Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Religious Studies
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Scott Dunbar


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.


Within semester assessment: 70%
Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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