Religions on the Move: Comparative Perspectives on Religion SOCIO4122

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course aims to provide a critical and global comparative analysis of the role that religion plays in shaping population movements and migrants' lived experiences. Correspondingly it will evaluate how religious traditions and practices are themselves transformed through the processes of movement, displacement and migration. The course pays particular attention to how carriers of religion in motion - actors (e.g., migrants, pilgrims, and professionals), objects, rituals, ideas and technologies - move and cluster within and across national boundaries as well as being attentive to the transnational spaces, networks and organisations which drive religious movement. It explores what happens at the sites of encounter and attention will be paid to contemporary debates about, and techniques intended to, govern religious diversity and difference. The course will invite students to rethink taken for granted assumptions about religion as a stable set of beliefs and practices, and the view that considers religious life as situated within contained spaces (e.g., congregations and nation-states). It will thus encourage a more historicised, contextualised and lived understanding of religions across borders which pays attention to the role of power and resistance, drawing on empirical material from both the global South and the global North, and from numerous different faith traditions.



Requirements of Entry

In order to take this course you need to have met the requirements for entry into our Honours Programme. This means achieving a grade of 'D' or better in Sociology 1A and 1B and a 'C' or better in Sociology 2A and 2B. You also have to comply with the College of Social Science regulations for progression to Honours.

Excluded Courses





One essay of 3,000 words (60%) and a one hour exam (40%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to

■ Examine and expose students to the key debates and theories employed in the study of religion on the move;

■ Introduce students to sociological understanding of the role that religion plays in shaping population movements and migrants' lived experiences, and correspondingly to evaluate how religious traditions and practices are also transformed through the processes of displacement and migration;

■ Enable students to develop a critical appreciation of how religious bodies, spirits, deities, practices, objects and ideas move and cluster within and across national boundaries;

■ Explore the processes of religious change and resistance at the sites of encounter where what is moving bumps up against what is already there.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and evaluate key concepts and major theoretical approaches to the study of religion in motion;

■ Demonstrate an awareness of how religion and migration are interconnected globally;

■ Outline and assess how some people, objects, practices and faiths move freely within and across national borders while others are rooted or get blocked;

■ Discuss how actors develop, sustain and drop transnational religious ties, practices and networks;

■ Assess critically contemporary efforts and techniques to govern religious diversity and difference.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.