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 Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Alex Asakitikpi


Secularism is under threat and this is the result of a significant resurgence of interest in religion? The unit examines different aspects of religiosity that are influencing peoples response to a globalising world. This includes the rise of fundamentalist streams in the world religions,eg. Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, the proliferation of movements supporting local religious traditions, and the emergence of post-modern forms of religion such as New Age and eco-spirituality. These belief systems are used to examine contemporary life experiences. They are also concerned about global injustices and propose alternative approaches to the prevalent ethos of materialism and greed.


On successfully completing the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse contemporary and emerging forms of religiosity by developing an understanding of the co-evolution of modern religion, science and capitalist economies in Europe and beyond;
  2. Compare and contrast alternative forms of modernity and post-modernity currently being examined in non-Western countries through new interpretations of Christian, Islam, Hinduism and other world religions;
  3. Understand global trends in the remergence of local religious traditions and the ways in which it generates religious ethno-nationalism and conflicts with immigrant populations;
  4. Identify the context which has seen a globalization of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity and the relative decline for mainstream Christian churches;
  5. Identify and compare the core values of alternative religious and spiritual movements;
  6. Critically consider religious contribution to solving psychological, social, environmental, economic and political problems of a globalising world.


Tutorial Participation in Discussion (500 words): 10%
Class Test (short answer) 1000 words: 25%
Book, Website or Documentary Film Analysis (1000 words): 25%
Essay (2000 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

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