MA

MA Study of Religions

Study mode:Part-time Languages: english Duration:12 months
Local:$ 6.3k / 1 Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 16.1k / 1 Academic year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:2413

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The core module will explore various different theoretical approaches to religion developed over the last two centuries, including secularisation theory, the phenomenology of religion, hermeneutical approaches, and pragmatism. It will also explore the challenges that religions have faced in their encounter with modernity and post-modernity.

Other compulsory modules will focus on contemporary approaches in the study of religions within the disciplines of psychology, philosophy and sociology which will equip students with state of art theories and methods of studying the phenomenon of religion(s).

The optional modules give the students the opportunity of focusing on a particular religious tradition or a theme that reflect their interest.

The programme will offer the participants an advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary approaches, methods and theories in the field of the study of religions as well as selected religious traditions and themes.

This programme is likely to attract teachers, community and religious leaders, civil servants and all those interested in the phenomenon of religion(s).The core module will explore various different theoretical approaches to religion developed over the last two centuries, including secularisation theory, the phenomenology of religion, hermeneutical approaches, and pragmatism. It will also explore the challenges that religions have faced in their encounter with modernity and post-modernity.

This programme is designed to enhance knowledge of religion in modern society and so may be helpful for anyone working or living in a multifaith society, for example teachers, civil servants, the police, those working in the charitable sector and those working in faith related occupations.

For each module there is a two-hour seminar each week for one term. Sessions are normally designed to be interactive, with input from lecturers providing an overall perspective but incorporating discussion. Coursework tasks are designed to help you learn. Much of your learning takes place through directed reading in preparation for the seminars. Tutorials on work in progress contribute to deepening your understanding. The skills you have developed will prepare you for a substantial individual task when you complete your dissertation.

The weekly two-hour sessions for each module involve one evening a week if you are part-time and two if you are full time. You are expected to devote about six hours for the preparation of each class. In addition time should be put aside for the preparation of coursework essays and the dissertation, as well as for tutorials to discuss work completed or in progress and for meetings with the dissertation supervisor.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework tasks completed during or shortly after the period of module teaching and an end of year essay for each module. Tasks may include book/article reviews, essays, seminar presentations. There will also be a dissertation of between 12,000 to 15,000 words on a research topic agreed with your supervisor.

Examples of available module options are:

CIR403 Understanding Religion in the Age of Modernity

The word religion has only quite recently acquired its current meaning. This course helps students to reflect in depth on the mutually dependent relationship between modernity and religion, asking how modernity has tried to situate and understand religions and how, increasingly, religious people are seeking to re-situate modernity. In the first half of the course, we will explore various different theoretical approaches to religion developed over the last two centuries, including secularisation theory, the phenomenology of religion, hermeneutical approaches, and pragmatism. In the second half, we will explore in some depth the ground-breaking work of philosopher Charles Taylor who provides a compelling understanding of both the origins of the modern secular worldview and of the place of a responsible religious faith within it.

Compulsory modules: theories and approaches (students should choose one)

PHH505 Reason andReligion

This module focuses on a selection of key arguments about the existence and nature of the divine, and the implications of these for human life. It examines the work of philosophers from a range of religious traditions and none, and encourages an understanding of both historical debates and current developments in each topic. The module aims to cover most of the Philosophy of Religion topics from the AS and A2 Philosophy (AQA) syllabus for those with an interest in teaching AS/A2 Philosophy, although it is intended for anyone with an interest in studying the rationality of religious belief.

PAS415 Religion - Context and Crisis

This module will address critical issues of the contemporary context from sociological and theological perspectives. It will model the pastoral theological approach and methodology and deepen understanding of themes of political and liberation theology and the sociology of religion.

PSY410 Psychology and Religion

This foundational module serves as an introduction both to the field of psychology of religion and to the remaining modules of the degree.
Psychology and scientific method
What is religion?
Evolutionary psychology and religion
Mind and body, soul and brain
Depth psychologies and religion
Humanistic psychology and religion
Individual differences, personality theory, and religion
Religion as coping

Optional modules: Religious traditions and themes (students should choose one)

SPR509 Spirituality and Society

In this module students explore the emerging quest, in the third millennium, for a Christian spirituality that is socially and politically contextualised and personally and ethically integrated. Students examine, discuss and interpret the spiritual resources of Christianity as tools for social transformation, assessing key texts from the traditional and contemporary canons. The main elements are the relationship between spirituality and embodiment, including gender and sexuality; society, including work, money and social transformation; and creation, including ecological questions.

ABR403 Contemporary Christian Thought

ABR404 Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Modernity has had a fundamental impact upon almost all societies, including Muslim ones. This module will provide an overview of the debates and issues that have emerged in modern and contemporary Muslim discourse. The module has two focal points: First, it will explore the tension between tradition and renewal that characterises Muslim responses to the challenges of modernity; Second, it will show the centrality of the foundational texts of Islam (Quran and Sunna) and how Muslim attitudes to and interpretations of these texts inform and shape their views on key issues such as Islamic law, gender, jihad, human rights, democracy as well as religious pluralism and interfaith relations with Judaism and Christianity.

ABR402 Contemporary Judaism

Judaism has been transformed and fragmented by its encounter with the modern world. In the mid-twentieth century Jews suffered the greatest catastrophe of their history and only three years later found themselves confronted by the challenges of renewed political power. The Holocaust and the development of Israel are central to modern Jewish thought, but they have elicited conflicting responses and left Jews deeply divided. Judaism had already been fragmented by the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment and the complex and divisive experience of integration into nineteenth century civil society. Today Jewish religious and secular thinkers continue to debate these issues at the same time as they are faced by challenges that range from the major ethical dilemmas of our time to the impact of feminism on personal and communal relationships. Welcome to the world of contemporary Judaism!

SPR504 History of Christian Mysticism to the Reformation

This module focuses on the historical tradition of Christian mysticism in Western Christianity up to (not including) the Reformation, the period of its longest sustained development. Seven major writers are treated in detail: Augustine, Dionysius the Areopagite, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. Some further authors are studied for background, such as Origen. The writings of these authors, in translation, are the central object of study, with historical and cultural considerations brought to their interpretation. A nexus of key themes is followed through the texts and the historical period to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed. The emphasis is historical, to retrieve the medieval history of Christian mysticism for present discussion and nourishment.

CET504 Morality and Sprituality

This module will explore: The connections between ethics and spirituality; the meanings of wholeness and holiness; the role of moral imagination and intuition in the shaping of the moral self; the relationship between morality and prayer.

PHH505 Reason and Religion

This module focuses on a selection of key arguments about the existence and nature of the divine, and the implications of these for human life. It examines the work of philosophers from a range of religious traditions and none, and encourages an understanding of both historical debates and current developments in each topic. The module aims to cover most of the Philosophy of Religion topics from the AS and A2 Philosophy (AQA) syllabus for those with an interest in teaching AS/A2 Philosophy, although it is intended for anyone with an interest in studying the rationality of religious belief.

You can request an application form via e-mail to admissionspg@heythrop.ac.uk or by telephone to 020 7795 4120. You can also download the Postgraduate Application form and associated guidelines below.You must send your completed form as a signed hard copy. You also need to send your references, a transcript of your first degree studies and your Equal Opportunities Form, which you can also download.Applicants must normally hold a first or second class honours degree (or equivalent), either in Theology or in another subject appropriate to the field of postgraduate study. For mature students, ability to undertake the programme may be considered on the basis of other relevant evidence.If English is not your mother tongue the College asks for an IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with not less than 7.0 in Listening, Academic Reading and Academic Writing). We also accept TOEFL with a score of at least 250.In both cases, these qualifications must have been gained not more than two years before the start of your programme English Language Requirements IELTS band: 7 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
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