Resurgence and Change in Religion: Beliefs in Transition

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Resurgence and Change in Religion: Beliefs in Transition

<p>A century ago most scholars believed that the great religions were all on the way out, to be replaced by a world-wide secular culture. The reality has been rather different, with old religions

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A century ago most scholars believed that the great religions were all on the way out, to be replaced by a world-wide secular culture. The reality has been rather different, with old religions surviving and growing within the culture, often in new forms and with new religions and pseudo-religions arising. This series looks at dramatic changes in the place of religion in many societies in the 20th and 21st centuries, focusing on the 4 Bs of religion: Believing, Belonging, Behaving and Becoming. This first course looks at changes in religious belief and religious adherence since the beginning of the 20th C; focusing on change within the five most significant religions of the world, and on new religions and pseudo-religions.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The nature of religion; the model of the ‘four Bs’ and some alternative models; the one God or many gods? Religious tribalism and alternate identifiers.
  • Changing emphases in the great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Change in classical Hinduism and Buddhism; other significant Eastern religions.
  • Measuring religious commitment; changing patterns of religious adherence throughout the world: six case studies
  • Alternate belief systems: including fascism, communism, capitalism, ‘New Age’; sport as a religion.
  • Competing ways of looking at Scripture. Religion in art, architecture and literature.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the nature of belief and issues in discussing religious belief and practice
  2. Evaluate the significance of changes in religious and other beliefs in a number of variant societies.
  3. Recognise the impact of religious and secular beliefs on national and local institutions.
  4. Explain the reduced significance of religion on public policy in many Western countries.