Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
This programme aims to provide you with a secure knowledge of the major theories, concepts and issues relating to Religion in a variety of intellectual traditions and historical and contemporary contexts. You will gain a systematic understanding of a range of debates and discussions raised by past and present religious belief and practice. In addition, the PgCert will equip you with the necessary skills appropriate to evaluating, analysing and interpreting both academic and practitioner approaches to Religion.
In addition to the core module of Studying Religion you will choose two optional modules from the range available in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
This module aims to provide skills training for postgraduate students in religious studies from induction to completion of the master's dissertation. It supports existing taught modules by introducing a variety of research methods from other disciplines and theoretical issues within religious studies. It also introduces cross-cultural and cross-religious examination of research topics in religious studies. The module will provide students the opportunity for developing generic skills in library research, essay writing, and dissertation planning.
• Induction in the study of religions: resources, essay planning and writing, seminar preparation and presentations • Research methodologies: examples selected from philosophical, anthropological, sociological, psychological, and phenomenological approaches • Theoretical approaches to the study of religion: examples selected from the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences • Dissertation workshop: finding a topic and supervisor, completion plan, case studies Select Bibliography: Asad, T, Genealogies of Religion (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993)Heelas & Woodhead, Spiritual Revolution (Blackwell, 2004)King, R, Orientalism and Religion (Routledge, 1999)King, U. (ed.) Gender, Religions, and Diversity (Blackwell, 1995)Reader, I. & G. Tanabe (eds.) Practically Religious (University of Hawaii Press, 1998)
The concept of spirituality is a powerful analytic tool when it comes to the examination of various binaries in Western culture: the sacred and the secular, society and the individual, authority and the subject, the this-worldly and the other-worldly. In some instances, 'spirituality' as a form of life emphasizes the shift in importance from one to the other elements of binary sets (from institutional authority to the subject); in others, it even challenges the binary (between this- and other-worldly concerns). This module seeks to bring the insights and disciplines of Asian (and other) studies to bear on the theories that arose in Western contexts. In this way, a richer, global understanding of paradigms, trends and presuppositions can emerge in the study of spirituality and its relationship to religion, society, secularism, modernity and other conceptual categories. The module will look at experiences of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Shinto (amongst other) traditions in order to query the binaries mentioned above in very different, complementary and sometimes incompatible ways relative to those familiar to the Western, (post-)Christian experience. The major topics will be: Situating the concepts of religion and spirituality in Asian traditions; Practical Spirituality: asking for this world; Practical Spirituality and Pilgrimage; Possession: healing beyond mind/body dualisms; Possession: class, religious and gender identities; The Goddess: What has She done for women?; Sexing spirituality: and Hindu women's rituals; Religion, Spirituality and the environment. There will be weeks given over to student presentations and discussions.
Upon successful completion of the module, the student will have gained knowledge of the relevance of the concept of 'spirituality' in Asian religious and cultural traditions; explored various theoretical and empirical strategies in the study of Asian spiritualities; and learnt to study spirituality in Asian traditions in terms suited to and derived from their native contexts.
Alter, Joseph. 2004. Yoga in Modern India: The Body Between Science and Philosophy. Princeton: PUP
Davdal, Sonal (ed.). 2006 Looking for directions: Towards an Asian spirituality, Sutton: South Asian Concern
Ghadially, R. (ed.) . 1988. Women in Indian Society: A Reader. New Delhi: Sage Publications
Gosling, D.L. 2001. Religion and ecology in India and South East Asian. London: Routledge
Obeyesekere, G. 1981. Medusa's Hair. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Pintchman, Tracy. 1994. The rise of the Goddess in the Hindu tradition. Albany: State University of New York Press
Ramaswamy, Vijaya. 1997. Walking naked: women, society, spirituality in South India. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
Reader, I. and George Tanabe. 1998. Practically religious: worldly benefits and the common religion of Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press
This module allows students to study the nexus of religion, politics and society by way of some of the most controversial and pressing debates of today. Inspired by the national ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ which are organised out of PPR, the module makes use of the contributions of leading figures who have taken part, such as Richard Dawkins, Polly Toynbee, Tony Blair and Rowan Williams.
By way of these debates, students will be introduced to methods, approaches and theories from the range of relevant disciplines, including the sociology of religion, religious studies, politics, and philosophy. They will be equipped and encouraged to think about key themes for themselves, in dialogue with existing theories, interpretations and arguments.
The module will consider religion and secularity past and present, but will have a particular focus on the contemporary situation and ‘religious futures’. The approach will be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The teaching will be interactive, and assessment will be by essay, online interaction, and writing a blog entry.
Podcasts and videos on the ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ website, especially the series on ‘Religion and Public Life’ (2012), ‘Global Religious Trends’ (2014) and ‘Religion, Violence and Cohesion’ (2015)
Jeff Haynes, Religion, Politics and International Relations. Routledge: 2011.
Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto, Religion and Change in Modern Britain. Routledge: 2012.
Whether global, national, ethnic or ethical, conflicts frequently involve religion. Between themselves, in their relations with secular states and ideologies, and even at the level of sects or denominations, religions engage in conflict arising from deeply held beliefs and values, as well as in struggles for power, status and legitimacy. Understanding how and why religious groups contribute to global and regional conflicts and civil wars – from terrorist attacks, through historically embedded disputes in Israel/Gaza and Northern Ireland, to Christian/Muslim violence in Nigeria, Uganda and India – is vital for development, humanitarian intervention, international relations, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
This module provides the knowledge and skills to help students understand and analyse why conflict happens within and between religious groups, and to assess the positive and negative contributions that religions make to wider struggles – from local disputes through to global terrorism.
The module is designed to introduce students to key concepts and issues in scholarship on religion and conflict: e.g. on the relationship between conflict and violence, religion and ethnicity, the ‘clash of civilizations’, intra-religious as well as inter-religious conflict, jihad and martyrdom. Equal attention will be given to the importance of context – historical, social, geographical and political. Analysis and debate about religion and conflict will be situated in particular cases, from the UK and Europe, the US, the Indian sub-continent and sub-Saharan Africa. Lecture podcasts and online discussion activities will be complemented by online talks by experts and short films. There will be plenty of opportunities for online interaction with peers and tutors.
Cavanaugh, William T. (2009) The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Haynes, Jeffrey. (2011) Religion, Politics and International Relations. New York: Routledge.
Kaplan, Benjamin J. (2007) Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard.
Maréchal, Brigitte and Sami Zemni (eds). (2012) The Dynamics of Sunni-Shia Relationships: Doctrine, Transnationalism, Intellectuals and the Media. London: Hurst.
Murphy, Andrew (ed). (2011) The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Tutorial rather than lecture or seminar based, this module provides opportunity to undertake a concentrated and focussed study of a topic, theme or subject which is of interest to the student and for which appropriate supervisory coverage and academic resourcing are available. Student learning is facilitated by five hours of tutorial support.
The subject specialist tutor who supervises the student will: • advise on whether the student’s planned area of research is appropriate • give guidance regarding the nature and format of the essay• give guidance on the planning of the essay• give feedback on a draft of the essay provided by the student
The student will: • formulate a topic as a clearly defined research problem• produce a reading list of relevant literature• produce the outline/early draft of an essay on the basis of the research for comments by the supervisor
Assessment is a 5,000 word essay.
Psychology is an attempt to understand the meaning of human behaviour which focuses upon there being an influential unconscious as well as a conscious side to the personality. Directly and indirectly, it has come to play an influential role in modern life. Words like 'Oedipus complex', 'introverted', 'neurotic', 'obsessional', are in fairly common use, often with little clear understanding of their meaning. Psychoanalysts have had a major impact upon our ideas of what it is to be a person. They have also provided key elements in the criticism frequently levelled at religion that it is nothing but the comforting projection of personal and social problems into another and illusory world. We shall be examining these issues in detail. To this end, we shall study selected texts by Freud and other texts which may vary from year to year, but will be drawn from the work of such thinkers as Jung, Nietzsche, Bataille, Lacan, Kristeva, de Certeau and Foucault.
Freud, S., The Interpretation of Dreams Capps, D., Freud and Freudians on Religion DiCenso, J., The Other Freud: Religion, Culture and Psychoanalysis Taylor, Mark C., Altarity
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.
Entry requirements: A good second class degree, or equivalent, in any subject. Relevant professional experience may be considered in lieu of standard qualifications. Students not meeting the standard entry qualifications may be asked to write a 3,000 word essay to demonstrate their academic abilities.
IELTS: 6.5 or equivalent.
The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years
of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are
determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.
Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition,
which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.
The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK,
EU or overseas student.
Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.
Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session,
which usually runs from October to September the following year.
Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities
across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider
recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into
account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against
other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education.
Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of
fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards
for postgraduate study on our website.
Take five minutes to experience Lancaster's campus