Methodological and theoretical issues in Religious Studies

Course Information
TitleΘΕΜΑΤΑ ΜΕΘΟΔΟΛΟΓΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΟΝΙΚΗΣ ΘΕΩΡΙΑΣ ΣΤΗ ΘΡΗΣΚΕΙΟΛΟΓΙΑ. / Methodological and theoretical issues in Religious Studies
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorApostolos Kralidis
Course ID60005044

Class Information
Academic Year2017 – 2018
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Background
  • General Knowledge
  • Scientific Area
  • Skills Development
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Postgraduated Students are expected that during the course will • understand the theoretical pillars of Religiοus Studies as a science and specificities for the approach. • Relate theory with practice in the interpretation of religion as a cultural phenomenon. • become familiar with the organization and presentation of ranking methods and separation of religions. • learn several ways of collecting data for understanding the religious phenomenon in local communities. • practice in analyzing and interpreting qualitative data about religions.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course includes a) a comprehensive presentation of all the methodological problems related to the science of Religious Studies b) the sub-sections of the scientific theory of religion c) practice and exercise of students. 1. Introduction. Religious Studies as a science. Current trends and practices. 2. I. Methodological Issues. a. The scientific study of religion. Basic principles and rules. 3. I. Methodological Issues. b. A scientific/research approach of each religious tradition. Collection and evaluation of raw data. 4. I. Methodological Issues. c. A technical guidance/approach into sources and bibliography. Familiarity with libraries and electronic databases in local universities and institutes and abroad. 5. I. Methodological Issues. d. Technical guidelines for the management, classification and processing of primary/original material. Exercise. 6. I. Methodological Issues. e. Technical training models. Writing short essays. Oral presentation. Commentary and observations. 7. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. a. The origins of religion. General observations and comments. Assignments progress. 8. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. b. The scientific study of religion and cognitive sciences. Newer estimates. Comments and suggestions on the homework progress. 9. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. c. The use of standards and religious concepts. Historical approach. Main tutorial homework. 10. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. d. Religion and ethics, religion and creed, religion and faith in societies of past and present (social/class stratification, laws , customs , local traditions) . Clarifications on issues relating to the homework of postgrad. students. 11. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. e. Religion and death, religion and theology, religion and eschatology. Clarifications on issues relating to the homework of postgrad. students. 12. II Topics in scientific theory of Religion. f. Religion and ritual. Conculsions. Discussion. Oral presentation. Comments, questions and clarifications. 13. Oral presentations. Comment , questions and clarifications . General Remarks.
Religious Studies, Study of Religion, branches of Religious Studies, History of Religions, Comparative Religion, Phenomenology of religion, definition of religion, classification-types of religions, death, faith, morality, ritual, sacred.
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Audio
  • Multimedia
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
The use of ICT are made in the auditorium at the time of teaching with use of the computer (viewing text, audio, moving images) in PowerPoint environment and also with a parallel use of multimedia via links (links) from the Internet. All necessary infrastructure is provided by the University and there are relevant multimedia equipment in each classroom. It also possible to access databases and data banks via digital library and all the active digital subscriptions of AUTH. Finally, students can communicate, seek information and hand over their homework through electronic mail (e-mail).
Course Organization
Reading Assigment
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities
Written assigments
Student Assessment
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Braun W., McCutcheon R., Εγχειρίδιο Θρησκειολογίας, Εκδόσεις Βάνια, Θεσσαλονίκη 2003. Καρυώτογλου Α., Σπουδή στη Θρησκειολογία, Εκδόσεις Γρηγόρης, Αθήνα 2006. Sharpe, E.J., Συγκρητική Θρησκειολογία: Ιστορική Εισαγωγή, Εκδόσεις Άρτος Ζωής, Αθήνα 2008.Antes, P.- Geertz, A. W.- Warne, R. R. (eds.), New Approaches to the Study of Religion, vols I-II, Berlin-New york:Walter de Gruyter, 2004 Caillois, R., Man and the Sacred. Glencoe IL: Free Press, 1959. Campbell, J., The Power Of Myth. New York: Doubleday, 1988. Capps, W. H., Ways of Understanding Religion. New York: Macmillan, . 1972. De Vries, J., The Study of Religion: A Historical Approach. New York: Harcourt, 1967. Devine, G., ed., New Dimensions in Religious Experience. Staten Island: Alba, 1971. Dubuisson, D., The Western Construction of Religion: Myths, Knowledge and Ideology. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins, 2003. Ellwood, R. S., Introducing Religion: From Inside and Outside. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978. Fitzgerald, T., The Ideology of Religious Studies. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Hayes, V. C., (ed.), Religious Experience in World Religions. Bedford Park SA: AASR, 1980. Hinnells, J. R. (ed.), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, London-New York:Routledge, 2005. Masuzawa, T., The Invention of World Religions, or How European Universalism was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Monk, R. C. et al., Exploring Religious Meaning. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974. Noss, J. B., Man's Religion. London: Collier Macmillan, 1974. Preus, J. S., Explaining Religion: Criticism and Theory from Bodin to Freud. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996. Smart, N., The Phenomenon of Religion. London: Macmillan (Seabury), 1973. Smart, N., The Religious Experience of Mankind. London: Collins, 1971. Smart, N., The Science of Religion and the Sociology of Knowledge. Princeton NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1974. Smith, J. Z., Realting Religion. Essays in the Study of Religion, Chicago-London: The University of Chicago Press, 2004. Streng, F. J., and et al., Ways of Being Religious. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Taylor, M. C., (ed.), Critical Terms for Religious Studies, Chicago-London:The University of Chicago Press, 1998. Van der Leeuw, G., Religion in Essence and Manifestation: A Study in Phenomenology. 2 Vols. Torchbooks. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Waardenburg, J., Classical Approaches to the Study of Religion. 2 vols. The Hague: Mouton, 1973. Wach, J., Types of Religious Experience: Christian and Non-Christian. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1972. Zaehner, R. C., Sacred and Profane Mysticism. London: OUP, 1961.
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