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Undergraduate Courses

Third-Year Courses

REL3037F Religion and Politics

Structure: Third-year, first-semester course, 3 lectures per week.
Convener: Dr Louis Blond
Entrance requirements:  Completion of REL2040F or REL2048S and any other REL 2000- level course; or by permission of the Head of Department (second year students who are majoring in Politics would be given standard HoD allowance to take this course).

This course discusses the configuration of religious and secular spaces in the modern nation state and examines the role of religion in social and political conflict in local, national and global contexts. The course develops a selection of case studies, which may include religion, politics and conflict in South Africa; religion and the state in Asian countries; Judaism, modernity and the Holocaust; religion, nationhood and conflict in Israel/Palestine.

 


REL3042S Religion and Media 

Structure: Third-year, second-semester course, 3 lectures per week.
Convener: Professor Asonzeh Ukah
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL2040F or REL2048S and any other REL 2000- level course; or by permission of the Head of Department (second year students who are majoring in Politics would be given standard HoD allowance to take this course). 

Religion’s relationship with media begins with the voice and the text – the written word and the oral tradition of storytelling – as well as with accompanying visual signs. The investment of these means of communication with a sacred power is foundational to both religion and myth. This course will examine some of the foundational elements of oral, written and visual traditions and how the sacred power inherent in media are interpreted and amplified across cultures into new technological forms such as the printing press, radio, film, television and the internet. Religion has become increasingly textual, densely visual, intensely mediated. We will, for example, analyse religion in its connection with films, videos, and music both within and outside Africa; Japanese popular culture (manga and animated movies, or anime); as well as other instances of religion in and through the media worldwide. Further, we will investigate the diverse and complex relationships between religious theory, practice and media and the technologies that enable their transference. Students taking this course are expected to engage with the different ways in which religion is theorised, interpreted and practiced as a medium of communication and the ways religion is publicised, textualised, mediatised and visualised.