Theories of Religion & Society (Required, 4 Credits)
Dr. Dicky Sofjan & Dr. Paul Martens
This Graduate Seminar on “Theories of Religion and Society” discusses the study of religion as an interdisciplinary field. It serves as an introduction to classical and contemporary theories of religion and how it relates to society. It examines the works of influential past and present scholars about the nexus between religion and the many aspects of societal life. The Graduate Seminar is expected to stimulate critical thinking about the study of religion in the academic context and its influence on the wider context i.e. society, culture, politics, economics and international relations. Considering the vastness of the field now called “religious study”, this Graduate Seminar explores important facets of the academic study of religion and inter-religious studies. The course problematizes the categories of “religion” and “agama”. In addition, this doctoral seminar will examine the political construction of religion in terms of how political power defines religion and the academic construction of religion/agama in terms of how religion is “invented in the act of studying it. This will ultimately include its impact on public discourse and policy making. Other aspects of understanding religion will be discussed in relation to other concepts such as identity, gender, democracy, freedom, human rights, dignity, etc.