nusayriyya. No prior knowledge of Shia Islam is expected.

Mr. Richard Cawley