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RELS231 Special Topic

What drives people to join a religion? Can religious behaviour be explained by science? What does cognitive and evolutionary psychology tell us about belief in god? Does human tragedy increase piety? Does religion serve a psychological function? Is it universal? Are mystical experiences explainable according to neuroscience? Combining scholarship on religion with studies in psychology, this paper introduces students to the important discipline-crossing field of psychology of religion. In addition to the above questions, students will learn both about the development of this exciting field and the latest research into the links between religion and neuroscience, memory, belief, cognition, human development, mental illness, emotion and others.

Paper title Special Topic
Paper code RELS231
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Learning Outcomes

To be advised

Teaching staff
Lecturer: Keziah Wallis
Paper Structure
  • Research Proposal - 20%
  • Course Blog Contribution - 10%
  • Exam (three hours) - 70%
Teaching Arrangements
Four hours of lectures per week for six weeks.
All lectures will be recorded and made available to distance students.
A coursebook has been developed for this paper and will be available in print and PDF form.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system