RLA66 Current Theories in the Study of Religions I

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2014
Extent and Intensity
1/1. 5 credit(s) (plus 1 credit for an exam). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Milan Fujda, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Jakub Cigán, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Václavík, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Šárka Londa Vondráčková
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Wed 12:30–14:05 J22
Prerequisites (in Czech)
Kurz je primárně určen studentům magisterského studia religionistiky. Vzhledem ke skutečnosti, že širší diskuze o současných religionistických teoriích se odehrává z valné části v anglickém jazyce, je znalost angličtiny nezbytným předpokladem úspěšného ukončení předmětu.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course introduces some current theories in the Study of Religions, which substantially contributed or still contribute to the improvement of the theoretical and methodological foundations of the Study of Religions and drew attention to the new, until recently very often completely neglected, aspects of the Study of Religions. Individual lectures and seminars cover wide range of topics currently discussed in the Study of Religions, from reasoning about the general theory of the Study of Religions up to new sociological and cognitive approaches to the study of historical or contemporary religious traditions.
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of selected theories in the contemporary study of religions
- analyse selected theories in the contemporary study of religions
- evaluate strong and week points of current theories in the study of religions
- practically apply some of these current theories to the study of a particular religious phenomenon or religious tradition
  • 0. Introduction to the course; 1. The General Theory of the Study of Religions 2. Religion: A Construct?; 3. The Beginnings of Human Religiosity: "Deep History and the Brain" and "Mind in the Cave" (Daniel L. Smail and David Lewis-Williams); 4. Cognitive Study of Religion (Pascal Boyer and Harvey Whitehouse); 5. Discursive Analysis and Analysis of Social Field (Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu); 6. Postcolonialism; 7. Rational Choice and the Market-Model Theories; 8. Actor-Network Theory (Bruno Latour and "Reassembling the Social"); 9. Student Presentations of Semestral Paper Topics I.; 10. Student Presentations of Semestral Paper Topics II.; 11. Student Presentations of Semestral Paper Topics III.; 12. Final Discussion.
    recommended 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
    not specified
  • Robert A. Segal (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, Malden, MA – Oxford: Blackwell 2006.
  • Contemporary theories of religion : a critical companion. Edited by Michael Stausberg. First published. London: Routledge, 2009. x, 309. ISBN 9780415463461. 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
  • Critical terms for religious studies. Edited by Mark C. Taylor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. v, 423 s. ISBN 0-226-79157-2. info
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussions, and students presentation of the topic of their semestral papers.
Assessment methods
Conditions of completion:
- Active participation in seminar discussions
- Home preparation (reading of obligatory texts concerning topic of individual lectures and seminars)
- In time submission of eight position papers giving feedback to questions included to each text and expressing students own questions and comments
- Presentation of the topic of a semestral paper at the seminar
- In time submission of a semestral paper and its defense during an oral colloquium
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 ja podmíněn souhlasem vyučujících.
Information about innovation of course.
This course has been innovated under the project "Faculty of Arts as Centre of Excellence in Education: Complex Innovation of Study Programmes and Fields at FF MU with Regard to the Requirements of the Knowledge Economy“ – Reg. No. CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0228, which is cofinanced by the European Social Fond and the national budget of the Czech Republic.

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The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2015, Autumn 2016, Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2014, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/autumn2014/RLA66