Studies in Religion

Studies in Religion

RLST1002 A History of God, Deities and Demons

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Iain Gardner (Sem 2), Dr Christopher Hartney (Summer School) Session: Semester 2,Summer Early Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x1000wd take-home paper (30%), 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x500wd early feedback (definition and referencing style) (10%), 1x1000wd tutorial presentation (20%)
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 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Christopher Hartney (Sem 1), Prof Carole Cusack (Summer School) Session: Semester 1,Summer Main Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x2500wd essay (40%), 1x1000wd take-home research task (30%), 1x1000wd oral presentation (20%), tutorial participation (10%)
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?
RLST2624 The Birth of Christianity

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Iain Gardner Session: Semester 1 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: RLST2024 Assessment: 1x1000wd oral presentation (20%), 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x1500wd take-home paper (40%)
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.
RLST2628 Religion and Film

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Christopher Hartney Session: Semester 1,Summer Main Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr 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%)
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).
RLST2635 Sex, Desire and the Sacred

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%), Blackboard presentation (20%)
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.
RLST2614 Philosophy of Religion: Reason & Belief

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr 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%)
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?
RLST2625 Creativity, Art and the Spiritual

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 Prohibitions: RLST2025 Assessment: 1x3000wd essay (60%), 1x1000wd tutorial paper (40%)
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.
RLST3603 Contemporary Australian Religion

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Alex Norman Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 senior credit points from Studies in Religion Prohibitions: RLST2627 Assessment: 1x750wd scoping exercise (10%), 1x750wd oral presentation (10%), seminar participation (10%), 1x2000wd research journal/plan (30%), 1x2500wd research report (40%)
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.
RLST3601 Rethinking Religion

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2-hr 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%)
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.
RLST4011 Religious Studies Honours A

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: Credit average in 48 senior credit points of Studies in Religion Assessment: 1x20000wd thesis (60%), 2x10000wd or equivalent of written works for 2 seminars (40%)
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The Honours program in Studies in Religion consists of a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff and two semester seminars that meet weekly for two hours. The thesis should be of 20000 words in length. Each seminar requires 10000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 60% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%. The following seminars are on offer in 2014:
Semester 1-Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
Semester 2-New Discoveries in Jewish and Early Christian Studies
RLST4012 Religious Studies Honours B

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4011
Refer to RLST4011
RLST4013 Religious Studies Honours C

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4012
Refer to RLST4011
RLST4014 Religious Studies Honours D

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Jay Johnston Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: RLST4013
Refer to RLST4011