The academic discipline of Islamic theological studies is a latecomer to Germany. When the German Council of Science and Humanities published its ‘‘Recommendations on the Advancement of Theologies and Sciences Concerned with Religions at German Universities’’ in 2010, it included a recommendation to establish Islamic theological studies, on par with Christian theologies, at German universities. In this blueprint for the speedy introduction of this new discipline, certain expectations at the scientific and social levels were expressed. The introduction of the discipline into German universities is an interesting interplay of state, science, and religion within a secular setting and has to be understood in the context of recent developments to integrate citizens of Muslim belief as Muslims into German society at large. These recommendations also affected the academic field. Discussions took place within the established Orientalist discipline of Islamic studies (Islamwissenschaft) regarding the feasibility of another academic discipline studying Islam from a scientific perspective. Representatives of the new Islamic theological studies responded to the critique and tried to explain communalities and differences between the old and the new subject. One distinction made in the discussions was a proclaimed difference between an insider’s and outsider’s point of view. In this article I will describe the context of the establishment of Islamic theological studies, give an insight into the debates, and explain why the assumption that there is a difference between an insider’s and outsider’s perspective is misleading.


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pp. 181-195
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