Theory and Method of the Scientific Study of Religion

Course Information
TitleΘεωρία και Μεθοδολογία για τη Μελέτη της Θρησκείας / Theory and Method of the Scientific Study of Religion
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodSpring
CoordinatorPanayotis Pachis
Course ID600015993

Programme of Study: PPS Tm. THeologías - Eisagōgikī Kateýthynsī Mousoulmanikṓn Spoudṓn (EKMS 2016-sīmera)

Registered students: 51
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSCompulsory Course425

Class Information
Academic Year2022 – 2023
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Background
Course Type 2011-2015
General Foundation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course are able to: to understand the object of study of religion as an interesting aspect of a complex world of human social behavior, to distinguish those human behaviors which they see as the religious, to critically approach the religions of the ancient and modern world, to assess how and why an institution, a movement or a group end up being considered a religion, structurally integrate the category "religion" in the wider complex system of human behavior.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
We are examining the issue: "What is the scientific study of religion?" An excellent response may be provided to this question by asking first "where is the study of religion practiced, by whom and with what purpose?" The answer(s), always dependent on the relevance of things and individual interests, can lead to very different paths and conclusions concerning different people. Another point of interest in our research is the “definition” and “classification” of religions. How can one actually define, classify and study religion(s)? One should find ideal answers to such questions, if they always keep in mind that their way of thinking and their research should be directly related to the environment in which they work and offer their services. This is a sine qua non factor. This context is definitely the public university, which is an institution related solely to the scientific research and way of thinking. It is only within this frame that one can approach religion(s) scientifically and draw acceptable conclusions that are free of generalizations and inaccuracies, providing in this way valid answers to the initial question of what the scientific study of religion is.
religion, culture, methodology
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
Use of Power-points during the lessons. cooperation with the students during the Semester through E-Mails
Course Organization
Reading Assigment602.4
Written assigments120.5
Student Assessment
Exams (written or oral) or writing of papers. the degree of participation of the students during the semester included in their final evaluation.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Summative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Πανεπιστημιακές σημειώσεις 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.
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