Reason, Religion and Culture TRS5052

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course provides a foundation for those pursuing postgraduate study in Theology and Religious Studies. It offers an overview of the key classical and contemporary approaches to the study of religion since the Enlightenment. The course will explore the intellectual roots of the study of religion, the relationship between theology and religious studies, and the impact of the European Enlightenment on both. It will provide a historical grounding in theories and approaches that have come to constitute the disciplinary shape of Theology and Religious Studies.


1 x 2 hour class per week.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.




1 x essay of 3,500 words (70%)

1 x short written exercise 1,500 words (30%) 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ examine modern (i.e. Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment) theories of religion and the methodological approaches associated with them

■ examine key debates in theology and in religious studies in the modern period

■ explore the complex relationship between Theology and Religious Studies and the ways in which this relationship is constituted and contested by various scholars and approaches

■ consider the historical process of disciplinary formation at work in the development of Theology and Religious Studies and the methods deployed therein.

■ examine the theoretical assumptions about religion and theology at work in key thinkers and approaches to the subject-matter

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Access a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion and theology

■ Evaluate modern debates within theology and the study of religions and identify the key figures and approaches that have informed such debates.

■ Frame their own research interests and questions in terms of the history of debates and approaches within theology and religious studies

■ Discern the influence of key classical thinkers and ideas in contemporary approaches and debates within Theology and Religious Studies

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.