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This subject considers the rich heritage of ethical traditions in Islamic thought and some key modern debates. Students will critically examine key features and contributions of Muslim theologians, philosophers and Sufis who attempted to deal with revelation and rationalistic discourse in exploring the meaning of an ethical life as well as religious morality for Muslims. Are philosophy and religious wisdom equals (and allies) in the pursuit of human happiness? Students will be introduced to the genesis and development of rational and religious traditions with an emphasis on the application of ethical issues—the meaning of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ conduct, free will, predestination, and human responsibility—in Muslim societies. Areas of major contemporary ethical debates, including bioethics (abortion, IVF, euthanasia, cloning) will also be discussed from a Muslim perspective.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Understand the ethical traditions in Islamic thought with an emphasis on the ethical doctrines of Muslim theologians, philosophers and Sufis
- Understand key ethical issues associated with areas such as free will, predestination, and human responsibility
- Understand doctrines and ethical theories developed by Muslim thinkers on the nature of good and evil and morality in specific historical and cultural contexts
- Understand contemporary bio-ethics debates from a Muslim perspective
- Apply several research methodologies to produce and formulate scholarly arguments as well as oral and written communication skills to prepare a well-structured research essay.
Last updated: 20 February 2024