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Undergraduate Courses

Third-Year Courses

REL3035S Religion, Ethics and Human Rights

Structure: Third-year, second-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Professor Abdulkader Tayob
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL3039F or REL3037F; or completion of any cognate third-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

This course examines the foundations of ethics and the formation of values from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. With a special focus on the question of human rights in the public sphere, the course develops resources for understanding values, critically analysing ethical issues, and participating in ethical decision-making.


REL3037F Religion, Conflict and Violence

Structure: Third-year, first-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Dr Andrea Brigaglia
Entrance requirements: Completion of any cognate second-year course in the Humanities Faculty, or permission of Head of Department.

This course examines the role of religion in social conflict and violence in local, national and international contexts. Against the background of theoretical definitions of violence as direct physical harm, the violation of humanity, or illegitimate force, the course develops case studies in religion and conflict.


REL3039F The Death of God and Modernity

Structure: Third-year, first-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Dr Louis Blond
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL2040F or REL2048S; or completion of two cognate second-year courses in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

Friedrich Nietzsche's phrase "The Death of God" has become synonymous with Europe's long passage from a medieval consensus that agreed that God is in all things to a modernity which posits nature and human beings as independent entities at the centre of life's processes. Consequently, "The Death of God" describes the secularization of religious life and its continuing quarrel with modernity. The course will address philosophical and political secularisation and their relation with religion, examining major arguments that dispute religious doctrine, and asking if the contentious situation can be repaired.


REL3042S Religion and Media 

Structure: Third-year, second-semester course, 4 lectures per week.
Convener: Associate Professor  Asonzeh Ukah
Entrance requirements: Completion of REL2040F or REL2048S; or completion of any cognate second-year course in the Humanities Faculty; or permission of Head of Department.

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 religion. This course will examine the oral, written and visual traditions within religions 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 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 theorized, interpreted and practiced as a medium of communication and the ways religion is publicized, textualised, mediatized and visualised.