Licentiate IN ARABIC AND ISLAMIC STUDIES / 2020-2021

The conviction which motivates PISAI is that the Christian task to meet face to face with Muslims should be based not solely on subjective good will but also on an objective, scientifically grounded knowledge of the other, sought in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. PISAI aims, therefore, to train students, from the intellectual and spiritual point of view, in the specifically theological and cultural aspects of Islam, so as to equip them to undertake an informed dialogue with Muslims in academic, civil and religious-pastoral settings. To attain this aim, the Institute offers a specialised formation in the Arabic language, in Islamic Studies and in the historical and theological aspects of Muslim-Christian relations.

The spiritual formation is undertaken by means of a style of teaching which respects the beliefs of others and a programme of arranged encounters and informal exchanges. Weekly celebrations of the Eucharist, most often in Arabic, for both students and teachers, help to promote this aim. The intellectual formation is offered by PISAI through a solid programme of teaching of Arab-Islamic culture, with particular emphasis on its religious heritage as lived by Muslim communities.

The study of the Arabic language is the principle means of accessing the fundamental texts of Islam (Qur’an and Sunna) and other related basic sources. Classical Arabic is the major ‘highway’ for understanding and appreciating the values of Islam. The PISAI offers a course of classical Arabic which covers a period of three years. It must be emphasized, however, that PISAI is not a language school: classical Arabic is studied because of its importance for the study of Islam. For worship and for accessing the great classical texts of the Tradition, Arabic is normally used by Muslim communities throughout the world.

The courses of Islamic Studies include the different disciplines of the Islamic sciences: history, the study of the Qur’an, theology, law, philosophy, ethics, Sufism, etc.; in this way, the student acquires a global view of the different literary and cultural forms of expression and of the current problems faced by the Islamic world. Admission to these courses is open to part-time students who wish to follow courses in Islamic religion and culture without following the intensive language course.

Finally, students of PISAI acquire a knowledge of the questions concerning Muslim-Christian relations; particular attention is given to the vicissitudes of the past, the situation as it stands at present and the theological aspects of relations between the two faiths.

introductory year (60 ECTS)

This is offered to students who have no previous knowledge of the Arabic language or Islamic Studies or who have only an elementary knowledge. The preparatory course seeks to offer students an immersion into the essence of the Institute’s programme of studies: the Arabic language as an important tool for understanding, from within, Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian relations.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
The Introductory Year attempts to build specific theoretical and practical skills which are evidenced by the achievement of educational objectives. Expressed in terms of learning outcomes, these are the following:
- to know the basic concepts of written literary Arabic (morphology, syntax, and verbs) that permit the student to understand simple texts of a literary and religious nature;
- to acquire the phonetic concepts that permit a student to read Arabic texts correctly;
- to acquire a basic vocabulary of Islamic religious terminology;
- to possess a panoramic historical overview of the history of the Islamic world in its various expressions;
- to know the fundamental concepts of the Qur’ān and the Sunna;
- to possess a panoramic overview of the history of Muslim-Christian relations;
- to be able to utilize scientific tools that make possible the academic study of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations.

Arabic Language (38 ECTS)
The annual programme is divided into three parts:

Preliminaries (first two weeks):
• Alphabet
• Exercises (composition and reading of single words)

First semester:
• Grammar (morphology, syntax, verbs, exercises)
• Reading and comprehension of literary texts
• Dictation and conversation
• Linguistic laboratory

Second semester:
• Grammar (morphology, syntax, verbs, exercises)
• Reading and comprehension of literary texts
• Dictation and conversation 
• Linguistic laboratory
• Islamic texts
• Christian texts


Islamic Studies (15 ECTS)
The programme of Islamic Studies in the Introductory Year offers students an overview of Islamic history up to the abolition of the Caliphate and a first introduction to Islam’s fundamental sources, namely, the Qur’an and the Sunna.
Teaching languages: Italian and English

Programme:
1. History of the Islamic World I (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian
2. Introduction to the Qur’an (Christopher Clohessy)
Teaching language: English
3. History of the Islamic World II (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian
4. Introduction to the Sunna (Jason Welle)
Teaching language: English
5. History of the Islamic World III (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian

Muslim-Christian Relations (6 ECTS)
The History of Muslim-Christian Relations (Christopher Clohessy)

This course introduces students to the history of Muslim-Christian Relations, from the beginning of Islam to the present day. It is based on historical and modern texts and texts and documents from the Catholic Magisterium and from the Muslim world on Muslim-Christian dialogue.
Teaching language: English

Methodology (1 ECTS)
1. Methodology for Scientific Research I (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian

The Islamic Studies courses and those on Muslim-Christian Relations can be followed independently of the Licentiate programme.

1st year of licentiate

This course seeks to offer students an in-depth study of the Arabic language, Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian relations by means of the following programme:

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
The 1st Year of the Licentiate attempts to build specific theoretical and practical skills which are evidenced by the achievement of educational objectives. Expressed in terms of learning outcomes, these are the following:

- to know the structure of written literary Arabic that permits the student to read and understand, without excessive difficulty, complex literary and religious texts, both ancient and contemporary;
- to acquire the fundamental scientific concepts of the most important Islamic sciences;
- to possess a scientific method of comparative study of the Scriptures and the theological thought of Christians and of Muslims;
- to be able to to critically elaborate one’s own reflection on the Islamic religion and on Muslim-Christian relations.

Arabic Language (35 ECTS)

This programme offers a deeper study of the Arabic language with a view to enable students to understand, from within, Islamic culture and religious thought. It is divided into three sections throughout the year:

Annual courses:
• Grammar
• Translation from Arabic
• Translation into Arabic
• Composition
• The Qur’an and its interpretation
• Reading and comprehension of literary texts / Mass media
• Christian texts

Semester courses:
• Study of the Sunna (1st semester)
• Islamic texts (2nd semester)

Islamic Studies (18 ECTS)
The programme of Islamic Studies in the 1st Year offers students a deep reflection on the important areas of the Islamic sciences. The lectures will be enriched through the use of original sources offered in translation.
Teaching languages: English and Italian

1. Shi‘i Islam: History and Doctrine (Christopher Clohessy)
Teaching language: English
2. Sufism (Jason Welle)
Teaching language: English
3. Islamic Law (Martin Wullobayi)
Teaching language: English
4. Dialogue with Islam in the Magisterium of the Church (John Borelli)
Teaching language: English
5. Islamic Ethics (Christopher Clohessy)
Teaching language: English
6. Islam in Africa (Augustin Sawadogo)
Teaching language: English
7. Islamic Theology (Adrien Candiard)
Teaching language: English
8. Qur’anic Commentary (Mariangela Laviano)
Teaching language: English
9. Islamic Interpretation of the Bible (Valentino Cottini)
Teaching language: Italian

Muslim-Christian Relations (6 ECTS)
1. Bible and Qur’an. Comparative approach (Valentino Cottini)
Teaching language: Italian
2. Christians and Muslims: Theologies in contrast (Jason Welle)
Teaching language: English

Methodology (1 ECTS)
Methodology for Scientific Research II (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian

The Islamic Studies courses and those on Muslim-Christian Relations can be followed independently of the Licentiate programme.

2nd year of licentiate (60 ECTS)

The 2nd Year programme presupposes that students will have already acquired a facility in reading and in understanding Arabic. The aim, therefore, is to deepen and enrich their knowledge of certain fundamental aspects of Islamic culture and religious thought. The programme comprises the study of fundamental topics and the completion of the concluding thesis:

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES
The 2nd Year of the Licentiate attempts to build specific theoretical and practical skills which are evidenced by the achievement of educational objectives. Expressed in terms of learning outcomes, these are the following:- to be able to deal directly with Arabic texts representative of fundamental areas of Islamic culture and religious thought:
 
- to acquire the specific vocabulary and expressions of the most important Islamic sciences;
- to be able to carry out an adequate analysis of the complexity of the classical and contemporary Islamic world;
- to be able to operate with competence in the field of Muslim-Christian dialogue;
- to compose a thesis, based on an Arabic text, that shows methodologically and scientifically the mastery acquired at the end of the course of study.

Arabic Language (9.5 ECTS)

1. Arabic Literature (Wasim Salman)
2. Grammar (Alma Salem)
3. Christian Texts (Wasim Salman)
4. Arabic Media (Adnane Mokrani)

Islamic Studies (25.5 ECTS)
The courses in Islamic Studies in the 2nd Year, given in seminar format, help the student to tackle directly texts from original sources in Arabic. The students familiarize themselves with the forms of expression in the different Islamic sciences, each with its specific vocabulary. The program also includes a course of Arab-Christian apologetics, literature related to Islam insofar as it often responds to questions posed by Muslims to Christians in territories marked by a strong presence of Islam.
Teaching languages: Arabic, English, Italian

Programme:
1. Sufi Texts (Jason Welle)
2. Texts of Islamic Theology (Diego Sarrió Cucarella)
3. Texts of Islamic Historiography (Bartolomeo Pirone)
4. Islamic Juridical Texts (Martin Wullobayi)
5. Texts from the Sunna (Adnane Mokrani)
6. Texts of Qur'anic Commentary (Mariangela Laviano)
7. Shi'i Texts (Christopher Clohessy)
8. Texts of Arab-Christian Apologetics (Pierre Masri)
9. Contemporary Arab-Islamic Thought (Wasim Salman)

The programme of study also comprises the following course taught in English, which can be followed independently of the Licentiate programme:

11. Islam in Africa (Augustin Sawadogo)

Licentiate Thesis (24 ECTS)

The thesis concludes the two-year course of study for obtaining the Licentiate. It consists of a scientific monograph on an original topic of Islamic Studies. Such a scientific monograph should make a real contribution, however modest, to furthering knowledge in the Islamic science studied. This, therefore, excludes the repeating of subjects already studied by others or the simple reviewing of studies already conducted on the chosen topic. This ‘original topic’ indicates a new subject or the updating of a subject already studied by others.
The requirements of PISAI state that the thesis must include the annotated translation of an Arabic text, which has not yet been translated, together with a commentary on that text. In this way, students will demonstrate their ability to understand and translate an Arabic text and to produce a piece of work conducted scientifically with regard to content, methodology and style.
The choice of the Arabic text will be made in harmony with an advisor who will closely follow the development of the writing of the thesis. The defence will take place in the presence of and with the adjudication of the advisor and a reader.

Methodology (1 ECTS)
Methodology for Scientific Research III (Celeste Intartaglia)
Teaching language: Italian

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