What is Religion?
As a core discipline (field) for the study of human belief and thought systems, Religion Studies introduces students to the main faith traditions. It increases knowledge and skills with regard to the history of the religions as well as research into the latest socio-economic developments and challenges impacting on the religions and vice versa.
As religion is one of the fundamental social phenomena in society, Religion Studies engages students by focusing on:
- national and international concerns related to the debate of religion and conflict
- the increasing and growing diversity in world cultures due to migration
- the religious and secular moral and ethical systems and practices of peoples of the African continent
- African systems of thought
- perspectives on women, health, the environment, media and human rights
Why study Religion?
Religion studies encourages you to think objectively about Religion in its broader meaning and brings greater understanding to the concept of “Unity in Diversity”, which is not only important within a South African context but also in the global village.
Once students have registered for one Religion module, they clamour to do more. Religion is not staid and boring but is vibrant, exciting and ever-changing. It is relevant to all areas of life whether implicitly or explicitly.
Celebrities do it, musicians do it, politicians do it, and the youth do it!
Religion equips you with essential insight for whatever degree you engage in. Religion majors work in the sectors of government, education, environmental sciences, NGOs, community development, social work, media and marketing, psychology and legal studies and academia
Some Areas of Study
- Basic Theories of Religion: What constitutes religion? Is religion defined only in terms of main stream religions?
- Concepts: ritual, performances, institutions, sacred spaces, symbolism, ancestors
- Ethics and Morality: Do we need religion to be moral?
- Gender: How does religion inform and entrench gender roles and construction and how can it be used to reread such roles in contemporary society?
- Conflict and politics: Why does conflict tend to be linked to religion? How can we facilitate peace initiatives through understanding religion? What role does religion play in politics?
- Media: How does religion feature in digital media? How does media help create identities?
- Mrs. Cathy Murugan
- Research and Higher Degrees Officer (SRPC)
- Tel: 033 260 5560
- EMail: Muruganc@ukzn.zc.za.