Undergraduate Course: Religion, Place and Politics (GEGR10144)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course introduces students to the critical geographies of religion, faith, and spirituality, paying attention to religious ideas and practices around the globe. Religion has become a growing field of study in recent decades in geography. From the economy of pilgrimages and ecological theologies, to constructions of race, gender and emerging scholarship on queer spiritualities; geographers have been interested in how religion both shapes and is shaped by societies and cultures. Through diverse readings and multi-modal materials, you will learn to question established dichotomies such as public/private, secular/sacred, or liberal/ conservative, with an emphasis on the political, learning to critically appraise pressing contemporary concerns such as inequality, agency or representation.
This course introduces students to the critical geographies of religion, faith, and spirituality, paying attention to religious ideas and practices around the globe. Religion has become a growing field of study in recent decades in geography. From the economy of pilgrimages and ecological theologies, to constructions of race, gender and emerging scholarship on queer spiritualities; geographers have been interested in how religion both shapes and is shaped by societies and cultures. Through readings and multi-modal materials, you will learn to question established dichotomies such as public/private, secular/sacred, or liberal/ conservative, with an emphasis on the political, learning to critically appraise pressing contemporary concerns such as inequality, agency or representation. Although the central concepts for this course are geographical (space, scale, place), we will read academic material from other disciplines too, as geographers have long engaged in wider theoretical frameworks and ideas coming from the social sciences, humanities and religious studies. Students will be equipped to explore the ways in which religion becomes part of the everyday in material ways and at the same time is contested symbolically, as individuals and groups struggle over meanings. The academic readings will be supplemented by multi-modal materials, including short documentaries, music videos, photographic essays, podcasts and other forms of knowledge and knowledge-production informed by the weekly topics. In this way, the course will prepare students to understand and be critical about a wide range of, not only ideas, but also methods of representation. Teaching and learning will be done through lectures, discussion seminars and two forms of assessment. Lectures will focus on key themes in the study of religion. Students are expected to do two key readings per lecture and make use of the multi-modal resources that are suggested. During discussion seminars, there will be an opportunity for students to ask, comment and critique ideas. Themes introduced in weekly lectures will include: geographical approaches to religion; secularism; colonialism; race; economics; gender; queer spiritualities; radicalism/extremism; activism; and eco-theologies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Revision Session Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1) Reading reflection portfolio, 40% (2000 words total, appx 250 words per week): each week students will write a reflective piece on a reading of their choosing from the handbook; portfolio submitted in Week 10. Students will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on up to three reflections of their choice.
2) Coursework essay, 60% (2000 words): students will be supported in choosing their own topic relating to religion.
Reading reflection portfolio - Week 10
Coursework essay - Revision Week
||All students will receive written feedback on both components of the assessment. This will focus both on the elements that were effects and on the possible directions for improvement. Students will be invited to request further individual feedback in the form of one-on-one meetings with the Course Organiser. The class will be provided with general feedback, highlighting common strengths and areas for improvement that emerge from the assessment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the role played by religion in societies and communities from a geographical perspective, focusing on how religion becomes embedded in, and shapes, ideas and practices at different scales: from the everyday to the historical, the individual to the nation state.
- Learn to critically appraise normative understandings of religion, including the separation of the religious from the secular; constructions of race, gender and queer identities; religious radicalism and extremism; the role of religion in colonial histories; and in the making of contemporary subjectivities.
- Reflect on the possible applications of religious ideas, practices, and research to different political questions such as citizenship, gender, migration, governance, conflict or justice.
|Almudéver Chanzà, Josep. 2021. ¿Gossip and Godly Work: Devotional Labour and Cartographies of Care in Spain.¿ Gender, Place and Culture 0 (0): 1¿32.Cloke, Paul, Sam Thomas, and Andrew Williams. 2013. ¿Faith in Action: Faith-Based Organizations, Welfare and Politics in the Contemporary City.¿ In Working Faith: Faith-Based Organizations and Urban Social Justice, edited by Paul Cloke, Justin Beaumont, and Andrew Williams, 1¿24. Milton Keynes: Paternoster. Cupples, Julie, and Kevin Glynn. 2020. ¿Popular Religiosity and Struggles for Urban Justice in Mexico. A Decolonial Analysis of Santa Muerte.¿ In Producing and Contesting Urban Marginality. Interdisciplinary and Comparative Dialogues, edited by Julie Cupples and Tom Slater, 117¿39. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. Gökar¿ksel, Banu, and Anna Secor. 2013. ¿¿You Can¿t Know How They Are inside¿: The Ambivalence of Veiling and Discourses of the Other in Turkey.¿ In Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics and Piety, 95¿113. Hopkins, Peter, Katherine Botterill, and Gurchathen Sanghera. 2018. ¿Towards Inclusive Geographies? Young People, Religion, Race and Migration.¿ Geography 103 (2): 86¿92.Mackintosh, Phillip G., and Clyde R. Forsberg. 2013. ¿¿Co-Agent of the Millennium¿: City Planning and Christian Eschatology in the North American City, 1890-1920.¿ Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103 (3): 727¿47.Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia D. 2015. ¿Climate Debt, White Privilege, and Christian Ethics as Political Theology.¿ In Common Goods: Economy, Ecology, and Political Theology, edited by Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, Catherine Keller, and Elias Ortega-Aponte, 286¿304. New York: Fordham University Press.Olson, Elizabeth, Peter Hopkins, and Lily Kong. 2013. Introduction. Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics, and Piety. Edited by Elizabeth Olson, Peter Hopkins, and Lily Kong. Heidelberg, New York and London: Springer. Qvotrup Jensen, Sune, Jeppe Fuglsang Larsen, and Sveinung Sandberg. 2021. ¿Rap, Islam and Jihadi Cool: The Attractions of the Western Jihadi Subculture.¿ Crime, Media, Culture, 1¿16.Tse, Justin K.H. 2014. ¿Grounded Theologies: ¿Religion¿ and the ¿Secular¿ in Human Geography.¿ Progress in Human Geography 38 (2): 201¿20. Upadhyay, Nishant. 2020. ¿Hindu Nation and Its Queers: Caste, Islamophobia, and De/Coloniality in India.¿ Interventions 22 (4): 464¿80.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||1 - A critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts around religion, spirituality, and representation.
2 - An ability to apply these to real-world contexts.
3 - Skills in preparatory work and time management to meet course deadlines.
4 - Skills in scholarly and professional communication (both written and oral).
|Course organiser||Dr Josep Almudever-Chanza
|Course secretary||Miss Eloise Hepburn
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847