Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ARAM217: Sufism, Islamic Mysticism and Devotional Life

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

1. The Prophet Muhammad and the Sacred Sources of Sufism

2. Early Sufi Doctrine and Mystical Theology (8th–9th Centuries)

3. The Sufi School of Baghdad and some of its Key Members

4. The Sufi School of Khurasan and Abu Sa‘id Abi’l-Khayr (d. 440/1049)

5. Classical and Post-Classical Sufism, the Formation of Schools (Tariqa, silsila), and the Khanaqah Institution

6. Devotional and Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism I: Modes of Prayer, Contemplation, Meditation, etc.

7. Devotional and Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism II: Audition to Poetry and Music (Sama‘)

8. The Sufi Teachings of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) and their Impact on Islamic Mysticism

9. The 12th -13th Century Revival of Sufism

10. Rumi (d. 1273): Life, Works, Spiritual Teachings and Legacy

11. Ibn Arabi (d. 1240): Life, Works, Theosophical Teachings, and School

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 Hour lectures. Each class has required readings from which students have to answer pre-set questions, discussed in classroom groups
Guided Independent Study100Reading from required readings; preparation of answers to (in-class) questions from readings.
Guided Independent Study48Research and writing up of reaction papers to pre-set questions given during class; research and writing up of book review.
Guided Independent Study130Research and Writing up of final term essay. The title and structure of the essay is determined in consultation with your module convenor. Your module convenor with provide you with feedback on a draft of your final term essay and help you out with its bibliography and literature review

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).