ATS2190 - God in Australia: How religion, spirituality, and atheism interact with society - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

National Centre for Australian Studies


Dr Susan Carland

Not offered in 2017


Does religion matter in Australia at all any more?. What about spirituality?. How do we explain that Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and "no religion" are all the fastest growing religious classifications in Australia at the moment?. Can we still consider Australia a Christian country, and how do we decide if it is?. How does Australia's religious commitment compare globally, and how do we explain any patterns of change?. What impact does religion or lack-of-religion have on Australian politics, human rights, history and society?. This unit examines the current state of religion and spirituality in Australia, compares this with the rest of the world, and offers a sociological interpretation of these developments.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will:

  1. develop a critical awareness of contemporary religion and spirituality and their impacts on Australian politics and society;
  2. be introduced to different sociological approaches to the study of religion and religious change;
  3. develop their analytical skills to critically understand and interpret recent religious developments.


Within semester assessment: 75%

Exam: 25%

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.