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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Religious Studies

Undergraduate Course: Global Religions B: Indigenous African Religions and Religions of Asia (REST08017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn overview of Indigenous African Religions and religions of Asia with attention to the connections between them historically and thematically. The course is contemporary in focus and aims to highlight how practitioners live in their local contexts. It will involve, for example, looking at what modern Indian religion is, for real people, who may mix indigenous religion with Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or other traditions. As such the course will contribute to de-constructing the 'world religions paradigm' by seeking to understand the lived reality of peoples lives.
Course description The course introduces traditions from South Asia (previously known as the Indian sub-continent) which came to be known as 'Hindu'. Further, the course exposes students to the general characteristics of indigenous religions. It identifies themes, theories and methodologies in the study of indigenous religions, with a special focus on African examples. Definitions and a brief historical overview lead on to a consideration of contemporary ideas and practices. Popular practices and identities will be emphasised as part of taking a methodological approach to the material 'from below'.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  1
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Tutorial work counts for 15% of course grade based on 2 x 500 word mini-essays (10%) plus one oral presentation given to class.
1. 2 x 500 word mini-essays (2 x 5%): at the first tutorial (week 2), students will be required to commit to offering one oral presentation (on a first come basis) and two mini-essays for each of the three sections of the course, subject to the agreement of the tutor and confirmation of the course co-ordinator.
2. Tutorial presentation (5%): Each student will prepare one presentation of approximately 10 minutes, on a date and topic to be agreed with the tutor. It should be based on close analysis of issues in the tutorial reading for that week. The student will also be responsible for leading the ensuing class discussion.

Essay (25%): 2,000 words on a topic to be chosen.

Degree Examination (60%).

Feedback Weekly feedback and grading of tutorial sheets.

Sheets should be submitted in advance of the class, and will be graded with brief feedback. If a student is unable to attend the tutorial, for example, due to illness or an unavoidable appointment, any tutorial sheet which has been submitted may be taken as evidence of tutorial participation for that week. However, tutorial sheets may not be submitted after the tutorial has taken place.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Outline the main beliefs and practices of the traditions studied.
  2. Make historical connections amongst the religions and relate these to contemporary situations.
  3. Identify themes that emerge from the study of the traditions considered in lectures and tutorials.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Collect and synthesise evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources applicable to the study of religion;
- Evaluate and critique the work of scholars who have studied religions, both in the contemporary period and in the history of the discipline;
- Formulate questions emerging from the study of religions and structure an argument to express resolutions to the questions critically and analytically.
- Read and interpret a range of different sources for the study of religions within their historical, social and theoretical contexts and be able to differentiate primary from secondary sources.
- Formulate, investigate and discuss questions informed by Religious Studies methodologies (these include anthropology, cognitive studies, cultural history, ethnography, post-colonial studies and sociology);
- Engage and draw on an understanding of religious traditions and cultures to inform the approach taken when dealing with views different from one's own;
- Analyse and explain how cultural assumptions impact on the interpretation of religions;
- Express clearly ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing and in electronic media;
- Develop oral presentation and participation skills during seminars and group-work, and in written form through essays.
- Collaborate efficiently and productively with others in the process of learning and presenting conclusions - this includes those with a range of backgrounds and knowledge bases about religion, such as fellow-students, tutors and supervisors;
- Organise their own learning, manage workload and work to a timetable;
- Effectively plan, and possess the confidence to undertake and to present scholarly work that demonstrates an understanding of the aims, methods and theoretical considerations relevant to Religious Studies; and
- Work independently on the creation of essays using the standards current in the academic field of Religious Studies.
Additional Class Delivery Information 3 lectures and a weekly tutorial.
Course organiserDr Emma Wild-Wood
Tel: (0131 6)50 8977
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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