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Classical Islamic Religious Thought in Dialogue with Philosophical, Jewish and Christian Sources

Classical Islamic Religious Thought emerged as a result of complex interactions with the Ancient Greek, Christian, Jewish, and Iranian traditions in a period when the Levant and Mesopotamia were constituted by highly cosmopolitan societies. These interactions were sometimes polemical and based on controversy, but they also resulted in intensive collaboration and cultural cross-pollination. This module will explore the religious and philosophical exchanges between these various groups during the classical Islamic period (roughly from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries C.E.) by focusing on key theological issues, such as conceptions of God’s nature and His attributes, inter-religious discussions of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and the place of logic and Aristotelian philosophy in the theological method. We will also study the translation movement from Greek and Syriac to Arabic and the development of Qurʾānic exegesis (tafsīr) and theology (kalām), which decisively shaped Islamic thought during this period and determined the nature of the religious dialogue between Muslims, Christians, Jews, and alleged heretics and pagans. Finally, in addition to these issues, we will also examine the establishment of the medieval Islamic university (madrasa) and the role it played in the religious and intellectual life of its time.

How to apply

Applications can be made in person on Thursday 15th December 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 20th December 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 commences during the week beginning 16th January 2017. 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: