University of Stirling


University of Stirling
In Stirling

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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location Stirling (Scotland)
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Stirling (Scotland)

At Stirling we are committed to approaching ‘religion’ in a critical manner, in two broad senses:
Firstly: We question the fundamental category of ‘religion’. It is sometimes assumed to be a ‘thing’ that simply exists, and this is where, in part, the idea that we can study ‘religions’ as entities in any society or context comes from. This, of course, implies that what ‘religion’ actually is stands as common knowledge and applies to all contexts. But where does religion begin, end or move into other areas? Some of the great religion scholars of the past have argued that there is some kind of supernatural essence to ‘religion’ based on a person’s relationship to a God or gods. Such an essence might be very meaningful as part of someone’s faith, but perhaps ‘religion’ as a category has little meaning on its own because the boundaries around what is and what is not ‘religion’ so easily blur into other categories (such as politics, economics etc.)?
Secondly: Rather than hold religion to suspicion, or blame, or discredit, or incredulity – a growing tendency amongst certain public intellectuals, even if against the tide of global demographics – we examine religion from a positive critical standpoint. What this means is that in our studies we consider how open to re-interpretation or re-conceptualisation the term ‘religion’ is today in our intellectual, social, and cultural spheres.
Just as the term ‘critical’ has a wide range of meaning, so too does the concept of religion continue to develop beyond traditional and conventional boundaries. As a result we find engagement with the idea of ‘religion’ in the contexts of religious institutions, but also within the fields of literature, history, gender studies, hermeneutics, visual art, anthropology, politics, philosophy, marketing and business studies, and so on. In coming to Stirling to study Critical Religion, every student is thus exposed to a broad...

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University Of Stirling, FK9 4LA


On request

To take into account

· Requirements

Alternative routes We are keen to accept all interested students, including those who have already spent a few – or many – years away from school. For Alternative Routes to degree course entry onto the Religion course, please consult the prospectus or website for information on the subject you intend to study alongside Religion.

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What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

Structure and content

Please note that Religion is studied as a Combined degree. You will take Religion plus two other subjects in Years 1 and 2.

Semesters 1 - 4

You are required to take the following core modules:

  • Religion, Ethics and Society: An introduction to discourses on religion in relation to modern notions of progress and conflict

  • Religion, Nationalism and Colonialism: This module studies the impact of western colonialism on non-western understandings of religion and culture

  • Religion in Culture: Problems of Representation: This module reflects on what happens when people – e.g. scholars, journalists, politicians, adherents – try to represent religion, whether in books, news, art, film or other contexts

  • Theory and Method: An introduction to the history of the study of religion, its major founders, theories, methodologies and critics

Semesters 5 - 8

You will take core advanced (Level 10) modules: Religion and Postcolonialism, Religion and Theory and, in most cases, Dissertation Preparation. You may also choose advanced modules such as:

  • Anthropology of Religion

  • Political Islam

  • Religion, Capitalism and Consumer Culture

  • Religion and Philosophy: Ancient

  • Religion and Philosophy: Modern

  • Religion as Ritual in Japan

  • Christianity

  • Gender and Religion

  • Reading the Bible

  • Christianity Missions and Colonialism

  • Religion and Literature

Semester 8

Honours students in their final semester will write a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with an individual supervisor.

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