AZA3629 - Beliefs, religion and spirituality: A global perspective - 2018

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

South Africa School of Social Science

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Alex Asakitikpi


Dr Tinashe Pfigu

Not offered in 2018


AZA2629, ATS2629Not offered in 2018, ATS3629


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, e.g. 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 re-emergence 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.


Within semester assessment: 100%

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

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