Faith Debates: Religion, Society and Politics (distance learning)

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.

Themes include:

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.

Suggested introductory materials:

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.