SOSANT2620 – The Anthropology of Contemporary Islam

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Islam has a profound influence on a broad array of nations, ethnic groups, and local expressions of culture. This course is about everyday aspects of living and constructing the world among contemporary Muslims around the globe.

In recent years, the anthropology of Islam has developed to include specific studies on identity, consumption, aesthetics, health, class, gender, race, nationalism, migration, diaspora, social movements, education, tourism, urbanization, and globalism.

This course will provide students with a basic introduction to anthropological perspectives on contemporary Islam. A broad array of ethnographic material is included in the reading list to demonstrate the immense diversity of nations, peoples, social life and practices that fall under the category of Islam.

Learning outcome


  • Overview of major domain of Islamic religious and social life around the world
  • Understanding the theoretical advances in social anthropology that have come out of the study of Islam.
  • Knowledge about fundamental analytical models and models of explanation in fieldwork sites.


  • Increased ability to reflect critically on themes pertaining to religion in anthropological texts.
  • The ability to reflect on the use of theoretical and methodological methods.


  • Ability to produce anthropological analysis.
  • Knowledge of the ground rules for engaging with anthropological studies.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

SOSANT1000 – Innføring i sosialantropologi or equivalent.

SOSANT1050 – Etnografisk metode or equivalent.

SOSANT1400 – Antropologi og religion or equivalent.


The teaching consists of a total of three lectures, four seminars and one four hours deep reading seminar.

Both lectures and seminars build on active preparation and participation on the part of the students.

Students are expected to read the text before the lectures, and the lecturer will begin each lecturer with a couple of basic questions on assigned texts which the students are expected to respond to.

Seminars will consist of obligatory written assignments, presentations, including a one-day four-hour undisturbed reading and writing meeting. Assignments will be explained and distributed during the first lecture.

Each student is required to write and present a one-page paper during the semester on a chosen topic from the reading list. The topic chosen, the paper and the oral presentation must be approved by the professor.  


Take-home exam.

The examination text is given in English and Norwegian.You may submit your response in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Compulsory activity:
- Approved chosen topic 
- Approved one page paper and oral presentation.
Both the topic chosen and the paper must be turned in on time.
You must have passed the compulsory activities in order to sit for the exam.

Papers and presentations can be in Norwegian, English, Swedish or Danish.

If the activities are not approved, you may be given a second attempt to hand in an improved  paper within a short deadline.

See The Faculty of Social Sciences' rules regarding compulsory activities.

Absence from compulsory activities
If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.
Report absence from or the need for a postponed deadline on a compulsory activity

Previous exams and assessment guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. 
You find the explanation in Inspera.

Ask for an explanation of your grade

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2018

The course is offered irregularly.


Autumn 2018

Teaching language