Leiden Islam Academy: A First-Hand Analysis of an Innovative Teaching Program

Welmoet Boender*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Between 2014 and 2017, an innovative teaching program has run at Leiden University (the Netherlands), called Leiden Islam Academy. Its aim is sharing academic knowledge about Islam with a diverse audience within and outside academia. This contribution presents the program as a “best practice”, positioning its activities within three contextual needs. First, a societal need for information about Islam in the context of an emotionally fierce public and political Islam debate. Second, a need of Muslim students who seek academic knowledge of their religious tradition. And third, a university need for knowledge valorization. From an inside position, the author reflects upon two predicaments: the fierceness of the Islam debate, and a (radical) transformation of the traditional authoritative position of the university.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-139
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Interreligious Dialogue
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Islamic studies
  • Knowledge valorization
  • Leiden University
  • Life-long learning
  • The Netherlands


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