RLMgA002 Typology and Taxonomy in the Study of Religions

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2023
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 9 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Jakub Cigán, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Milan Fujda, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. et Mgr. Radek Kundt, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. David Václavík, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Jana Valtrová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Václavík, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Kristýna Čižmářová
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions – Faculty of Arts
Thu 18:00–19:40 J22, except Thu 16. 11.
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! RLA69 Typology and Taxonomy
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 3/30, only registered: 0/30, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The objective of the course is to analyze the main methodological approaches in typological systems used in the academic study of religion, delineate the major differences between these approaches, and understand their ideological background.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
  • identify the major issues associated with creating classifications in the academic study of religion;
  • understand the basis and specifics of particular classification systems in the study of religions and in the social sciences;
  • apply appropriate classification models to selected religious systems;
  • critically reflect the strengths and limits of specific classification systems;
  • analyze the ideological background of some classification systems.
  • Syllabus
    • Cognitive biases affecting scientific typology and taxonomy (Radek Kundt)
    • Human knowledge and its mechanisms from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge (Milan Fujda)
    • Modern science and its impacts on the classification of reality (Aleš Chalupa)
    • Dilthey’s turn in “the humanities” and its impact on scientific classification and typology (David Václavík)
    • Evolutionism as a paradigm for the study of religion and its impact on the formation of typologies of religious phenomena (David Václavík/Radek Kundt)
    • Historical typology and genealogy of religion in the context of Christian missions (Jana Valtrová)
    • Genealogical classification between knowledge and control: The example of medieval heresiology and its echoes in modern research (David Zbíral)
    • Phenomenological classification of religion and its origins (David Václavík)
    • Symmetric approach and its theoretical and methodological consequences: Study of typologies as a result of joint efforts (Milan Fujda)
    • Typology of individual religious change in modern research into conversion: Between naturalism and sui generis (Jakub Cigán)
    • Classification and conflict in contemporary India: The case of Indian Christianity (Jana Valtrová)
      required literature
    • VÁCLAVÍK, David. Religionistická typologie a taxonomie (Typology and Taxonomy in Academic Study of Religion). 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2014, 103 pp. ISBN 978-80-210-7099-8. Digitální knihovna FF MU info
    • SMITH, Jonathan Z. Imagining religion : from Babylon to Jonestown. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982, xiii, 165. ISBN 0-226-76358-7. info
      recommended literature
    • KUNDT, Radek. Contemporary evolutionary theories of culture and the study of religion. First published. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015, ix, 179. ISBN 9781350037076. info
    • VALTROVÁ, Jana. Středověká setkání s "jinými". Modloslužebníci, židé, saracéni a heretici v misionářských zprávách o Asii (Medieval Encounters with the Other. Idolatres, Jews, Saracens and Heretics in Missionary Reports about Asia). 1. vyd. Praha: Argo, 2011, 209 pp. Každodenní život 47. ISBN 978-80-257-0399-1. info
    • ZBÍRAL, David. Největší hereze : dualismus, učenecká vyprávění o katarství a budování křesťanské Evropy. Vyd. 1. Praha: Argo, 2007, 169 s. ISBN 9788072039142. info
    • PADEN, William E. Bádání o posvátnu. Náboženství ve spektru interpretací. 1st ed. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2002, 179 pp. ISBN 80-210-2977-3. info
    • Guide to the study of religion. Edited by Willi Braun - Russell T. McCutcheon. London: Cassell, 2000, xii, 560 s. ISBN 0-304-70176-9. info
    • SMITH, Jonathan Z. Drudgery divine : on the comparison of early Christianities and the religions of late antiquity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990, xiii, 145. ISBN 0-226-76362-5. info
    • LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Myšlení přírodních národů. Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1971, 399 s. info
    Teaching methods
    Lectures, class discussions, reading, and critical assessment of texts.
    Assessment methods
    Final essay and its timely submission (50 %); defense of the essay and active participation in the final discussion at the exam (50 %).
    Language of instruction
    Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
    Study Materials
    Information on completion of the course: Studenti religionistiky povinně ukončují zkouškou.
    The course is taught annually.
    Information on course enrolment limitations: Zápis mimo religionistiku je podmíněn souhlasem vyučujícího.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022, Autumn 2024.
    • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
    • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2023/RLMgA002