The Centre for Religious Studies is devoted to the critical study of a wide range of religious traditions, as interpreted both in the past and in the contemporary world. It is also concerned with thinking about the ways in which specific religious traditions (such as Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity) engage in intellectual reflection on a wide range of specific issues, such as the nature of God, ethics, social issues, gender, the environment and the meaning of life.
The Centre has research strengths in the area of the relationship between culture and belief, in relation both to contemporary society and philosophical issues and to the past. There is supervisory expertise in the historical and literary analysis of religion in biblical, medieval and early modern periods, as well as in contemporary approaches to the study of religious questions, including religion in Australian society.
The following two units make up a first-year sequence, co-ordinated from within the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, but taught by lecturers from across the faculty.
ATS1041 World religions
This unit introduces students to the history, core teachings and central practices of many of the world’s religions: indigenous Australian traditions, Indian religions (Hinduism, Sikhism), Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions (Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism), Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and new religious movements. It looks at religions as dynamic, ongoing forces that given meaning and direction to human lives, and that shape the collective experience of human beings in diverse socio-historical settings. The unit does not aim to make judgments about what is right and wrong, but rather sets out to aid the development of knowledge and understanding of the broad sweep of religious traditions.
ATS1040 Religions and the modern world
This unit is a general introduction to the study of religions, spirituality, and belief and non-belief, in the contemporary world. In particular, it introduces a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, and examines some of the pressing intellectual questions that are raised by (and for) religions, spirituality, belief and non-belief. Issues canvassed include: religion and colonisation; religion and environmental degradation; religion, gender and sexuality; religion and spirituality; religious responses to modernity; and religion, secularisation, and non-belief. The future of religions will also be discussed, in the light of the theories and methods introduced here.
Faculty of Arts
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Phone: 03 9905 2107
Philosophy student wins prestigious research scholarship
Alexandra Cain, an MA student in Philosophy, has won a prestigious DAAD Research Scholarship to … Continue reading Philosophy student wins prestigious research scholarship
Andrew Benjamin reelected to Executive Board of International Walter Benjamin Society
At the recent meeting of International Walter Benjamin Society conference which was held in December 2015 … Continue reading Andrew Benjamin reelected to Executive Board of International Walter Benjamin Society
Professor Leah Garrett’s new book named as finalist for National Jewish Book Award
Congratulations to Professor Leah Garrett whose new book, Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the … Continue reading Professor Leah Garrett’s new book named as finalist for National Jewish Book Award
2016 New Columbo Plan Scholar, Myanmar – James Barklamb
James Barklamb talks about being a New Colombo Plan Scholar As one of two inaugural … Continue reading 2016 New Columbo Plan Scholar, Myanmar – James Barklamb
Congratulations to SOPHIS Student: Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2016
Robert Gillies Undertaking three university degrees simultaneously, leading an orchestra and playing for a number … Continue reading Congratulations to SOPHIS Student: Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2016
Research Unit in European Philosophy Workshop
Tuesday 15 September, 11am-4pmCaulfield campus, H 05- H 06 Aesthetics, Nature and History: Themes and … Continue reading Research Unit in European Philosophy Workshop
Research Unit in European Philosophy Public Lecture
Monday 14 September: 4.30 pmCaulfield campus, Building H, Theatre HB 39 Professor Eli Friedlander (Tel … Continue reading Research Unit in European Philosophy Public Lecture
What is it to dream? – Jennifer Windt on Radio National
Dreams—we all have them, even if we do forget them. But what are they exactly?
“My research focuses on philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science.
Language Pangs: On Pain and Language
Workshop with Dr Ilit Ferber Wednesday July 29. 1.00- 4.00pmH8.05 & H8.06 Building H. Caulfield … Continue reading Language Pangs: On Pain and Language
Figures of Affect: Suffering, Consolation and Care
Tues 28 July, 2015 – 11.00-2.30 (Lunch Provided) Location: Building H Rooms 8.06/05 The Australian … Continue reading Figures of Affect: Suffering, Consolation and Care
First prize for SOPHIS student in ‘3 Minute Honours Thesis’ competition
International Studies honours student Alannah Cusin has taken first prize in the Arts Faculty’s recent … Continue reading First prize for SOPHIS student in ‘3 Minute Honours Thesis’ competition
Australian Generations: Researching 20th Century Lives and Memories
The Australian Generations Oral History Project has interviewed 300 people living in Australia born between 1920 – 1989. The interviews explore Australian life and society across time, and illuminate generational change and inter-generational dynamics. This event is the researchers’ first opportunity to share their findings about 20th and 21st century history and memory.