Theory and Method in the Scientific Study of Religion

Course Information
TitleΘεωρία και μεθοδολογία για την επιστημονική μελέτη της θρησκείας (I) / Theory and Method in the Scientific Study of Religion
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorPanayotis Pachis
Course ID600015626

Programme of Study: Theology and Culture

Registered students: 4
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CΗristianikī Grammateía kai IstoríaEE-EMVATHYNSĪS1110
Systīmatikī THeología, Koinōniología kai Spoudī tīs THrīskeíasYE-EMVATHYNSĪS1110
Praktikī THeología kai PaidagōgikīEE-EMVATHYNSĪS1110

Class Information
Academic Year2021 – 2022
Class PeriodWinter
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
1. The main purpose of this lesson is to study the student of our department: "which people" (all people), "when", "who" and "why" all this data is referred to as religion. By asking these questions, according to the methodology of contemporary researchers of our subject (such as Bruce Lincoln, University of Chicago), a student sees the subject of the study as an interesting aspect of a complex human world of social behavior. So the student studies those human behaviors that are under discussion, which he considers to be religious, ie all the hypotheses, ideas, beliefs, etc. that relate to a subject. When one puts the right questions and sees the historical relevance of the data he is studying, then he realizes that the peoples around the world claim the category of "religion". In the light of this, the student does not study the religions of the world but also thinks and why an institution, movement or group is led to be considered a religion. Thus, if we study both religion and religion as a feature of the complex system of human behavior called society, the lesson becomes interesting. 2. Understanding the concept of "embdeddedness" in the ancient Greek religion. The ancient Greek religion was fully integrated into society, there was no sphere of life from which the religious view was absent. Birth, death, war and peace, agriculture, trade, politics, all events and activities were accompanied by religious practices. This embodiment affected the sanctuary's perception.
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 teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Respect natural environment
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
1. Scientific Study of Religion: We examine the following thematic units: "What is the study of religion?" This is the scientific research of the human cultural aspect and its practices. This view is identical to the purposes of our study and the definitions we choose to use, definitions appropriate to our purposes and our quests. What unites us to this collective group, which is identified by our own name, is not just common quests, common tools and agreement on established evidence and argument, but also the institution that unites us as a group and to which our work contributes. This institution is the public university, an institution that ends up in what constitutes an academic study of religion. So, perhaps we can come up with a revision of our original question, "What is the study of religion?" This question can find an excellent answer if we first ask "where does the study of religion, by whom, and for what purposes?" The answer, depending on the affinity of each other's interests and interests, can lead to very different conclusions among different peoples. Another point that concerns us is the classification of religions. How can we classify them and how can we study them? Answering these questions gives the work of the researcher of religion. 2. Introduction to the Study of Ancient Greek Religion: General Characteristics. Has there ever been what we call Greek religion? The question may be unnecessary, but it must be clear from the outset that Greek religion as a monolithic totality has never existed. When Greece emerged from the darkness of the past around 800 BC various communities - cities have been developed. Each city had its own pantheon in which some gods were more important than others, and some gods were never worshiped. Each city had its mythology, religious calendar, religious celebrations.
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities13
Written assigments78
Student Assessment
Writing- Discussion - Evaluation and critical discourse of current scientific theories and methodologies. The rating of the students is a result of their above efficiencies during the semester
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
1. M. C. Taylor (ed.), 1998. Critical Terms for Religious Studies, Chicago-London:The University of Chicago Press. 2. W. Braun - R. McCutcheon (επιμ.), 2003. Εγχειρίδιο Θρησκειολογίας (μετ. Δ. Ξυγαλατάς. Επιμ. Π. Παχής), Θεσσαλονίκη: εκδόσεις Bάνιας. 3. P. Antes- A. W. Geertz- R. R. Warne (eds.), 2004. New Approaches to the Study of Religion, vols I-II, Berlin-New York: Walter de Gruyter. 4. J. Z. Smith, 2004. Relating Religion. Essays in the Study of Religion, Chicago-London: The University of Chicago Press. 5. J. R. Hinnells (ed.), 2005. The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, London-New York: Routledge. 6. W. Braun-R. McCutcheon (eds.), 2008. Introducing Religion. Essays in Honor of J. Z. Smith, London-Oakville:Equinox. 2β. 1. W. Burkert, Griechische Religion der archaischen und klassischen Epoche (Religionen der Menschheit, 15), Stuttgart = W. Burkert, 1993. Αρχαία Ελληνική Θρησκεία. Αρχαϊκή και κλασσική εποχή (μετ. Ν. Π. Μπεζεντάκος-Αφρ. Αβαγιανού.Φιλολ.επιμ. Ν. Π. Μπεζεντάκος), Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Καρδαμίτσα. 2. J. N. Bremmer, 1994. Greek Religion (GREECE & ROME. New Surveys in the Classics, No 24), Oxford: Oxford University Pres. 3. S. Price, 1999 (repr.2000). Religions of the Ancient Greeks (Key Themes in Ancient History), Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. 4. J. P. Vernant, 2000. Μύθος και Θρησκεία στην αρχαία Ελλάδα (μετ. Μ.Ι. Γιόση), Αθήνα: Σμίλη. 5. R. Buxton (ed.), 2000. Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, Oxford:Oxford University Press. 6. L. Bruit Zaidman- P. Schmitt Pantel, 2002. Η θρησκεία στις ελληνικές πόλεις της κλασικής εποχής (μετ. Κ. Μπούρας. Επιμ. Μ. Τριαναταφύλλου), Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Πατάκη. 7. J. D. Mikalson, 2006. Ancient Greek Religion (Blackwell Antient Religions), Malden, MA-Oxford: Blackwell. 8. D. Ogden, 2007. A Companion to Greek Religion (Blackwell Companion to the Ancient World), Malden, MA- Oxfrod:Blackwell. 9. R. Parker, 2011. On Greek Religion, Ithaca-London:Cornell University Press.
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