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Elective: Religions in the Modern World

Vak
2016-2017

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Religion is everywhere and the academic study of religion has never been more relevant than it is today. Religious traditions and practices are ubiquitous across the globe and reach deeply into all facets of human culture and society. This course will introduce students to today’s major religious traditions and movements and how they encounter modernity and the transnational forces that continue to shape and transform the twenty-first century. Beyond being introduced to the history and modern practices of well-known traditions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, students will also acquire a basic knowledge of lesser-known traditions such as Paganism, New Age, Chinese Religions, and Indigenous African Religions. Furthermore, students will engage with prominent contemporary issues in the study of religion, including issues of violence, gender, sexuality, secularization, globalization, and politics. By the end of the course, students will have a broad knowledge of what religion is, how it is practiced in the modern world, and how to analyze and understand it as a cultural and social phenomenon.

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 is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar and supervised research.

Course Load

Total Course Load: 10EC’s x 28 hours = 280 hours
• Attending class sessions: 12 sessions x 2 hours = 24 hours
• Independently visiting religious sites and writing reports: 24 hours
• Responding to discussion questions: 20 hours
• Reading assigned texts: c. 500 pages at 7 pages/hour = 72 hours
• Researching and writing final paper: 140 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of two marks:
1. Written responses to discussion questions: 10%
2. Religious sites reports: 20%
3. Final paper (between 4000 and 6000 words, excluding tables and bibliography): 70%

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be 5.5 at least.

Resit

Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.

In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

No textbook will be used for the course. Individual articles and chapters will be made available to students.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Dr. C.L. Williams

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 9 June 2017.

Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar, elective year 3, and Practising Internatonal Studies.