Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

What can contemporary expressions of religious life and spiritual experience tell us about ourselves, the societies we live in and the nature of social change in our world? In this subject students examine how contemporary orientations to faith, piety, spirituality and the search for self-transcendence connect to broader debates and transformations across the globe. Students in this subject are given the opportunity to develop their conceptual, self-reflexive and critical abilities as they investigate the personal, local and global implications of religious life and spirituality. Who said modernization would be the death of religion, and why? Can religious claims and secular criticisms co-exist? What explains the success of global religious movements? Does the soul have a body? Are religion and spirituality forms of social critique? These questions will be addressed on the basis of case studies drawn from western, non-western, developed and developing countries.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorWendy Mee

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year sociology subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval.


Incompatible subjects SOC2SRS

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Evaluate the key conceptual and theoretical approaches in the sociology of religion and secularity

Class based exercises, preliminary essay and research essay

02. Independently research, summarise and synthesise contemporary secular religious and spiritual practices from a range of different perspectives and geographical locations

Class based exercises, preliminary essay and research essay

03. Produce a well-documented, clear, cogent and sophisticated written argument about the place of secularity, religion and spirituality in contemporary society

Research essay

04. Work with a tutorial group to compile and present critical reflections on issues relevant to the study of secularity, religion and spirituality in a range of countries

Class based exercises

05. Work with a tutorial group to critically apply knowledge of sociology of religion concepts and theories to the analysis of contemporary societies from a global perspective

Class based exercises

Subject options

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