ATS3636 - Sacred and profane: Religion, the secular and the state - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Tamara Prosic


Dr Tamara Prosic

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




The unit explores ways in which religious and secular ideas and interests interact and influence each other. It discusses models of secularization (freedom of religion, freedom from religion), its historical contexts, socio-cultural tensions and governments' responses to them. It examines different models implied by the intersection between the religious and the secular and between politics and the state (religious state/religious politics, secular state/secular politics, religious state/secular politics, secular state/religious politics). Finally, the unit also looks at religio-political discourses of in- and ex-clusion underlying domestic and foreign policies of nation-states.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. describe secular traditions and mainstream theories of secularisation and desecularisation;
  2. explain the historical development of different models of religion and state separation (Iran, Scandinavian countries etc);
  3. critically analyse, contextualise and discuss the complex national and international influence of religions on the dynamics of contemporary public and private life;
  4. utilise research skills to formulate and undertake an independent research essay.


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