This fascinating new degree is offered by Lancaster University’s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion (PPR). It is designed for the growing number of politically and culturally aware students who are interested in politics, religious studies, ethics, philosophy, and who recognise the close links between these subjects.
In the first year, you will take two core modules that give an overview of politics, philosophies, religions and values across the world. They introduce core concepts, methods, and examples from around the world – including Europe, the Middle East, India and China. A third first-year module can be chosen from options within the PPR department or other departments.
In the second year, a core module ‘Exploring Politics, Religion and Values’ introduces major theories about these three areas and their relations. The theories are tested against real-world examples from the past and the present. Such examples might include, for example, religious nationalism in India or Burma; ‘culture wars’ in the USA; the Brexit debate; controversies about gender and sexuality. In the third year, you will also write a guided dissertation on a topic relevant to the intersection of religion with politics and/or religion with values. You will be able to propose a topic that interests you.
For the other modules in the second and third years of your degree you will have a choice from within the PPR department and other departments. This means that you can tailor the scheme to match your particular interests, whether in religion, politics, or values or some combination, with the core modules providing overall coherence.
The degree will provide the opportunity for you to think critically and independently about value debates, complex political issues and religious controversies and apply that understanding to real world examples – as well as to your own deepest commitments. It offers in-depth understanding of different cultures and values, while supporting you to realise your creative and academic potential and enhance your employability in a competitive global marketplace. You will have the opportunity to gain disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transferable knowledge and skills that will enhance your contributions as a citizen, employee and interested participant in the world.
More about the degree
Religion is a major presence in the lives of people, in societies with different levels of economic development and political systems, and in different regions of the world. Studying religion requires not only understanding its varied and shifting nature, but also locating religion within the complex dynamics of politics and value-systems that function across societies. The study of religion is always a study of the diversity of humanity, to be approached through a diversity of disciplines.
Today, we are confronted by many issues that require a multidisciplinary approach to religion. How and why do people resort to religious justification when being violent? Can protest and societal transformation really be motivated by spiritual commitments? What are the ways in which religion informs life in a multicultural society? How might we enrich our critical awareness of gender, of race, of decolonial perspectives through paying attention to the thought, values and practices of religious traditions around the world? What are the values young people are looking for in today’s rapidly changing world? Can we re-imagine radical political and ecological possibilities through the study of religious philosophies?
If these and similar questions grip your imagination, the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion is the perfect place for you. Lancaster has been a pioneer in the original, provocative, and creative study of a range of religious traditions. In our interdisciplinary department, we now integrate Religious Studies into a wide range of modules that also address issues in philosophy, international relations, and global philosophy.
The structure of the Politics, Religion and Values degree allows you look at the way religion functions in the context of politics and philosophy, giving you a unique perspective on a range of questions, some eternal, others of this moment.