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HIS5010: Theoretical perspectives: The historical study of religion

Timeplan | PDF-versjon til utskrift

Generell informasjon | Studiekrav | Avsluttende vurdering | Læringsutbytte etter fullført emne | Litteratur 

Emneansvarlig:Brent Nongbri (
Studieprogramtilhørighet:2-årige masterprogrammer - Master in History of Religions
Avdelingstilhørighet:Avdeling for religion, skole og samfunn

Generell informasjon

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HIS5010 aims to provide a brief introduction to some of the disciplines related to and subsumed under the large umbrella term 'history of religions' as well as to the main theoretical and methodological developments in these fields. The areas explored include: sociological and anthropological theories of religion; culture theory and cultural studies; cultural memory; philology, and translation. The course has a strong theoretical component aimed at providing the students with the analytical tools necessary to and required for the completion of the programme.
HIS5010 consists of two parts:
Part A (5 ECTS), “Approaching Religion”, addresses perspectives and debates of importance for all academic study of religion, whether historical or in contemporary society. Part A is a shared component with SAM5010 Theoretical Perspectives: Religion in Contemporary Society.
The areas explored are:
  • Theories and definitions of religion: major turns
  • Key concepts in the study of religion
  • Categorizations and religion: gendering, racializing, othering
  • Present usages of the past
Part B (5 ECTS), “Multidisciplinarity in the study of religion”, is a specialised component focused on various fields relating to and used in the history of religions.
HIS5010 The historical study of religion: Multidisciplinary theoretical perspectives is an obligatory course in the Master's programme in History of Religions.


In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • Attend at least 75% of the lectures.
  • Pass one written assessment task (800-1000 words) to be set by the course convener.
  • 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).

Avsluttende vurdering

To gain credit for the course the student must fulfill all the requirements and pass a three day home exam (2500-3500 words). The course is assessed with grades A-F.

Læringsutbytte etter fullført emne

The aim of this course is to provide the students with an introduction to the main theoretical and methodological developments in both religious studies generally and history of religions in particular.
The student has:
  • a good knowledge of central concepts, principles and phenomena in the listed under General information
  • a good command of specific technical terminology in these disciplines
  • a good understanding of the history and evolution of these disciplines
The student can:
  • critically assess the evolutionary processes within these disciplines
  • identify adequate theoretical approaches and analytical methods to particular research topics
  • write an exam essay in accordance with the academic standards introduced in the course


For å få tilgang til elektronisk litteratur når du ikke sitter på MF:
Logg deg inn på Oria eller bruk "Ekstern tilgang" i bibliotekets databaseliste.

  • Baker, C. M. (2017). Jew. New Brunswick, New Jersey ;,London: Rutgers University Press. Bibliotek
  • Henriksen, J.-O. (2017). Religion as orientation and transformation: A maximalist theory (s. 175-185). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Henriksen, J.-O. (2016). Everyday Religion as Orientation and Transformation: A Challenge to Theology. Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, 29(1), s. 36-51. Bibliotek. Hentet fra
  • Mitchell, C. (2005). Behind the ethnic marker: Religion and social identification in Northern Ireland. Sociology of Religion, 66(1), s. 3-21. Bibliotek. Hentet fra
  • Nongbri, B. (2013). Before religion: A history of a modern concept (s. 1-45). New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Pals, D. L. (2015). Nine theories of religion (3. utg., s. 15-48, 81-184). New York: Oxford University Press. Bibliotek
  • Riesebrodt, M. (2008). Thesis on a theory of religion. International political anthropology, 1(1), s. 24-41. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Ruggles, D. F. (2011). The stratigraphy of forgetting: The great mosque of Cordoba and its contested legacy. I H. Silverman (Red.), Contested cultural heritage: Religion, nationalism, erasure, and exclusion in a global world (. utg., s. 51-67). New York, NY: Springer New York : Imprint: Springer. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Said, E. W. (2003). Orientalism (xi-28). London: Penguin Books. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Schilbrack, K. (2013). What isn't religion?. The Journal of Religion, 93(3), s. 291-318. Bibliotek. Hentet fra
  • Smith, J. Z. (1998). Religion, religions, religious. I M. C. Taylor (Red.), Critical terms for religious studies (s. 269-284). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Tweed, T. A. (2006). Crossing and dwelling: A theory of religion (s. 54-79). Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Bibliotek /9780674019447/9780674027640 (Kompendium)
  • Woodhead, L. (2011). Five concepts of religion. International review of sociology, 21(1), s. 122. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Woodhead, L. (2001). Feminism and the sociology of religion: From gender-blindness to gendered difference. I R. K. Fenn (Red.), The Blackwell companion to sociology of religion. Oxford: Blackwell. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Zubrzycki, G. (2012). Religion, religious tradition, and nationalism: Jewish revival in Poland and "religious heritage" in Quebec. Journal for the scientific study of religion, 51(3), s. 442-455. Bibliotek. Hentet fra


  • Assmann, A. (2010). Canon and archive. I A. Erll, A. Nünning & S. B. Young (Red.), A companion to cultural memory studies (s. 97-108). Berlin: de Gruyter. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Assmann, J. (2010). Communicative and cultural memory. I A. Erll, A. Nünning & S. B. Young (Red.), A companion to cultural memory studies (s. 109-118). Berlin: de Gruyter. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Bergquist, A. (2001). Ethics and the archaeology of world religions. I T. Insoll (Red.), Archaeology and world religion (s. 182-192). London: Routledge. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • DeJonge, M. P. & Tietz, C. (2015). Introduction: Translating religion. I M. P. DeJonge & C. Tietz (Red.), Translating religion: What is lost and gained? (nr. 47, s. 1-12). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Eco, U. (1998). Serendipities: Language & lunacy (s. 23-52). New York: Columbia University Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium). Hentet fra
  • Eco, U. (1995). The search for the perfect language (s. 73-116). Oxford: Blackwell. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Greetham, D. C. (1994). Textual scholarship: An introduction (s. 347-372). New York: Garland. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Hare, T. (2014). Translation and the sacred: Translating scripture. I S. Bermann & C. Porter (Red.), A companion to translation studies (s. 531-542). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Israel, H. (2014). Translating the sacred: Colonial constructions and postcolonial perspectives. I S. Bermann & C. Porter (Red.), A companion to translation studies (s. 557-569). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Janson, T. (2012). The history of languages: An introduction (s. 77-118). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Johnson, M. (2010). Archaeological theory: An introduction (2. utg., s. 1-11, 12-34, 89-101). Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Kinnard, J. (2013). It is what it is (or is it?): Further reflections on the buddhist representation of manuscripts. I J. W. Watts (Red.), Iconic books and texts (s. 151-164). Sheffield: Equinox. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Malmkjær, K. (2013). Translation: The intertranslatability of languages; translation and language teaching. I K. Allan (Red.), The Oxford handbook of the history of linguistics (s. 691-706). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Norman, K. (1997). A philological approach to Buddhism: The Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai lectures 1994 (s. 1-39). London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Plate, S. B. (Red.) (2002). Religion, art, and visual culture: A cross-cultural reader (s. 53-72, 101-117). New York: Palgrave. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Said, E. W. (2003). Orientalism (s. 31-92). London: Penguin Books. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Schopen, G. (2007). Archaeology and protestant presuppositions in the study of indian Buddhism. I K. Derris & N. Gummer (Red.), Defining Buddhism(s): A reader (s. 24-43). Oakville, CT: Equinox Pub. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Thomas, J. (1995). Where are we now?: Archaeological theory in the 1990s. I P. J. Ucko (Red.), Theory in archaeology: A world perspective (s. 343-362). London: Routledge. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Trigger, B. G. (2006). A history of archaeological thought (2. utg., s. 1-39). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Ucko, P. J. (1995). Introduction: Archaeological interpretation in a world context. I P. J. Ucko (Red.), Theory in archaeology: A world perspective (s. 1-27). London: Routledge. Bibliotek (Kompendium)

> PDF-versjon for utskrift