This course is only open to students of the BA Religiewetenschappen.
Beyond historical studies, the academic study of religion is largely an empirical social science consisting of both quantitative and qualitative approaches. This course will introduce students to the latter, with a special focus on anthropological and sociological methods and techniques. Case studies from a variety of cultures, contexts, and religious traditions will be introduced to demonstrate both the logic and limitations of qualitative research. Several qualitative data analysis methods will also be surveyed. In an effort to merge theory with practice, students will be required to design, conduct, and present a simple fieldwork project. Each project will include participant observation, artifact collection, qualitative interviews, and a research report.
Each student who completes the course will:
- Develop a broad competence and understanding of qualitative methods and techniques, particularly as these relate to the anthropological and sociological study of religion.
- Be able to explain the logic and limitations of qualitative research.
- Be able to work with multiple qualitative data analysis methods.
- Gain firsthand experience designing, conducting, presenting, and writing-up a research project.
- Gain critical thinking skills, fieldwork skills, oral and written communication skills, and knowledge of diverse cultures.
Mode of instruction
Seminar. Attendance and participation are mandatory. Classes may be missed no more than twice and only in exceptional circumstances (at the discretion of the conveners and only with prior notice). Absence without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam and a failing grade for the course.
Total Course Load: 10EC’s x 28 hours = 280 hours
- Attending class sessions: 13 sessions x 2 hours = 26 hours
- Reading assigned texts: c. 500 pages at 7 pages/hour = 72 hours
- Designing and conducting fieldwork project: 80 hours
- Preparing oral presentation: 22 hours
- Writing Research Report: 80 hours
The final mark will be determined as a weighted average of two marks:
- Active participation and contribution to class discussions: 20%
- Research Report: 80%
NOTE: students will also be required to make an oral presentation of their research findings. While this a practical excercise that is graded as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory and is not included in the final mark, only those students who make a satisfactory presentation can pass the course.
NOTE: to pass the course, students must score at least a 4 on each assignment, with a minimum weighted average of 6 for the final grade.
RESIT: students who have participated in all elements of the course, but scored an overall insufficient mark are entitled to a resit. For the research report, students will be given a chance to hand in a new version. For class participation, students will be given an alternate assignment.
The course makes use of Blackboard in the following ways: (1) all communication will take place via Blackboard; (2) additional information about the course will be available via Blackboard; and (3) assignments must be submitted via Blackboard.
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 will be made available on Blackboard in August 2015.
This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.