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A survey of Islamic theology, philosophy and mysticism (Sufism) from its origins to the modern period

This module is a survey of some of the most important schools and movements in Islamic intellectual history, from the beginning of Islam to our own time. It covers the development of Islamic theology (kalām), in both the Sunnite and Shiʿite contexts, the emergence of a distinct philosophical tradition in Arabic inscribed in the continuity of Greek philosophy (mostly Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism), and Islamic mysticism or Sufism. We will discuss some of the main figures who shaped these traditions in the medieval and modern periods and read some of the seminal texts they produced. The course will introduce students to key concepts and terms, as well as to some enduring themes and issues focusing on God, prophecy, human knowledge, and society, which Muslim theologians, philosophers and mystics all sought to address in their own way. Many of these issues still resonate throughout the Islamic world today, and so we will also look at the response of modern Muslim intellectuals to these questions.

Name of lecturer

Professor Damien Janos

How to apply

Applications can be made in person on Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Department of Religions and Theology, Room 5010, Level 5 of the Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2 or by post before 23rd September 2016.


EUR 150 for the course. For security reasons payment should be by cheque/draft/postal money order only, made payable to Trinity College Dublin no. 1 account. A concession rate is available to second and third level students, unemployed persons and those in receipt of a social welfare pension.


Teaching in Semester 1 (Michaelmas Term) commences during the week beginning 26th September 2016. Please note this is a day-time course.


The module runs for a total of twelve weeks, with no lectures in week 7.

Further information

Contact: Jane Welch, Executive Officer, Department of Religions and Theology, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2. Phone: 01 896 1297, email: