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.
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New Book – The Life and Work of Thomas Karsten
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The future of Artificial Intelligence regulation
Listen to a radio interview broadcast in Melbourne on SYN 90.7FM in which SOPHIS Professor … Continue reading The future of Artificial Intelligence regulation
Monash Bioethics Centre plays key role in development of first international guidelines for public health surveillance ethics
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just released the first comprehensive international guidelines for public health surveillance ethics.* Development … Continue reading Monash Bioethics Centre plays key role in development of first international guidelines for public health surveillance ethics
Unfit for the Future: The Urgent Need for Moral Bioenhancement
Dr Julian Savulescu, one of the world’s leading experts in medical and practical ethics, talks … Continue reading Unfit for the Future: The Urgent Need for Moral Bioenhancement
Monash research positions available
Three Graduate Research positions are now open in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies. Please note applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.
Finding spirituality through art in the modern world
– Jewish, Christian and Islamic perspectives. 21 Nov 2016. Ori Z Soltes – Professorial Lecturer … Continue reading Finding spirituality through art in the modern world
Social surveys: a history of resistance, scandal & negotiation
For more than a hundred years, social surveys have been a major tool of social … Continue reading Social surveys: a history of resistance, scandal & negotiation
The Idea of Travel: Global Perspectives summer intensive
Examine the history and impact of global travel through a summer intensive unit at Monash … Continue reading The Idea of Travel: Global Perspectives summer intensive
Inaugural SOPHIS Public Lecture: Prof. Jay Winter, ‘The Geometry of Memory’
One of the world’s most eminent historians, Professor Jay Winter, spoke of war, art and … Continue reading Inaugural SOPHIS Public Lecture: Prof. Jay Winter, ‘The Geometry of Memory’
Symposium brings together women philosophers
Monash recently hosted the 16th Symposium of the International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh), the first … Continue reading Symposium brings together women philosophers
Dr Adam Clulow awarded 2016 W.K. Hancock Prize
Many congratulations to Dr Adam Clulow, who was awarded the 2016 W.K. Hancock Prize at the … Continue reading Dr Adam Clulow awarded 2016 W.K. Hancock Prize
Dr Monima Chadha awarded the 2016 Annette Baier Prize
Monash philosopher Dr Monima Chadha has been awarded the 2016 Annette Baier Prize by the Australasian Association of Philosophy. This prize recognises an outstanding contribution by an Australasian woman philosopher.