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Elective: Religion Rules: regulating religion in a globalizing world

Vak
2013-2014

Admission requirements

This course is open for students of BA International Studies only. The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

This course will discuss the dynamics of religion in the modern world. The course will pay particular attention to the often problematic interaction between the normativity that is inherent in many religions, i.e. their principles of guidance to man and society, and the political, economic and social agendas of modern states, both internally and in an international context. The first half of the course focuses on the methods and theories of the academic study of religion, by discussing questions like: how do we understand and define religion, what explains its enduring or rising prominence in the world, what impact does it have on the individual, and on society, and how does it relate to law, economics and politics? The second half of the course will focus on specific topics and problems of the modern application of religious normativity: law, secularism, democracy, human rights, and violence. The Arab Spring will be taken as case study.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:

Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable will be available on the BA International Studies website this autumn. .

Mode of instruction

Tutorials and supervised research.

Assessment method

Weekly assignments of 400 words based on the literature provided to the students, and a final paper of approx. 4-6,000 words (excluding tables and bibliography).

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Academic articles, to be made available on blackboard

Registration

Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Remarks

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