Nature, Humanity, and Global Perspectives in Modern Spirituality and Esotericism

Course content

Contemporary thinking consists of a pluralism of perspectives, but mainstream perspectives have strong roots in the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment periods and the ideas that emerged in those contexts regarding 'nature', 'human nature', 'ethics', and the history of the planet. The world has since the 18th–19th centuries undergone rapid changes with significant developments in terms of industrialization, modernization, science and technology and globalization, but new problems have equally emerged in relation to nature, such as sustainability, climate disruption and mass extinction; in relation to humanity in connection with capitalism, individualism, new forms of nationalism, and the crisis of meaning; and on a global scale with cultural differences and processes of globalization. Alongside conventional thought, new perspectives continue to emerge in the field of spirituality and esotericism. Sometimes these come up as a countercurrent to mainstream thought and more established religions, sometimes they become mainstream in themselves.

This course will critically introduce and analyze a number of lesser known perspectives and claimed solutions to problems that humanity and the world have been facing over the past 200 years by focusing on a range of spiritual and esoteric groups and movements. These approaches and concepts will be studied in connection with contemporary problems.

The course will particularly focus on three major themes:

  • Global history and ideas about global communities
  • Nature, ecology, sustainability and animistic spiritualities
  • Human nature, ethics, and activism

 

Modern spiritual and esoteric currents and movements have continued to mirror and interconnect with more mainstream thought on these three topics, but often pose very different solutions based on different forms of argumentation and perspectives.

Momements and perspectives discussed include those associated with Romantic philosophers, occultism, theosophy, paganism, (neo-)shamanism, the new age movement, countercultural movements, and contemporary spiritual philosophers.

In studying these, the course will critically engage with discourse theory, problem solving approaches, global history, entanglement, agency, the history of ideas, and intertextuality.

The course is designed as a collaboration between Tim Rudbøg (University of Copenhagen) and Kocku von Stuckrad (University of Groningen) with online streaming. Based on this collaboration, the course aims to provide students with nuanced and critical perspectives on the pluralism of modern discourses concerning nature, humanity, and global communities.

This course allows you to write your exam essays in a variety of relevant topics and addresses students at BA, MA and PhD levels.

The course will strengthen competences in independent information gathering, research design, collaboration, dissemination, keeping deadlines and critical analysis that will be of value in connection with other university courses and a number of different types of work outside the university.

Education

Fagstudieordning Bacheloruddannelsen i religionsvidenskab, 2019

Fagstudieordning Bachelordelen af sidefaget i religionsvidenskab, 2019

Fagstudieordning Bachelortilvalg i religionsvidenskab, 2019

Fagstudieordning Kandidattilvalg i religionsvidenskab, 2019

 

Learning outcome

BA 2019-ordning
Valgfrit område (aktivitetskode HRVB00151E)
Valgfrit område med sprogudprøvning (aktivitetskode HRVB00171E)
Bachelorprojekt (aktivitetskode HRVB00181E)

BA Sidefag 2019-ordning
Valgfrit område med sprogudprøvning (aktivitetskode HRVB10151E)

BA Tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Valgfrit område (aktivitetskode HRVB10231E)

KA Tilvalg 2019-studieordning
Frit valgt emne (aktivitetskode HRVK13001E)

Exchange student BA
Individually Studied Area (acitvity code HRVB10231E) 

Exchange student MA 
Free Topic 1 (activity code: HRVK13001E)

Please see detailed exam information for international exchange students below.

Lectures and discussions

In order for students at the BA or BA sidefag program in Religious Studies to use the exam code for Valgfrit område med sprogudprøvning (HRVB00171E or HRVB10151E), students must have passed their mandatory foreign language courses, alternatively be engaged in preparing their final language exam.

Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assessment
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Type of assessment details
Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge of:
a delimited subject area or complex within the study of religion.
the most important basic sources for the selected field.
theoretical and methodological issues and relevant key concepts.

Skills in
applying and reflecting on theories and methods in the study of religions in connection with a well-defined area on one’s own.
managing academic literature and source material in complex argumentation.
formulating a relevant problem within the study of religion in the form of a clear and coherent analysis.
identifying sub-issues in relation to challenges in the study of religion.

Competencies in
planning and carrying out an analysis in the field of the study of religion on one’s own.
identifying and assessing key research positions in the area studied.
arguing in favour of one’s choice of theory, method and source material.
formulating and communicating subject matter related to the study of religion clearly and intelligibly.

Syllabus
The student compiles his/her own syllabus of 1,000 standard pages of historical and specialised literature as well as source material of 50 standard pages as a rule. The scope may vary from 20 to 200 standard pages depending on the nature of the sources, however. The syllabus must be approved by the examiner. See deadlines and rules for the submission of the syllabus to the Student Counselling Centre under Examination - Find time and place and Examination - Exam form and rules - Syllabus.

Teaching and working methods
Class instruction with student participation or self-study with individual supervision.

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, optional subject.
Scope: 16–20 standard pages.
Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner with assessment based on the 7-point grading scale.
Regulations for group exams: The exam can be taken individually or as a group (max. 3 students) with individual assessment. If several students work together on an assignment, each individual contribution must constitute a distinct unit that can be identified and assessed separately. The joint part must not exceed 50% of the total.
Group exam: 2 students: 24–30 standard pages. 3 students: 32–40 standard pages.
Exam language(s): Danish.
Permitted exam aids: All.
Make-up exam/resit: Conducted in the same manner as the ordinary exam.
Criteria for exam assessment

 

 

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Type of assessment details
Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge and understanding of
a selected topic in the sociology of religion or the history religion and how to identify, explain and discuss this topic.

Skills in
explaining the sociological or historical aspects of religion relating to the problem chosen
communicating one’s knowledge and reflections in writing and orally in a well-structured manner and with linguistic proficiency, precision and clarity.

Competencies in
reflecting critically on various theoretical and methodological approaches to the field

Syllabus
The student compiles his/her own syllabus of 1,200 standard pages of historical and specialised literature as well as source material of 50 standard pages as a rule. The scope may vary from 20 to 200 standard pages depending on the nature of the sources, however. The syllabus must be approved by the examiner. See deadlines and rules for the submission of the syllabus to the Student Counselling Centre under Examination - Find time and place and Examination - Exam form and rules - Syllabus.

Teaching and working methods
The instruction alternates between lectures, seminars, text discussions and student presentations.

The subject element consists of specialised studies of a topic or a small group of topics, determined by a historical period, a religious belief, a religious institution, a religious phenomenon, a population group, a religious text or text group, the material culture of religions culture or the like.

Exam provisions

Form of exam: Take-home assignment, optional subject.
Scope: 21–25 standard pages
Assessment: Internal exam with a single examiner with assessment based on the 7-point grading scale.
Regulations for group exams: The exam can be taken individually or as a group (max. 3 students) with individual assessment. Each individual’s contribution must constitute a distinct entity that can be identified and assessed individually. The participants’ joint part must not exceed 50% of the total assignment.
Scope of take-home assignments for group exams: 32–38 standard pages (2 students) or 42–50 standard pages (3 students).
Exam language(s): Danish or English.
Permitted exam aids: All.
Make-up exam/resit: Conducted in the same manner as the ordinary exam.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 328,5
  • English
  • 412,5

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
HRVB0116EU
ECTS
See exam description
Programme level
Bachelor
Bachelor choice
Bachelor’s minor subject
Full Degree Master choice
Duration

1 semester

Placement
Autumn
Price

Dette er et dagkursus via tompladsordningen mod betaling på Åbent Universitet. Tilmeld dig og se aktuel prisoversigt på denne side.

Schedulegroup
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Studyboard
Study Board of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Contracting department
  • Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator
  • Tim Rudbøg   (10-7d72767b7e6d6b786e7049717e7637747e376d74)
Teacher

Tim Rudbøg, timrudboeg@hum.ku.dk, Bjakre Stanley Nielsen, bsn@hum.ku.dk

Saved on the 16-02-2024

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