What you will study
Why study religion? An understanding of the world’s religious traditions is crucial in helping us to appreciate not just the varied forms of belief and practice that we encounter at home, abroad and in the media, but also the influence that religion has on world affairs. By exploring the religious concepts and principles underpinning a wide range of worldviews and lifestyles, Introducing religions will enhance your knowledge and understanding of ideas and events, past and present, around the world.
This module will introduce you to issues important to the study of religions – such as the differences between studying and doing religion – and will help you to develop methodological skills of analysis and evaluation across a wide range of sources that will benefit future studies either in religion or other academic disciplines.
Each of the six traditions covered in this module has shaped the spiritual, social, political and economic lives of its adherents, and continues to influence the everyday lives of millions of people all over the world. You will also examine the diversity within these religious traditions and the factors – both internal and external – that typically contribute to this diversity.
Using a short introductory text for each religion (supported by study guides, audio CDs and a DVD), you will look at: the different ways in which religions shape how people see the world and their purpose in it; the role of religious founders, leaders and texts; and a range of religious rituals, practices and patterns of behaviour. In short, you’ll look at how people live their religion.
All this will help you to recognise and appreciate the practical implications of following a given religion, and to develop an approach to the study of religion which is accurate in its description of different beliefs and worldviews, and sensitive to what these mean to their adherents.
If you would like more information about this module you can visit the A217 website which has further details about the module content, short samples of study materials, and frequently asked questions.
You will learn
You will learn about the major features of six religious traditions in terms of their historical development, beliefs and social forms. You will become familiar with the beliefs and practices that characterise the lifestyle of adherents to these religions in the contemporary world and some of the media through which religious insight is expressed (for example, texts, ritual performance, symbolism, architecture and material culture). You will gain practical experience in the study of religions, using appropriate technical language and methodologies.
By exploring the religious concepts and principles underpinning a wide range of world views and lifestyles, Introducing religions will enhance your knowledge and understanding of ideas and events, past and present, around the world. It should also help you to develop empathy and sensitivity when dealing with divergent views and pluralism of belief.
Knowledge about and understanding of various religious traditions might be particularly useful to teachers; health professionals; social workers; community workers; personnel workers and those involved in the food and catering industry. Anyone dealing with the public in today’s multi-religious environment might benefit from this module.