Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2013 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Tamara Prosic (Clayton), Dr Scott Dunbar (Caulfield)


This unit is a general introduction to the study of religions, spirituality, and belief and non-belief, in the contemporary world. In particular, it introduces a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, and examines some of the pressing intellectual questions that are raised by (and for) religions, spirituality, belief and non-belief.

Issues canvassed include: religion and colonisation; religion and environmental degradation; religion, gender and sexuality; religion and spirituality; religious responses to modernity; and religion, secularisation, and non-belief. The future of religions will also be discussed, in the light of the theories and methods introduced in the unit.


  1. Students who have completed this unit will have an enhanced ability to critically analyse and evaluate the concepts employed in, and the doctrines accepted by, the world's religions, as well as to put forward ideas and arguments of their own in a clear and coherent way. ("Monash Graduates will be critical and creative scholars who apply research skills to a range of challenges, and communicate perceptively and effectively.")
  2. Students who have completed this unit will have an enhanced knowledge of theories of religion, and of key issues in contemporary studies of religion.


Weekly quiz: 20% (10 x 2%)
Expository exercise: 10%
Essay: 30%
Group presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hours of lectures
1 x 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study