- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- David Levering Lewis, God's Crucible. Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215, W.W. Norton, 2008. Will be given in due time
- Paul T. Levin, Turkey and the European Union. Christian and Secular Images of Islam, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, ISBN 9780230104617.
- Edward W. Said, Orientalism, Keegan and Paul, 1978 or a later edition.
- Eight articles (a photocopy will be available in due time).