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Unit information: Approaches to the Study of Religion in 2013/14

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Unit name Approaches to the Study of Religion
Unit code THRS10030
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. John Lyons
Open unit status Open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

In this unit, students will encounter a variety of disciplines, key theories and core approaches to the study of religion, examining in particular theological, sociological, anthropological, psychological, philosophical and comparative approaches. These disciplinary approaches will be illuminated by relevant examples drawn from the disciplines of the specialists lecturers who are teaching the unit. John R. Hinnels, The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (2009; also available as an ebook), will provide the core reading material for the unit. The aim of this unit is to equip students of religion and theology with a sound theoretical understanding of the key disciplines and approaches which shape their study of this discipline.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have: (1) developed a general knowledge and understanding of the main approaches to the academic study of religion today; (2) developed a general understanding of the theoretical ideas that have shaped the various scholarly approaches to religion(s); (3) demonstrated an ability to analyse and evaluate some of the main scholarly approaches to religion(s); (4) demonstrated the ability to identify pertinent data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument.

Teaching details

2 x 1-hour lecture per week

Assessment Details

One unseen examination of two hours comprising three questions out of 8.

The exam will assess (1) students’ general knowledge and understanding of the main approaches currently adopted within the academic study of religion; (2) students’ overall grasp of the theoretical ideas that have shaped these various approaches; and (3) students’ ability to analyse and evaluate some of the main approaches to the study of religion and (4) their ability to identify data in order to demonstrate a cogent argument.

Reading and References

• John R. Hinnels, The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (Second Edition; London: Routledge, 2009) • Seth Kunin & Jonathan Miles-Watson, Theories of Religion: A Reader (Edinburgh: EUP, 2006) • Russell T. McCutcheon, Studying Religion: An Introduction (London: Equinox, 2007). • Susan Mumm, Religion Today: A Reader (London: Ashgate, 2002).

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