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Iranian cultural area


The bachelor's and master's degree programs in languages and cultures of the Islamic world with a Persian focus center around the history and culture of the Iranian world. It includes above all the current-day states Iran and Afghanistan, but historically reaches far beyond them, including Iraq as well as large parts of Central Asia and India, all of which were part of the Iranian cultural area for many centuries, and some of which still are to this day.

Besides studying Persian (classical and modern Persian), the defining language of the Iranian cultural area, students also concern themselves with historical questions in the broadest sense, i.e., social, economic, and cultural history as well as the history of mentalities from Islamization to the present. Studying topics of previous centuries is the indispensable basis for understanding the modern developments and processes that shape the Iranian cultural area today. Individual focal areas include Iranian-Islamic history of ideas and literary history, religious concepts and systems of values, especially the development of Shia Islam in its various manifestations, its religious-political engagement with Western ways of life, and social upheavals. No particular areas of study are prescribed, so students can follow their personal interests when developing their own academic profiles.

In the master's degree program, classes in related subjects enable interested students to acquire the knowledge about methods relevant to them that qualify them for their later professional goals.