Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 990209-B-6
Islam and the Making of Europe
Course info
Course module990209-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
Contact personprof. dr. H.L. Beck
prof. dr. H.L. Beck
Other course modules lecturer
Coordinator course
prof. dr. H.L. Beck
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
SM 2
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 14/01/2019 up to and including 31/07/2019
  • To acquaint students with the historical relations between Europe and the so-called `Islamic world' from the rise of Islam until the 21st Century;
  • To acquaint students with the 'Islamic' legacy to Europe in the intellectual and material fields;
  • To acquaint students with the idea that Europe's self-image and self-ascribed identity have been modelled on its image of and the identity imposed upon Islam and the 'Islamic world'.


Please note: For non-LAS students the number of places in this course is limited. For registration, please contact at least three weeks prior to the start of the course.
Although Christians and Muslims met and influenced each other to and fro through history, this course will focus on the question of Islam's impact on Europe's self-image and identity and thus on the making of Europe.

During the first centuries of the historical relations between Christian Europe and the Islamic world there seems to have existed a feeling of inferiority with which western Europe confronted Islamic civilization. On the one hand this feeling of inferiority was compensated for by creating a distorted image of Islam which to this very date still exists. On the other hand all sorts of intellectual and material goods were adopted from the Islamic world. Often, over years, these goods were refined in Europe and brought back to the Islamic world. During the colonial period the feeling of inferiority had changed into a feeling of superiority. Again, the Islamic world was used as the example of otherness against which the European singularity was moulded, a view still adhered to by several politicians and policymakers in the beginning of the 21st century.

The course will consist of lectures illustrating the role of Islam in the making of Europe during history. Armed clashes as well as harmonious living together will be dealt with. The impact of Islam in the field of philosophy and other scholarly and cultural domains will be spoken of. However, it seems hard to acknowledge Islam's importance for Europe.

Compulsory Reading
  1. David Levering Lewis, God's Crucible. Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215, W.W. Norton, 2008. Will be given in due time
  2. Paul T. Levin, Turkey and the European Union. Christian and Secular Images of Islam, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, ISBN 9780230104617.
  3. Edward W. Said, Orientalism, Keegan and Paul, 1978 or a later edition.
  4. Eight articles (a photocopy will be available in due time).
Timetable information
990209-B-6|Islam and the Making of Europe
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk / WrittenEXAM_01SM 2114-06-2019
Schriftelijk / WrittenEXAM_01SM 2205-07-2019
Required materials
Recommended materials

Final Grade

Kies de Nederlandse taal