ATS3157 - Sources of religious violence: Texts and contexts - 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

Centre for Religious Studies


Dr Aydogan Kars

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Religious texts from many traditions frequently invoke imagery of violence, war and struggle while also celebrating ideals of harmony, peace and justice. Do such texts make religions responsible for promoting violence, or is this a consequence of specific contexts, political, social and economic that shape the way such texts are interpreted? Is there any place for such rhetoric in contemporary society? This unit looks at a range of texts from Eastern religions and from Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in both past and present manifestations, to consider how their interpreters have engaged with the question of legitimizing violence and war against minorities or other groups in society and how such imagery may shape their understanding of an ideal world.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be expected to have:

  1. Critically engaged with different forms of religious texts that invoke violence, placing them in their historical context and being aware of the range of ways in which they might be interpreted;
  2. Understood the significance of both literary genre and political context in shaping religious texts;
  3. Drawn on a number of theoretical frameworks in order to understand these texts;
  4. Conducted research into a particular area of religious history, either in more distant or more contemporary contexts.


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