Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Studies In Religion and Theology
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Scott Dunbar


This unit introduces students to the history, core teachings and central practices of many of the world's religions: indigenous Australian traditions, Indian religions (Hinduism, Sikhism), Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism), Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and new religious movements.

The unit looks at religions as dynamic, ongoing forces that given meaning and direction to human lives, and that shape the collective experience of human beings in diverse socio-historical settings.

The unit does not aim to make judgments about what is right and wrong, but rather sets out to aid the development of knowledge and understanding of the broad sweep of religious traditions.


  1. This unit contributes to the making of responsible and effective global citizens who
    1. engage in an internationalised world,
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence, and
    3. demonstrate ethical values. (Cf. Monash Graduate Attributes). Having a basic grasp of the world's religions is part of cross-cultural competence (and is a basic requirement for responsible and effective global citizens). And the development of tolerance of diverse religious beliefs is a basic component of ethical maturity.
  2. Students who have completed this unit will have a deeper understanding of the history, core teachings and central practices of a wide range of religious traditions. They will be able to identify distinguishing features of these various religious traditions, and to compare points of similarity and difference among them.
  3. Students who have completed this unit will also 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.")


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

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

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

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