RST100: Religions of the Modern World


The course normally recruits around 130 students per year, and is taught by 5 members of the academic staff and 3-4 postgraduate teaching assistants.


This course introduces four of the world's major religious traditions, looking particularly at the diverse ways in which they answer questions about the meaning of life and death.

After a general introduction to the study of religion, the course is divided into four sections which consider four major religious traditions - Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. The final section considers cross-cutting themes such as religion and politics, religion and sexuality, religion and the sanctity of life.

Teaching Method

The course consists of a weekly two-hour lecture (with multi-media presentation) over two and a half terms, plus a weekly seminar.


Course assessment is broken down as follows:

  • Examination: 50%
  • Essay 1: 10%
  • Essay 2: 10%
  • Essay 3: 10%
  • Essay 4: 10%
  • Group Presentation: 10%

The exam takes place in the final (summer) term.