Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Intersections in the Cultural Study of Religion TRS4107

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is an exploration of contemporary approaches in the cultural study of religion. Looking at key issues of culture - including race, gender, sexualities, history, power, agency, postcolonialism, and intersectionality - we explore how recent thinkers can help us to develop tools for the understanding and critical analysis of the concept and practice of religion/s. Examples are taken from religion/s in contemporary culture, including popular culture.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation. 

Excluded Courses





2 x Essay (2,500 words) - 45% each

Report on seminar presentation (750 words) - 10%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore a range of theoretical tools for critical analysis in the cultural study of religion;

■ develop a broad understanding of the analysis of categories of race, gender, and sexualities, and the implications of intersectionality as a methodological approach;

■ engage in contemporary debates about the historicisation of the concepts of religion and religions;

■ apply these tools to an analysis of contemporary culture.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ evidence awareness and understanding of a range of contemporary thinkers in gender and queer studies, race and whiteness studies, and the application of such approaches in the cultural study of religion;

■ relate questions about postcolonialism to their understanding of religion and religions in the contemporary world;

■ describe and discuss recent debates about the concept of religion as a category and the problems with the 'world religions' paradigm;

■ present detailed critical study using these tools within the context of contemporary culture;

■ present complex arguments in written and oral form;

■ apply transferable skills involving independent and critical thinking, cultural awareness, presentation skills, information literacy and analysis.

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.