Teaching

Listed below are courses currently taught by Abdullah Saeed at the University of Melbourne (Australia). For more information on each of the courses, please follow the link to each corresponding entry in the UniMelb's subject Handbook.

This subject examines the growth of Islamic civilisation in the period between the revelation of the Quran and the beginnings of the second Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. The study focuses on the Arabic and Turkish-speaking areas of western Asia, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, and its aim is to understand the conditions in which religiously founded dynastic states appeared, the relationships between religion, power, culture and economy, and the role of ethnicity and language in the creation of political and cultural communities. On completion of the subject students should be familiar with the theories about the causes of the rise and fall of the Islamic states and understand the role of religion in integrating and disintegrating multi-ethnic states.

 

This subject is an introduction, in English translation, to the most important text of Islam, the Qur'an, which Muslims regard as the primary source of Islam. Students will study: the origins of the Qur'an, its overall structure and content, major themes, approaches to its interpretation, and its function in Muslim religious, social, cultural and political life. The themes and topics covered (such as God, ethics, women, state, inter-faith relations, violence) should assist students in understanding contemporary debates on the relevance of Islam today.

 

Human Rights and Islam (postgraduate)

The subject considers the conceptualization of human rights in classical and contemporary
Islam in theory and practice. The methodology is interdisciplinary in nature combining aspects of
historical, religious, philosophical, international and legal studies. The subject will consider the implications of conceptualizing human rights under sharia (Islamic law and norms) and Western and/ or international conceptualization of human rights. Main themes covered are: the relationship of the sharia with modern international law and human rights law; the relationship of sharia with several of the controversial subjects within
human rights law; and the possibility of reform and greater compatibility of sharia with human
rights values. A number of specific substantive issues, most notably freedom of religion and the rights of
women will be studied in depth to illustrate the complexity of the contemporary debate on
human rights and Islam.