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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

What is the place of religion in the 21st century? How does religion contribute to major, global political issues? Will secularization eventually make religions obsolete? Can you be a scientist and be religious? Is religion bad for the environment? How does religion relate to human rights? How can the religions engage in dialogue? These pressing questions for our world are explored in this course from a variety of academic disciplines and methods, with tutorials focused on debate and interrogation of the place of religion in the contemporary world. Assessment is through two short reflection papers and a poster project.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Tom Greggs

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Religions are entangled with almost every issue of importance in the contemporary world. In an era of rapid globalization and growing interconnectedness, different peoples and cultures are constantly coming into contact with each other in new ways. This overlapping of peoples is particularly evident in the conflicts and tensions that impact on religious traditions when, as a result of globalisation, local communities are exposed to other cultures and different competing faiths. This course studies the many ways this phenomenon is experienced by different communities and traditions, and how this dynamic impacts on various spheres of modern culture, society, and politics. The course explores these issues from a variety of academic disciplines and methods, and asks questions such as the following: Should religious reasoning be permitted in public? Will secularization eventually make religions obsolete? Is being religious good for your health? Can you be a scientist and also be religious?

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

First attempt: Two reflection papers (800 words - 25% each); Poster presentation (with 500 word explanation - 50%).
Resit: Resubmission of course work

Formative Assessment

Student discussions during class time will allow opportunities for peer-interaction, and tutorials will provide on-going opportunities for receiving feedback from academic staff. A (non-assessed) general knowledge quiz will be conducted in class in the first three weeks of the course.


Students will receive written feedback on all summative assessment exercises. Tutorials will also provide peer-feedback, as will the post-presentation.

Course Learning Outcomes

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