from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runnersFriday, 28th August 2015 16:30 - BBC Radio 4More or Less investigates the Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes, engineering and how sprinters run so fast. Read more: More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runners
BBC Inside Science: Genes, dust and brainsAvailable for over a yearThis week on BBC Inside Science: obesity and genes, dust, brains and computers and the mathematics of life. Read more: BBC Inside Science: Genes, dust and brains
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Available until Saturday, 26th September 2015 22:00
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 3Available until Friday, 25th September 2015 22:00
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 2Available until Tuesday, 6th October 2015 20:00
Language on the move: Migrating literature and Zachary Richard’s Cajun talesThe musician and poet Zachary Richard has kept the Cajun tradition alive. But how has the... Read more: Language on the move: Migrating literature and Zachary Richard’s Cajun tales
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese schoolIn a unique experiment, five teachers from China take over the education of 50 teenagers in a... Read more: Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school
Challenges in advanced management accountingThis free course, Challenges in advanced management accounting, focuses on strategic management... Try: Challenges in advanced management accounting now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
This unit will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key concepts and...
This unit will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key concepts and methods of the discipline of Religious Studies. You will meet examples of different forms of religious practice and belief, mostly from Britain and India.
When you have completed this unit you should:
- be able to discuss some of the ways in which the concept of ‘religion’ has been and is used in the study of religion;
- have gained some practical experience in the study of religion through exploring examples of religious activity in Britain and India on ‘special days’;
- be able to identify and to evaluate critically the motives, concerns and methods that typically distinguish the academic study of religion known as religious studies from other approaches to religious belief and practice.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 What is religion: video
- 2 That special day
- 3 Religion in the landscape
- 4 Why study religion?
- 5 What is religion?
- 6 Religion in context: Special days in Britain
- 7 How should we study religion?
- 8 Religion in context: Hinduism in Calcutta
- 8.1 Hinduism as a ‘religion’
- 8.2 The diversity of Hinduism
- 8.3 Worship in temples and street shrines
- 8.4 Hinduism in eastern India: religion in Calcutta
- 8.5 Looking for Hinduism in Calcutta
- 8.6 The Dakshineswar temple
- 8.7 The festival of Durga Puja in Calcutta
- 8.8 Hinduism as ‘a world religion’: a more recent understanding
- 9 The term ‘religion’: A concluding comment
- Next steps
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
This unit will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key concepts and methods of the discipline of religious studies. You will meet examples of different forms of religious practice and belief, mostly from Britain and India, and will compare the ways in which boundaries are drawn (or not drawn) between what is held to be ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ in two different societies.
The aim of this unit is to explore three key questions:
Why study religion?
What is religion?
How should religion be studied?
The unit begins with a series of video clips on religion in Liverpool.
This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course A103 An introduction to the Humanities, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
The Open University is conducting a survey investigating how people use the free educational content on our OpenLearn website. The aim is to provide a better free learning experience for everyone. So if you’re a regular user of OpenLearn and have 10 minutes to spare, we’d be delighted if you could take part and tell us what you think. Please note this will take you out of OpenLearn, we suggest you open this in a new tab by right clicking on the link and choosing open in a new tab.
This is an extract 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, 17th October 2013
- 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 section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.