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There is a widespread perception in the West that we live in a secular age, an age in which religion is at best an optional extra, if not a false delusion completely out of place. However, religion still arouses passion and causes controversy; it controls and transforms lives. An informed understanding of the contemporary world thus requires an appreciation of the role of religion in shaping ideas, world-views and actions that have an impact on the social as well as on the personal life of the individual. This free course, Religion today: Themes and issues, gives you a glimpse into this fascinating area.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- show an awareness of the key themes and debates in the field of religious studies
- understand that religions have different, and sometimes contrasting, ways to present their beliefs and practices, and that the beliefs and practices of one religion are represented differently by others
- understand that different media are used to represent and present religions.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Considering the issues
- 2 Engaging with the issues
- 2.1 New perspectives
- 2.2 Insider/outsider perspectives
- 2.3 Is religion a museum piece?
- 2.4 Theological, reductionist and phenomenological perspectives 1
- 2.5 Theological, reductionist and phenomenological perspectives 2
- 2.6 Theological, reductionist and phenomenological perspectives 3
- 2.7 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Religion today: Themes and issues
There is a widespread perception in the West that we live in a secular age, an age in which religion is at best an optional extra, if not a false delusion completely out of place. However, religion still arouses passion and causes controversy; it controls and transforms lives. An informed understanding of the contemporary world thus requires an appreciation of the role of religion in shaping ideas, world-views and actions that have an impact on the social as well as on the personal life of the individual. This course gives you a glimpse into this fascinating area.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Religious Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Religious Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 23rd June 2011
Last updated on: Tuesday, 19th January 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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