Religion

Religion

Religion at Stirling has a distinctive character of its own, reflecting a diversity of teaching and research interests spanning a variety of subject areas and methodological approaches, though with a specific emphasis on critical religion. Since its inception in 1973 the programme has secured an international reputation for its innovative thinking and approach to the study of religion, and is the only such programme in Scotland not aligned to a department of theology. Critical religion at Stirling challenges orthodox thinking in the field, as informed by original research on the thoughts and practices found within Europe, North America, India, Japan, the Middle East and other regions. With this commitment to critical thinking, ‘religion’ is always considered in relation to other topics and concerns, such as gender, the state, politics, capitalism, the arts, hermeneutics, ethics, postcolonialism and globalisation. In this intellectual context, students will also learn survival skills: time management; independent research through the use of library, internet and other resources; and the ability to analyse and interpret texts and other data, and to communicate that understanding effectively orally and in writing. Students graduating with a Religion degree are thus well-poised for the workforce, with a significant array of transferable skills leading to a wide selection of jobs and careers, as past graduates have proven.

Current Students

Information for Current Students

Undergraduate Advising

Modules

Autumn

1st Year 2nd Year 3rd & 4th Year Core 3rd & 4th Year Options
RELU911 RELU913 RELU9C5 RELU9GE
      RELU9MQ

Spring

1st Year 2nd Year 3rd & 4th Year Core 3rd & 4th Year Options
RELU912 RELU914 RELU9C6 RELU9MA
    RELU9ZX  

Choosing Modules

You should check the University Calendar for details of how your degree is structured and the choices you can make within that structure; follow the links on this page to find more information about all the Religion modules available. The University will provide you with a list of compulsory modules for your programme; you choose your modules through the on-line registration system on the Portal.

If you have any further questions about module choices, then these can be raised with the adviser of studies Dr Alison Jasper.

Learning Support

Student Learning Services provides helpful advice about how to develop your study skills and improve your academic performance: workshops are advertised through Succeed.

Other Guidance

The University has many specialist support services on many different issues from counselling to financial guidance. Your first port of call for these issues is likely to be Student Support Services, or one of the Advisers above, who will be able to liaise with other University departments on your behalf in case of illness or personal difficulty.

Remember that you can also access Student Support Services direct if you need help or advice on any of the following matters:

For help with Study Skills, contact Student Learning Services (SLS) who run online workshops via your WebCT. They also run workshops and seminars throughout the year so keep an eye on noticeboards and the portal for details of those

Research

In Religion, a distinctive methodology - ‘Critical Religion’ - is deployed to interrogate the historical construction and limitations of the term itself, and to ask positive but searching questions about the place of religious discourse - and discourse on religion - in contemporary societies. This approach yields valuable insights for the various research specialisms in the grouping, with stimulating interdisciplinary connections made with adjacent fields.

In addition we focus on three major research themes: colonial and postcolonial studies; studies of gender and sexualities; and literature and religion. The first points to a broad historical view which untangles relations of domination but also accommodation and translation in colonial and post-colonial cultures such as India and the Middle East, as well as the imperial centre(s) in Europe (the resonances of colonial discourses, anti-colonial struggles and post-colonial quandaries in discourse about religion, for example). The second traces the way in which gender and sexual categories are constructed historically and are the subject of contemporary social and political controversy. The third considers the intersection of religion with literature (and the arts), with philosophy, and with critical theory. A particular emphasis is on hermeneutics and the questions of textuality and interpretation. We are interested in how religion necessarily crosses over into other realms of thinking and experience, and how this might be made manifest in the various textual expressions handed down by tradition or found within contemporary culture. In pursuing these research themes we work as interdisciplinary groups with colleagues in English Studies, Modern Languages, and Education, to emphasise the continuities of inquiry that cut across language and culture.

The impact of our research is communicated more widely via blogs, a website and other projects which are influential in debates in the public sphere, and in the field of education. Andrew Hass edits the journal, Literature and Theology, and more information about Critical Religion approaches can be found at http://www.criticalreligion.stir.ac.uk/ and http://criticalreligion.org/

For More Information please visit the Literature and Languages Divisional Page 

Postgraduate Study

We welcome intellectually committed students to our postgraduate programmes, both taught and research.

Our Masters degrees combine an element of classroom-based teaching, as well as dedicated research time leading to a dissertation.  We do not offer a specific Critical Religion Masters degree because a primary objective of the Critical Religion project is to further interdisciplinarity.  The programme that we use for Masters level study is the MRes in Humanities, which allows considerable flexibility in direction of study, including the incorporation of key elements of Critical Religion-related thinking.

We also offer the opportunity to pursue PhD study, and indeed, all of our full-time staff are involved in supervising a range of students.

Our present postgraduate research interests include: the concept of nisus in the philosopher Samuel Alexander; spiritual care in the health profession; modelling the feminine divine; new models of religion, focussing on a post-punk movement; lust and desire in Augustinian thought; women's rights in Muslim and Christian discourses; nomadic theology as comparative theology; and the Ganges River in Indian culture.

These diverse areas of interest showcase the unique and fertile research environment at the heart of Religion at Stirling.

We hope you will consider coming to study with us – you will be joining an exciting and creative team of scholars – staff and other postgraduates – and there is considerable scope for developing interests in various fields of study. We have good links to other departments in the university, and are keen to foster interdisciplinary study whenever possible.

More details are made available on our blog:  http://www.criticalreligion.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/postgraduate-study-phd/

If you are interested in pursuing the MRes in Humanities or a PhD in Religion, please contact Andrew Hass, our Postgraduate Director.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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