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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
Contact
keziah.wallis@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Keziah Wallis
Paper Structure
Assessment:
  • 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.
Textbooks
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.
Learning Outcomes

To be advised

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Timetable

Not offered in 2019

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
None

An introduction to Judaism in the modern world, with emphasis on contemporary issues and debates.

Although there are only 14 million Jews worldwide, Judaism is the precursor of both Christianity and Islam and has played a significant role in the cultures of Europe, the Middle East and the US. This paper focuses on modern Judaism, as it developed over the last two centuries, so as to understand the beliefs and practices of contemporary Jews.

We will consider questions such as: why are there disagreements between different Jewish sects or movements, including Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaisms? What is the Ultra-Orthodox movement, and are they 'fundamentalists'? What do Jews mean when they claim to be the Chosen People? What are Jewish beliefs about a coming Messiah in the end times? How does Judaism treat women? What is Jewish mysticism - Hasidism and Kabbalah? Why has antisemitism arisen in Europe and in Christianity, and how did it result in persecutions and the Holocaust? How did Zionism - the movement to establish a modern state of Israel - arise, and what are the religious dimensions of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine? Can we say that Israel is a secular state, as it sometimes claims? This paper provides an introduction to the academic study of a social group that challenges the boundaries of religion, politics and culture. No background in religion is required.

Paper title Special Topic
Paper code RELS231
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2020 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Contact

deane.galbraith@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Lecturer: Deane Galbraith

Paper Structure

Reading comprehension tests (2 x 5%) 10%
Critical commentary essays (2 x 10%) 20%
Critical response to news article 10%
Final examination 60%

Teaching Arrangements

To be advised.
All lectures will be recorded and made available to distance students.

Textbooks

To be advised

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

To be advised

^ Top of page

Timetable

Not offered in 2020

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
None