Introduction to the Study of Religion

Department of Theology and Religion, School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

College of Arts and Law


Code 25533

Level of study First Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1 or 2

Pre-requisite modules None

Other pre-requisites None

Module description

This module seeks to introduce students to a range of questions, theories and methods in the inter-disciplinary study of religion, focusing especially on the social and cultural analysis of religion. A range of case studies will be used to explore how different aspects of religion can be explored as forms of social and cultural experience and practice. Examples of this would include the ways in which religion and media interact, the place of visual and material culture in religion, the relationship between religion and popular culture, and the nature of religious experience, ritual and sacred space as lived phenomena. An introduction is also offered to wider theories and debates in sociology, cultural studies and anthropology as a basis for the study of religion. For this shorter 10-credit version of the module, a reduced amount of content will be provided. Students will not cover all the themes discussed above, depending upon which semester in which they take the module.

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered principally through interactive lectures, which will provide a broad range of information and ideas and also afford students the opportunity of exploring aspects of this material in more detail through group discussion and interaction. WebCT will be used to support these teaching and learning activities where appropriate. This module will, as far as possible, adhere to the chief principles of the University’s current Learning and Teaching strategy.