Diplôme de civilisation d'islamologie

- Registration 2024/25: May 13 to June 16, 2024
- For all information relating to the application and registration process, please contact the following address: secretariat.arabe@inalco.fr
- If you are a salaried employee, please read the "Continuing Education" section carefully.

In collaboration with teachers from Aix-Marseille - Université de Strasbourg - Sorbonne Université

Introduction and context

In the last two or three decades, Islamology, understood as the study of the texts and practices of the Muslim religion with the methods of the humanities and social sciences and a historical perspective, has experienced a disaffection on the part of academic circles and supervisory authorities. The dramatic events that have affected French society, particularly since 2015, and an international context marked by the confessionalization of conflicts and the emergence of sectarian and violent groups, have led to a heightened awareness of the issues involved in gaining a better understanding of Islam as a religion. This diploma contributes to the production and dissemination of scholarly discourse based on scientific criticism, to analyze Islam as a religious and civilizational fact, and to respond to a diversified social demand. It also perpetuates the collective dynamics fostered in the field of Islamology by the GIS Middle East and Muslim Worlds. It contributes to the development of a coherent national response to training needs in Islamology, and offers a scholarly alternative to the ideological discourse of all kinds that thrives on the Internet.
This diploma will evolve into a Bachelor's degree in Islamology delivered entirely by distance learning. It brings together teaching staff from four leading institutions that already offer courses in Islamology and related disciplines. They bring to bear their expertise in Islamic religion, with the emphasis on an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach.

Interactive presentation of the diploma

Francesco Chiabotti and Youssouf Sangaré present the Diplôme de civilisation d'islamologie:

Pedagogical objectives and skills

Currently, this DU in Islamology is the only one in France to offer initial training courses taught entirely by distance learning. 
The aim is to provide training in Islamic religion to a wide audience. The course favors an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach, focusing in particular on:

  • Fundamental Islamology, understood as the analysis of texts and doctrines (classical, modern and contemporary)
  • The historical study of Arab-Muslimsocieties
  • The sociological and political analysis of the religious phenomenon
  • The critical reading of the founding texts
  • The introduction to the different Islamic sciences and their constitution
  • The insertion of these sciences in the context of their production
  • The diversity of Islam through time and space

The aim is to acquire the tools to apprehend and understand the foundations of Islam as a religion and to analyze the diversity of its manifestations in contemporary societies.


The course comprises two diplomas, each taking place over one year:

  • DC 1 islamologie : initiation
  • DC 2 islamologie : approfondissement

Teaching is delivered entirely via distance learning. Each module includes a lecture and ancillary activities (readings, quizzes, etc.). Lectures are asynchronous, recorded and available on Moodle. Each module requires approximately 1.5 hours of work per week. 
A weekly live session is hosted by each teacher in turn, with the time slot specified at the beginning of the year (for guidance, Friday 6pm). This weekly meeting enables us to maintain a link with the teaching team and with all those enrolled. The session is recorded and can be consulted remotely. However, it is strongly recommended to follow these sessions live. 

The teaching team

The teaching team is made up of Islamologists, historians, sociologists and anthropologists, specialists in Muslim worlds. The team is developing a renewed pedagogy on the Islamic religious fact, both in terms of content, derived from the most recent research, and digital teaching tools. The main teachers on the pedagogical team are:

  • Mélisande Bizoirre (BNF)
  • Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Francesco Chiabotti (Inalco)
  • Anouk Cohen (CNRS, Centre Jacques Berque)
  • Mériam Cheikh (INALCO)
  • Nicolas Elias (INALCO)
  • Mohamed Hayyan (Doctorant EPHE, chargé de cours)
  • Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (Sorbonne)
  • Paul Neuenkirchen (post-doctoral fellow Princeton/Vienna)
  • Youssouf Sangaré (Inalco)
  • Dilek Sarmis (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Jean-Jacques Thibon (Inalco)
  • Éric Vallet (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Chantal Verdeil (Inalco)
  • Nadjet Zouggar (Aix-Marseille Université)


  • Students following another course but wishing for personal or professional reasons to deepen their knowledge of Islam from a civilizational and not just a religious point of view.
  • Students living abroad and wishing to follow a French curriculum.
  • People with an interest, in one capacity or another, in Islam and who wish to enhance the knowledge they have acquired with a diploma.
  • Professionals (civil service, associative executives, army, police: contact the Continuing Education department for enrolment details and funding possibilities: anne.gehant@inalco.fr)


DC 1 islamology : initiation

Semester 1
Module 1 - Introduction to the history of medieval Islam 
The expansion of Islam and the construction of Muslim space, the structuring of political power, the representation of major religious and theological divides, a new culture and ancient heritages. 

Module 2 - Introduction to the founding texts: Qur'an, ḥadīth, sīra 
Returning to the founding texts in the light of recent questioning and debates in contemporary research. Putting these texts into perspective and the context of their emergence.

Module 3 - Introduction to classical Muslim thought: law, theology, exegesis, Sufism, Shi'ism
An introduction to the Islamic sciences, addressing their constitution and then their development and the reference authorities of each.

Module 4 - Islam through its texts
Critical reading of texts that address various issues related to the main sciences of Islam (hadith, exegesis, law, theology, Sufism).

Semester 2
Module 5 - Introduction to the history of the modern and contemporary Muslim world 
Colonization and its consequences, insertion into modernity. Nationalism and the emergence of nation states. Plural societies, religious divides, identity constructs. 

Module 6 - Introduction to modern and contemporary Muslim thought
Study of new religious doctrines: Wahhabism and Salafism. Muslim reformism: its major figures and currents.

Module 7 - History of Islamic art
The main characteristics of Islamic art. Representative works.

DC 2 - Islamology: in-depth study (Islam, culture and religion) - from academic year 2024-25

Semester 3
Module 8 - Texts of Islamic thought and spirituality 1: Mysticism, theology and philosophy
Presentation and study, through selected texts, of the major currents, authorities and doctrines of these different fields and this in relation to the historical context of their production.

Module 9 - Texts of Islamic thought and spirituality 2: The ethical question
The ethical question through texts. Study of the adab, a polysemous term that covers a wide field, from rules of conviviality to literature, and whose content has been constantly renewed.

Module 10 - Languages and religion
The links between language and religion in Islam. From the question of the sacredness of the Arabic language to the place of languages, this course will present different facets of the link between language and religion in Islam.

Semester 4
Module 11 - Islams: local Islam, global Islam
Islam in its geographical, linguistic and cultural diversity. Common practices, plural representations 

Module 12 - Anthropology of Islam
Anthropological approach to Muslim societies and their characteristics 

Module 13 - Islam and radicalization: textual and sociological approaches
The question of violence in Islam through a dual Islamological and sociological approach, study of the various factors of radicalization (study of discourses, reading grids, societal challenges).

Module 14 - Islam, media and translation
Media representations of Islam. Debates and media discourse on Islam. Media as a learning space. Editions and translations

In brief

Dates and course schedule
Courses run over 13 weeks per semester.

Course start dates: September 18, 2023 to December 23, 2023 (Semester 1) and January 29 to May 19, 2024 (Semester 2)
The 2023/24 academic calendar can be viewed here
Exams 1st semester: January 8 to 23, 2024
Exams 2nd semester: May 20 to June 5, 2024
Catch-up exams: July 24 to 9, 2024

Exam sessions correspond to Inalco's schedule

Annual fee 2024

Individual registration: 255 € registration fee + 270 € distance learning fee + 34 € BULAC registration fee + 92 € for the Contribution à la Vie étudiante et de campus (CVEC).
Continuing education registration: contact anne.gehant@inalco.fr

Registration 2024

Registration campaign: from May 13 to June 16, 2024 

For all information relating to the application and registration process, please contact secretariat.arabe@inalco.fr
Selection by application. 
Number of places limited to 75 for the first year.

If you are an employee, civil servant, self-employed person, job seeker, or RSA beneficiary, and you would like to apply for this establishment diploma, you should also contact the Continuing Training department to find out about registration procedures and possibilities for reimbursement.

Information : 
Reprise d'études


Submission of an application, baccalauréat or equivalent, fluency in French, letter of motivation, commitment to have the necessary equipment to follow the distance learning course : (computer + internet connection)
The DC is accessible to non-Arabic speakers, although a knowledge of Arabic is desirable and its study encouraged (MOOC Arabic free accessible).

Assessment methods

Distance terminal examination. 
Modules are compensated annually, with an overall mark equal to or higher than 10/20.


Francesco Chiabotti
(MCF Islamologie)

Youssouf Sangaré
(MCF Islamologie)