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Norway11University of BergenHva er religionsvitenskap?

Betrakter man religion utenfra er det først og fremst det religiøse mangfold som faller i øynene. Milliarder av mennesker definerer seg ut fra sin religiøse tilhørighet. Religion er innvevd i kunst og politikk, arbeid og krigføring, økonomi og lovgivning, etikk og underholdning. Globalisering og flerkulturelle samfunn bringer de fleste i kontakt med andre religioner enn sin egen. At religion er en viktig ingrediens i konflikter i verden i dag er iøyenfallende.

Religionens språk er ofte et maktspråk der samfunnsorden og familieforhold, inkludert kjønn, gis en kosmisk begrunnelse. Religion tjener verdslig herskermakt, men kan også begrunne maktskifter og fordømme voldelige og undertrykkende regimer. Vår globaliserte verden skaper behov for bedre og oppdaterte kunnskaper om religion og ikke minst tenkning om hvordan politiske myndigheter og andre skal håndtere religiøst mangfold. Dette gjør religionsvitenskap til et høyaktuelt fag.

I all religionsvitenskap vil mennesket på en eller annen måte utgjøre religionens sentrum, ettersom det er den eneste måten vi kan nærme oss religion med forskningens uavhengige, analytiske blikk. Et religionsvitenskapelig perspektiv er et utsideperspektiv. Et slikt perspektiv innebærer å ta religion på alvor og undersøke religiøse fenomener og prosesser, men uten å ta stilling til om religioner er sanne. Religionsvitenskap er en vitenskap. Den er verken religiøs eller antireligiøs. Den krever en profesjonell nøytralitet, som ikke setter religiøse og ateistiske livssyn opp mot hverandre og ikke rangerer religioner.

Religionsvitenskap er et omfattende fag, emnemessig, teoretisk og metodisk. Det har en rekke underdisipliner som religionshistorie, religionsantropologi, religonssosiologi, religionspsykologi og religionsfenomenologi. Religionsvitenskap inviterer til kunnskap og forståelse av en lang rekke kulturer og samfunn. Faget gir muligheter til nærlesing av religiøse tekster på for eksempel sanskrit eller koptisk, samtidig som det tilbyr innføringer i de nyeste teoretiske tilnærmingene til religion slik som kognisjonsforskning.

Religionsvitenskap er et historisk fag som utforsker religionenes lange linjer. De fleste religioner har "seige" strukturer som gjør at fortiden videreføres i nåtiden. Det gjør den historiske dimensjonen særlig viktig i faget.

Religionsvitenskap er også et sammenlignende og krysskulturelt fag. Religionsvitenskapens utgangspunkt er at vi ikke kan forstå fenomenet religion ved bare å kjenne til én religion, selv om den skulle være aldri så rik og allsidig. Også en enkelt religion forstår man på en annen måte når man sammenligner den med andre. For å kunne si noe faglig gyldig om religion, må en ha kjennskap til det religiøse mangfold i verden. Det er mulig å finne felles mønstre i religioner, mønstre som går igjen på tvers av tid og sted. Men selv om det finnes tydelige felles trekk, er religionenes verden full av variasjoner. Det kan være mange guder, få guder, én gud eller ingen gud. Guder kan være mannlige, kvinnelige eller tvekjønnet, se ut som mennesker, ha dyreskikkelse, eller overgå enhver beskrivelse. Bruken av et sammenlignende perspektiv og av universalbegreper som analyseverktøy tjener ikke minst til å påvise variasjoner og til å belyse religiøse og historiske prosesser. Fordypningen i religionshistorie utgjør ryggraden i studieretningen. Du lærer å analysere og sammenligne religioner og religiøse fenomener i lys av religionshistoriske, -sosiologiske, -psykologiske og -fenomenologiske teorier. I kombinasjon med støttefaget får du kunnskap om forholdet mellom religion og samfunn og en unik tverrkulturell kompetanse.
Din spesialkompetanse avhenger av støttefag. Støttefagene vil styrke din kunnskap om en bestemt religions språk-, kultur- eller samfunnskontekst.
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Norway12University of BergenStudenter ved UiB kan ta emner i religionsvitenskap (RELV) som frie studiepoeng eller kombinere flere RELV-emner til en spesialisering i religionsvitenskap. Til sammen 90 studiepoeng utgjør en spesialisering som kvalifiserer til opptak til masterprogrammet. Studiet i religionsvitenskap på 100-nivå består av fire emner på 15 studiepoeng hver. Grunnleggende er RELV101 (Innføring i religionsvitenskap). Dette emnet orienterer om både klassiske og aktuelle problemstillinger i studiet av religioner (for eksempel myter og symboler, ritualer, guder, religion og politikk, religion og økonomi). Videre er det tre emner som gir en oversikt over religioner i Øst og Vest, i fortid og nåtid. Disse er RELV102 (Jødedom, kristendom, islam), RELV103 (Hinduisme, buddhisme og andre asiatiske religioner) og RELV105 (Midtøstens og Middelhavsområdets eldre religionshistorie samt norrøn og samisk religion).
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Norway23University of Oslo Er du interessert i religion og fremmede kulturer? Denne studieretningen kombinerer studiet av ulike religioner med andre fag og gir en unik tverrkulturell kompetanse.

Hva er religion? Tro eller politikk? I dagens multi-religiøse samfunn er religion en kilde til konflikt så vel som identitet og mening. Denne studieretningen gir deg kunnskap om hva religion betyr for individ og samfunn. Du får kunnskap om flere religioner, religionshistoriske endringsprosesser og innsikt i tenkningen omkring forholdet mellom religion og kultur. Sentrale tema er spørsmålet om hvordan religioner oppstår og forandrer seg, og sammenligning av religioner og religiøse fenomener.

Studiet passer både for deg som er interessert i det flerkulturelle samfunn og deg som er interessert i religionshistoriske endringsprosesser. Du får kunnskap om flere religioner og trening i å sammenligne religioner både historisk og i et dagsaktuelt perspektiv. Gjennom studieløpet lærer du å analysere komplekse problemstillinger, tolke religiøse tekster, ritualer, tradisjoner og utsagn. Du får innsikt i dynamikken bak religiøse endringsprosesser, i forholdet mellom tro og kultur, og om interreligiøse relasjoner.

Studieretningen består av en fordypning i religionshistorie og et valgfritt støttefag. Alle de godkjente støttefagene bygger opp under og utvider den kunnskapen du får om religiøse- og kulturelle endringsprosesser i fordypningsfaget. Studieretningen gir undervisningskompetanse i religionsfaget i skolen.
Hva lærer du?

Fordypningen i religionshistorie utgjør ryggraden i studieretningen. Du lærer å analysere og sammenligne religioner og religiøse fenomener i lys av religionshistoriske, -sosiologiske, -psykologiske og -fenomenologiske teorier. I kombinasjon med støttefaget får du kunnskap om forholdet mellom religion og samfunn og en unik tverrkulturell kompetanse.
Din spesialkompetanse avhenger av støttefag. Støttefagene vil styrke din kunnskap om en bestemt religions språk-, kultur- eller samfunnskontekst.
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Norway34
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Bachelorprogram religionsvitenskap gir deg innsikt i de ulike religiøse tradisjoners trosgrunnlag og praksis, samt forståelse for den historiske utvikling som ligger til grunn.
Videre skal programmet gi innsikt i det samspill og de problemstillinger som oppstår i skjæringspunktet mellom religion og andre sosiale og kulturelle fenomen. Gjennom dette skal du utvikle forståelse av og bevissthet om religion og livssyn som viktige elementer i så vel det norske som det internasjonale samfunn.
Målet for programmet er å utvikle din kunnskap om religiøse ideer og religiøs praksis, samt gi deg innsikt i religionenes funksjon og betydning som livstolkning, verdiforankring og meningshorisont for individer så vel som for større sosiale grupper.
Vi legger vekt på å utvikle din evne til å tenke sammenlignende og vitenskapelig om religion og religiøse tradisjoner som sosiale, kulturelle og psykologiske fenomen, samt utvikle ferdigheter i å kommunisere om slike spørsmål. Du bør ha forkunnskaper og ferdigheter tilsvarende faget religion og etikk i videregående opplæring.
Religionsvitere arbeider i forhold til flere vitenskapsdisipliner, deriblant antropologi, arkeologi, historie, psykologi, sosiologi og statsvitenskap. Som student i religionsvitenskap vil du derfor lære hvordan forskningsprosessen foregår, og hvordan ulike fagdisipliners tradisjoner former problemstillinger og metoder
Hvorfor velge religionsvitenskap?
Å studere religionsvitenskap kan gi bedre innsikt i hva trosliv betyr og ikke betyr for menneskers handlinger.
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Norway45University of TromsøYrkesmuligheter
Studiet kvalifiserer til undervisning i grunnskole og videregående skole, samt til arbeid innen forskning, museumsvirksomhet og i yrker som krever kjennskap til flerkulturelle forhold, f.eks. innen internasjonale organisasjoner, utviklingsarbeid, massemedia og administrasjon.
...
Religionsvitenskap med fordypning i kristendomsfaglige emner kan kombineres med praktisk-kirkelig utdannelse ved Kirkelig Utdanningssenter i Nord (60 stp.), som åpner for flere kirkelige stillinger. Ved Universitetet i Tromsø kan faget dessuten utgjøre basis for masterstudier i religionsvitenskap, studieretning i teologi. Kombinert med praktisk-kirkelig utdannelse kvalifiserer dette for prestetjeneste i Den norske kirke.

Bachelorgradsprogrammet i religionsvitenskap består av obligatoriske emner og valgemner. Programmet har to studieretninger; religionsvitenskap og teologi. Valg av studieretning vil ha innflytelse på hvilke obligatoriske emner og valgemner som må eller kan tas. I studieretning religionsvitenskap er det flere valgemner og muligheter for spesialisering etter eget ønske, mens studieretning i teologi fokuserer på kristendomsfaglige emner. For begge retninger er teori-og metode-emnene obligatoriske (REL-1050, REL-2050, samt REL-2001). I det første semesteret tar alle ex.phil. og ex.fac. sammen med et innføringsemne i religionsvitenskap. Hvordan resten av studiet blir, avhenger av studieretning.

Tar du studieretning religionsvitenskap, kan du velge mellom ulike religionsemner i det andre og tredje semesteret. I fjerde og femte semester er det lagt til rette for opphold i utlandet, eller du kan velge emner fra andre fag.

Studieretning teologi har flere obligatoriske emner, blant annet språkfag. Her er det ett semester med emner fra andre fag eller utenlandsopphold. Det siste semesteret er likt for begge studieretninger med fordypning i teori og metode og ei fordypningsoppgave.
Studieretninger
Programmet har to studieretninger:
Religionsvitenskap
Teologi
Læringsutbytte
Studiet skal gi studentene de faglige redskap som er nødvendige for å forstå religionene i deres kulturelle og samfunnsmessige sammenheng. Det betyr foruten tilegnelse av generell kunnskap om de enkelte religioner, også en fortrolighet med fagets teoretisk-metodiske tilnærminger. Den videre målsetting er at faget skal fungere som innfallsport til så vel fremmede som den egne kulturs idé- og samhandlingstradisjoner.
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Denmark56Københavns UniversitetReligion er noget alle er omgivet af, uanset om du er troende eller ej. Religionsvidenskab er studiet af, hvad religionerne handler om, hvor de er, og hvordan de adskiller sig fra hinanden.

I modsætning til teologi er religionsvidenskab ikke begyndelsen til en præsteuddannelse, selv om man sagtens kan specialisere sig i kristendommen - men vinklen er anderledes. Her handler det om at se på religion som et kulturelt element i de samfundsmæssige og øvrige kulturelle forhold, der hvor religionen optræder. Religionsvidenskab er en kulturhistorisk uddannelse, hvor du beskæftiger dig med religioners historiske udvikling, deres position i samfundet og den måde de fremtræder på i nutiden.

Formålet med uddannelsen er at gøre dig i stand til at analysere, fortolke og forstå forskellige religioner og religiøse fænomener i deres kulturelle og sociale sammenhæng. Du arbejder med religioner fra hele verden og fra alle tider på baggrund af fx antropologiske beskrivelser, sociologiske undersøgelser og religiøse kilder (tekster, billeder, feltarbejdsresultater, statistik mv.). Du lærer at beskrive hovedtræk af religionernes historie og deres måde at fungere på i nutiden - globalt, ligesom du bliver i stand til at at beherske religionsvidenskabens teorier og metoder.

Desuden får du grundlæggende færdigheder i mindst ét fremmed originalsprog og et højt fagligt refleksionsniveau. Ud over dine sprogkompetencer, specialviden om religioner, får du en række humanistiske kompetencer: Du er i stand til at strukturere din egen læring og arbejde akademisk og systematisk både selvstændigt og sammen med andre. Du kan formidle din viden mundtligt og skriftligt til forskellige målgrupper, og du kan fungere som mediator mellem kulturer.

Bacheloruddannelsen i Religionsvidenskab er på tre og et halvt år. Den består af 2 1/4 års grundfagsstudier suppleret med 3/4 års tilvalgsstudier uden for grundfaget - samt et halvt års sprogundervisning (propædeutik). Du vælger frit, hvilke tilvalg der skal indgå i bachelorstudiet. På uddannelsen er der et levende studiemiljø, hvor studerende aktivt tager del i deres eget fagråd og festudvalg.

Kandidatuddannelsen er den to-årige overbygning på bachelorstudiet. De fleste vælger at læse en kandidatuddannelse efter afsluttet bacheloruddannelse. Dermed bliver du uddannet cand.mag. i det fag, du har læst. De ekstra to års studier giver dig mulighed for at få indbygget et praktikophold, hvor du kan komme ud og afprøve dine allerede opnåede kompetencer, og det giver dig større indblik i, hvad du kunne tænke dig at arbejde med og det styrker dit kendskab til arbejdsmarked og netværk. Derudover skriver du på kandidatuddannelsen en større opgave - specialet - som giver dig mulighed for at beskæftige dig mere og gå særligt i dybden, med et fag eller emne du brænder for. Begge dele kan være en god hjælp på vejen til at få job, karriere, interesser og kompetencer til at gå op i en højere enhed. Du kan i boksen til højre se eksempler på mulige kandidatuddannelser, fx religionshistorie og religionssociologi.
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Denmark67Syddanske UniversitetReligionsstudier (bachelor)
Nutidens konflikter og fortidens krige, aktuel politik, gamle og nye religioner, kulturmøder og etik: Religion har årtusindgamle rødder, men religionsstudiet er solidt forankret i nutiden - tænd blot for fjernsynet eller læs din avis: flygtningepolitik og folkekirke, Muhammad-tegninger, Taleban og New Age samt de mange andre politiske og etiske debatter, hvor religion også spiller en rolle.
Fagets centrale dele

Du vil blive grundigt indført i de forskellige religiøse traditioner i fortid og nutid, sammenlignende studier af religiøse fænomener som fx myte, kult, mystik, shamanisme, forholdet mellem tradition og innovation, mellem religion og politik, religioner i globaliserings- og kulturmødeprocesser og religiøs og ikke-religiøs etik. Du får derfor et fagligt og metodisk kvalificeret kendskab til religionernes betydning og rolle i kulturmøder i og uden for Danmark og deres roller i skabelse af nationale og etniske identiteter, in- og out-grupper.

Forskellige religioner
Religionsstudiet giver dig indsigt i forskellige religioner og deres samspil med samfund og kultur, og du får gennem hele studiet lejlighed til sammen med fagets lærerkræfter at forfølge de grundlæggende og uløste spørgsmål om, hvorfor der er religion, og hvad det er for noget.




Bland dig i debatten
Du bliver i stand til at forholde dig analytisk-kritisk til den offentlige debat og til at formidle din viden til andre. Du får et fundament for forståelsen af ikke kun de religiøse, men også de etiske og filosofiske problemstillinger, der i stadig højere grad præger den aktuelle samfundsdebat. Desuden får du mulighed for at gå i dybden med udvalgte emner som fx:


•religion og medier
•religion og kunst
•religion og menneskerettigheder
•religion og køn
•religion og politik

Levende studiemiljø
På religionsstudier vil du også møde og tage del i et aktivt studiemiljø med foredragsforeningen Religio, der hvert semester arrangerer foredrag, samt studenterbladet af samme navn, hvor både studerende og undervisere skriver, debatterer og anmelder. Du kan også gøre din indflydelse gældende gennem studiets fagråd, og derved være med til at skabe både din egen og den fremtidige religionsuddannelse.

Studiestruktur

Religion kan læses som centralt fag eller som tilvalg.
Er du bachelor i religion kan du vælge at fortsætte på kandidatuddannelsen i religion.

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Denmark78Aarhus universitetHvorfor læse religionsvidenskab?
Med religionsvidenskab vælger du et studium, der beskæftiger sig med et altid aktuelt emne: fænomenet religion i sine mangfoldige udtryk og former. Du vil blive introduceret til verdens store religioner såsom kristendom, jødedom, islam, hinduisme og buddhisme, men du vil også blive præsenteret for emner som kult, ritualer, myte, shamanisme, civil religion alle emner, der går på tværs af religioner. Desuden vil du blive præsenteret for mange teoretiske og metodiske tilgange, der samlet forsøger at give dig et indblik i, hvad religion kan være og giver bud på, hvilken rolle religion synes at spille.
Nogle af de spørgsmål der bliver studeret og diskuteret er fx: forholdet religion-politik, religion-samfund, religion-magt, religion-identitet, men også på hvilken måde religion spiller ind i en livs- og verdensforståelse.

Hvad læser man?
Religionsvidenskab er en bred humanistisk uddannelse. Her får du indblik i enkelte religioner og religiøse fænomener og en generel viden om religion på et humanistisk, samfundsteoretisk og filosofisk grundlag. Samtidig får du almene kompetencer i at arbejde fagligt og selvstændigt med humanistiske emner relateret til fænomenet religion.
Det teoretiske og metodiske grundlag er historisk, filosofisk, sociologisk, antropologisk, psykologisk og filologisk. Det vil gøre dig i stand til at arbejde på tværs af fag og beskrive og analysere problemstillinger, der f.eks. omhandler mødet mellem forskellige religioner og kulturer.
For at få en god fornemmelse af, hvad der danner baggrund for en bestemt religions menneske- og verdenssyn skal du lære at læse et traditionsdannende originalsprog. Her kan du vælge imellem fx pali, sanskrit, græsk, herbraisk og latin. Dette kaldes et propædeutisk sprog. Derudover vil bacheloruddannelsen bestå af følgende fag: Religionshistorie med religionsfænomenologi, islam og indisk religion, israelitisk og jødisk religion, kristendommens tidlige og senere historie samt moderne kristendom, religionssociologi, religionsfilosofi og etik, religionspsykologi, forskningshistorie, og du skal udover at lære et traditionsbærende sprog også skrive en opgave inden for det valgte originalsprog. Dertil kommer et antal valgfag, hvor udbuddet er bredt. Det betyder, at du her selv kan vælge ud fra de specifikke interesser, du måtte have. Grundfaget omfatter desuden introduktion til studiet, studium generale samt et bachelorprojekt, som afslutter bacheloruddannelsen.

Opbygningen
Den religionsvidenskabelige bacheloruddannelse varer i alt 3,5 år (3+ 0,5 år), fordi der indgår det halve års undervisning i et propædeutisk sprog.
Alle bacheloruddannelser skal kombineres med ¾ til 1 år på et andet fag og netop religionsvidenskab er oplagt til at kombinere med en lang række andre universitetsfag. Alle humanistiske og samfundsvidenskabelige fag grænser på den ene eller anden måde op til religionsvidenskaben - det kan fx være antropologi, filosofi, historie, sprog- og litteraturfag, statskundskab og psykologi.
Med en bacheloreksamen kan du forsætte på en række af universitets kandidatuddannelser.
Langt de fleste af vores studerende vælger dog at fortsætte på kandidatuddannelsen i religionsvidenskab, hvor studiet uddybes. Desuden giver et halvt års valgfag mulighed for studieophold ved andre danske eller udenlandske universiteter, men tiden kan også bruges til praktik. Studiet afsluttes med et speciale på ½ år, hvor du selv vælger emnet, der kan være alt fra: New Age som religion, ritualer i sportens verden, Kierkegaards filosofi, Luthers betydning i den Danske Folkekirke, hopiindianernes verdenssyn til trinitetsdiskussioner i tidlig kristendom.
Hvordan studerer man religionsvidenskab?
På religionsvidenskab kombineres forskellige former for undervisning. Du vil møde undervisning, hvor du på større hold primært hører læreroplæg. Læreren vil som regel gennemgå og tilføje kritiske vinkler til det stof, du har forberedt hjemmefra eller i din studiegruppe, men der er også rig lejlighed til at stille spørgsmål og diskutere faget. Du vil også møde undervisning på mindre hold, hvor der er rigelig mulighed for at diskutere, og i valgfagene kan du blive præsenteret for en eksamensform, hvor du består ved aktiv deltagelse i selve forløbet. Her opøves du i mundtlig fremstilling, kritisk vurdering og i at skrive mindre handouts til dine medstuderende.
Hvad kan jeg blive?
Med religionsvidenskab kan du få undervisningskompetence i gymnasieskolen, og du kan også undervise på højskoler, seminarer eller universitetet.
Men stillingsfeltet er meget bredere: Idet du får specifik viden om og forståelse for samspillet mellem religion, kultur og samfund; idet du lærer at kunne beskrive og analysere problemstillinger, der for eksempel omhandler mødet mellem forskellige religioner og kulturer, så får du kvalifikationer, som du kan bruge i stillinger inden for humanitære organisationer, offentlig administration, personaleudvikling, kommunikation, formidling, samt i stillinger hvor en forståelse for kulturforhold i bred forstand anses som en vigtig kompetence.

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Finland89University of TurkuCOMPARATIVE RELIGION
Department of Cultural Studies University of Turku
What is comparative religion?
Comparative religion is an academic field of study aiming to examine religion, religious ideas and institutions as an integral part of human cognition and behavior in any sociocultural context in the course of history. It encourages the analysis and understanding of religion, ideologies, world-views and forms of belief and practice in any given society through archeological, oral and written source materials. In addition to comparative and historical approach the study of religion is a social and behavioral science focusing on the symbolic construction of meanings by which individuals and social groups create and express their identities.
Teaching and research
In Turku University comparative religion is an anthropologically oriented discipline. In methodological training a great importance is attached to both on the theory and methods of training in ethnographic field research. Anthropological approach in collecting and analysing empirical data can be carried out in reference to religious traditions, but also in reference to secular world views and ideologies not only in Europe but in other parts of world, too. Comparative religion in Turku University offers basic instruction that present mythologies, popular religion and ethnic processes among the Finnic peoples in the Baltic Sea culture area in particular and among other Finno-Ugric peoples in Northern Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia in general.
Studies and professional prospects
Annually 20 new students are selected to study comparative religion at Turku University through an entrance examination. The modes of teaching are mainly lectures and seminars. Along with examinations students are expected to prepare essays and reports. The focus of these works is to learn critical thinking and developing their literal skills. Studying antropological field work methods with excercises is important, too. Due to this, many M.A. theses are based on individual field work projects. In principal M.A. in comparative religion qualifies for a research career. It is, however, useful in many other fields, too. In Finland people with an education in comparative religion are employed, for instance, by council offices of cultural affairs and media. Also integrating refugees and immigrants into Finnish society has created jobs for specialists in comparative religion. Choosing one's profession is naturally dependent to choosing minors, too, during the studies. Popular branches of knowledge for the student of comparative religion are history, psychology, communication studies, sociology and philosophy. Orienting to the international tasks preconcieves naturally studies in foreing languages, too. Many of the student in comparative religion study to be humanistically oriented religion teachers for schools.
The teaching program includes lectures or seminars by foreign teachers whenever it is possible. The faculty members maintain international contacts contributing to the publications abroad and by participating conferences and seminars.
TKU archive
Comparative religion maintains together with Folkloristics the archive of ethnographic materials. The collections include for instance data on religious traditions and folklore from Ingria (area close to St. Petersburg, Russia) and India (mostly Kerala area), ethnomedicine of Peruvian Amazon, laments of the Baltic Sea Finns and village projects in Lappland. Since the early 1970's information of religious groups in Turku area have been collected systematically, too. This is characteristically an audiovisual research and teaching archive. The TKU archive in Turku University is the second largest tradition archive in Finland and the vast audiovisual materials have been catalogued using the means provided by data-base techniques. Due to the fieldwork-oriented production of research data, the majority of the students and researchers frequently utilize and add to the collections.
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Finland810University of TurkuECTS INFORMATION
Department of Cultural Studies
USKONTOTIEDE - COMPARATIVE RELIGION

This Web Site was funded by Erasmus.

Comparative Religion examines religion and culture as a human, social and historical phenomenon. The complexity of issues requires a multidisciplinary approach, representing theoretically and methodologically both humanistic and social perspectives. Finnish Comparative Religion is characterised by its close relation to different aspects of Cultural Sciences, and in Turku particular attention is given to field research.

Comparative Religion studies religious experiences and attitudes (psychology of religion), religion as a social and communal phenomenon (the sociology of religion), religions as historical phenomena (the history of religion), and the types, forms and structures of religion (the phenomenology of religion). The aim is to understand religious individuals and societies from their own perspective, but also to examine and explain the origin of religious phenomena through their relationship to societal and environmental circumstances.

Comparative Religion comprises a General and a Religion Education track.
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Finland911University of HelsinkiThe study of religions has been a major subject of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki since 1970. It has also been a major subject of the Faculty of Arts since 1971. This places the Department in unique position between two faculties.

The purpose of the Department’s teaching in general is to foster interest in the religious dimensions of societies and peoples in the World. Religion commonly encapsulates people’s values and ideas, sets forward their role models and is integrally related to a sense of identity for many. The study of religion is therefore concerned with the inspiration (for good or ill) of peoples’ culture, history and beliefs concerning ultimate issues.

The scholarly study of religions requires all the academic (and transferable) skills of amassing, ordering and critically assessing materials relevant to a specific issue, where appropriate in the original or other relevant languages; developing powers of reasoned analysis, exercising independent thought and communicating effectively in both literary and oral form. The department is deeply committed to the study of religions both in ancient cultures and classical literature, as well as in modern society. This department makes no religious assumptions; staff and students come from different religions or from none.

It is impossible to understand any culture without studying its religion. In studying religions one is studying how people reflect on and react to what they consider to be of ultimate significance.
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Finland912University of HelsinkiThe aim of the Department’s teaching is to give the students knowledge and skills needed to objectively study the texts, ideas, phenomena, and institutions associated with religion. The term religion is understood broadly. In addition to what is traditionally labelled as religion or religious, students of Comparative Religion can study folk beliefs, worldviews, and ideologies, to name a few examples.
Religion is composed of people’s values, models for various roles in life, and ideas concerning the origin of the world and the meaning of existence. It is in many cases also an integral part of individual’s identity and society’s structure. To study religion is therefore to study people, their cultures, ideas, and societies. Because of this broad and diverse object of study, scholars of Comparative Religion need multitude of tools for collecting, organising and assessing data.
Studying Comparative Religion as a major subject of the Faculty of Arts

Bachelor of Arts degree gives students good general knowledge on the religious traditions of the world and teaches how to study religions as scientific objects of study. It also introduces the basic methods, theories, and sources needed to do further research. The BA degree also introduces the history of the Subject and its current topics. After successfully completing the Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative religion, students can pursue the higher Master of Arts degree at the Department.

Master of Arts degree aims to offer wide range of courses relating to different religious traditions and contemporary research topics. Students can focus on one specific religion, region or topic, or they can pursue a wider knowledge of the religious field of study. More information on the degrees and programmes of the Faculty of Arts can be found from the Faculty’s web-page .

Master of Arts in Intercultural Encounters is multi-disciplinary Master’s programme that aims to give a strong theoretical basis and develop practical skills needed for understanding and operating in situations where cultures interact. More information on how to apply for this programme can be found from the programme’s web-page.
Comparative Religion as major subject of the Faculty of Theology

The goal of study in Comparative Religion is to create an awareness of religion as one of the essential elements of culture and society, and to reveal the effects that religion and culture have upon each other. The task is also to give a general picture of the doctrinal contents and historical developments of the world’s major religions, together with an overview of the religions of tribal cultures, including the Finnish spiritual heritage.

After completing the general study program, the aim of the intermediate level is to provide the students with knowledge of religions, religious communities, and religious life, as it may apply in their own communities or that of a foreign culture. Specifically, the intention is to provide the student a functioning knowledge of culture and religion in his own environment, as well as that of the third world, and to further his own specialized studies in the Department of Comparative Religion.

More information on the degrees and programmes of the Faculty of Theology can be found from the Faculty’s web-page .
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Sweden1013Göteborgs universitetProgrammet ger dig kunskaper och färdigheter att arbeta med människor i olika sammanhang både inom förvaltning och i det privata näringslivet där en religionsvetenskaplig kompetens behövs. Det leder fram till en filosofie kandidatexamen med huvudområdet religionsvetenskap.
Arbetsområden

* biståndsarbete
* integrations-, mångfalds- och diskrimineringsfrågor
* människo- och personalvård
* kultur- och informationsyrken

Du kan också arbeta i verksamheter med utredande funktion inom ovanstående arbetsområden.
Innehåll

Du läser kurser minst 90 hp i huvudområdet religionsvetenskap enligt följande:

* Grundkurs, 30 hp
* Två fortsättningskurser, 15 + 15 hp
* Fördjupningskurs, 15 hp
* Examensarbete för kandidatexamen, 15 hp.

Du väljer fortsättnings- och fördjupningskurser ur följande fem ämnen:

* Religionshistoria
* Religionsbeteendevetenskap
* Bibelvetenskap; Gamla och nya testamentena, studeras med eller utan språkstudier
* Kristendomens historia
* Tros- och livsåskådningsvetenskap
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Sweden1114Stocholms universtietReligion har i alla tider varit en del av de mänskliga samhällena. De religiösa förklaringarna av världen och människan tar sig emellertid vitt skilda uttryck i olika kulturer och tider. Grundläggande frågor om världens uppkomst och ordning, människans plats i helheten och livets mening har i olika kulturer besvarats på skilda sätt, och också givits många olika uttryck i riter och ceremonier.
Inom ämnet religionshistoria studeras både nu levande och utdöda religioner från alla världens delar ur historiskt, kulturellt, socialt och psykologiskt perspektiv.
Forntida egyptisk, sumerisk, babylonisk, assyrisk, iransk, grekisk, romersk, hellenistisk och keltisk religion samt fornnordisk religion och det forntida mayafolkets och aztekernas religion har alla sin plats inom religionshistorien liksom nya religionsbildningar som New Age, nyhedendom och nya religiösa rörelser.
De stora världsreligionernas historia och idémässiga innehåll har också de sin plats. Såväl judendomens, den tidiga kristendomens och islams framväxt som Asiens olika religioner, hinduism från vedisk tid till dagens nyhinduism, buddhism i dess olika former, jainism, sikhism, konfucianism, taoism och shinto, studeras inom det religionshistoriska ämnet.
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Sweden1215Uppsala UniverstitetHEM
Fenomenet religion spelar roll. Det kan vi se dagligen då vi öppnar en dagstidning och följer samhällsdebatten. Därmed blir studiet av religion betydelsefullt för att förstå vår omvärld, såsom olika kulturers särprägel, politiska skeenden och samhällsutveckling. På kandidatprogrammet i religionsvetenskap förmedlas kunskap och förståelse för religioners roll i människors liv och i samhället. Studiet spänner över vida fält - från de stora världsreligionerna i historien och i vår samtid till nya livsåskådnings- och värderingsmönster i västvärlden. Närstudier av Bibeln och kristen teologi förenas med analys av svårbemästrade etiska problem och nydanande undersökningar av religionens betydelse för hälsa och kulturellt liv.
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Sweden1316Södertörn HøgskolaReligionsvetenskap vid Södertörns Högskola
I religionsvetenskap, som är ett brett och mångdimensionellt ämne, studeras olika religioner och livsåskådningar i historia och nutid.

Det akademiska studiet av religion har aldrig varit mer relevant än idag. Vi lever i en tid då olika former av religion dagligen diskuteras, analyseras, kritiseras eller försvaras i den allmänna debatten. Massmedierna hänvisar till religion som förklaring till olika samhällsfenomen, och i det internationella politiska samtalet anförs religiösa argument på ett för många förvånande sätt.
De senaste decenniernas demografiska utveckling i Europa har också lett till att de europeiska samhällena i mycket större utsträckning än tidigare blivit mångreligiösa. Inte minst islam och muslimers närvaro här ställer både de europeiska samhällena och olika islamiska läror och livsstilar inför nya utmaningar. Denna nya situation är i stort sett outforskad.
Behovet av akademisk religionsvetenskaplig utbildning och forskning är därför mycket stort. Hur hanterar företrädare för olika religioner samtidens virrvarr av livsstilar och världsbilder? Vad betyder starkt religiösa gruppers närvaro för den i Sverige dominerande och sekulariserade majoritetskulturen? Uppstår nya religionsformer? Skapas blandformer? Vilken betydelse får riter, språk och tro i dessa sammanhang? Hur omtolkar man en etablerad tradition när allt omkring en förändras?
Religionsvetenskapen tar itu med dessa frågor. Med utgångspunkt i ett akademiskt, icke-konfessionellt och reflekterande perspektiv vill religionsvetaren beskriva, analysera och tolka religiösa föreställningar, uttryckssätt och handlingar. För att göra detta krävs både inlevelse och kritisk analys. Religionsvetenskapen innefattar således både samhällsvetenskapliga och humanistiska perspektiv. Eftersom religionsvetaren ofta studerar traditioner som inte är hennes eller hans egna, är det särskilt viktigt att tydliggöra vad som påverkar och influerar ens egna perspektiv och tolkningar.
Religionsvetenskapen blir så ett vågspel där de egna synsätten sätts på prov i en ständig växling mellan "egna" och "främmande" perspektiv. Eftersom religion ofta är intimt sammanflätad med politik, etik, livsstil och kultur (till exempel konst och musik), blir religionsstudiet ett sätt att studera samhällsliv, kultur och vardagsliv i allmänhet.


Religiös mångfald

Religionsvetenskapen på Södertörns högskola behandlar i globalt perspektiv den religiösa mångfalden i vår samtid. I blickfånget ligger särskilt religionsformer med grund i kristendom och islam. Vi strävar efter att beskriva och förstå den ständigt skiftande och mångreligiösa verklighet i vilken vi lever - i Sverige, kring Östersjön och i övriga Europa. Stort intresse och utrymme ägnas även åt utomeuropeiska förhållanden och historiska perspektiv. Idag framstår betydelsen av att studera globala sammanhang som större än någonsin.
För studier av vår tids religiösa mångfald krävs en närhet till den empiriska verkligheten. Våra forskningsprojekt och utbildningar strävar därför efter att vara samhällstillvända. Det är verkliga människor som fokuseras. Inte endast religionernas ledande företrädare utan även människor som i sin vardag lever i, tolkar och kritiserar de religiösa traditioner som de upplever som sin.
Religion kan för dessa vara många olika saker: en politisk position, en livsstil, en identitet, ett kulturellt ok man vill bli av med, eller en verktygslåda med idéer och metoder som man kan ta till för att klara av livets prövningar.
Många människor lever idag i spänningen mellan det moderna samhällets förväntningar och en traditionell livsstil. I detta spänningsfält blir religion ofta något viktigt. Den kan bidra till att bevara traditioner och maktstrukturer. När gamla ordningar ifrågasätts, ställs därför de etablerade religionerna inför stora utmaningar.
Men religion kan också fungera som drivkraft för politisk förändring. Religiösa identiteter stärks ofta i tider av konflikt, och politiska krav som framförs med religiöst språkbruk upplevs lätt som antingen särskilt kraftfulla eller särskilt manipulativa. Exemplen i dagens värld är legio.
Religionsvetenskapen på Södertörn vill genom forskning och utbildning vara nära denna mångskiftande religiösa vardagsverklighet. För det krävs teoretisk medvetenhet och beredvillighet att ständigt ifrågasätta vedertagna kategorier och perspektiv.
Utöver vårt religionsmässiga fokus på kristendom och islam - de största och mest spridda världsreligionerna - finns några särskilt framträdande tematiska specialiseringar. Dessa sammanhänger delvis med att vi deltar i utbildningen av bland andra blivande lärare och journalister. Således är religionsdidaktik och religionsjournalistik viktiga specialområden. Ett tredje centralt tema är religionspolitologi, det vill säga frågor som rör religionens politiska betydelse.



Religionsämnet hör till Institutionen för genus, kultur och historia.

Sedan vårterminen 2006 har religionsvetenskapen på Södertörns högskola magisterrätt. Det innebär att en student kan ta ut en magisterexamen på Södertörns högskola med religionsvetenskap som huvudämne.

Uppdaterat av Angelica Jansson 2010-04-23

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Sweden1317Södertörn HøgskolaDessa program ges på Södertörns högskola i religionsvetenskap
Magisterprogram i religionsvetenskap


Magisterprogrammet i religionsvetenskap förbereder dig inför framtida forskningsuppgifter. Den inriktning som finns på Södertörns högskola har temat religiösa traditioner i globaliseringsteoretiska perspektiv.

Kursen ämnar bidra till att utveckla din analytiska förmåga och ditt kreativa tänkande. Kursen ger en bred vetenskaplig orientering och fördjupade kunskaper i teoretiska resonemang och metodiska diskussioner som rör religionsvetenskap. Religionsvetenskap magisternivå, 91 – 150 högskolepoäng, består av en gemensam teori- och metodkurs som ytterligare fördjupar och breddar dina kunskaper jämfört med föregående nivå och en individuell läskurs där du kan fokusera mer på ditt specifika intresseområde. Sedan följer en litteraturkurs inom temat globalisering och interreligiösa relationer som är ett av profilområdena i religionsvetenskap på Södertörns högskola, samt en avslutande termin med uppsatskurs om 30 högskolepoäng. Även på denna nivå erbjuds du en så stor valfrihet som möjligt i uppsatsteman och litteraturkurser. Du får också mycket träning i att uttrycka dig i tal och i skrift.




Magisterprogram i religionsvetenskap med didaktiskt inriktning


Magisterprogrammet i religionsdidaktik ger dig möjlighet till fördjupat studium av religion, lärande och undervisning både på lokal och på global nivå. Inom programmet har du möjlighet att specialisera dig på frågor som rör jämförande och internationell religionsundervisning.

Kursen ämnar ge en bred vetenskaplig orientering och fördjupade kunskaper i teoretiska resonemang och metodiska diskussioner som rör religionsvetenskap. Kursen knyter an till aktuell forskning, både den som lärarna bedriver själva och till internationellt framträdande studier. I ett större självständigt arbete har du möjlighet att specialisera dig på frågeställningar som du är särskilt intresserad av. Religionsdidaktik på magisternivå, 91-150 högskolepoäng, består av en gemensam teori- och metodkurs som fördjupar och breddar dina kunskaper jämfört med föregående nivå och en individuell läskurs. Sedan följer en litteraturkurs inom temat globalisering och interreligiösa relationer i ett didaktiskt perspektiv vilket är ett av profilområdena i religionsdidaktik vid Södertörns högskola, samt en avslutande termin med uppsatskurs om 30 högskolepoäng.




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Sweden1418Høgskolan i Gävle

Religionsvetenskap
Kurserna i religionsvetenskap täcker ett brett och spännande område och belyser frågor kring människan och människans plats i tillvaron. Du kan bland annat läsa om varför guden Ganesha är så omåttligt populär i Indien, få förståelse för psykologiska perspektiv på den religiösa människan, få fördjupad förståelse för etikens roll i det mänskliga samspelet, få förståelse för new age-rörelsens spridning, undersöka gränserna mellan förnuft och tro, se rötterna till konflikten i Mellanöstern, studera den religiösa mångfalden på din hemort, diskutera hur ungdomars livsåskådning ser ut. Vi anordnar studieresor och besöker företrädare för de religioner vi studerar.Vår utbildning bedrivs i distansform.

Detta innebär att du som bor på en annan ort än Gävle kan sitta på ett studiecentrum i din hemkommun eller grannkommun och aktivt ta del av undervisningen som sker i form av föreläsningar och seminarier. Distansundervisningen gör att vi har studenter från hela Sverige, men vi har även studenter från andra delar av världen: Spanien, Indien och olika länder i Afrika. Våra studenter gör fältstudier i Indien och i Afrika. Distansformen är för dig som vill ha flexibel studietid och som vill bedriva studier på din hemort.
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Sweden1519Lunds UniversitetÄmnesbeskrivning

Religion spelar en viktig roll inom politik och internationella relationer samtidigt som det är en inspirationskälla för konst, litteratur och musik. Dessutom tvingar forskningens framsteg inom medicin, naturvetenskap och teknik ständigt fram ställningstaganden till helt nya frågor om ont och gott, rätt och fel.

Inom religionsvetenskapen ställs du inför frågor som gäller människans existens och livssituation. Hur påverkar olika livsåskådningar människors liv och situationen i världen? Vilka argument finns det för och emot att Gud existerar?

Religionsvetenskap ges för närvarande på grundnivå och kan utgöra huvudområde i kandidatexamen. Det ges även forskarutbildning i ämnet vid Lunds universitet.

Arbetsmarknadsanknytning
I dagens värld där kulturer möts, kolliderar och samexisterar är det av stor vikt att ha kunskap om livsåskådningar och deras inverkan på livet.
Du som ska studera till lärare i religion börjar dina studier med grundkursen i religionsvetenskap. Du kan också integrera delar av det övriga kursutbudet i din utbildning. För dig som redan arbetar inom utbildningssektorn ger ämnet goda möjligheter till kompetensutveckling.
Vidare kan religionsvetenskap i kombination med andra ämnen utgöra en grund för arbete inom kultursektorn (TV, radio, tidningar, museer, bibliotek). Religionsvetenskap kan också läsas tillsammans med samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen och leda till arbete inom exempelvis offentlig administration och biståndsarbete.
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US American1620University of ChicagoThe Study of Religion Course Sequence

The Introduction to the Study of Religion Course

The academic study of religion(s) is complex not simply by virtue of its diverse subject matter, but because of the many different perspectives from which scholars investigate and define the subject. Scholars of religion throughout the academy engage in research that emphasizes historical, comparative, literary critical, philosophical, social scientific, or ethical methods and questions. The Divinity School faculty believes that the capacity to engage in this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the student’s scholarly agenda. For that reason, the A.M. program requires enrollment during the first year of the program in the “Introduction to the Study of Religion” course. Using a selected text, faculty from a variety of disciplines engage the text in dialogue with the lead instructor and students. This course accomplishes three purposes. First, it illustrates the types of questions that are pursued within the ten areas of study of the faculty. Second, it situates these methods and questions in the wider sweep of
Western inquiries into the nature of religion. Third, it assists the A.M. student in defining the distinctive character of his or her Ph.D. project, and the group of written examinations that would best enable the student to pursue that project.

Because all students in master’s programs at the Divinity School are also required to take this course, the conversation is further enriched by the diverse perspectives of scholars who plan careers in the academy as well as leadership within a religious tradition.
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US American1621University of ChicagoHistory and Mission

Founded in 1891 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is a private, coeducational institution located on the South Side of Chicago. Under the leadership of its first president, William Rainey Harper, the University introduced innovations that are now considered commonplace in American colleges and universities: the four-quarter system, extension courses and programs in the liberal arts for adults, the junior college concept, equal opportunities for women in education, and an emphasis on broad humanistic studies for undergraduates. Throughout its history, the University has sought to maintain an atmosphere of free, independent inquiry that is responsive to the needs of communities outside the University itself. Today, the University includes six graduate professional schools (Business, Divinity, Law, Medicine, Public Policy, and Social Service Administration), four graduate divisions (Biological Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences), the undergraduate College, and the Graham School of General Studies.

A distinguished Semiticist and a member of the Baptist clergy, William Rainey Harper believed that a great research university ought to have as one central occupation the scholarly study of religion, to prepare scholars for careers in teaching and research, and ministers for service to the church. These commitments led him to bring the Morgan Park Seminary of the Baptist Theological Union to Hyde Park, making the Divinity School the first professional school at the University of Chicago.

The Divinity School is located in Swift Hall, on the main quadrangle of the University's campus and in close proximity to the Divisions of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Cross-disciplinary work, a long-standing hallmark of the University, is strongly encouraged and in some respects institutionalized: many Divinity School faculty hold joint appointments with other departments in the University, students can and regularly do register for courses outside their specific academic location, and dissertation committees frequently feature coadvisers or readers from other parts of the University.

From its inception, the Divinity School has pursued Harper's vision of an institution devoted to systematic research and inquiry into the manifold dimensions of religion, seeking to serve both those preparing for careers in teaching and research and those preparing for careers in ministry. The School has served for decades as the largest single institutional educator of faculty members for theological seminaries, departments of theology, and programs in religious studies across the spectrum of educational institutions that comprise American higher education. At the same time, the School is privileged to number among its alumni a long and distinguished list of ministers, and continues this tradition today through a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) curriculum that prepares ministers for a life of service to the public church.
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US American1722University of California (UC Santa Barbara)Maybe it's because I tend to think in spatial terms, but over the years I have come to conceive of the study of religion as a series of lines meandering through a vast, three-dimensional space. The trajectories of these lines can be described using three variables (the axes). The first is the variable of traditions: the so called Great Traditions, but also those traditions that, to borrow a phrase, "have no name." The second variable is methodology, the theories that have been so influential to our field: the classical theories of "secular" European and American scholarship, but also those elaborated by religious thinkers themselves. The third dimension is culture: the different geographical regions of the world with their unique languages, histories, and cultural practices. All scholarship in religious studies negotiates these three variables, each in their own unique way, crafting trajectories (the squiggly lines) that wind their way through the space of possibilities.
As you learn about our department, you will see how the courses we teach, the research we do, and the conversations we cultivate draw upon these three different dimensions. We study and teach a wide range of traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American Religions, Shinto, and Taoism. Our faculty and students draw on methodological insights from anthropology, cognitive science, folklore studies, history, philology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, the study of race and ethnicity, sociology, theology, and the study of gender and sexuality. We also study many different areas of the world, with special strength in East and South Asia, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North America. The religious studies department is home to many languages not offered elsewhere in the University: Arabic, Aramaic, Coptic, Hebrew, Hindi, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Syriac, Tibetan, and Turkish.

Many of our students and faculty work on more than one religion and some also focus on multiple geographical and linguistic regions. All of us employ a variety of critical lenses to examine the different topics and questions that interest us. The department not only encourages this kind of comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary work, it is also committed to providing students with the tools and resources to carry it out. As you explore the faculty pages and the list of courses we teach, you will see why we are considered one of the most diverse religious studies programs in the world. This great diversity of traditions, methods, and cultures makes the study of religion at UC Santa Barbara tremendously exciting. I hope you get a sense of this from our website.

As I close, I want to draw your attention to the rich program of public lectures, conferences, and films offered by our centers and faculty. These are listed on our yearly calendar. I invite you to join us for these events, both on and off campus, so that you can experience firsthand what makes the study of religion at UCSB so intellectually rewarding.


José Ignacio Cabezón
Dalai Lama Professor and Chair
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US American1723University of California (UC Santa Barbara)Religion and Culture
The Religion and Culture area refers to the study of religion as a symbolic order, both cultural code and ritual practice. The intent of this area is an effort to analyze texts, rites, built environments, artistic and iconic representations using interpretive, hermeneutic, semiotic, philosophical, anthropological, sociological and psychoanalytic registers. Students concentrating in this area are expected to be conversant with both interpretive and explanatory modes of thinking. We seek to train students who are capable of thinking in various ways between text, lived experience, practice, institution and history. In other words, students are expected to master a level of interdisciplinarity as well as epistemological and theoretical self-consciousness. The aim of this area is to develop a new kind of student who can analyze the ways in which actions are conditioned by religious codes, mediated through practices, lived experientially in different ways, one who can move between the semiotic, the philosophical, the sociological, and the phenomenological. Concentration in this area is no substitute for the development of a thorough grounding in a substantive religious tradition.
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US American1824University of Texas (at Austin)Why Study Religion?

Religious Studies encompasses historical, literary, social, and scientific approaches to the study of religion. It explores the nature of religion as a system of human thought and practice, the ways in which religions influence human identity and culture, and developments within religious traditions. The academic discipline of Religious Studies seeks neither to make students religious nor to discourage religious beliefs and practice; rather, Religious Studies focuses on understanding religion as a dimension of human identity and culture.

Students earning degrees in Religious Studies will investigate the interaction of religious beliefs and practices with the world’s political, social, cultural, and economic developments. They can explore the ritual and symbolic aspects of religion, investigate the formation of the world’s major religions, and examine religion’s socio-political characteristics. Still other courses look at religious ideas in their historical contexts or investigate the various approaches to the study of religion.

A degree in Religious Studies is beneficial for students seeking careers in government, law, medicine, social services, journalism, the ministry, academics, or any other field which values critical thinking, clear communication, and the ability to operate in a complex religious setting. By analyzing religion as a dimension of human identity and culture, Religious Studies prepares students to be educated citizens in a diverse and pluralistic society.
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US American1825University of Texas (at Austin)The University of Texas at Austin offers an undergraduate major in Religious Studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. It provides a multi-disciplinary curriculum that draws on the rich expertise of over seventy faculty from nineteen departments across the University. Religious Studies courses encompass various approaches to the study of religion: they explore ritual and textual traditions, consider the early formation of religions, and investigate the interaction of religious beliefs and practices with political, social, cultural, and economic developments.
A degree in Religious Studies is beneficial to students seeking careers in government, law, medicine, social services, theology, academics, or any other field which values critical thinking, an ability to communicate clearly, and a sensitive awareness to cultural variation. Since the inception of the Religious Studies major at the University in the fall of 2000, students have explored careers in public health, medicine, law, ministry, finance, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America. Others have been accepted into graduate programs, including those at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Emory, the University of Chicago, and Columbia.
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US American1926University of MiamiWhy Study Religion?

Scholars may disagree about what religion is, and even about whether it can be studied, but few would deny that human societies have always engaged in worship, prayer, and those rituals that mark important life events such as birth and death. Therefore, to understand others - and even to understand ourselves - we need to examine the role that religious beliefs and behaviors play in the lives of individuals and societies.



HISTORY
We study religion to learn more about all the ways human life (including politics, science, the arts and the economy) is shaped by changing religious concepts such as the sacred, the transcendent, good, evil and God.



COMMUNITY
In studying religious doctrines, rituals, narratives, and scriptures, we gain rich insight into the ways in which communities create, sustain and transform themselves by interpreting and applying their beliefs about those things that transcend the level of daily life.



GLOBAL AWARENESS
As citizens in a multicultural world we enjoy unprecedented opportunities to encounter people whose religious beliefs and practices are very different from what we know. Such encounters make it all the more important that we cultivate our ability to understand and interpret what other people do and say.



CONFLICT
When we study religious values, beliefs, and practices we shed light on the sources of some of humankind's most intractable problems. Many study religion in the hope that such knowledge may be a resource in the human quest for peace, justice and compassion.



INTERDISCIPLINARITY
The academic study of religion draws directly on all of the humanities and social sciences. As a result it invites us to think in a fuller, more integral way about human life.



CAREER
The study of religion teaches one to listen attentively, speak thoughtfully, and write persuasively. These skills are valuable in every profession, especially as they enhance the ability to work effectively in a diverse environment. Students of religion go on to careers in a wide variety of fields including medicine, international business, law, diplomacy, journalism, social service, teaching and the religious ministry.
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US American2027University of AlabamaWhat is the Academic Study of Religion?

The following is a brief introduction to the publicly funded study of religion. Words in red are not links but, instead, display brief additional information when the cursor hovers over them.

Anthropology or Theology?

The academic study of religion is fundamentally an anthropological enterprise. That is, it is primarily concerned with studying people (anthropos is an ancient Greek term meaning "human being"; logos means "word" or a "rational, systematic discourse"), their beliefs, behaviors, and institutions, rather than assessing "the truth" or "truths" of their various beliefs or behaviors. An anthropological approach to the study of religion (which is not to say that the study of religion is simply a sub-field of anthropology) is distinguished from a confessional, religious, or theological approach (theos is an ancient Greek term for "deity" or "god") which is generally concerned with determining the nature, will, or wishes of a god or the gods. Traditionally, the term "theology" refers to specifically Christian discourses on God (i.e., theology = systematic Christian thought on the meaning and significance of the Christian witness), though the term now generally applies either to any religion's own articulate self-study or to its study of another religion (e.g., evangelism or religious pluralism are equally theological pursuits).

Descriptive or Normative?

Although the academic study of religion—sometimes called Comparative Religion, Religious Studies, the History of Religions, or even the Science of Religion—is concerned with judging such things as historical accuracy (e.g., Did a person named Siddhartha Gautama actually exist, and if so, when and where?) and descriptive accuracy (e.g., What do Muslims say they mean when they say that Muhammad was the "seal of the prophets"?), it is not concerned to make normative judgements concerning the way people ought to live or behave. To phrase it another way, we could say that, whereas the anthropologically-based study of religion is concerned with the descriptive "is" of human behavior, the theological study of religion is generally concerned with the prescriptive "ought" of the gods. As should be clear, these two enterprises therefore have very different data: the academic study of religion studies people, their beliefs, and their social systems; the theological study of religion studies God/the gods and their impact on people.

Comparision and Theory

Like virtually all scholarly disciplines in the modern university, the academic study of religion is a product of nineteenth-century Europe. Although influenced a great deal by European expansionism and colonialism (the study of religion is largely the product of Europeans encountering—through trade, exploration, and conquest—new beliefs and behaviors, sometimes understood as strange, sometimes as familiar), early scholars of religion were interested in collecting and comparing beliefs, myths, and rituals found the world over. After all, early explorers, soldiers, and missionaries were all returning to Europe with their diaries and journals filled with tales that, despite their obvious exoticness, chronicled things that bore a striking resemblance to Christian beliefs and behaviors. As such, early scholars tried to perfect the use of the non-evaluative comparative method in the cross-cultural study of people’s religious beliefs, "our's" and "their's". To compare in a non-evaluative manner means that one searches for observable, documentable similarities and differences without making normative judgments concerning which similarities or differences were good or bad, right or wrong, original or derivative, primitive or modern.

To compare in a non-evaluative manner means that one searches for observable similarities and differences and then theorizes as to why just these similarities and why just those differences. For example, most all Christians generally believe that the historical person named Jesus of Nazareth was "the Son of God" (similarity) yet only some of these same Christians believe that the Pope is God’s primary representative on earth (difference). As an anthropological scholar of religion, can you theorize as to why this difference exists? A theological approach might account for this difference by suggesting that one side in this debate is simply wrong, ill-informed, or sinful (depending which theologian you happen to ask); an anthropologically-based approach would bracket out and set aside all such normative judgments and theorize that the difference in beliefs might have something to do with the psychology of people involved, their method of social organization, their mode of economic activity, etc.

In other words, the anthropological approach to the study of religion as practiced in the public university is a member of the human sciences and, as such, it starts with the presumption that religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions are observable, historical events that can therefore be studied in the same manner as all human behavior. If they are more than that, then scholars of religion leave it to theologians who to pursue this avenue of study.

Religion and the US Supreme Court

Although the study of religion came to North American universities prior to Word War I and, for a brief time, flourished at such schools as the University of Chicago, Penn, and Harvard, it was not until the late-1950s and early-1960s that Departments of Religious Studies were established in most public universities. In the U.S., the establishment and success of these departments can be related to the Supreme Court’s understanding of the Constitution.

The opening lines to the First Amendment to the Constitution read: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Legal scholars distinguish between the First Amendment's "establishment clause" and its "free exercise clause." In other words, the Amendment states that the elected government has no right to enforce, support, or encourage (i.e., "establish") a particular religion, nor does it have the right to curtail its citizens' religious choices and practices (i.e., the "free exercise" of their religion). It may well be significant that, in the opening lines of the First Amendment, it is made explicit that all citizens of the U.S. have the absolute right to believe in any or no religion whatsoever.

In 1963 a landmark case known as the School District of Abington Township, PA vs. the Schempp family came before the Court. In this case a non-believing family successfully sued a public school board for its school's daily opening exercises in which a Christian prayer was recited over the school's public address system. The Court decided that, as a publicly funded institution charged to represent and not exclude the members of a diverse, tax paying citizenry, the school board was infringing on the rights of its students, not just by supporting a specifically Christian worldview but, more importantly perhaps, a religious worldview.

Both the Constitution's "establishment" and "free exercise" clauses were therefore the topic of concern to the Court. Justice Clark, the Supreme Court justice who wrote on behalf of the majority, stated in his decision that, although confessional instruction and religious indoctrination in publicly funded schools were both unconstitutional, one's "education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization." The majority of the justices interpreted the First Amendment to state that, although the government cannot force a student to be either religious or nonreligious, the government certainly can—and probably should—support classes that study the history of particular religions, the comparison of two or more religions, and the role of religion in human history. In a way, we might conclude that the study of religion is among the few fields of study mandated by a Supreme Court decision!

Fundamental to its decision was the Court's distinction between religious instruction and instruction about religion. The academic study of religion is concerned to study about religion and religions.

The History of "Religion"

Perhaps you never thought about it before, but the very term "religion" has a history and it is not obvious just how we ought to define the term. Obviously, "religion" is an English term; therefore, we can ask, "Do non-English speakers have religions? Would an ancient Egyptian name something as 'a religion'?"

We know that our term "religion" has equivalents in such modern languages as French and German. For example, when practiced in Germany the study of religion is known as Religionswissenschaft (the systematic study, or wissenschaft, of religion); when practiced in France it is known as Sciences Religieuses. Even just a brief comparison of these and other related languages helps us to see that all modern languages that can be traced back to Latin possess something equivalent to the English term "religion." This means that, for language families unaffected by Latin, there is no equivalent term to "religion"—unless, of course, European cultures have somehow exerted influence on non-Latin-based cultures/languages, an influence evident in trade or conquest. Although "religion" is hardly a traditional concept in India, the long history of British colonialism has ensured that English speaking Indians have no difficulty conceiving of what we call Hinduism as their "religion"—although, technically speaking, to a Hindu, Hinduism is not a religion but is, rather, sanatana dharma (the eternal, cosmic duty/obligation/order). Even the New Testament is not much help in settling these issues since its language of composition—koine Greek—lacked the Latin concept religio. English New Testaments will routinely use "religion" to translate such Greek terms as eusebia (1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:5), terms that are closer to the Sanskrit dharma or the Latin pietas than our term "religion."

Even in Latin our term "religion" has no equivalent—if, by "religion," you mean worshiping the gods, believing in an afterlife, or being good—what most people seem to mean today when they talk about "religion." The closest we come when looking for Latin precursors to our modern term "religion" are terms such as religare or religere which, in their original contexts, simply meant such things as "to bind something tightly together" or "to pay close or careful attention to something."

So, where does all this leave us? Well, it leaves us with a lot of questions in need of investigation: Just what do we mean by "religion"? If a culture does not have the concept, can we study "their religion"? Is there such as thing as "the Hindu religion" or "ancient Greek religion"? Regardless of the history of our vocabulary, is religion a universal human phenomenon or is it simply one among many ways that people name and classify their particular social worlds?
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US American2128University of VermontDiscover Religion at UVM

Many students are surprised to find that UVM has a long tradition of the study of religion free from any connections with religious institutions. People assume that the study of religion is part of a religious training and is thus more like what takes place in catechism classes or Hebrew school or at a mosque or temple.

But the study of religion is a crucial part of the wider study of human cultures, global affairs, and personal identities; it is not tied to previous religious training or present religious affiliation. Rather, it is the investigation of the vast array of myths, rituals, ethical systems, and social formations that human beings have created in response to what they perceive to be powers beyond the human.

How large is the department? Today the department's faculty offer over forty courses, teach approximately 1600 students a year, and advise about 40 majors and 65 minors.

What does a student of religion study?
Human efforts to grapple with the meaning of life and how best to live it. An informed, critical, and global point of view on religion completes a liberal arts education and adds to the life-long process of self-knowledge.

The idea that religion is a common form of human culture that can be studied, and not just a theological truth to be practiced, has evolved over the centuries. People study religion with the purpose of gaining an accurate historical understanding of religions and of analyzing and theorizing about this vast, global spectrum of expressions.

Studies include:

major religious traditions
topics like gender and religion, religion and race, and religion and social theory
key aspects of religion such as ritual, myth, cognitive patterns, and mystical experience.
These courses reflect faculty expertise:

Buddhism
Judaism
Islam
Christianity
religion in America
African religions
religions of China
religions in Japan
theories of religion
methodology such as: comparative study, feminist theory, cognitive science, philosophical inquiry, social theory, and historical analysis
Fast facts: A history of the Religion Department at UVM
In 1912, UVM introduced a course entitled "Religion"
This course, with its broad comparative orientation, is in some respects the direct ancestor of those currently taught in the Religion Department
In the 1950s, when the State of Vermont first approved direct payment of tax revenue to UVM, the faculty senate established the policy that religion courses would not be taught by practicing clergy, that they would be taught by persons with the highest academic credentials, and that they should contain "no indoctrination or special pleading."
In 1956 the university appointed the first full-time professor with a Ph.D. in the comparative study of religion to teach religion in place of the chaplain.
A religion major was first offered in 1963
The Religion Department was formed from the Department of Philosophy and Religion in 1973.
Today the department's faculty offer over forty courses, teach approximately 1600 students a year, and advise about 40 majors and 65 minors.
Join us! ... in the ongoing investigation of this fascinating and vital subject.
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US American2129University of VermontBachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Religion

The religion major is designed to insure that each student gains the tools to study religion in its historical, structural, and interpretive aspects. The major requires 33 hours in religion, including the following:

An introductory course [from the 20-27 range]
Interpretation of Religion [100]
Two courses examining different religious traditions from the following list:
REL 114 or REL 116; REL 122 or REL 124 or REL 125; REL 128; REL 130; REL 131; REL 132; REL 141; REL 145; REL 163 or REL 167
A course on a comparative topic from the REL 101-REL 109 range
The Senior Seminar (REL 201)
An additional seminar at the REL 200 level
Three hours in related non-departmental courses may count toward the thirty-three hour requirement. A list of approved courses is available from the Religion Department.
Representing our global orientation, we ask for intermediate level work in selected historical traditions of both Asia and the West.

The comparative level gives students the chance to address systematically factors that are common to many religious worlds, but vary according to culture. These cross-cultural themes include the representational, experiential, and communal forms of religion, such as myth, ritual, mystical experience, and the role played by different types of social organization in the formation of religious cultures.

A required course on The Interpretation of Religion gives students a background in the history of influential theories and figures in the study of religion, and a foundation for addressing issues of theory and method that will come up in subsequent course work.

The Senior Seminar is taken by all majors in the spring term of their final year. In it, students have the opportunity to develop, apply and communicate their own points of view and research, particularly in the form of a senior project. In addition, all of the department faculty participate as guest presenters.

Three of the thirty-three required hours for the major may be taken outside the department, from the following list of pre-approved courses:

Anthropology 155, Anthropology of Islam
Classics 145, Comparative Epic (same as World Lit 145)
English 131, Topics in Bible and Literature
Environmental Studies 182, Religion and Ecology
Holocaust Studies 180, Moral and Religious Perspectives on the Holocaust
History 45, History of Islam and the Middle East to 1258
History 46, History of Islam and the Middle East Since 1258
History 116, Medieval Mystics and Heretics
History 126, The Reformation
Philosophy 121, Chinese Philosophy I
Philosophy 122, Chinese Philosophy II
Philosophy 135, Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy 235, Topics in the Philosophy of Religion
Sociology 151, Sociology of Religion and Ideology
Other relevant courses may be presented to the Religion Department for possible approval. Religion 130 may count for either the Biblical or Asian traditions requirement, but not for both.

Learning Goals for Majors
ability to analyze religious phenomena using appropriate interpretive approach(es), e.g., historical, cultural, sociological, psychological, phenomenological, etc.
ability to formulate a research question in the study of religion that draws upon one of more theoretical approaches, to effectively collect and analyze evidence relevant to that question, to write a substantial research paper that articulates a clear argument or position on the question based on that evidence, and to present these research results orally
ability to apply knowledge of religion to an understanding of contemporary issues
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US American2230University of WashingtonComparative Religion Overview
The Comparative Religion Program, in the Jackson School of International Studies, was established in 1973 as a complement to the area studies programs within the Jackson School. The study of comparative religion is invaluable as a way of linking the area studies programs within the Jackson School and enabling the School to work cooperatively across specialties.
From the start, the Comparative Religion Program was intended not to teach religion, but to teach about it. The study of religion introduces students to the diversity of human experience, to analytic tools that help them do comparative work across cultures, languages, and religions. This comparative perspective illumines bias and instills in students the necessity of multiple perspectives as a lens to interpret our interdependent world.
The past ten years have been a period of significant growth for the program, with the addition of four new core faculty, several major grants, two new funds to support graduate student scholarship and annual public lectures, a dynamic colloquia series, and two international symposia. Expanded program outreach was initiated through a newsletter and other mailings, radio interviews, and other media presentations.
Degree Programs
The Comparative Religion Program offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts. The faculty teach nearly 1,000 students a year in courses exploring the major religious traditions of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East, as well as major cross-cultural themes such as politics, social organization, human security, violence, and justice. Enrollment in the undergraduate major has dramatically increased over the last three years due to the quality
and diversity of this program’s curriculum.
Courses focusing on a broad range of religious traditions underscore the distinctive nature of the curriculum. These courses introduce students to historical, textual, anthropological, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects of the study of religion. Drawing from programs within the Jackson School as well as from other units on campus, the curriculum is highly international and transcultural in character.
The areas for the masters in Comparative Religion include Religion and Culture, Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, with potential secondary concentrations in Religion in America, African Religions, East Asian Religions, Greco-Roman Religions, and the History of Religions.
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US American2331The University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill)The UNC Department of Religious Studies is dedicated to the study of religions as historical and cultural phenomena. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding religious traditions from around the world: their history, sacred texts, beliefs, rituals, and institutions.

Because religious pluralism plays an important role in teaching the value of diversity, the Department is committed to bringing a broad range of perspectives into the study of religion.

UNC offers B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. programs in Religious Studies; undergraduate minors in Religious Studies, Christianity and Culture, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Jewish Studies; an honors program for undergraduate majors; as well as frequent public lectures and continuing education seminars that advance the academic study of religion.
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US American2332The University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill)Religious Studies Major


Program Description:
The Department of Religious Studies is dedicated to the study of the world's religions as historical and cultural phenomena. We examine various religious traditions, including their history, sacred texts, beliefs, rituals, and institutions. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on disciplines such as anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology.

Because religious pluralism plays an important role in teaching the value of diversity, our department is committed to bringing a broad range of perspectives into the study of religion.

We offer a wide variety of undergradute courses ranging from large introductory classes to advanced seminars, as well as independent studies and an honors thesis program for qualified students.


Requirements for the Major:
Students must complete nine courses in religious studies. Six of those courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. The courses students select must meet the following parameters:

All majors must take RELI 697, the capstone course on themes and methodologies in religious studies.

At least three courses must be numbered above 400.

Students must take at least one course in each of three of the department's subfields:
Religion in the Americas
Religion and Culture
Asian Religions/Islamic Studies
Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
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UK2433University of AberdeenWhy Choose Divinity and Religious Studies?

Divinity

Studying Divinity at Aberdeen involves a concentration on the study of Christian faith, life and doctrine in a historical, cross-cultural and contemporary context. It incorporates study and research in the following five areas: Church History, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Practical Theology and Systematic Theology. There is also the option to study one or more of the ancient Biblical Languages as a route to understanding Biblical writers, thinkers and commentators in their original form.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies concerns the general study of religious traditions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, along with smaller, more local religious traditions such as those of Native America and Siberia. Religious Studies asks why it is that historically humans have always tended to organise their social life and communities around religious ideas; students learn historical, philosophical and anthropological approaches to this and other questions that are both subltle and deep, as well as deeply relevant to the modern world. A degree in Religious Studies challenges students to think about religion, society and the world in which we live from a variety of perspectives, to think critically about our own beliefs and opinions, and to understand how they might be viewed by others. Find out more about Religious Studies here.

Divinity and Religious Studies at Aberdeen

In Aberdeen theological study and learning go back beyond the foundation of the University in 1495. The School is situated in the beautiful and historic buildings of King's College quadrangle itself. We are an international community: in a typical session a score of nationalities from four continents may be represented among staff and students. The Divinity and Religious Studies Students' Council (DRSC) organises twice-weekly coffee for those who wish among staff and students, and arranges a series of social and sporting occasions to promote a sense of unity and provide a solid framework for friendship to develop and experiences to be shared. The School has a substantial library where students may study in peace or access the wide range of computing facilities available within the university.

The School of Divinity and Religious Studies offers a challenging but inviting environment for students to develop their own understanding - of the world in which we live now, of its historical and religious roots, and of the wider questions which attend human existence - at both an intellectual, ethical and social level. Of value both as an academic study for their own sake, and for understanding the history and beliefs of Christianity and of other faiths, the intellectual skills developed through the School's courses are many and varied, and transferable to a wide range of careers: learning languages, comprehending other cultures and view-points, interpreting documents, constructing arguments, evaluating the coherence of both our own and others' belief systems, and relating these systems to practical decision-making in today's world. The School's courses are open to all, irrespective of belief or intended career.
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UK2534University of Glasgow.Questions of religion and faith, of religious awareness and religious literacy are key to understanding the globalised world of the 21st century. Religious questions are implicated in many global conflicts, but religious beliefs also motivate people to work for justice and peace. Religions are sometimes accused of limiting or repressing people, yet also offer resources which sustain people through times of suffering and oppression. Theology and religious studies (TRS) encompasses the study of religion, religions, Bible and theology – not as worlds apart, but as they relate to politics, history, literature, philosophy, art and culture as well as to personal belief and practice. It is open to students of all faiths and none. Theology and religious studies (TRS) encompasses the study of religion, religions, Bible and theology – not as worlds apart, but as they relate to politics, history, literature, philosophy, art and culture as well as to personal belief and practice. It is open to students of all faiths and none.You can take courses in TRS as part of Glasgow’s MA programme, with the option of doing either a three-year General or a four-year Honours degree. For students training for ministry or specialising in Christianity for other reasons, we also offer the specialist/professional BD/BD (Min) degrees, which can also be taken at General and Honours levels.
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UK2535University of GlasgowReligious & Philosophical Education

Degree and UCAS code
MA
RELIGIOUS & PHILOSOPHICAL EDUCATION WITH SECONDARY TEACHING: VX61
This degree programme will qualify you to teach religious education, theology, religious, moral and philosophical studies (RMPS) or religious studies in either denominational or non-denominational secondary schools. It may also assist you if you are involved in the development of new school and college programmes in philosophical studies.

What will I study?
You will study:
Religious and philosophical ideas – which will develop your critical and analytical skills, necessary to address the major cultural, theological and spiritual issues of our time. You will be able to take a number of optional courses in philosophy, theology and religious studies.
Professional and educational studies – which will explore, in the context of Scottish education, how pupils learn and how educators teach most effectively.
How will I learn?
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials and seminars. School experience is integral to the programme and provides you with the opportunity to work in the classroom, developing competence in dealing with children. During the first year the school placements are in a primary school; in subsequent years you will be involved in teaching pupils at all stages in the secondary school. Additionally, school experience will develop your ability to carry out curriculum planning, assessment and reporting.
Special feature
This programme leads to registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Note
Catholic students who complete the appropriate course in religious education will be awarded the Catholic Teacher’s Certificate in Religious Education.
As part of our selection process you will be interviewed. Interviews normally begin in mid to late January and run until April.
Disclosure Scotland
If you are accepted to a teaching degree you must undertake a Criminal Conviction check prior to enrolment. It is your responsibility to pay for the check. Details will be sent to you.

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Highers: AAB/ABBB
A-levels: BBB
Full details of Entry requirements: Education

What are my career prospects?

As a teacher of religious and philosophical subjects, you will play a vital role in preparing young people to live in, and contribute to, a world of rapid social and economic change, where a breadth and depth of understanding of diverse cultures may be seen as essential. It is expected that there will be an increasing demand for new entrants to the teaching profession in secondary schools in Scotland and elsewhere in the coming years. The degree is also widely recognised for entry into secondary school teaching in other English-speaking countries.

Once in the profession, promotion will be determined by your professionalism, enthusiasm, continued professional development and willingness to take on more responsibility. Opportunities exist for career progression within schools and more widely in posts such as education adviser and in teacher education. You may pursue postgraduate study and professional development at certificate, diploma, masters and doctoral levels.
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UK2536University of GlasgowThe mission of the centre is to draw attention to and support innovative research undertaken by scholars who employ the tools and methods of analytic philosophy to study religious ideas. Its research remit is thus located at the interface between analytic philosophy and the study of religion.

In seeking to promote research which applies this philosophical approach to religious ideas, the centre is concerned not only with western theistic religious traditions but also with the religious and philosophical traditions indigenous to India and the Far East.

The centre aims to facilitate discussion between scholars in the analytic tradition within Scotland, as well as those further afield. In publicising their work though events and on this website it seeks to raise awareness, both within and without the university, of the vital issues they address; issues that are of growing importance within the religiously diverse and multi-cultural environment of the 21st century.

While the centre provides a meeting place and information point for those involved with analytic philosophical research on religious ideas, interdisciplinary collaborators are also welcome. Research students are also encouraged to become involved with the activities of the centre and to use it to support their work in the field. The centre is hosted by the Department of Philosophy and supported by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts and by the Department of Religious Education in the Faculty of Education.
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UK2637Universuty of EdinburghMA Religious Studies
An MA in Religious Studies offers many options for exploring the religious traditions of the world.

In cooperation with the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, the School of Divinity is able to provide one of the most comprehensive and flexible undergraduate study opportunities in the UK.
Religious Studies is pursued from a non-confessional perspective, on the principle that religion is a human activity influencing and being influenced by most other human endeavours.
Questions about the nature of religion for those who study religion and for those who practise it are explored along with the many phenomena of religion, such as beliefs, myths, rituals, ethics and community structures.
A degree in Religious Studies provides the context for significant intellectual and personal development as well as the acquisition of a wide range of transferable skills.
Key aims
The MA in Religious Studies has five main goals:
To develop knowledge and understanding of the histories, practices, social conditions and cultural expressions of major and indigenous religious traditions.
To enable the student to identify and analyse a variety of different forms of evidence derived from field studies, texts, artefacts, oral traditions, archaeology and testimonies of adherents.
To provide the intellectual tools with which to apply such evidence to the investigation, understanding and critical evaluation of the phenomena of religion using both diachronic and synchronic approaches.
To provide a solid methodological and cognitive foundation for further research in aspects of specific traditions or in approaches to the study of religions in general.
To develop the general critical, analytical and communicative skills which prepare students for a wide variety of employment opportunities, for vocational training and for continued life-long learning.
Course options
Religious Studies involves the application of various academic disciplines, such as languages, literary studies, philosophy, history, anthropology, ethics, sociology and theology.
In Religion 1 and Religion 2, which are mandatory, you will survey the world’s main religious traditions and explore various theoretical aspects of the study of religions.
After that, you may choose from the following options:
Focus on one religious tradition with the option of taking programmes in the appropriate language (Hebrew, Greek, Arabic or Sanskrit).
Focus on two religious traditions.
Take the 'Combined Studies' option, which allows a combination of Religious Studies with another subject in the humanities and social sciences.
Specialist religious traditions
Students can specialise in:
the category 'religion'
theory and method in the study of religion
indigenous religions
Asian religious traditions
New Age religion
new religious movements
Holocaust studies
modern Jewish thought
Methodology
Our methods include:
Phenomenology and Post-Phenomenology
Anthropology
Sociology
Cultural and Post-Colonial Studies
Combined studies
Those who choose the Combined Studies option can choose to take a third of their courses in one of the following subjects throughout the four years of their degree programme:
Ancient History
Archaeology
Art
Classics
Music
Philosophy
Scottish History
Social Anthropology
Social Policy
Sociology
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UK2738University of StirlingAbout this Programme
Religion at Stirling has a distinctive character of its own, reflecting a diversity of teaching and research interests spanning a variety of subject areas and methodological approaches, though with a specific emphasis on critical religion. Since its inception in 1973 the programme has secured an international reputation for its innovative thinking and approach to the study of religion, and is the only such programme in Scotland not aligned to a department of theology. Critical religion at Stirling challenges orthodox thinking in the field, as informed by original research on the thoughts and practices found within Europe, North America, India, Japan, the Middle East and other regions. With this commitment to critical thinking, ‘religion’ is always considered in relation to other topics and concerns, such as gender, the state, politics, capitalism, the arts, hermeneutics, ethics, postcolonialism and globalisation. In this intellectual context, students will also learn survival skills: time management; independent research through the use of library, internet and other resources; and the ability to analyse and interpret texts and other data, and to communicate that understanding effectively orally and in writing. Students graduating with a Religion degree are thus well-poised for the workforce, with a significant array of transferable skills leading to a wide selection of jobs and careers, as past graduates have proven.


We also welcome intellectually committed students to our postgraduate programmes, both taught and research. Our present postgraduate research interests include: the concept of nisus in the philosopher Samuel Alexander; spiritual care in the health profession; modelling the feminine divine; new models of religion, focussing on a post-punk movement; lust and desire in Augustinian thought; women's rights in Muslim and Christian discourses; nomadic theology as comparative theology; and the Ganges River in Indian culture. These diverse areas of interest showcase the unique and fertile research environment at the heart of Religion at Stirling.
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Germany2839Bayreuth(No information given there; here only > Lehrstuhl I and Lehrstuhl II (chair I and chair II), with sections on research, teaching, team, publications, contact information.)
B.A. Kulturwissenschaft mit Schwerpunkt Religion

Gegenstand des Studiengangs ist die Vielfalt europäischer und außereuropäischer Religionen in ihren kulturellen, historischen und sozialen Kontexten. Religionen und Religiosität werden als kulturelle, empirisch fassbare Phänomene in den Blick genommen und mit historischen, sprach-, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Methoden untersucht.

Der Studiengang bereitet auf den Einstieg in Berufe vor, in denen solide Kenntnisse über Religionen, ein vertieftes Verständnis für Zusammenhänge von Religion, Kultur und Gesellschaft sowie Sensibilität für die Beziehungen zwischen Religionen erforderlich sind. Zugleich ermöglicht er – im Verbund mit dem Masterstudiengang Religionswissenschaft und der in Planung befindlichen Graduiertenschule – den Einstieg in das akademische Fach Religionswissenschaft.
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Germany2840Bayreuth((This is a general short description)
Im Verlauf des B.A.-Studiums erfahren Studierende erste Einblicke in die Vielfalt europäischer und außereuropäischer Religionen in ihren kulturellen, historischen und sozialen Kontexten. Religionen und Religiosität werden als kulturelle, empirisch fassbare Phänomene in den Blick genommen und mit historischen, sprach-, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Methoden untersucht.
Der M.A. Religionswissenschaft bietet im Anschluss diverse Spezialisierungsprogramme, wie etwa Religiöse Gegenwartskultur, Europäische Religionsgeschichte und Afrikanische Religionen.
Die breite Aufstellung und jeweilige fachliche Expertise der religionswissenschaftlichen Lehrstühle an der Universität Bayreuth bietet weiterführend vielfältige Möglichkeiten für ein Promotionsstudium.
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Germany2841BayreuthM.A. Religionswissenschaft
Der Master-Studiengang Religionswissenschaft zielt darauf ab, durch eine forschungsnahe Lehre Studierende, die bereits einen akademischen Grad besitzen, für die wissenschaftliche Forschung auf dem Gebiet der Religionswissenschaft zu qualifizieren. Ein besonderer Akzent liegt dabei auf einer vergleichenden, interkulturellen und interdisziplinären Ausrichtung. Die besonderen Forschungsschwerpunkte der Bayreuther Religionswissenschaft (jeweils in engem Verbund mit benachbarten Fächern) sind in den drei Masterprogrammen des Masterstudiengangs abgebildet:
Religiöse Gegenwartskultur (Nachbarfach v.a. Soziologie)
Europäische Religionsgeschichte (Nachbarfach Geschichte) und
Afrikanische Religionen (Afrika-bezogenen Fächer der Universität Bayreuth)
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Germany2942LeipzigGegenstand der Religionswissenschaft ist die systematische Erforschung von Religion als Teil der Kultur und die historische Erforschung einzelner Religionen in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart.Das Studium gliedert sich in zwei aufeinander bezogene Teilbereiche, die systematische Religionswissenschaft und die Religionsgeschichte. Die religionshistorischen Veranstaltungen bilden die Grundlage des Studiums. Hier werden Kenntnisse über die geschichtliche Entwicklung und die Lehrinhalte einzelner Religionen vermittelt:
Islam und vorderorientalische Religionsgeschichte, Buddhismus, Religionsgeschichte Süd-, Zentral-, Ostasiens, Judentum, Christentum, europäische Religionsgeschichte, Religionen schriftloser Kulturen.
Gegenstand der systematischen Religionswissenschaft sind allgemeine Aussagen über Religion. Dazu gehören folgende Komplexe:
Vergleichende Religionswissenschaft, Religionsphänomenologie, Religionstheorie, Religionssoziologie, -anthropologie, -psychologie, Geschichte und Methoden der Religionswissenschaft, Religion in modernen Gesellschaften.
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Germany3043BochumNothing on the subject/field/discipline
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Germany3044BochumInformationen zum Studium (p. 4)
Religionswissenschaft erforscht die Religionen der Welt in ihren kulturellen, sozialen und historischen
Zusammenhängen. Neben dem Studium kulturspezifischer Entwicklungen widmet sie sich der systematischen
Erforschung von Religion als allgemeinem Bestandteil gesellschaftlicher Kommunikation
und Kulturproduktion. Religion wird hierbei in ihren Wechselwirkungen mit anderen kulturellen Bereichen
wie Politik, Wirtschaft, Recht, Ökonomie, Kunst usw. betrachtet.
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Germany3045BochumNothing on what is RS, but a section on Ziele des Studiums:
Das Studienangebot ist zweigeteilt: Zum einen wird den Studierenden ein grundlegender Überblick über die wichtigsten Epochen und Kulturkreise der Religionsgeschichte sowie über die kulturelle und gesellschaftliche Bedeutung von Religionen vermittelt. Die Religionsgeschichte wird im Wesentlichen an Hand der altorientalischen, der griechisch-römischen sowie der so genannten Weltreligionen behandelt (Hindu-Religionen, Buddhismus, Konfuzianismus, Taoismus, Judentum, Christentum und Islam). Aber auch synkretistische und neue Formen von Religion der Gegenwart werden berücksichtigt.
Zum anderen wird Religion in systematischer Perspektive thematisiert. Am Beispiel vergleichender religionsgeschichtlicher Studien, systematischer Fragestellungen, der Erörterung der Rolle von Religionen in gesellschaftlichen Transformationsprozessen sowie einführender und vertiefender Veranstaltungen zur Religionssoziologie und -philosophie sollen die Kulturbedeutung der Religion und entsprechend die kulturhermeneutischen Kompetenzen der Religionswissenschaft erschlossen werden.
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Germany3146HeidelbergWas ist Religionswissenschaft?
Religionswissenschaft beschäftigt sich mit grundsätzlich allen Religionen und religiösen Konstellationen in Geschichte und Gegenwart und strebt eine möglichst wertneutrale Beschreibung der Entstehung und Veränderung religiöser Traditionen anhand empirischer Befunde an. Statt nach der Wahrheit oder Richtigkeit religiöser Aussagen fragt Religionswissenschaft nach der Rolle, die religiöse Menschen für die Kultur und Geschichte ihrer Zeit spielen.
Große religiöse Traditionen wie etwa Christentum, Islam, Hinduismus und Buddhismus gehören dabei ebenso zum Untersuchungsspektrum wie regionale historische Entwicklungen (z.B. in der Antike und im Alten Orient) oder aktuelle, zeitgenössische Religionsformen (z.B. New Age und Esoterik). Insofern zählt Religionswissenschaft heute mit zu den diagnostischen Schlüsseldisziplinen für die Lösung brisanter gesellschaftspolitischer Fragen (z.B. nach Fundamentalismus und religiös legitimierter Gewalt).
(There are further sections on Religionswissenschaft in Heidelberg, Lehrangebot in Heidelberg, Ziele und Modalitäten des Studiums, Bericht einer Studentin, Religionswissenschaftler im Beruf)
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Germany3247MarburgDie Ziele der aktuellen religionswissenschaftlichen Forschung sind es Erkenntnisse über Geschichte und Gegenwart der unterschiedlichen Religionen zu erhalten. Diese werden dabei in vergleichender Perspektive dargestellt, wobei prinzipiell alle Religionen als gleichwertig gelten.
Das Studium der Religionswissenschaft ermöglicht den Erwerb grundlegender Kenntnisse über die Vielfalt des religiösen Lebens der Menschheit und macht Studierende mit Fragestellungen, Methoden und Forschungsergebnissen des Faches vertraut.
Schwerpunkte der Marburger Religionswissenschaft sind, neben einer fundierten Ausbildung in Theorie und Methodik des Faches, die Geschichte und Gegenwart der Religionen Asiens und Europas. Zudem wird durch die enge Zusammenarbeit mit der Religionskundlichen Sammlung eine Spezialisierung im Bereich musealer Präsentation von Religionen angeboten.
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Germany3248MarburgDer Studiengang ermöglicht den Erwerb grundlegender Kenntnisse über die Vielfalt des religiösen Lebens der Menschheit und macht Studierende mit Fragestellungen, Methoden und Forschungsergebnissen des Faches vertraut. Ziel aktueller religionswissenschaftlicher Forschung sind Geschichte und Gegenwart der unterschiedlichen Religionen, die in vergleichender Perspektive dargestellt werden. Prinzipiell gelten alle Religionen als gleichwertig. Zudem ist im Studium die Möglichkeit geboten, in der von Rudolf Otto gegründeten Religionskundlichen Sammlung Religionen über Bilder und Objekte zu studieren.
Derzeitige Schwerpunkte sind neben einer fundierten Ausbildung in Theorie und Methodik des Faches, Geschichte und Gegenwart der Religionen Asiens und Europas. Zudem wird eine Spezialisierung im Bereich Medien und Religion, einschließlich des Ausstellungswesens angeboten.
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Germany3349BremenBeschreibung des Faches:
Die Religionswissenschaft versteht sich als nichtkonfessionelle, dem Kanon der Geistes- bzw. Kulturwissenschaft zugeordnete akademische Disziplin. Das Fach speist sich sowohl aus einer religionskritischen, aufklärerischen als auch aus einer antirationalistischen, romantischen Strömung.
(More content on different aspects of the program)
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Germany3350BremenInformation on research, faculty etc. but no what is RS text
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Germany3451Munich (LMUPortrait Studiengang Religionswissenschaft

Religionswissenschaft ist eine interdisziplinär und kulturwissenschaftlich arbeitende Disziplin, die religiöse Traditionen, Vorstellungen und Handlungsmuster erforscht. Neben den bekannten Religionen gehören auch die Entstehung und Entwicklung von 'Weltbildern' und Orientierungsmustern zu ihrem Gegenstand. Um deren Rolle in Geschichte und Kultur bestimmen zu können, verbindet die Religionswissenschaft Spezialwissen über Religionen mit einer Bandbreite methodischer Perspektiven auf ihren Gegenstand.
An der LMU München ist dieses Programm seit dem WS 1998/99 als bundesweit einziger interfakultär vernetzter Studiengang (Haupt- und Nebenfach) realisiert.

In addition, there is a section on Wissenschaftstheoretische Ausrichtung:
Wissenschaftstheoretische Ausrichtung

Religionswissenschaft wird hier verstanden als eine historisch und vergleichend arbeitende Kulturwissenschaft, die sich mit der Erforschung von Religionen und religiösen Phänomenen aller Art in ihren sozialen, individuellen, wirtschaftlichen, politischen und ästhetischen Dimensionen befasst. Als kulturwissenschaftliche Disziplin steht die Religionswissenschaft damit in Forschung und Lehre in enger Verbindung und Ergänzung zu anderen kultur-, geistes-, und sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächern. Diese interdisziplinäre Konzeption bricht etablierte Fach- und Denkgrenzen zu Gunsten eines umfassenderen Gesamtblicks auf und integriert spezielles Fachwissen unterschiedlichster Disziplinen bezogen auf den großen Rahmen Religion. Voraussetzung dazu ist ein breites Methodenspektrum,, interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit, Reflexion auf die eigene Wirkungsgeschichte, Reflexion und Weiterentwicklung der Begriffe und Beschreibungsmuster sowie eine strikte Trennung der Gegenstände von ´Religion` und Religionswissenschaft. Diesen Voraussetzungen trägt die Professor für Theorie und Methodik der Religionswissenschaft Rechnung.
Durch feste Kooperationen mit Philologien (Sprachkompetenz), Kulturwissenschaften, der Philosophie, Ethnologie, Theologie und Judaistik ist eine einmalige Breite der historisch-empirischen Ausrichtung gewährleistet. Auch Verbindungen zu Soziologie, Politik- und Geschichtswissenschaft, Ökonomie, Kunst- und Theaterwissenschaft ermöglichen der Münchener Religionswissenschaft ihre Schwerpunktbildung: Europäische Religionsgeschichte, Religionsökonomie sowie Religionsästhetik können so durch ein breites Studienangebot gestützt werden. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ist mit dem assoziierten Zentrum für Buddhismusforschung gegeben.
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Netherlands3552Groningen((Identical text available in Dutch))Religion and culture

Religion is all about people, culture and history, and about change. Religions can be entirely different from each other, but they can also be quite similar. They are associated with symbols and rituals. They develop in a mutual relationship with the environment in which they are experienced. Religions stimulate development. They bring people together, but they also play a role in conflicts, and time after time they lead to public debate. Our Faculty focuses on the dynamic interaction between religion, culture and society, which you will learn to analyse, understand and explain to others in the course of your studies.
Academic approach

In our teaching and research programmes we follow an academic approach that is not committed to any creed. You are welcome to join us, no matter what you believe. It is important though, that you are interested in learning how to develop an academic approach towards religion, culture and society. You will learn different ways of exploring and examining religions and religious phenomena, through subjects like History, Cultural Anthropology, Biblical Studies, Philosophy, Ethics and Sociology.
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Netherlands3553Groningen((Identical text available in Dutch)) What are Religious Studies
Religious Studies is a fascinating field of study if you want to understand the role of religion in different societies and cultures, or if you are wondering why religion often leads (and has led) to conflict, or if you want to analyze the dynamics of religion, culture and society.
The Religious Studies degree programme is an extensive, academic programme in which, among other things, you will learn to analyze current discussions that involve religion.


((Picture: Religious henna ritual))
This degree programme will provide you with the academic tools to help you place religious phenomena into a historical, social and cultural context. All world religions will be thoroughly explored. You will gain in-depth knowledge of modern religious and philosophical movements, like New Age. You will, for instance, also examine the different ways in which Muslims maintain their traditions in the Netherlands.
You will develop analytical skills and you will improve your research methods and techniques. You will learn how to interpret complex matters, and how to put them in writing. In short, you will become an expert in the field of religions, cultures and societies, with a social sciences basis.
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UK England3654Lancaster UniversityAbout Religious Studies at Lancaster

The Lancaster Religious Studies degree scheme is one of the most distinguished in Britain, taught by staff with a national and international reputation for both teaching and research. It was also the first degree of its kind in the UK, its distinctive, global and multidisciplinary approach to the study of religion having become a model for its development in Britain and overseas. The Guardian University Guide 2011 places Lancaster number one for Religious Studies in the Northwest.

Religion is a major factor in world history and modern politics and its study involves knowledge of the major traditions, of the issues they raise and of the different methods of analysing them. PPR offers a comparative approach to the study of religion, focusing upon the various ways the human race has expressed its search for meaning. Our degrees will appeal both to those who have studied religion before and to those who do not have Religious Studies as a school subject. The questions religions pose are as old as History and as new as the New Age.

Use the links to the left to find out more about the courses that we offer.
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Uk England3655Lancaster UniversityThe Lancaster Religious Studies degree scheme is one of the most distinguished in Britain, taught by staff with a national and international reputation for both teaching and research. It was also the first degree of its kind in the UK, its distinctive, global and multidisciplinary approach to the study of religion having become a model for its development in Britain and overseas. The Guardian University Guide 2011 places Lancaster number one for Religious Studies in the Northwest.

Religion is a major factor in world history and modern politics and its study involves knowledge of the major traditions, of the issues they raise and of the different methods of analysing them. PPR offers a comparative approach to the study of religion, focusing upon the various ways the human race has expressed its search for meaning. Our degrees will appeal both to those who have studied religion before and to those who do not have Religious Studies as a school subject. The questions religions pose are as old as History and as new as the New Age. We offer courses on the major traditions and methods appropriate to their study: historical, textual, philosophical, theological, sociological, anthropological and psychological. In an increasingly global world and an increasingly multicultural society, those with knowledge of other faiths, beliefs, philosophies and cultures are highly valued by many prospective employers. Religious Studies is recognised as a high quality degree which equips graduates with a wide range of skills in analysis and human interaction. This is much appreciated by prospective employers in both the private and public sectors.

This degree offers courses on all the major religious traditions of the world, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It employs and introduces a range of methods of study: historical, textual, philosophical, theological, sociological, anthropological and psychological. It explores ancient knowledge as well as contemporary issues in the study of religion and is designed for those who wish to learn more about our multicultural world.
Structure of the degree

The Lancaster BA is split into two parts:
Part One - First year

This is designed as a bridge between A Level and BA level. You take three subjects including your major subject from other departments e.g. Religious Studies, Philosophy, History.
Part Two - second and third years

You take eight 'units', four in your second year and four in your third year. Some are compulsory, but the majority are free choice. All of these units can be in Religious Studies (your 'major' subject), but you can also take units in another subject (your 'minor' subject).
Components of the degree
Year One

All Religious Studies students take the core course RST 100: World Relgions and/or EPR 100: Ethics, Philosophy and Religion.

In addition you take courses in your other two chosen subjects from other departments such as History, English, Sociology or Theatre Studies.
Year Two

All Religious Studies students take at least one of the two 2nd year core courses on:
RST 201: Asian Religions and or
RST 202: Western Religions

In addition, students have a free choice of up to three full units (or six half units) from those on offer that year.
Year Three

All Religious Studies students take the 3rd year core courses RST 303: Religion and Global Modernities and/or RST 304: Cross-Cultural Ethics.

In addition, students have a free choice of up to three full units (or six half units) from those on offer that year.
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Uk England3756Durham UniversityMA in Religion and Society

In this course, the focus is on religion in its anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism; death, dying and disposal; shamanism; religion and emotion; religion/faith and globalisation; religion and politics; contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism; and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.
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UK England3757Durham UniversityThe Department of Theology and Religion has flourished at Durham University since its foundation in 1832, and has established an international reputation as one of the leading departments in its field. Its traditional strengths lie in the fields of Biblical studies and Christian theology, where it continues to provide teaching and research in depth and breadth second to none within the UK. In recent years it has also broadened its range of expertise to Jewish studies and to the sociology and anthropology of religion, expanding its staff and extending its research endeavours into these areas. It enjoys many cross-departmental and interdisciplinary links around the University, as well as a strong, collaborative relationship with the theological institutions based in and around Durham (Cranmer Hall, the Wesley Study Centre and Ushaw College). Recent growth — there are 23 full-time staff — makes it one of the largest and most influential Departments in its field in the UK.

The Department offers undergraduate teaching of the highest quality in the fields of Biblical studies, historical and systematic theology, Jewish studies and the study of religion. Biblical and ancient languages (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and even Egyptian hieroglyphics) are offered at all levels, from beginners’ to advanced. The curriculum is organised to give students a strong and broad foundation, but also the flexibility to specialise in their own areas of interest. All the staff are involved in research, and students are introduced to cutting-edge ideas in their areas of study. Academic staff in the Department are instantly recognised throughout the world for their publications and academic leadership, and a large number of postgraduates are drawn to Durham to study for Masters and Doctoral degrees under their supervision. The Department is constantly alive with research activity — seminars, conferences, colloquia — which place it at the centre of international scholarship. With its home in Abbey House, right next to Durham Cathedral, it is a stunningly beautiful and immensely exciting place to study and to research in Theology and Religion, currently one of the most vibrant fields of academic enquiry.
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UK England3858Leeds UniversityWhy Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds?
The study of religion is vital for understanding the world we live in. At Leeds we teach the full range of approaches to religion – and are particularly interested in why and how religion matters for public life.
Theology and Religious Studies is an exciting and challenging degree course that lets you engage with philosophy, social sciences, history, literature, languages and more. There’s a huge variety – and a broad core course that gives you the key knowledge and skills for the subject.
You’ll be taught by enthusiastic scholars who are leading researchers in their fields. [Read more here]
You can gain skills through fieldwork with local religious communities, group presentations, debating in seminars, and researching a dissertation.
You’ll have the chance to study abroad, through the Department’s established links with universities in the Czech Republic and Uganda, or through University-wide schemes
You’ll study the religions with empathy and a critical distance, alongside people of all faiths and none.
And you’ll live in a lively and diverse city, which is an ideal place to learn about what religion means today – and to enjoy all the other aspects of student life.

The programme will:

1. In the context of offering students an awareness of the variety of religious traditions and cultures historically, globally and locally, and of the variety within such traditions;
2. and an understanding of their interrelationship with broader currents of culture, politics, history, intellectual development, demographic change, etc.;
3. will stimulate sensitive curiosity and fascination about religion and religions, coupled with appropriate intellectual discipline;
4. by offering students a breadth of awareness of the intellectual disciplines through which religions may be approached;
5. so to equip students to choose whether and how to focus their intellectual development on the study of particular religion/s, specific aspect/s of religion, specific discipline/s or method/s for studying religion, or to foster a broad-based approach;
6. by enabling in-depth study of, and critical empathy with, at least one tradition's sacred texts, developed religious thought and reflection, history and practices, as appropriate;
7. so to foster interpersonal and intellectual skills of empathy with critical distance, to give experience and opportunity for working with plurality in and between religions, and with familiar and unfamiliar viewpoints, and with views that differ radically from one's own;
8. and to equip students for understanding, living and working reflectively and responsibly within a plural society, to provide qualifications and skills appropriate for personal development, professional employment and further study in a secular society where religious issues remain influential, though are often unrecognised;
9. in a challenging and supportive learning environment founded on established academic disciplines, where teaching is informed by the research activities of staff.
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UK Wales3959Bangor UniversityNo Info, site updating
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UK England4060Manchester UniversityThis area of study brings together a number of course units, including Social Anthropology and Philosophy. No specific subject requirements for admission are made, and students indicating an interest in this area of study are particularly welcome. Course units in this area of study fall into two fairly distinct groupings.

One focus is provided by Comparative Religion, which offers course units in the methodology of the study of religions and courses on individual religions like Buddhism or Hinduism.

The other is the study of religion from the specific angle of Christianity and other religions (particularly Judaism) that bear most clearly upon it. Biblical Studies offers course units in the criticism and exegesis of texts from the Old and New Testaments, and Ecclesiastical History course units on the historical background (and foreground) of the Christian religion. You select course units according to your own particular interests and these interests will often provide the subject of a dissertation in the third year.
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UK England4161University of London, School of oriental and african studiesDepartment of the Study of Religions

The study of religions has been a major part of teaching and research at SOAS since the School was founded in 1917. In the 1980s it became possible to read for a BA with religions as a special field of enquiry. Since then, the number of students enrolling for (and graduating with) degrees in Religious Studies has increased year by year.

Students may either take a BA degree dedicated to the study of religions, with options in the individual religious traditions, gender, method and theory, or combine the religion component with a vast array other subjects taught at SOAS, including languages.

Today, the department has an undergraduate cohort of 120 students, exploring a wide range of religious traditions from Africa and Asia. The MA programme attracts an average of 30 to 40 new Masters students per year, while MPhil/PhD enrollment ranks amongst the strongest in the country, with a research community close to 100 postgraduate students.
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UK England4162University of London, School of oriental and african studiesDegree Profile
Religions have always powerfully influenced human societies. Religious ideas and practices affect relations between different cultures; they can unite or divide local communities; and they provide the context for an individual's spiritual quest.

A degree in comparative religion at SOAS offers an impressive range of study: religions of the ancient Near East, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Shinto, Sikhism, Shintoism,
traditional African faiths and the new religious movements of our time.

The study of religions is concerned with the scholarly (yet sympathetic) understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Staff and students come from many different backgrounds and there is no assumption of religious commitment, simply a quest for understanding.

There is a wide range of approaches in SOAS to the study of religions. If your major interest lies in the study of religious ideas and practices, then the BA in Comparative Religion is the right degree for you. Students on this degree may pursue a special interest in one tradition, but they are also expected to select from a broad range of other options (with or without some language study), and to learn about theories and methods in the study of religions.

Study of Religions can be combined with the following subjects:

3-year combined degrees
African Studies, Bengali, Development Studies, Economics, Geography, Georgian, Hausa, History, History of Art/Archaeology, Linguistics, Persian, Politics, Sinhalese, Social Anthropology, South Asian Studies, South East Asian Studies, Tamil, Tibetan

3- or 4- year combined degrees
Burmese, Hindi, Indonesian, Nepali, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish

4-year combined degrees
Amharic, Chinese, Hausa, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Law, Swahili


64
Canada4263University of WaterlooUnderstanding the spiritual dimensions of human experience is key to understanding
much art, literature, and culture. Religious Studies invites you to explore the issues, questions, and ideas that arise in the study of religions and religious communities, from the world's major religions to new religious movements.



Courses in religious studies have been taught at the University of Waterloo since the 1960s, and the department was formed in 1976. The department is dedicated to the non-confessional study of religion in its historical, cultural, and social contexts. Students may earn an honours BA, four-year general, or three-year general degree in religious studies. The department also offers a minor or various joint honours degrees and an honours Religious Studies/Applied Studies co-op option. The courses offered in the department are organized into the following five areas: world religions; history of the Christian tradition; Biblical studies; theology, philosophy, and ethics; religion, society and culture.

The department is a co-operative venture involving five founding and contributing institutions: four church colleges affiliated with the university (St. Jerome's University, Conrad Grebel University College, Renison College, and St. Paul's College) and the Faculty of Arts of the University of Waterloo. Currently the department has twelve faculty, all of whom have duties not only in Religious Studies but also in their respective colleges or in other university departments and academic programs such as Social Development Studies; Sex, Marriage, and the Family; Fine Arts; Sociology; Peace and Conflict Studies. The department offers 45 or more undergraduate courses on campus each year, and 25 additional courses by distance education. In the fall of 2001 there were 76 majors and 4 minors in religious studies, and over 8,500 students enrolled in the courses taught by the department.

The department takes pride in its courses and seeks to demonstrate the ways in which knowledge of human religious life is important to a liberal arts education. Student evaluations of the faculty are consistently very high, as our instructors place a priority on the quality of their teaching. Likewise the faculty are engaged in active careers of research, publishing numerous books and articles on a wide range of religious themes and topics.
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Canada4264University of WaterlooWhy Study Religion?


To learn about other countries - ideas about the sacred, women, beauty, dreams, love, death, and evil.

To explore answers to ultimate questions - Who or what is the divine?
What does it mean to be human? Does history have a goal?
What is the relationship between the divine, creation, and humankind?

Leads to careers such as teaching, chaplaincy, pastoral ministry, and counselling, and to professions as varied as journalism, publishing, social work, and overseas relief and development. Some of our Religious Studies majors have found the following jobs: Physician in Sioux Lookout, Ontario; Director of Development Agency in Uganda; Chaplain at Correctional Services Canada; Program Assistant at The Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse; Teacher of Religion in the RCSS Board; Program Co-ordinator at Catholic Family Services; Youth Pastor in a United Mennonite Church.

Open doors to graduate programs in various areas such as religious studies, theology, social work and medicine.
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Canada4365Concordia UniversityUndergraduate Fields of Study

The Department of Religion is dedicated to the academic study of various faiths and of social and cultural phenomena affected by religions. The curriculum includes the comparative study of many religious traditions of the world. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, students are encouraged to develop an understanding of at least two religious traditions. Whatever the student's special focus, the informed appreciation of the beliefs and values of other cultures is considered an essential dimension of education for today's world.

Philosophy of Religion

The Philosophy of Religion plays an important role in many areas of the Department of Religion. Undergraduate and Graduate courses are offered in such topics as: Comparative Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics, Theories of Religion, and in terms of Jewish, Christian, Hindu and other streams of philosophy arising out of specific religious traditions. A number of faculty have significant research interests in the Philosophy of Religion, including Michel Despland, Marc Lalonde, Michael Oppenheim, and the Hindu Chair, T.S. Rukmani. Together these faculty have authored over one hundred articles and close to twenty books. One of the distinctive characteristics of the Department's courses in the Philosophy of Religion is the emphasis on comparative approaches. In addition, the treatment of philosophical schools, topics and individual thinkers always endeavors to situate these within the relevant religious, social, and cultural contexts, as well as with a recognition of gender issues.

Psychology of Religion

The examination of the impact of religion on individuals' feelings, experiences, attitudes and behavior as well as on psychological development overall is a growing area in the Department of Religion. Courses are given at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the Psychology of Religion. These courses and faculty research emphasize what may be termed the humanistic or philosophical dimension of Psychology of Religion, rather than the experimental or "scientific" approach. There is an interest in issues of meaning, that is, how religion provides direction or orientation to a life. The data may be taken from a wide group of sources: religious classics, literary documents, historical texts, dream materials, autobiographical writings, myths and folklore, and various philosophical works.

Sacred Texts/Literature

Courses and research in this area take us in two directions — toward the study of the foundation texts of religious traditions and toward the exploration of the ways in which religious themes are incorporated in creative writing.

Traditional texts or scriptures — which may be transmitted orally as well as in written form — are concerned with cosmology, ritual, myth, and law. The study of such texts involves us in the investigation of the creation, canonization and transmission of scriptures; their authority, interpretation, and application; and the relation between scripture and ritual and social practice.

The study of religion and literature provides us with the opportunity to understand how religious symbols and narratives find a place in fiction and poetry, and how these literary forms can represent the historical experience of a community, articulate ethical problems and express religious goals and values.

Social, Scientific Study of Religion

Humans are both social and cultural beings. That is, they live together with others in accordance with a variety of ways of organizing themselves. And groups of humans construct for themselves shared norms for behaviour, views about who they are, stories about their past as a community, expectations about their future, a common set of symbols to represent those things which they value and revere, technologies and sciences, and shared ways of expressing themselves, including in art and music. For as long as human societies and cultures have existed religions have been an integral part of both.

A strong characteristic feature of the Department of Religion is the study of the complex relationships that have existed among religions, societies and cultures, from ancient to modern times, and around the world. The Department offers many courses that focus on the social and cultural elements of and functions of religious practice and belief. Exploring the interface between religion, culture and society advances our understanding of humanity and its cultural attainments.

Women and Religion

The Department of Religion pioneered the study of women and religion. First in Canada to offer such courses we are currently the only university to offer a specialization in the area. As part of the Department of Religion's undergraduate curriculum, a concentration in Women and Religion is offered. A variety of special courses are included in the regular program for the BA major in Religion. Religion majors can focus on this area for either the primary or secondary concentration requirements.

The study of women and religion is a growing field in which the Department of Religion at Concordia University has long been a leader. This structured concentration solidifies our commitment to this field and enables us to prepare students in a systematic and consistent fashion. The concentration furthers the work of the department in that it will allow students to pursue course work from a comparative, cross-cultural and multi-tradition perspective. The study of the role of women in the history and practice of religion introduces our students to an exciting and vital area of study.

History of Religions

The study of the history of religions involves us in a consideration of the dynamics of the development of religious traditions, and the interactions among them. Drawing on a variety of sources — including philosophical, legal, and narrative texts, archaeological and art historical data, and epigraphical and archival material — these explorations increase our understanding of how religious institutions take on their particular forms, how ritual practices evolve, and how religious ideas are formulated and elaborated over time. The history of religions engages us in an examination of the relationships that religious traditions have with political and social structures and of how they encounter with other traditions generates alteration and transformation in religious systems. At the same time that it seeks to identify general patterns and processes, this kind of study also aims to uncover the distinctiveness of particular religious traditions and their unique historical experiences of continuity and change.
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Canada4466McGillAbout us

Established in 1821, McGill University is an English-language university located in Montreal, Quebec. The University is recognized as the most internationally-oriented university in Canada. During the nineteenth century, several theological colleges in Montreal became affiliated with McGill University. In 1912, they formed a joint board for the academic study of Theology, leaving each denominational college to provide its own professional training for Christian ministry. This relationship between the colleges and the University led naturally to the creation, in 1948 of a Faculty of Divinity which assumed the academic functions of the Joint Board. In keeping with this goal the University Faculty offers the Bachelor of Theology and several graduate degree programs.

The original Faculty of Divinity taught theological courses for ordinands and also engaged in teaching undergraduates in other faculties a selection of courses of more general interest, such as philosophy and psychology of religion, and comparative religion. This selection grew over the years into the present BA Honours, Major and Minor programs in Religious Studies within the Faculty of Arts. In 1970 the name of the Faculty was changed to the Faculty of Religious Studies in order to reflect the new emphasis on the the academic study of religion. Currently, the Faculty of Religious Studies offers or contributes to six degrees—BA, Bachelor of Theology, MDiv, STM, MA and PhD—and offers both graduate and undergraduate courses of study on most of the world's major religions.

Undergraduate programs include BA specializations with Major Concentrations in World Religions, Scriptures and Interpretation, Philosophy and Western Religions as well as Honours in Religious Studies, Joint Honours, Minor Concentration in World Religions, Minor Concentration in Scriptural Languages. Graduate specializations for the M.A. with and without thesis are available. An MA with thesis is also available in Religious Studies with specialization in Bioethics.

Graduate programs are available specializing in Buddhism, Church History, Bioethics and Comparative Religion, Hinduism, New Testament, Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible, Philosophy of Religion, and Theology. Graduate degree programs include STM, MA with thesis, MA without thesis, MA (Bioethics) and PhD
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Canada4467McGillMcGill Asian Religions Area

The Asian Religions Area of the Faculty of Religious Studies supports one of the largest teaching programs in Asian Religions in North America. The Faculty of Religious Studies teaches more than 30 courses in all aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religion from the basic introductory level to advanced graduate seminars. It has thriving MA and PhD programs in Hinduism and Buddhism and teaches its own courses in Sanskrit and Tibetan languages.
In addition, the Department of East Asian Studies of McGill University teaches courses in Taoism and Confucianism, which complement the courses in Chinese and Japanese Religion taught in the Faculty of Religious Studies.
Asia and its Religions
The study of Asian religion and culture is more and more becoming an essential element of the education of a global citizen. Asia contains more than 60% of the earth's people. The two largest countries in the world by population are China and India with more than a billion people each. After the United States, the second, third and fourth largest economies in the world are China, Japan and India, as measured by purchasing power parity. The Asian financial crisis of 1997 showed that the "butterfly effect" is true; the devaluation of the Thai bhat caused financial crisis in countries around the globe, including Russia, Brazil and the United States. One needs to understand Asia to understand both the international world today and Canada today. All the countries of Asia have come to the West. Not only is Vancouver predicted to become North America's first city with an Asian majority population, but every major city in Canada has significant Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian populations.
Although several of the Asian religions have been in North America for long periods of time (the first Buddhist temple, for example, was opened in Vancouver in 1904), they originally were confined to ethnic communities and resided on the margins of mainstream Western culture. This changed in the 1960s when both Canada and the United States changed their former race-based immigration laws and adopted race neutral points-based immigration. Then in the 1970s, under Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canada adopted a policy of official multiculturalism. Immigration from the Asian countries surged with the result that now in the major urban centres of Canada, one can easily find Hindu temples, Buddhist meditation centres, Sikh gurdwaras, and Chinese and Korean Christian churches. At the same time, the 1960s saw huge and dramatic challenges to conventional social attitudes. In the wake of this changes, Asian religions became increasingly an option for people in mainstream western culture.
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Netherlands4568Leiden UniversityReligion as such does not exist. It is a concept developed in the West as a label for a wide variety of human ideas and behaviour, which are centered around human interaction with postulated (non- or meta-empirical) realities. The programme in Comparative Religion tackles this wide variety and attempts to analyze, interpret and explain it. This is done by focusing on classical and modern approaches in the study of religion and by having students work on selected aspects of religion, such as ritual, purity laws, magic, and the mechanics of “tradition”. The methods used can be both historical-literary and social-scientific, i.e. they can focus on past as well as living realities, or combine the two. The ‘comparative’ aspect does not mean that students have to acquire specialized knowledge of at least two traditions with their entire historical and literary heritage. It expresses the fundamental notion that one way to make sense of the bewildering variety of expressions of the various religions, is to analyze them as manifestations of basic human intellectual and practical strategies. This means that students of comparative religion do not only attempt to understand the finesses of individual rituals or ideas in ‘internal’ terms, but also aim at interpreting or explaining them by showing how they are linked – historically, socially, conceptually – with similar expressions in other religions or cultures. From this it follows that it is not admissible to privilege any particular religion, whether on the basis of current numerical strength or perceived historical importance. Whether dead and long forgotten or newly founded, whether minute in numbers or carried by millions, each and every religion in human history can contribute to this project. Topics chosen in recent years and suggested for the present include secrecy, religion and violence, clothing and hair-dress, the making of amulets and the consecration of divine images.
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Netherlands4669University of AmsterdamReligion is an important factor in Western culture. All across America and Europe, Christianity is widely represented in the realms of politics, education and the media. As a result of immigration and internationalisation, Islam now plays an increasingly important role in our society, as do Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Winti. All these religions have their own prophets, scriptures, rituals and taboos.

The curriculum for the bachelor’s programme in Religious Studies covers these widely varied religious traditions. Students learn to analyse issues that have to do with the position of these traditions in Western culture, such as segregation and integration, political and other conflicts and violence. They also address such themes as fundamentalism, the role of religion in people’s personal lives, and the relation between the church and the state.

The focus is not only on Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Western culture in the bachelor’s in Religious Studies at the UvA, it is also on alternative trends such as Western esoteric beliefs. Students learn how religions function in people’s daily lives, and not just the official church perspectives and dogmas. Students also examine what the manifestations of religion are in for example popular music, advertising and films.

In addition to attending lectures and studying the literature, students go to museums and observe religious congregations. They become acquainted with religious sources such as the Old and New Testament and the Koran. Attention is also devoted to the most important theories on religion from the fields of philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Students who do a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at the UvA have ample opportunity to take electives at other departments such as History or Philosophy, to do an internship, or do part of the study programme abroad.

After completing a bachelor’s programme in Religious Studies, you will graduate as a Bachelor of Arts (BA).

The job market

Graduates of Religious Studies are religion specialists and can use their knowledge in today's multicultural and multireligious society. Career prospects are diverse and include employers such as media (research or editing at a newspaper or television), the state (multicultural management), mental health care (counsellor at a hospital or insititution), education (religion and philosophy teacher) or travel agencies.
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Netherlands4770VU AmsterdamWhat consequences does a religion have for human behaviour? And how does this influence the way in which people experience the world around them? How do people answer the question ‘Why am I here’? Can humanism, fascism or liberalism also be seen as religions? How can people with different religions and philosophies of life live together peacefully in our multicultural society? If you ask yourself these questions from time to time, then the Religious Studies programme is definitely for you.

The study in short terms
In the first year of the three-year Bachelor’s programme you will study the five main world religions. You will learn about new religious movements and will study subjects like history of philosophy and intercultural theology. In the second and third years, you will explore various academic approaches to religion in greater depth. In the third year you will choose a particular religion as your own specialization. On completion of your Bachelor’s programme you can go on to specialize further by taking the one-year Master’s programme.

Prospects after your Bachelor’s
The path you take with your degree in Religious Studies mainly depends on the specialization you opt for in the Master’s phase. You could work as an editor for a newspaper or magazine or for the government as a policy officer in the area of minorities and integration. Or you could go into education or take up a position as a spiritual advisor in a large commercial or non-profit organization.
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Canada4871Université LavalSciences des religions
Les études en sciences des religions vous permettent d’analyser les divers enjeux touchant les phénomènes religieux, spirituels et les religions du monde principalement dans la société contemporaine. Vous aborderez cependant la question religieuse comme objet d’observation, avec un point de vue détaché d’une foi particulière. En plus de permettre le développement d’une culture religieuse générale (les approches générales du fait religieux ou les grandes traditions religieuses à travers le monde), les cours favorisent l’évolution d’un sens critique, tant à l’égard de sa propre expérience qu’à celui des phénomènes religieux et spirituels. Les nombreux programmes abordent en outre les composantes du christianisme en fonction du contexte social, culturel et politique, l’originalité des nouvelles religions se multipliant au Québec, les éléments de problématique sur les fondements humain et chrétien de l’obligation morale, etc.
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Canada4972University of OttawaReligious studies sector
The study of religion is crucial to the understanding of modern societies. Our multidisciplinary program combines history, sociology, psychology and anthropology, so the result is a rich mixture of perspectives on an array of topics: history of the study of religion, Amerindian religions, Asian cultural traditions, classical European cultures, religion in Canada, women and religion, and the relation between religions and globalization.
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Canada4973University of OttawaWhy study Religious studies
The religious studies sector of the Department of Classics and Religious Studies has a particular interest in the following areas: Amerindian and Inuit religions, religion and culture in Canada, women and religion, religions in comparative cultural context, and religions in the classical and contemporary periods.
Religious studies pursue the investigation of religious phenomena through teaching and research in the same manner and on the same level as any other category of facts accessible to human experience and observation. Moreover, in the modern context, such a study must take into account the popularity of religious traditions and expressions in society, and examine relationships among them. To this end, religious studies takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of religious phenomena using historical, sociological, psychological, anthropological and textual perspectives to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of religious expressions.
Research on religious phenomena is accomplished through analysis and comparison of the various means of religious expression, both in the past and present. The programs do not consider any religious tradition to be normative. What the programs offer are not theological studies from within any given religious tradition, but rather a scientific study of religion and religions.
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Canada5074University of TorontoWELCOME
In the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion we explore the way religions have grown and developed, how they have been understood and transformed, and how we can think about them with discipline in our religiously plural environment.

Our programs enable students to grasp religion as an essential aspect of the cultures of the world and the interactions among them. We look at the development of religious beliefs, practices, and doctrines as they intersect with the history of peoples and cultures right up to the contemporary world. We explore religion and its connections with social issues, ethics, philosophical questions, and personal psychological considerations.  In this way, students at all levels can better understand their own traditions and those of others, in ways that provide insight into the significant impact of religions in contemporary affairs.
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South African5175University of Cape TownCentral to human history as well as the diversity of civilizations, religion remains a formative and pervasive aspect of human culture and experience. The need to understand religion has never been more pressing than it is today, and at the University of Cape Town we are concerned with studying all aspects of religion, particularly in contemporary African society.
Religion has been studied at the University of Cape Town since 1967 and the Department is home to accredited journals as well as institutes that reflect the diverse range of research undertaken by out staff and students. Religious Studies takes as its subject, all religions, and their interaction with other aspects of life: intellectual, political and artistic. It is essentially pluralistic and is committed to no particular faith but endeavouring to understand each religion in its own terms, using the tools of textual, historical, sociological and philosophical analysis.
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South African5176University of Cape TownOur undergraduate degree programme looks at both mainstream religious traditions and more recent religious movements, and examines the interplay between these and modern secular culture.
The degree allows you to explore the religious aspects of cinema and literature, and the significance of the body, sex and gender in religious cultures. It also introduces you to some of the major theories, themes and approaches in the study of religion in Africa.
Such study provides not only valuable insights into the world in which we live, but also the skills of critical analysis, conceptual thought and imaginative empathy that will allow you to pursue a rewarding career after university.
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Spain5277Universidad Complutense de MadridObjetivos y Proyección profesional

* Proporcionar un conocimiento racional y crítico del hecho religioso y de la evolución de las diferentes religiones, así como de los métodos, técnicas e instrumentos de análisis y de crítica propios de su estudio, a fin de que el estudiante esté en condiciones de valorar su desarrollo histórico y sus implicaciones sociales a lo largo del tiempo y el espacio.
* Aportar los fundamentos necesarios para el estudio, la comprensión y el debate acerca de fenómenos de las sociedades pasadas y de nuestra sociedad contemporánea, que con frecuencia tienen una dimensión conflictiva, muy presente y actual en la Unión Europea y que, por lo tanto, capacitan para el trabajo en ámbitos investigadores, educativos y sociales.

¿Por qué estudiar este Máster en la Universidad Complutense?

* Porque se trata del único Máster en su especialidad que existe hoy en día en las universidades públicas españolas e incluye en su oferta formativa amplios contenidos académicos de especialización completa y transversal e investigación de alta calidad, permitiendo el acceso posterior al Doctorado.
* Por la calidad de la docencia de sus profesores, que forman parte del Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de las Religiones de la Universidad Complutense. avalada por una amplia experiencia, a la que se suma una intensa y diversificada labor investigadora.
* Por la concepción de los contenidos y la forma de transmitirlos, mediante clases dinámicas y metodologías de trabajo basadas en la combinación de teoría y práctica.
* Por la importancia de poder seguir unos estudios de Postgrado en un Campus Universitario Internacional catalogado como de Excelencia
* Por disponer de un Campus integrado en la propia ciudad de Madrid que cuenta con buenas instalaciones educativas, culturales y deportivas y con una excelente accesibilidad tanto en transporte público como privado.
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Spain5378Universidad Pablo de OlavideEl objetivo principal del Máster Religiones y Sociedades es proporcionar a los estudiantes una perspectiva precisa del lugar de la religión y de las distintas religiones en el mundo. La creciente diversidad religiosa y la situación política actual hacen que sea necesario profundizar en el conocimiento de las religiones propias y ajenas, como condición indispensable para eludir el conflicto.

Por ello, los objetivos del Máster son:
• contribuir a la formación de los/las docentes que enseñan religiones en los diferentes niveles educativos
• proporcionar formación sobre las tradiciones religiosas a todo el que desee profundizar en ellas y a quienes trabajan en contacto con diferentes culturas y religiones (políticos, diplomáticos, trabajadores sociales, cooperantes)
• ofrecer un aparato metodológico para el análisis y la comprensión del fenómeno religioso. Para ello
- se presentarán las principales teorías y métodos de las distintas escuelas que se han dedicado al análisis del hecho religioso
- se prestará especial atención al análisis de los testimonios propios de cada religión (libros sagrados, obras de las principales figuras de cada tradición religiosa, testimonios de la práctica de las distintas religiones)
• apuntar líneas de investigación innovadoras a los alumnos/as interesados/as en iniciarse en la carrera investigadora
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New Zealand5479University of CanterburyWhat is Religious Studies?

Religious Studies at Canterbury aims to rethink our understanding of religion. We do so by engaging with two major traditions - Christianity, Hinduism - and also by the critique and analysis of issues through contemporary cultural and religious theory.

Our courses place the study of religion in the context of the 21st century, at a point in history where we can see institutional and personal religion both on the decline and on the increase. People everywhere continue to be challenged by the difficult and inspiring questions that have always faced us as human beings:
Who are we?
What are we doing here?
Why is the world the way it is?
Is it all real?
Can we be truly free and happy? If so, how?

We look at issues like these from the point of view of the great religious traditions of the world. Our courses provide pathways to understanding these traditions both at a conceptual and an experiential level. Innovative and stimulating, our programme provides a study of religion which is both critical and empathetic.

We do not set out to judge whether the beliefs and practices of particular religions are true or false, right or wrong, but we do seek to understand them through rigorous analysis and disciplined imagination, informed by cutting-edge scholarship.

Different academic disciplines use different methods. Religious Studies is particularly challenging, since it draws on a number of disciplines, including anthropology, cultural and literary criticism, history and sociology. Whatever approach we use, however, we aspire to the same ideal which applies to all scholarly work: to be open, critical, thorough, contextual, and honest.
Why should I study religion?

Religion is as important today as it ever was. Both the Pope and the Dalai Lama are influential world figures who draw huge crowds wherever they go, resurgent Islam has changed the political face of the world, and Christian fundamentalism has continued to be a force to reckon with in American society. Likewise popular culture is increasingly infused with religious ideas, images and sounds. In fact, for the great majority of people in the world, today as well as in the past, religion is the most important influence on their ideas of who they are, where they come from, and why they are here. Without some understanding of religion we cannot hope to understand humanity.

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What can I do with Religious Studies?

In a globalising world Religious Studies is a crucial component for understanding the various cultural and political issues that we all encounter. To ignore the impact that religious beliefs, practices and ideas have upon our lives is to seriously misunderstand the world we live in. We can only be culturally literate and informed if we understand the various roles that religion plays - and critically engage with them.

People planning careers in international commerce, politics and policy-making, tourism and travel, social services, teaching, the media and so on will find Religious Studies to be valuable. Those interested in careers within religious institutions will find that it affords them a valuable perspective, complementing their faith-based education. Former graduates of our programme have gone on to become journalists, artists, musicians, film directors, teachers, gallery directors, librarians and academics. Many of our students take double majors in Religious Studies and Anthropology, Art History, English, History, Political Science, Sociology, and many other subjects.
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New Zealand5580Massey UniversityReligious Studies Programme

Why Religion Matters
Religions are among the most influential forces shaping the human experience, both in the past and in the present. Without some insight into diverse religious traditions, it is not possible to understand today’s world or to prepare adequately for tomorrow’s. Even in a relatively secular society like contemporary New Zealand, politics, education, and the arts continue to be influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition. At the same time, our society is increasingly being affected from within and beyond by other traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

In the world at large, religion often functions as the principal source of individual and communal identity, answering questions about meaning and purpose, morality and freedom, responsibility and happiness. It underpins the lives of anonymous millions and - for good or ill - motivates some to spectacular deeds.

Career Opportunities
Religious Studies will not give you the answers to life’s mysteries, but it will stimulate and inform your own reflection. Like other humanities subjects, Religious Studies is primarily concerned with investigating what it means to be human while developing academic skills that are useful for personal and professional life. It is therefore valuable for graduates in a wide variety of occupations, including politics and government, administration and social services, the media and the arts, tourism and travel, counselling and education, business and trade, and publishing and librarianship.

Programme Structure
Religious Studies draws on a range of academic disciplines to investigate religions critically but with empathy, seeking to appreciate the role of religion in society as well as the perspectives of religious believers. It differs from theology in that it is not grounded in any particular religious tradition but deals even-handedly with religions found throughout the world. Religious Studies therefore complements other subjects such as history, philosophy, classics, politics, anthropology, and literature.

The Religious Studies programme at Massey University offers students an introduction to each of the larger world religions in two core 100-level papers. There is also a new 100-level paper on Magic and Witchcraft taught by staff specializing in selected historical contexts. At the 200- and 300-levels, there are papers on Ancient Religions, Scriptures, and Religion and Current Issues as well as courses on Islam, on Theories of Religion, and on Sex, Gender, and Religion. A major in Religious Studies will normally include a number of specified papers from related programmes.

Location
Students can enrol in Religious Studies either at Palmerston North or extramurally.
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New Zealand5681University of OttagoAbout Religious Studies

Whether you're following world news or watching what’s happening on campus, you'll be aware of the impact of religion on the contemporary world. Virtually every aspect of human culture has been, and continues to be, shaped by beliefs about gods and demons, saints and shamans. In our own day, religious beliefs and practices show no sign of disappearing. Indeed, they are currently undergoing a revival, one form of which is fundamentalism.

So if you want to understand our world, you need to know something about religion. Religious Studies helps you to understand the complex world of religion by introducing you to the diversity of religious beliefs and practices. It traces our established traditions from their ancient roots through to modern times. It also examines the various forms of 'spirituality' that feature so prominently in modern popular culture.

Religious Studies courses are designed to be accessible to everyone, irrespective of religious background.
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New Zealand5682University of OttagoPostgraduate Study in Religion

Graduate students engaged in research on various aspects of religion form a vital part of the life and work of our department, and work closely with teaching staff (see the list of current and recent graduate theses in Religion). There are several options for postgraduate study - including by distance and part-time - which one is right for you will depend on your previous study and your aim in undertaking research. The opportunities for postgraduate study are described below - having read these please contact the Postgraduate Co-ordinator for Religion, Dr Will Sweetman, to discuss your plans.

For details of research interests and preferred areas of supervision for each member of staff see the staff pages. Members of the department are also involved in a number of research groups both within and beyond the University of Otago, including the Internet Research Group of Otago and the Asia-New Zealand Research Cluster.
The First Year of Postgraduate Study

The first year of postgraduate study in Religious Studies consists of four papers. Three of these are taught papers, the fourth is a dissertation of around 15,000 words (which has the code of 490). This year of study can be the fourth and final year of a BA (Hons), a stand-alone year called a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) or the first year of a two year Master of Arts degree. With the two year MA, the second year of the degree is a thesis, which is discussed below. Students who have already taken an honours degree can apply for direct admission to the MA by thesis.

Further information about the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) is available on the University website.

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Master of Arts in Religious Studies by thesis alone.

If a student has an Honours degree in Religious Studies or has done a PGDipArts, they may proceed to an MA by thesis alone. The thesis is 40,000 words, written over a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years part-time. Supervision is provided for by the Department. Students do not have to be in Dunedin to do these degrees, but where they are outside of Dunedin satisfactory supervision arrangements must be made.

Further information about the Master of Arts (MA) is available on the University website.
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New Zealand5783Victoria University of WellingtonAbout Religious Studies

Religious Studies is the attempt to understand the beliefs and practices of humanity and how these impact on our lives and the lives of others. A knowledge and understanding of religion is essential in order to grasp our musical, artistic, legal, literary and philosophical traditions. We live in a religiously diverse country in an increasingly diverse world. We need to understand our neighbours – what they believe and why they do so and what they are led to do - locally, nationally and internationally.

The majority of people on the planet subscribe to a religious tradition or faith. These beliefs and practices motivate people to kill and to heal, to include and exclude others, to love and to hate, and to produce sublime, inspired art, music and literature.

Religious Studies asks question such as what do you believe? Why do religions persist, grow and decline? Is religion the cause of terrorism and war? Do religions have a role to play in the 21st century? Are the gods the invention of humanity or vice versa?


Why take Religious Studies at Victoria?

It is the largest programme in the country and includes experts in a wide range of different traditions (Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism), themes (death, religions in New Zealand, religion and the body, violence and religion), and approaches to the study of religion (psychological, anthropological, theological, historical, textual, phenomenological and sociological).

The Religious Studies Programme at Victoria University explores the complexity and diversity of the contemporary and historical forms of religion.
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New Zealand5884The university of WaikatoWelcome to Religious Studies

Religion is a universal phenomenon, although expressed in many and varied forms. Indeed, it is arguably the case that religion has been a vital and pervasive feature throughout the entire course of human history. As a university discipline the emphasis of Religious Studies is on the study of religion as human phenomena. It sets out to examine the religious dimension of human existence in all its diversity objectively, systematically, and yet sympathetically.

Most people have experienced, to a greater or lesser degree, the influence of religious thinking, religious practices, and religious institutions. In the contemporary world religion continues to be a significant, if not major factor, in the shaping of people's lives and the determining of political and social outcomes. To study religion is to facilitate a broader understanding of human history and a deeper understanding of human life. The appropriate context for the study of religion is that of critical empathy: neither seeking to destroy nor promote, but rather to describe, analyse and evaluate and, hopefully, arrive at a position of informed understanding.
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Australia5985The University of QueenslandStudying religion and spirituality deals with the most compelling and significant issues of our time – international conflict, climate change, stem cell research, fundamentalism, immigration, multiculturalism. It also investigates some of the great texts, important thinkers and compelling ideas in religious and spiritual traditions through a comprehensive and critical evaluation of historical contexts.



Studying Religion can:

Develop your understanding and knowledge of the cultural foundations and current trends in many religious and spiritual movements

Provide insight into the cultural settings in which various religions are practised, showing ways that societies and individuals construct their own ideas of the spiritual and therefore their own sense of identity

Offer you the chance to learn Arabic, Greek, Pali and Sankrit to gain insight into other cultures

Promote respect, appreciation and understanding of religious and cultural diversity

Encourage reflection on your own world view
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Australia5986The University of QueenslandStudies in Religion offers courses grouped in three broad areas of study in each of which there is similarity of approach, context and aim.

Preliminary studies of world religions are grouped with courses which pursue the meaning and value of religious symbols, ideas and practices in human experience. The methods used are phenomenological and comparative.

Work in the history of specific religious traditions aims to provide a core of sound knowledge through critical investigation of the origin and development of some major religions and of their main documentary sources. The traditions treated in detail are:
(i) those arising in the ancient Near East, with special reference to Judaism and Christianity; and
(ii) those arising in India, with special reference to Hinduism and Buddhism. Modern studies of religion present a more abstract and detached approach, applying the method of philosophy and the social sciences in the context of the contemporary situation.

The topics discussed include the functions of religion, the ways in which religion can affect individual and social life, the nature and truth of religious beliefs, and the validity of religious claims regarding human behaviour.

The Religion discipline teaches undergraduate courses as Introductory and Advanced levels. These are listed in the UQ Course Information handbook and also on the main UQ webpage. Not all courses are available each semester or each year. The list contains courses available during the current year, followed by the list of courses not on offer in the current year.

When planning your program, however, you should take care to ensure that you allow sufficient flexibility in your selections to enable you to vary your program subsequently if your interests change. In doing this, please take careful note of such aspects as recommended backgrounds for advanced courses and incompatibility between courses.

Members of academic and administrative staff are always willing to assist students in choosing courses so as to constitute a coherent program for a Studies in Religion major.

For details of times and venues, check the timetable on mySI-net.
88
Australia6087The University of SydneyMajor in Studies in Religion

Degree Structure for a major in Religion Studies:
Students begin Studies in Religion by completing Junior units of study, of which there are two, must be completed by all students wishing to undertake a major in Studies in Religion. They are; RLST1001 Paths to Enlightenment which introduces key concepts in Aboriginal Australian and Asian religions; and RLST1002 The History of God which charts the rise of monotheism in the cultural context of the Ancient World. These units are offered every year.

A major in Studies in Religion is 36 senior credit points (6 Senior units of study). The major can also consist of cross listed Units of Study. It is possible to do fourth year honours in Studies in Religion if you complete a further 12 senior credit points and your average result across the 48 credit points of religion is a Credit or better (65 ). Departmental permission may be granted to enter units if pre-requisites are not formally met.
89
Australia6188The University of New EnglandIntroduction

Studies in Religion is concerned with the diversity of religious experience and expression across all civilisations, ancient and modern, and all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

In Studies in Religion we look at the circumstances under which religions come into being, their founders, their sacred writings and stories, the structures of believing communities, and how the most important features of these religions develop within different societies. Our main focus is on the study and comparison of features of the five great world religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, though we also look at a wide variety of other belief systems during the course of the major.

An awareness of world beliefs is essential to any student of the Humanities. Through a study of world religions we learn to understand others and ourselves and gain valuable insight into the ways in which individuals and nations have been shaped by changing religious concepts and the doctrines, rituals, and writings of their own and other civilizations. Throughout history, religious beliefs have continuously affected the dynamics of nations and societies, reflected people's strongest needs, fears and hopes, and divided as well as united societies. For millennia, religion has played a central role in national identity for most of the world's people, and it continues to play a major role in the creation of national and self-identity today.

In Australia, we are both citizens in a multi-cultural world and part of a multi-racial nation. Through exploring the role that religious beliefs and behaviours play and have played in the lives of individuals and communities we learn to respect and value those religious beliefs and practices, both within and outside of our own community, which are very different from our own. This ability to evaluate other points of view and approach issues from a variety of perspectives will remain one of the most essential elements in all forms of successful cross-cultural communication throughout the twenty-first century.

90
Australia6189The University of New EnglandIntroduction

Studies in Religion is concerned with the diversity of religious experience and expression across all civilisations, ancient and modern, and all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

In Studies in Religion we look at the circumstances under which religions come into being, their founders, their sacred writings and stories, the structures of believing communities, and how the most important features of these religions develop within different societies. Our main focus is on the study and comparison of features of the five great world religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, though we also look at a wide variety of other belief systems during the course of the major.

An awareness of world beliefs is essential to any student of the Humanities. Through a study of world religions we learn to understand others and ourselves and gain valuable insight into the ways in which individuals and nations have been shaped by changing religious concepts and the doctrines, rituals, and writings of their own and other civilizations. Throughout history, religious beliefs have continuously affected the dynamics of nations and societies, reflected people's strongest needs, fears and hopes, and divided as well as united societies. For millennia, religion has played a central role in national identity for most of the world's people, and it continues to play a major role in the creation of national and self-identity today.

In Australia, we are both citizens in a multi-cultural world and part of a multi-racial nation. Through exploring the role that religious beliefs and behaviours play and have played in the lives of individuals and communities we learn to respect and value those religious beliefs and practices, both within and outside of our own community, which are very different from our own. This ability to evaluate other points of view and approach issues from a variety of perspectives will remain one of the most essential elements in all forms of successful cross-cultural communication throughout the twenty-first century.

Why Study Religion at UNE?

Studies in Religion at UNE comprises a multidisciplinary subject area with a national and global scope. Such a subject area is central to any study within the Humanities. The study of our own and others’ religious values, beliefs, and practices sheds light on the sources of some of humankind's perennial questions and problems. It encourages us to ask, and even attempt to answer, some of the questions about the meaning of life, and teaches us to appreciate and respect the views of different cultures, so that we are able to identify with each other across religions, classes, cultures and continents.

Many courses and awards in Australia and overseas tend to be strongly centred on Christianity. Yet given the present international climate, it is understandable that there is a great deal of popular and academic interest in religion as it relates to different social and political groups and forces. For NSW alone, Studies in Religion is currently the third most popular subject at HSC. At UNE we approach Studies in Religion from a non-confessional viewpoint, distancing ourselves from personal meaning systems or belief systems in order to appreciate and respect those of others. We draw together skills and knowledge from a wide range of disciplines by which students can focus on the study of religion across cultures and civilisations (ancient and modern).

The first year units focus on the five major world religions. At advanced level, students have the choice of undertaking study in areas such as Islam, Buddhism, early Judaism and Christianity and their scriptures, the Crusades, ancient Mediterranean religions (Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaan and others), issues in modern church history, women and world religions, philosophy, and more. All units of study encourage a critical and open attitude to all religions; offer a breadth of methods drawn from history, philosophy, sociology, political and literary theory; are concerned with both traditional and contemporary expressions of religion; and focus on the part religions play within social and political life nationally and internationally.

Careers

Studies in Religion provides a solid grounding in some of the world's most significant literatures, ideas, and belief systems. It aims to create a multidisciplinary critical skills base in the area of religion for those in training for, or active within, professions that engage with the religious aspect of multicultural societies—law, teaching, social work, counselling, journalism, public service, business, marketing, defence, and foreign service, to name but a few. In particular, it provides a breadth of expertise for those wishing to teach Studies in Religion courses in secondary schools. It also provides a suite of offerings for those simply wishing to investigate the place of religion within ancient and contemporary national and international societies and politics.

International perspectives are incorporated within all the units, including the core units which cover the major world religions. Indigenous Australian perspectives are also explicitly incorporated in the units at first-year level. Communication skills, research methods and critical thinking are embedded in every unit and these enhance the ability of students to work effectively in a variety of diverse and cross-cultural environments and in all kinds of employment.

Indeed, all offerings within the School of Humanities are designed to help you to acquire the skills of critical analysis, clear oral and written communication, and independent research. These are all in demand in the workplace and suit all students for employment in a wide variety of jobs.
91
Switzerland6290Universität ZürichWas ist Religionswissenschaft?

Die Religionswissenschaft erforscht religiöse Traditionen und Phänomene in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Sie hat dabei immer die Vielfalt religiöser Orientierungen und Ausdrucksformen im Blick und interessiert sich deshalb sowohl für vergangene religiöse Traditionen (z.B. des alten Ägypten oder Mesopotamien) als auch für Religionen, die heute noch gelebt werden (z.B. Judentum, Christentum, Islam, asiatische Religionen). Sie erforscht Religionen, die in unterschiedlichen Kulturen verbreitet sind, ebenso wie Traditionen, die nur an einem Ort oder in einer Region bestehen.

Zugang zu ihrem Gegenstand findet die Religionswissenschaft zum einen über Quellen, in denen sich Religion und Religionen zu erkennen geben (Texte, Bilder, Riten usw.); zum andern über die Menschen selbst, die über ihre religiösen Orientierungen Auskunft geben können. Sie verwendet dafür Methoden der Interpretation, die je nach Gegenstand eher historisch oder sozialwissenschaftlich ausgerichtet sind. Vergleich und Systematisierung erlauben eine fachspezifische Theoriebildung, die über die Beschreibung von Einzelreligionen hinaus führen kann (Systematische Religionswissenschaft) und auf die Arbeit an Einzelreligionen zurückwirkt.

Religionswissenschaft ist interdisziplinär ausgerichtet, d.h. sie arbeitet auch mit Methoden und Theorien ihrer Nachbardisziplinen und im Austausch mit diesen (z.B. Ethnologie, Indologie, Islamwissenschaft...). Sie fragt zum Beispiel nach der Entwicklung einer Religion innerhalb einer bestimmten Kultur (Religionsgeschichte), nach der Struktur und Funktion von Religion in Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (Religionssoziologie), nach der Bedeutung von Religiosität für die Psyche des Einzelnen (Religionspsychologie) u.v.a.m.

Religionswissenschaft ist grundsätzlich bekenntnisfrei. Wer Religionswissenschaft studiert, muss selber nicht religiös sein oder einer religiösen Tradition angehören. Voraussetzung ist jedoch die Bereitschaft, sich mit mehreren, unterschiedlichen und gegebenenfalls konkurrierenden religiösen Traditionen auseinandersetzen.

Religionswissenschaft als Kulturwissenschaft und der Anspruch der Religionen

Religionswissenschaft versteht Religionen als geschichtlich gewachsene, sich stetig verändernde kulturelle Deutungs- oder Symbolsysteme, die untereinander und mit Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Politik usw. in vielfältigen Wechselbeziehungen stehen. Religionen prägen Menschen und werden durch Menschen geprägt. Die Religionswissenschaft untersucht die kulturellen und gesellschaftlichen Rahmenbedingungen und Kontexte, in denen Religionen entstehen und sich entwickeln, und sie fragt danach, wie Religionen auf Kulturen zurückwirken und sie mitgestalten.

Religionswissenschaft begreift Religion als kulturelle Kommunikation, m

Religionswissenschaft setzt sich auch mit der wachsenden Pluralisierung der Sinnangebote in der spätmodernen Gesellschaft auseinander. Zugleich fragt sie nach der Auswirkung global vernetzter Kommunikationsstrukturen auf die Entwicklung religiöser Vorstellungen und Praktiken. Mehr noch als früher wirken im Zeitalter der Globalisierung Religionen aufeinander bzw. reagieren sie gleichsam analog auf gesamtgesellschaftliche und globale Veränderungen (Homogenisierung).

Religion und Religionen sind in den letzten Jahren wieder vermehrt ins Zentrum öffentlicher Debatten gerückt und auch in den Medien sehr präsent. In der spätmodernen Migrationsgesellschaft können Religionen das friedliche Zusammenleben ebenso erleichtern wie erschweren. Der demokratische, pluralistische, der Religionsfreiheit verpflichtete Staat steht damit vor neuen Herausforderungen.

Der Staat hat einerseits einen Anspruch darauf, dass Religionen die friedliche Koexistenz seiner Landesbewohnerinnen und -bewohner nicht beeinträchtigen. Für die Religionsgemeinschaften ergibt sich daraus eine zunehmende Verpflichtung zum interreligiösen Dialog. Diesen Dialog zu führen ist Aufgabe der Religionen, nicht der Religionswissenschaft.

Religionswissenschaft ist zu allererst eine universitäre Wissenschaft, steht aber als solche auch im kritischen Gespräch mit der sie unterhaltenden Gesellschaft. In der spätmodernen Gesellschaft ist die Sache "Religion" nicht mehr der alleinigen Deutungskompetenz einer oder bestimmter Bekenntnisgemeinschaften (z.B. Kirchen) zugewiesen. Die Religionswissenschaft bemüht sich, durch wissenschaftliche Neutralität und Vermittlung von Sachkenntnis und (inter- bzw. trans-)kultureller Kompetenz einen Beitrag zu einer Kultur der Toleranz und der Verständigung zu leisten. it der Menschen auf eine bestimmte Weise die Wirklichkeit interpretieren und sich in ihr orientieren. Sie untersucht die Regeln, nach denen diese Kommunikation verläuft, und die Inhalte, die dabei vermittelt werden.

Religionswissenschaft entscheidet nicht über Wahrheit oder Unwahrheit religiöser Vorstellungen und Handlungsweisen. Sie ist grundsätzlich bekenntnisfrei, versucht religiöse Erfahrungen und Überzeugungen aus deren eigenem Selbstverständnis heraus begreifen und sie in ihren historisch und empirisch erforschbaren kulturellen Kontexten zu situieren.


Religionswissenschaft und spätmoderne Gesellschaft

Religionen und Religiosität prägen auch heute die Wertvorstellungen und das Verhalten vieler Menschen. Allerdings erscheint Religion vielen Menschen als eine Privatsache, kein Thema für die öffentlichkeit und auch nicht für die Wissenschaft. Religion scheint in gewisser Weise "unsichtbar" zu werden. Für die Religionswissenschaft ist diese Verlagerung des Religiösen von traditionsgebundenen Institutionen zu kleineren Gruppen und Individuen ein wichtiger Forschungsgegenstand (Individualisierung und Deinstitutionalisierung).

92
Switzerland6291Universität Zürich(THIS SEEMS TO BE AN ALTERNATIVE, SHORTER TEXT, WHICH IS CROSS-LINKED WITH THE ONE ABOVE):

Religionswissenschaft

Religionswissenschaft untersucht verschiedenste Religionen der Gegenwart und Vergangenheit. Dabei geht es nicht darum, die Wahrheit von Religionen zu ergründen oder zu entscheiden, welche Religion besser oder schlechter ist. Religionswissenschaftler müssen auch nicht selbst religiös sein.

ReligionswissenschaftlerInnen...

* versuchen Leute zu verstehen, die sich vor einem Fussballspiel bekreuzigen

* fragen sich, warum die Ägypter und die Mayas Pyramiden bauten

* reisen an das andere Ende der Welt, um Menschen und Kulturen kennen zu lernen, die ganz anders sind als sie selbst

* denken darüber nach, warum manche Menschen glauben, dass man das Paradies herbeibomben kann

* lesen jahrhundertealte Texte, nach denen sich heute noch Millionen von Menschen richten

* erforschen, ob die Azteken wirklich Menschenopfer brachten

* thematisieren den Zusammenhang von Religion und Politik

* helfen religiöse Konflikte zu entschärfen

* schreiben über Jugendliche in der Schweiz
93
Switzerland6392Universität BernReligionswissenschaft (SR) in Bern
Noch in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts ging man davon aus, dass in den modernen Gesellschaften der Kulturfaktor "Religion" in die Privatsphäre des Einzelnen gehört. Seit der Mitte der Siebziger Jahre drängen jedoch Religionen zurück in den öffentlichen Raum, und ihre Akteure versuchen ihre Anliegen lautstark und immer öfter auch mit Gewalt durchzusetzen. Sowohl die These von der Bedeutungslosigkeit der Religion in der modernen Gesellschaft als auch die ihrer vollständigen Individualisierung sind also überholt. Religionen als gesellschaftsgestaltende Kräfte spielen heute in lokalen wie globalen Kontexten eine immer wichtigere Rolle, und religiöse Semantiken bestimmen zunehmend die aktuelle Tagespolitik.
In den Bachelor- und Master-Studienprogrammen „Religionswissenschaft“ werden Religionen aus einer kulturwissenschaftlichen Perspektive in ihren kulturellen, sozialen und historischen Kontexten studiert. Das Institut für Religionswissenschaft arbeitet eng mit anderen Instituten der Phil.-hist. Fakultät und der Theol. Fakultät zusammen. Daher können die Studierenden unterschiedliche empirische Schwerpunkte in ihrem Studium wählen, so z.B. im Islam, im Judentum, in den Hindu-Religionen, dem Buddhismus und dem Christentum. Vom Institut selbst wird ein Schwerpunkt im Buddhismus (besonders Tibets und der Mongolei) und den Hindu-Religionen angeboten.
Die meisten Absolventinnen und Absolventen der Religionswissenschaft streben keine akademische Karriere an, sondern arbeiten nach ihrem Studienabschluss in Berufen im öffentlichen Sektor, in denen ihre Kompetenzen gefragt sind. Mögliche Berufsfelder für ReligionswissenschaftlerInnen ergeben sich in

* Kultureinrichtungen (z.B. Museen, Stiftungen, Bibliotheken)
* Verlagswesen
* Medien (Presse Radio, Fernsehen)
* Diplomatischer Dienst (EDA)
* Bundesamt für Migration
* Internationale und humanitäre Organisationen
* NGO's
* Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (DEZA)
* Tourismus
94
Switzerland6493Universität LuzernReligionswissenschaft in Luzern

Die Welt der Religionen zu studieren und kennenzulernen...

ist faszinierend und erhellend zugleich. Religiöse Vorstellungen, Handlungen und Gruppen waren und sind prägend für Individuen und Gesellschaften. Die Reden und Rhetorik US-amerikanischer Präsidenten waren nicht nur im 19., sondern sind auch im 21. Jahrhundert religiös durchsetzt; religiös begründete Mobilisierungen etwa im Iran veränderten die Weltgeschichte und Globalpolitiken. Weltweite Migrationsbewegungen führten zu einer Pluralität von Religionen vor Ort, sei es in Europa, Nord- und Südamerika und weiteren Weltregionen. Religionen beeinflussen das Verhalten Einzelner in Kleidung, Ernähung, ethischer Auffassung und Genderverständnis, sie prägen Gesellschaften sozial und politisch und gehören zum unverzichtbaren Teil des Verstehens von Gegenwart und Vergangenheit. Konflikte und Kriege, Kooperationen und Verständigungsprozesse haben oft auch religiöse Dimensionen, die zu kennen wichtig sind.

Religion als Teil von Gesellschaft.

Am religionswissenschaftlichen Seminar erfolgt das Studium von Religion und Religionen in kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektive. Religöse Texte, Vorstellungen und Handlungen sind immer Bestandteil von Gesellschaft und Kultur. Diese gesellschaftliche Kontextuierung und Veränderungen gilt es in der Beschäftigung mit religiösen Ausdrucksformen - seien es Handlungen, Texte, Musik, Gebäude und vielem mehr - zu beachten. Die Besonderheit religionswissenschaftlichen Arbeitens ist ihre doppelte vergleichende Perspektive - von Religionen in der Gegenwart und der nahen oder fernen Vergangenheit, von Religionen in Europa/ Nordamerika und ausserhalb moderner westlicher Gesellschaften. Lehre und Forschung in Luzern befassen sich schwerpunktbezogen mit den Traditionen des Islam, Buddhismus, Hinduismus und den gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen durch Migration und Religionspluralität.

Schwerpunkt ...

des Luzerner Masterstudiums Religionswissenschaft ist das Verständnis und die theoretische Reflexion von Dynamiken der Ausbreitung und Veränderung global gewordener religiöser Traditionen. Nicht erst mit dem 19. Jahrhundert begannen Prozesse der Globalisierung einst regional begrenzter Religionen. Christentum, Islam und Buddhismus verbreiteten sich schon Jahrhunderte früher über viele Länder und wurden in unterschiedlichen Kulturen heimisch. Weitere religiöse Traditionen wie Hindu-Religionen und neu entstandene Religionen des 19. Jahrhunderts folgten im 20. Jahrhundert mit ihrer Etablierung auf nahezu allen Kontinenten. Welche Veränderungen und Dynamiken der Anpassung und Redefinition religiöser Lehren, Praktiken und Organisationsformen gehen mit der Übertragung in andere Länder und Kulturen einher? Welche gesellschaftlichen Reaktionen zeigen sich in den Ländern des neuen Heimischwerdens, treten etwa Spannungen, kontroversen, Kämpfe um gesellschaftliche Mitsprache und Neuaushandlungen von Status in der neuen religionspluralen Situation auf? Im Masterschwerpunkt «Dynamiken globaler Religionen» werden sowohl religionsgeschichtlich, wie religionsvergleichend und analytisch Veränderungen und Neukonstellationen im Kontext der Globalisierung religiöser Traditionen, Ideen und Praktiken untersucht.

Forschungsorientiertes Lernen und Lehren.

Für die Studierenden bestehen Möglichkeiten, im Rahmen angeleiteter Forschungsarbeiten an den laufenden Forschungsprojekten des Seminars mitzuwirken und so frühzeitig an methodisch reflektierte Datenerhebung, religionstheoretische Kontextuierung und neue Forschungsergebnisse herangeführt zu werden. Dies erfordert sowohl selbständiges wie auch teamfähiges Arbeiten und kann Hinführung zu einer Promotion sein, die im Anschluss an einen erfolgreichen Abschluss des Masters möglich ist.

Berufliche Perspektiven.

Studierende des Masters «Dynamiken globaler Religionen» haben wissenschaftliche Kompetenzen in Bereichen des Recherchierens, Analysierens, Interpretierens und Schreibens erworben. Sie können gesellschaftliche Veränderungen und Religionen historisch-kritisch verorten, unterschiedliche Positionen und Interpretationen abwägen und haben anspruchsvolle Aufgaben eigenständig bearbeitet und strukturiert. Der Masterabschluss, ebenso die Promotion, eröffnen berufliche Möglichkeiten nicht nur in Forschung und Lehre, sondern gerade auch im Umfeld der Medien, Kulturberatung, Behörden, Bildungsinstitutionen und
international mit kulturellen Fragen beschäftigen Organisationen.

Letzte Aktualisierung: 2/2010
95
Switzerland6594Universität FreiburgWas ist Religionswissenschaft
Die Religionswissenschaft entstand im Europa des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Interesse an der Religionsgeschichte einerseits und den aussereuropäischen Religionen andererseits. Unabhängig von theologischen Positionen und Bewertungen wollte die Forschung mit Hilfe verschiedener Sprachwissenschaften, der Archäologie und der historischen Soziologie objektiv die historische Basis und die Ideen der verschiedenen Religionen erfassen. Zu Beginn stand dabei häufig die Frage nach der einen Wahrheit, dem „Wesen“ und dem gemeinsamen Ursprung aller Religionen im Zentrum. Diese „phänomenologische“ Perspektive, die meist zu sehr vereinfachenden Sichtweisen fremder Religionen geführt hat, ist dem kulturwissenschaftlichen Ansatz gewichen, der stärker die speziellen Eigenarten der Religionen in ihrem jeweiligen historischen, sozialen und kulturellen Zusammenhang würdigt. Gegenstand der Religionswissenschaft ist „die Art und Weise, wie von Religionen ‚Wirklichkeit’ konstruiert und gedeutet wird, welche Schemata und Gesamtmuster erkennbar sind, welche Vergesellschaftungsformen und Normen entworfen werden, welche Verbindlichkeit diese haben, welche Emotionen erzeugt oder kanalisiert werden …“ (B. Gladigow).
Zahlreiche Subdisziplinen innerhalb der Religionswissenschaft und anderer Fächer befassen sich daher mit besonderen Aspekten der Religionsforschung:

• Religionssoziologie
• Religionsethnologie & Anthropologie
• Religionspsychologie
• Religionsgeografie (Religionen in ihrer Umwelt)
• Religionsökonomie (wirtschaftliche Aspekte der Religionen)
• Religionsästhetik („sinnliche“ Dimensionen der Religionen)
• Religionsgeschichte (historische Entwicklung)

Konzentrierte sich die Religionswissenschaft bis vor kurzem hauptsächlich auf aussereuropäische und historische Religionen, so hat sich in den vergangenen Jahren auch die soziologisch-empirische und gegenwartsorientierte Erforschung der Religionen in Europa etabliert.

Webseite
Religionswissenschaft

Religionswissenschaft in der modernen Gesellschaft
Für die Geschichte und Gegenwart europäischer Gesellschaften haben die Religionen eine zentrale Bedeutung. Sie prägen die Politik, die Kunst und Kultur, sie verleihen Wertorientierungen, Lebenssinn und Identität. Damit spielen Religionen eine Schlüsselrolle für die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen menschlichen Zusammenlebens – dies betrifft das Individuum wie auch die Interaktion gesellschaftlicher Gruppen, Nationen oder das Verhältnis von Männern und Frauen, verschiedener Ethnien und sozialer Milieus.
So, wie sich Gesellschaften im Laufe der Zeit verändern, so unterliegen auch die Religionen und deren Rolle in der Gesellschaft gewissen Wandlungen. Durch Migration einerseits und religiöser Neuorientierungen andererseits ist das religiöse Feld in Europa in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten vielgestaltiger geworden. Gleichzeitig finden religiöse Versatzstücke vermehrt Eingang in den weiteren Bereich der Lebensgestaltung (Wellness / Gesundheit) und in die Populärkultur (Unterhaltungsromane, Werbung, Kinofilme).
Es besteht daher ein großer gesellschaftlicher Bedarf an interkultureller Übersetzung sowie neutralen Expertinnen und Experten mit Kompetenzen für verschiedene religiöse Traditionen, der an der grossen Präsenz des Themas Religion in der Politik, den Medien, der Publizistik und der Populärkultur ablesbar ist.
Das Seminar für Religionswissenschaft an der Universität Freiburg ist spezialisiert auf die Vielfalt der Religionen in Europa und eine gegenwartsorientierte, soziologische Zugangsweise zur Erforschung dieses religiösen Pluralismus.
Im Bachelor werden zunächst Grundlagen aller „großen“ religiösen Traditionen (Judentum, Christentum, Islam, Buddhismus, Hindu-Religionen) und vieler „kleiner“ Religionen vermittelt. Dies umfasst die Religionsgeschichte und Kenntnisse über religiöse Schriften und Vorstellungen, als auch Aspekte der religiösen Praxis und Rituale. Im Vordergrund steht dabei, wie sich das religiöse Leben der „großen“ und „kleinen“ Religionsgemeinschaften hier und jetzt in der Schweiz und in Europa gestaltet. Dies betrifft neben Kenntnissen über die Religionen selbst auch rechtliche, politische und wirtschaftliche Fragen, wie auch die Darstellung von Religionen in den Medien (Zeitungen, Fernsehen, Internet etc.).
Schwerpunkte in der Forschung und Lehre der Freiburger Religionswissenschaft sind neben allgemeinen religionssoziologischen Fragestellungen der Bereich Religion, Politik, Recht und Bildung; der Islam in der Schweiz (Forschungsgruppe GRIS); neue religiöse und weltanschauliche Bewegungen und Gemeinschaften (New Age, Bhagwan-Bewegung, Scientology etc.) und das Verhältnis von Religion und Medien. Das Seminar für Religionswissenschaft unterhält eine umfangreiche Dokumentationsstelle über neue religiöse Bewegungen. Den Studierenden stehen auch zahlreiche Lehrveranstaltungen kooperierender Disziplinenen der philosophischen Fakultät (v.a. Zeitgeschichte und Sozialanthropologie), des Instituts für Religionsrecht und der theologischen Fakultät zur Verfügung.
Neben allgemeinen wissenschaftlichen Recherche- und Darstellungstechniken werden im Studium Methoden der so genannten rezeptionsgeschichtlichen Forschung und der empirischen Sozialforschung erlernt. Dies umfasst Erhebungsmethoden (Interview, Umfrage, Beobachtung) wie auch Auswertungstechniken (Interpretation / Inhaltsanalyse). Audio-Aufzeichnungsgeräte und eine digitale Videokamera stehen den Hauptfachstudierenden für konkrete Forschungsprojekte zur Verfügung. Exkursionen zu den Religionsgemeinschaften und zu speziellen religiösen Festen sind Bestandteil vieler Lehrveranstaltungen, die die „Schwellenangst“ in der Begegnung mit fremden Religionen abbauen sollen.
96
Switzerland6695Université de LausanneQue faut-il entendre par "histoire et sciences des religions"?
L'histoire et les sciences des religions regroupent différentes disciplines qui se spécialisent dans l'étude scientifique des religions. Ces disciplines étudient les religions d'un point de vue non confessionnel, "extérieur", et les envisagent comme un produit de l'activité culturelle humaine. Elles les analysent aussi bien d'un point de vue historique qu'à partir de problématiques théoriques. En outre, elles s'interrogent constamment sur les concepts et les méthodes qu'elles emploient dans la description, l'interprétation et l'explication des phénomènes qu'elles considèrent.
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US American6796Arizona State UniversityA degree in Religious Studies is a foundational, transdisciplinary and multi-cultural course of study that embodies the intellectual, entrepreneurial, and social ideals of Arizona State University.

As partners in the New American University at Arizona State University, the faculty of Religious Studies seek to foster civic responsibility and global awareness and the following University goals:

Provide quality education that is accessible to a broad population
Conduct transdisciplinary research for the public good
Maintain a global perspective in our endeavor



[Embedded YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou4b32uj9dY&feature=player_embedded]



Religious Studies is uniquely positioned to contribute to these ideals because of its concern for understanding everyday religious life in all human cultures, past and present.

Religious Studies students with an interest in careers in the local, state, regional, and national communities will find transdisciplinary encouragement and support.

Religious Studies students who are attracted to international study will find the undergraduate program rich in multi-cultural course work and study abroad opportunities.

All Religious Studies students will find many opportunities for practical experience leading to careers in the academic study of religion, in public service, including governmental and non-governmental agencies, and in professional careers in a variety of organizations, including all of the helping professions.
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US American6897Duke UniversityThe study of religion explores one of the primary activities of humankind. It involves a comparative understanding of the various ways different peoples, across space and through time, have developed their religious ideas, values, systems, beliefs, rituals, and traditions in response to fundamental questions of human existence.

As an interdisciplinary academic discipline, the study of religion offers a rigorous, systematic, and dispassionate intellectual inquiry into various aspects of religious systems, their practitioners and outlooks, their goals and expressions. It employs a wide variety of approaches and methods in order to understand the role of religion in both human experience and thought.

The goal of the Department of Religion is to make available to students the broadest possible range of inquiry about this enormous field, which has impacted, and continues to impact, all aspects of human experience.

If you're searching for:

The opportunity to examine the place and role of religious traditions in human culture;

An understanding of faiths, world views, and ways of life that command the allegiance of millions of people;

A major with practical applications across a broad range of fields, including law, education, medicine and ministry;

A path to self-awareness;

Then consider the study of Religion at Duke.
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US American6898Duke UniversityThe Department of Religion is one of the largest Humanities departments at Duke and one of the most prestigious departments of religion in the country. The contemporary academic study of religion recognizes the virtual ubiquity of religion as a phenomenon in human life and culture, and it thus seeks to understand the nature and role of religion. The academic study of religion has a distinctive multidisciplinary character, drawing upon resources and approaches from archaeology, art, anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. It also has a strong multicultural orientation, exploring a plurality of traditions and a wide range of behaviors and beliefs.

The Department offers introductory courses in all the major religious traditions, notably Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Other courses offer additional study of these or other traditions and their texts, often focusing on specific features -- such as gender, ethics, visual modes, mysticism -- or historical periods. Many other courses examine theoretical or comparative aspects of religious phenomena, especially as they are manifest in the modern world.
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US American6999EmoryGoals for Religion Study

The Department of Religion has set forth four major goals that shape its teaching and scholarly work. First, it seeks to enable students to develop expertise in interpreting the plurality of religions in their historical settings, and critically to appreciate the influence religions exert in shaping experience and society. Second, it seeks to assist students who desire to prepare for graduate and professional study in religion and related fields. Third, it helps students to learn and write about the religious, social, historical, artistic, and intellectual accomplishments of cultures. Fourth, it engages students to understand themselves better as moral agents in the world, and to help them appreciate the moral and spiritual dimensions of the interpretive activity they pursue in the study of religion.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the Department of Religion offers general students, majors, and minors a curriculum of studies at introductory and advanced levels in the history of religious traditions and the relations between religions, societies, ideas, values, aptitudes and artistic expressions. As faculty and students work together, the Department engages in the practice of collegial learning within the Department and with other programs. The Department sponsors programs and occasions that bring distinguished scholars and leaders to campus as participants in our process of collegial learning. And, finally, the Department supports and sponsors faculty research projects and leadership in national and international professional organizations through publications, research, colloquia, and contributions toward understanding questions of meaning and action in the world.

The curriculum of the Department of Religion offers a broad, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary program with courses inquiring into Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim religious traditions. In addition, thematic courses take up common human issues and explore them from the perspectives of diverse religious traditions. Such courses address issues of death and dying, gender, religious performance, ethics, religion and violence, legal and political analysis, historical and social scientific analysis, theological and philosophical interpretation, religion and literature, art and film, the comparative study of sacred texts, and the psychological dimensions of religion.

The Department of Religion works closely with other departments in the college and professional schools which have interests in the study of religion. Departments such as History, Sociology, Classical Civilization, Philosophy, and Anthropology have joined together with the Department of Religion in offering joint majors. The Department works closely with College programs such as African-American Studies, Women's Studies, and Asian Studies. Languages such as Greek, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and Sanskrit are available for students who wish to study particular religions in depth.

In addition to what is offered for undergraduates in the Department of Religion, the study of religion generally is enhanced significantly by the work of the Candler School of Theology, the Graduate Division of Religion, the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts, and the Office of the University Chaplain.

The Office of the University Chaplain coordinates religious worship, campus religious organizations and programs, and co-curricular opportunities for students interested in religion. The Department of Religion frequently works closely with the Office of the University Chaplain in sponsoring speakers and programs for students with interests in religion.
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