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RELS415 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Theories of religion in relation to society and the human mind; approaches to religion through cross-cultural study of some of its major elements such as myth, ritual and symbol.

This paper aims to equip students with a knowledge of both the major theoretical approaches in the study of religion and an understanding of some of the principal topics that have defined the cross-cultural study of religion. The paper is required for Honours and is intended also to assist with selecting an approach to the topic studied for the dissertation.

Paper title Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
Paper code RELS415
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period(s) Second Semester, Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,076.55
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,267.52

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Prerequisite
18 300-level RELS or RELX points
Restriction
RELX 415
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Eligibility
Contact
will.sweetman@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Course co-ordinator: Associate Professor Will Sweetman
Lecturer: Keziah Wallis
Paper Structure
The paper will proceed by discussion of selected readings, which will in part be chosen to reflect the interests of the students in the paper.

Assessment:
  • Class participation (10%)
  • Conference presentation (20%)
  • Two conference responses (15%)
  • Essay (55%)
Teaching Arrangements
Weekly seminars (two hours) for both on-campus and distance students (via Zoom).
Textbooks
There is no textbook for this paper. Readings will be made available in class.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper should have a sound knowledge of
  • Key themes in the study of religion, such as sacrifice, magic, myth, ritual, symbol
  • Representative theories of religion arising from anthropological and sociological study of religion
  • Debates surrounding the issue of objectivity in the study of religion
Course outline

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Seminar

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
B1 Friday 13:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41