Studying these four primary areas will also provide you with the basic tools of analysis essential for understanding the impact of religion in the contemporary world. In the degree at Roehampton you can tackle issues such as poverty and inequality, social justice, racism, violence, anti-Semitism, feminism and post-colonialism in the context of religion and theology.
You will also gain the intellectual skills essential for understanding the significance of religion in the ancient and classical world. This enables you to think about the origins of religion in its various forms of expression, especially Christianity and Islam. You will be able to explain, for example, the biblical and historical origins of Christianity centred as it is in the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. This means that you will come to understand Christianity as an enduring historical phenomenon in terms of its development out of Judaism from the first century onwards.
You will have the opportunity of studying the sacred texts from Islam and Indian religion in the context of history and the contemporary world, especially issues of gender, western culture, and methodology. You will analyse the cultural, historical and theological issues which inform the discourse on Islam, developments in Islamic countries, and Islam in Europe. Special emphasis will be given to the Muslim 'insider' perspective on issues and how this perspective compares with that of 'outsider' (especially Western) perceptions.
The study of philosophy in religion at Roehampton covers both the western tradition and its even more ancient form in the Indian philosophical tradition. The problem of evil is studied from the perspective of Jewish thought and reflection on the holocaust.
You will focus on different ethical and theological perspectives on human life: embodiment and gender; reason, faith, and revelation; relationships of love and friendship; human beings and the natural environment; death and dying; sin and forgiveness; virtue and character and human rights.
There is also the opportunity to undertake work-placement focusing on skills relevant to the work-place and the job-market.
In your first year, we provide modules on the core areas of religion, ethics, philosophy, and theology/biblical studies. You will be introduced to some of the key methodological issues and approaches involved in the study of religion. You will reflect on the beliefs and practices of actual religion as it is lived in the contemporary world. You'll encounter Sacred Myth and History in the context of the study of the Christian Bible. You will ponder the essential questions of Christian theology and study ethics and personhood in the context of theology and religion.
In your second year, you will continue to study the four fundamental areas of the course. You will also explore the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth in the context of first-century ancient culture. You will study the western tradition of the philosophy of religion. In the context of Indian religion, you will study the thought of Siddartha Gautama (the Buddha meaning 'the enlightened one'). You can also explore the relationship between Islam and western society and culture historically and in the contemporary world.
In your third year, you will have the opportunity to engage in extended study of a topic of your own choice – religion, ethics, philosophy, theology/biblical studies - under the supervision of an expert in the field. You can explore the impact of human rights on religious thought and action, the impact of myth and monotheism on the Gospel of John in the New Testament, the impact of gender on Islam, the problem of evil in Jewish thought and Indian religion and epic.