Studies in Religion

Studies in Religion

RLST1002 A History of God, Deities and Demons

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Summer Early Classes: 2x1hr lectures/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x1000wd Take-home paper (30%), 1x2000wd Essay (40%), 1x500wd early feedback (definition and referencing style) (10%), 1x1000wd Tutorial presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is a general introduction to the history of religions, beginning with the emergence of religion in pre-literate societies as evidenced in art and archaeology. It then studies the ancient religions of Egypt and Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Israel, Greece and Rome; before turning to the growth and spread of world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Students are expected to specialise in traditions and themes of their own choice in writing Essays.
RLST1005 Atheism, Fundamentalism & New Religions

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1hr lectures/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x2500wd Essay (40%), 1x1000wd Take-home research task (30%), 1x1000wd Oral Presentation (20%), Tutorial participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
What is the 'new' atheism? How have globalisation and new media affected religious practice? This unit considers a broad range of recent high-profile events and contemporary debates and controversies in religion. Topics include: the supposed rise of fundamentalism, arguments over 'the death of God', new forms of spirituality and enchantment. Through the use of case studies, from UFO-religions to The Gospel of Judas, students examine the overarching theme: What is the future of religion?
RLST1801 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point junior unit of study in Studies in Religion at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department.
RLST2605 Christianity and the Medieval World

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Carole Cusack Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x1500wd take home exam (35%), tutorial presentation (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit examines the history of Christianity from the late Roman Empire to the close of the Middle Ages. A survey of the chief landmarks of the Christian religion in its social setting, in terms of its significant beliefs, experiences and diverse cultural expressions. A tutorial hour will be devoted to an exploration of some major philosophical and theological themes from Late Antique Christianity to the Middle Ages.
RLST2612 Ancient Gnosticism

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Iain Gardner Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr seminar/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: (12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion) or (6 junior credit points from Studies in Religion and (ANHS1600 or ANHS1601 or ANHS1602)) Prohibitions: RLST2012 Assessment: 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x500wd equivalent oral presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit provides an overview of the Ancient Gnostic, Hermetic and Manichaean traditions, with particular emphasis on certain topics and themes. These include: exploration of the divine and demonic worlds; the nature of gnosis or knowledge; magic, the occult sciences and alchemy; dualism and the problem of evil; cosmogony, apocalypse and eschatology. A special feature of this unit is the use of new or recently discovered texts such as the so-called gnostic gospels.
RLST2614 Philosophy of Religion: Reason & Belief

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2014 Assessment: 2x2000wd word Essays (80%), 1x500wd Tutorial presentation (10%), Tutorial participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Since the late 19th century, discussion within the philosophy of religion has shifted from the traditional arguments for God's existence to a broader set of themes concerning the relations of reason and faith. In this course, we will critically examine a range of philosophical approaches that are responsible for this shift, analysing how philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein have understood these two concepts and the relations between them. We will ask: what is reason and what is its status? Is it sovereign or is faith autonomous from reason? Can they coexist or do they pose a threat to each other?
RLST2620 Religion and Violence, Faith and Blood

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Christopher Hartney Session: Semester 2,Summer Late Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2020 Assessment: 1x1000wd tutorial presentation (25%), 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x1500wd take home paper (35%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The twentieth century faced an unprecedented range of near-global crises - wars, depressions, communist-capitalist confrontation, ethnic conflict, epidemics, ecological disasters, extraordinary technological advances, the radical questioning of traditional values (along with secularisation) followed by reactive fundamentalisms, as well as serious tensions between modern science and religious conservatism. This unit considers how these crises have been addressed in religious thought and action. It will discuss popular mentalities and new spiritualities together with responses in the thought and praxis of leading religious figures.
RLST2624 The Birth of Christianity

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr seminar/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: (12 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion) or (6 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion and (ANHS1600 or ANHS1601 or ANHS1602)) Prohibitions: RLST2024 Assessment: 1x1000wd Oral Presentation (20%), 1x2000wd Essay (40%), 1x1500wd Take-home paper (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit discusses the textual, archaeological and socio-cultural evidence for the origins of Christianity; with a particular purpose to analyse how cults centred on the charismatic figure of Jesus of Nazareth led to the construction of such a powerful religious tradition. Tensions within that emergent tradition will be considered, and especially its struggle towards self-identity with both Judaism and the Greco-Roman world.
RLST2625 Creativity, Art and the Spiritual

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2025 Assessment: 1x3000wd Essay (60%), 1x1000wd tutorial paper (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
An investigation into the various ways in which the arts - music, dance, literature and visual art - relate to religious life. Lectures and tutorials will introduce students to the world of religion and art in the traditions of China, India, the Middle East and Europe. The interpretation will particularly focus upon the way a people's understanding of the sacred shapes the significance they give to the arts.
RLST2626 Witchcraft, Paganism and the New Age

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Carole Cusack Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2026 Assessment: 1x1000wd book review (30%), 1x3000wd essay (50%), 1x500wd equivalent tutorial presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The rebirth of paganism progressed steadily throughout the twentieth century. Pagans celebrate diversity and heterogeneity, in sharp contrast to the major Western traditions which were exclusive and doctrinally prescriptive. The interrelationships between pagans, goddess worshippers and witchcraft/occultism are fascinating and labyrinthine. This unit will explore three areas of modern religion, and attempt to assess the importance of their contribution for the future of religion.
RLST2628 Religion and Film

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Summer Main Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: (12 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion) or (18 Junior credit points including ENGL1011) Prohibitions: RLST2028 Assessment: 1x1500wd Take-home exercise (30%), 1x2500wd word Essay (50%), 1x500 wd Tutorial presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit analyses the position of religion in a range of films, such as the presentation of Buddhism in recent Western films (Kundun, Little Buddha, Seven Years in Tibet); the image of Christianity in 'sword and sandal' epics (Ben Hur, Quo Vadis); the role of film in familiarising Western audiences with unfamiliar religious traditions (e.g. ethnographic documentaries); and the depiction of post-modern religious concerns in science fiction (Blade Runner, The Matrix etc).
RLST2633 Religion and Television

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Christopher Hartney Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x3000wd essay (60%), 1x1500wd personal report on group project (30%), 1x group seminar presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Television is central to the daily consciousness of the world and the key to understanding sudden shifts in thinking on religion in Australia and the West in general. We will examine various examples of television, discuss and workshop through various theoretical explanations, their impact on how religion is and can be understood. Dramas, reality television, comedy and current affairs programs will be considered along with music videos, commercial advertisements and religious propaganda.
RLST2634 Religion, Media and Consumerism

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x2500wd essay (50%), 1x1250wd tutorial presentation (30%), 1x750wd equivalent online presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit examines religion, media and consumer cultures, both the way that consumer practices and forms (including new media) are used to build spiritual communities and individual identities, as well as the ways in which spiritual / religious discourse is utilised in contemporary media forms to promote goods and services. Topics include: the 'trade fairs' of New Age religion; tele-evangelism, evangelical Christianity and consumption; the commodification of 'secret' texts; and the selling of Yoga to the West.
RLST2635 Sex, Desire and the Sacred

This unit of study is not available in 2015

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 Junior credit points from Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x2500wd Essay (50%), 1x1250wd Tutorial presentation (30%), Blackboard presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit examines relations between sexuality, desire, gender and the sacred as presented in the major faith traditions, including their esoteric currents, and in New Age religion. It is designed to introduce students to conceptualisations of the self and divine and their interrelation, and covers core philosophy of religion topics such as ontology and ethics. Topics include tantra, the commercialisation of 'sacred sex', eroto-mysticism, cults of virginity and abstinence. Significant attention is given to issues of cultural difference and gender.
RLST2636 Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Iain Gardner Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x2000wd essay (50%), 1x1000wd exam (30%), 1x1000 wd tutorial presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will introduce the cosmologies, gods and religious structures of Pharoanic Egypt, including the imperial cult, sacred language, popular religion and magic. It will then consider the legacy of ancient Egyptian religion and magic in late antiquity, including the cult of Isis, Hermetic and Gnostic movements, the spiritual influence of the city of Alexandra, and the persistence of Coptic magic. Finally, there will be discussion of the abiding fascination with all things Egyptian in modern esotericism and popular culture.
RLST2804 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point senior unit of study in Religious Studies at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
RLST2805 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point senior unit of study in Religious Studies at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
RLST2806 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point senior unit of study in Religious Studies at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
RLST2809 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point senior unit of study in Religious Studies at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
RLST2810 Religious Studies Exchange

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Students enrolled at Sydney University who wish to take the equivalent of a 6 credit-point senior unit of study in Religious Studies at an approved overseas university should enrol in this unit. Such students must seek approval for their proposed course of study from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
RLST3601 Rethinking Religion

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr seminar Prerequisites: 12 Senior credit points from Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x2000wd Essay (30%), 1x3000wd research proposal (50%), 1x1000wd Oral Presentation (10%), Tutorial participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit investigates pressing contemporary issues in the method and study of religion. It prepares students for advanced research, including honours. Historical analysis of religion and contentious key terms are debated, as students are introduced to field studies methodology and other complex research strategies. Theoretical work is more tightly integrated in this unit with research practice and the unit is structured to nurture the student in an extended research project, helping them to find a dynamic and assured academic voice.
RLST3603 Contemporary Australian Religion

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 Senior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2027, RLST2627 Assessment: 1x750wd scoping exercise (10%), 1x750wd Oral Presentation (10%), Seminar participation (10%), 1x2000wd research journal/plan (30%), 1x2500wd research report (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: This unit is available as a designated 'Advanced' unit for students who are already enrolled in the BA (Advanced) degree program.
Contemporary Australia manifests low levels of institutional religion, a multi-cultural and multi-faith population, and a vocal atheist/secularist lobby. It is an ideal laboratory for students to study twenty-first century trends. Learning activities include engagement with religion in the media and law, investigation of religious sites, the Constitution, and the Census data on religion. Issues examined include atheism and secularity, Aboriginal religion, spirituality, values, sport and ANZAC as religious phenomena, and the significant contribution of religion to politics, education, and art.
RLST4011 Religious Studies Honours A

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x20000wd thesis (60%), 2x10000wd or equivalent of written works for 2 seminars (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Honours is an intensive year-long program of advanced study based around research. Honours is undertaken after successful completion of a Bachelor degree and where the overall mark is a minimum credit average (70%). Entry into Honours is selective and work at this level is challenging. Honours is available in most subjects areas taught in the Faculty, and which are listed under Tables A and B in the Handbook. Students will complete a thesis and coursework seminars throughout the year. For further information contact the Honours Coordinator in the department or consult the Handbook entry for the relevant subject area.
RLST4012 Religious Studies Honours B

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4011 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to RLST4011
RLST4013 Religious Studies Honours C

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4012 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to RLST4011
RLST4014 Religious Studies Honours D

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4013 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to RLST4011