Arabic, Islamic and Semitic Studies

Arabic, Islamic and Semitic Studies (M.A.)

The focus of the degree program is the study of Arabic on a linguistic as well as on a cultural-scientific basis. In this way, the role of Arabic as the linguistic-religious, but also linguistic-cultural cradle of Islam is appreciated in particular.

What is the degree program about?

The Erlangen-Nuremberg Master’s degree program AIS (Arabic, Islamic and Semitic Studies) focuses on Arabic as a language and textual culture. This approach also pays particular attention to the role of Arabic as the linguistic-literary cradle of Islam. This preoccupation takes place in various overall perspectives:

  • Looking at the language family to which Arabic belongs (Semitic), as well as at the cultures of Semitic language (e.g., Aramaic, Hebrew) with which the Arabic intellectual world-including the emergence and development of Islam-has had a reciprocal relationship throughout history.
  • With a view to the Qur’an and its historical context of origin, Qur’anic hermeneutics and Qur’anic interpretation (classical and modern).
  • With a view to the Arabic-Islamic cultural area as a whole, interested in texts and literatures; in particular, prose literature and poetry that is not Islamic in the narrow sense is included. Arabic philosophy and the Christian and Jewish text cultures of the Arabic language play a special role here.

From a formal point of view, the AIS Master’s degree program comprises the following focal points, which can be combined to a large extent via so-called “contextualization modules”:

  • Arabic Literature (compulsory module): philologically grounded study of classical and modern Arabic poetry and prose, cultural-historical and political framework, textual history and textual criticism.
  • Arabic Semitic Studies (elective module): indigenous Arabic grammatical writing and modern linguistic approaches to Arabic; the Arabic language in its Semitic and Afro-Asiatic context; introduction to Hebrew (biblical and modern) and Arabic-Hebrew language comparison; linguistic and cultural considerations of Jewish Arabic.
  • Islamic Studies (elective): Qur’an and Qur’anic Hermeneutics – Philologically based analysis of the Qur’anic text and its historical-critical contextualization; study of historical as well as modern interpretations of the Qur’an; social and cultural history of the Arab-Islamic world with special emphasis on Arabic philosophy; training in mediating between the Islamic internal perspective and the secular or scientific external perspective in the context of interdisciplinary courses.

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