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Undergraduate Courses

Second-Year Courses

REL2040F Religion and Society

Structure: Second-year, first-semester course, 2 double-period lectures per week.
Convener: Dr Andrea Brigaglia
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course introduces and tests the usefulness of classic and contemporary theories of religion as a social reality. The course develops descriptive, interpretative, and explanatory methods for analysing the role of religion in social relations. Using critical approaches from the sociology of religion, hermeneutic philosophy and religious anthropology, the course includes explorations of identity, sacred narratives or myths, knowledge/power, and religious pluralism. Films are used as a means of exploring the contemporary character of religious consciousness and practise.


REL2047F Religion, Sexuality and Gender

Structure: Second-year, first-semester course, 3 lectures and 1 tutorial per week.
Convener: Dr Elisabetta Porcu
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course explores ideologies of gender and sexuality in the history of religious traditions, with particular attention to the role of women in religion. Connections between sexuality, embodiment and spirituality will be addressed through case studies in Abrahamic and Asian religions.


REL2054F Religion, Sexuality and Gender +

Structure: Second-year, first-semester course, 3 lectures and 1 tutorial per week.
Convener: Dr Elisabetta Porcu
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course explores ideologies of gender and sexuality in the history of religious traditions, with particular attention to the role of women in religion. Connections between sexuality, embodiment and spirituality will be addressed through case studies in Abrahamic and Asian religions.


REL2048S Psychology of Religion

Structure: Second-year, second-semester course, 3 lectures and 1 tutorial per week.
Convener: Dr Louis Blond
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course pays special attention to issues of theory and method in the psychology of religion, in order to develop an understanding of personal identity and difference in religious contexts. While recognising the importance of gender, class, race, ethnicity and other social forms of identity, the course focuses on religious dynamics of personal identity through case studies in consciousness, embodiment and cultural resources for being human.


REL2049S Religion, Spirituality and Ecology

Structure: Second-year, second-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Associate Professor Sa'diyya Shaikh
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course explores the way in which various religions have responded to the current environmental crisis and focuses on how each tradition has drawn on its own symbolic, mythic and ritual resources to develop a distinctive ecological philosophy. The global impact of world religions on contemporary attitudes towards nature is explored. The course also examines contemporary spiritual movements such as Neo-Paganism,  Deep Ecology and Eco-Feminism.


REL2052S Sacred Texts

Structure: Second-year, second-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Dr Louis Blond
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

To ground students in the texts and hermeneutical traditions that form the basis of Asian and Abrahamic religions. To be able to discuss and interpret key texts in those traditions. One text from the Asian religious tradition (one from Buddhism or Hinduism) and two texts from the Abrahamic religious traditions (two from Judaism, Christianity, or Islam) will be taught per course.


REL2053S African Religious Traditions

Structure: Second-year, second-semester course, 2 double period lectures per week.
Convener: Associate Professor Asonzeh Ukah
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL1002F or REL1006S; or completion of any cognate first-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

Africa is religiously pluralistic, having three major religious traditions. These are African indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam. Each of these is internally diverse and multifaceted, creating a mosaic of religious cultures, rituals, communities, ethics and worldviews. This course intends to investigate the histories, rituals and discourses of the traditions where they interact, differ and display common elements.