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Studiegids

nl en

Alternative Spiritualities

Vak
2014-2015

Admission requirements

None.

A maximum of 20 students can follow this course.

Description

Combining comparative religion and social-scientific approaches, this course gives students an overview of the field of new religiosity which is variably referred to as ‘new age’, ‘the holistic milieu’, and ‘alternative spirituality’. From a comparative religion perspective we will analyse the characteristic practices and beliefs of alternative spirituality. Key practices include healing techniques (such as reiki), body practices (such as yoga), divination (e.g. Tarot, clairvoyance), and channeling and shamanism (i.e. two ways of contacting the spirit world); key belief tenets include a commitment to holism (as opposed to dualism), an ideal of spiritual growth, and the belief in angels and other intermediary beings and in reincarnation and continued contact with the deceased. Drawing on insights from the psychology and sociology of religion, we will furthermore analyse the experiences, emotions, and cognitive modes of participants, and discuss alternative spirituality as a typical late modern religious form.As part of the course, students will visit a Mind-Body-Spirit fair, and we hope in other ways to interact with the field (such as visiting a lecture or workshop). The course is an interactive seminar in which students participate actively with presentations and in discussions.

Course objectives

After successfully completing this course the student has:

  • Acquired a broad knowledge of contemporary, alternative spiritualities.

  • Expanded his/her conceptual and theoretical toolkit and improved his/her ability to employ this toolkit in the analysis of empirical material.

  • Improved his/her skills at oral presentation and discussion (in English).

Timetable

Please consult the timetabele on the website

Mode of instruction

Seminar

Course Load

Total course load: 5 × 28 = 140 hours

  • Time spent attending normal sessions:10 × 2 = 20 hours

  • Time spent visiting Mind-Body-Spirit fair and lecture/workshop: 2 × 3 = 6 hours

  • Time spent preparing oral presentation: 10 hours

  • Time spent writing mid-term paper on Mind-Body-Spirit fair: 18 hours

  • Time spent writing end-term paper: 26 hours

  • Time spent studying compulsory literature: c. 420 pages / 7 p/h = 60 hours

Assessment method

The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of four marks:
A. Oral presentation (individual presentation or group presentation, depending on the number of enrolled students). Counts 20 %.
B. Active participation and contribution to class discussions. Counts 10 %.
C. Mid-term field rapport from Mind-Body-Spirit fair. Counts 30 %.
D. End-term take-home exam. Counts 40 %.

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average. To pass the course, students must pass all subtests with at least a sufficient mark (6,0).

Blackboard

The course makes use of Blackboard. All communication will take place via Blackboard, additional information about the course will be available via Blackboard, and assignments must be handed in via Blackboard.

Reading list

No text book will be used for the course. Master copies of articles and book chapters for the course will be made available for students to copy individually. More information about the readings follows on Blackboard in August.

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

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Remarks

The course is taught in English, but the mid-term field rapport and the end-term exam may be written in Dutch.