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RL1012: Introduction to Religious Studies and Hinduism and Buddhism

Time schedule | PDF-version for print

General information | Overlapping courses | Course requirements | Final assessment | Course objective and content | Literature 

Person responsible for the course:Christian Bull (
Credit points (ECTS):10
Start of studies:Autumn
Study programme:Bachelor's degree programme - Bachelor in Theology, Religion and Society
Department:Department of Theology and Ministry
Examination support material permitted:List F 2

Examination dates/written assignment deadlines

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1 Final deadline to withdraw from examination

Examination typeDate / DeadlineWithdrawal deadline 1
Written school exam2021-11-12 12. Nov 20212021-11-01 1. Nov 2021
Start time:09:00
Duration:4 hours
Release date for results: 3. Dec 2021

General information

This course consists of two parts:
Part A: Religious Studies (5 ECTS)
Part A will provide basic introduction to Religious Studies, offering an introduction to leading themes and concepts in the study of religions from the ancient world to the present. The course focuses on two core questions: (1) what is religion? and (2) how is religion studied? 
Part B: Hinduism and Buddhism (5 ECTS)
Hinduism and Buddhism are among the oldest and largest religious traditions in the world. They both originated in India, but have later spread across Asia. Since the 19the century they are global religions, with adherents across the world. This part of the course will provide basic introduction to both Hinduism and Buddhism, introducing the students to basic cosmologies, concepts and teachings.

Overlapping courses

RL1012 overlaps partly with RL1011 World Religions. Students who have already completed RL1011 will receive 5 credit points (ECTS) for RL1012 on their transcript of records or diploma.

Course requirements

In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • Take part in a minimum of 60% of the lectures
  • Submit and receive approval for one essay (900-1200 words each) by the due date (see the syllabus for details on the topic of the essays and the due date).The essay must include at least two correctly formulated references and a separate bibliography.
  • Pass a short test.
  • Participate in the electronic evaluation of the course if such evaluation is stipulated in the relevant term.
When course requirements are not fulfilled, this will count as one examination attempt, unless the student withdraws before the set deadline (1 May/November).

Final assessment

The final assessment for this course is based on one written exam (4 hours). The course and final exam will be graded A-F.

Course objective and content

Part A: Religious Studies
The student has:
  • good understanding of the discipline of Religious Studies
  • good knowledge of relevant theories of religion.
  • good knowledge of different definitions of religion
  • good knowledge of different methodological approaches to the study of religion
The student can:
  • analyse and discuss how the discipline of Religious Studies compares to other disciplines
  • analyse different definitions of 'religion'
  • analyse classifications and typologies of religion
  • give and discuss the basic components of religion
  • analyse how different methodologies matter for how we understand religion
  • discuss the 'insider/outsider' problem in the study of religion
Part B: Hinduism and Buddhism
The student has:
  • good overview of the historical developments of Hinduism and Buddhism
  • good overview of sacred scriptures in Hinduism and Buddhism
  • good knowledge of basic philosophical and theological traditions in Hinduism
  • good knowledge of basic Buddhist teachings
  • good understanding of ritual practices and festivals in both Hinduism and Buddhism
The student can:
  • discuss basic developments in Indian religious history
  • discuss basic Hindu theology and basic philosophical positions in Hinduism
  • discuss basic Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths
  • provide basic overviews of Hindu and Buddhist sacred scriptures
  • discuss the importance of ritual practices and festivals in Hinduism and Buddhism


To access electronic literature when you are not at MF:

  • Kessler, G. E. (2008). Studying religion: An introduction through cases (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. Library
  • McCutcheon, R. T. (2007). Studying religion: An introduction. London ; Oakville, CT: Equinox Pub. Library (hard)/9781845530129 (pbk.). Hentet fra


  • Prebish, C. S. & Keown, D. (2010). Introducing Buddhism (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. Library
  • Rodrigues, H. P. (2017). Introducing Hinduism (2. ed., ikke oppgitt (p. 1-320 i forrige ed.)). Routledge,Taylor & Francis Group. Library

> PDF version for printing