NB! Endringer i emnebeskrivelsene (inkludert litteraturlistene) og eksamensdatoene kan forekomme fram til semesterstart det aktuelle semestret. Ved få studenter kan det på noen emner forekomme endringer i undervisningstilbud og eksamensform.

SAM5132: The Craft: Research Skills and Professional Engagement in the Study of Religion

Timeplan | PDF-versjon til utskrift

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

Emneansvarlig:Iselin Frydenlund (Iselin.Frydenlund@mf.no)
Undervisningsstart:Høst (uregelmessig)
Studieprogramtilhørighet:2-årige masterprogrammer - Master in Religion in Contemporary Society
Avdelingstilhørighet:Avdeling for religion, skole og samfunn

Generell informasjon

The course is a special course under the academic exchange program between the MF Norwegian School of Theology and the Myanmar Institute of Theology, and admission is for MiT students only. Students must have completed BA level education.
The course is partly co-organized with SAM5030.
This course teaches the craftsmanship of researching religion. The course has three interconnected components:
  • searching, selecting and reading: Staying on top of relevant research
  • modes of professional engagement and research ethics
  • academic writing
The first part of SAM5132 provides the student with the tools to search for, select and read existing research on a topic. The ability to establish an overview over existing research and academic debates on a topic is key to future research skills, and an asset in many knowledge-based workplaces. It is also a key skill in writing a master's dissertation and in doing independent research.
In addition to creating, reading and reviewing an up-to-date reading list on a selected topic, the students will be introduced to the ongoing process of following research publications. The students must follow relevant research journals and familiarize themselves with the profile of the journal over the past few years. Thus the students get:
  • an introduction to the everyday flow of knowledge production within contemporary research on religion,
  • substantive knowledge of the cutting edge of research today, and
  • the ability to scan abstracts and select up to date research for closer reading
The second part of the course deals with various modes of professional engagement with the topics at hand within research on religion. The student should here gain substantive knowledge of foundational debates concerning insider/outsider perspectives, normativity and positionality, and various forms of engagement and investment in the substance and outcome of research on religion. This is a place for a reflexive investigation of not only the “how” but the “why” of studying religion.
The third part of the course deals with writing as a key skill for academic engagement with religion. In addition to in depth work on writing skills at MA level, the course will present writing about religion as a skill infused with a sense of professional engagement, combining fair and truthful presentation of knowledge with a developing personal voice.
All three parts deal extensively with research ethics, though it is dealt with in more detail in the second part of the course.
The craft of research is the practical marriage of the research skills and professional engagement in researching religion.


In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • take active part in a minimum of 75% of the formal teaching activities
  • complete a learning path about academic writing within a set deadline
  • document the creation of a reading list (approximately 300 pages) on a selected topic, and provide a literature review (2000-2500 words) based on that reading list
  • document subscription to a relevant journal, and write a presentation of the journals profile and key themes in recent years. The presentation format is decided by the course convenor.
  • write a reflection document developing a professional academic understanding of one’s own modes of engagement with research on religion
  • 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

The course is assessed as pass/fail, based on whether or not the course requirements are fulfilled. All course requirements must be fulfilled in order to pass.

Læringsutbytte etter fullført emne

When the course is completed, the student has:
  • thorough knowledge about key debates concerning insider/outsider debates, research situatedness and normativity in the study of religion
  • thorough knowledge of key factors for successful academic writing about religion
  • good knowledge about debates about public engagement in different disciplines
  • good knowledge about key academic journals in the field
When the course is completed, the student can:
  • write an academic literature review
  • reflect about how the academic study of religion can be useful to different audiences and users
  • contribute with research based knowledge about religion with a distinct academic voice in public and professional arenas
  • reflect upon his or her own positionality and modes of engagement with research on religion
The student should have a sense of the practical skills and professional engagement that constitute the craft of religion studies.


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.

  • Black, D. (2013). On the almost inconceivable misunderstandings concerning the subject of value-free social science. The British journal of sociology, 64(4), s. 763-780. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Burawoy, M. (2005). For public sociology. American Sociological Review, 70(1), s. 4-28. Bibliotek (Kompendium). Hentet fra doi.org
  • Carling, J., Erdal, M. B. & Ezzati, R. . (2014). Beyond the insider?outsider divide in migration research. Migration Studies, 2(1), s. 36-54. (Kompendium). Hentet fra dx.doi.org
  • Etzioni, A. (2005). Bookmarks for public sociologists. The British journal of sociology, 56(3), s. 373-378. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Gustafsson, K. & Hagström, L. (2018). What is the point?: Teaching graduate students how to construct political science research puzzles. European Political Science, 17(4), s. 634-648. Bibliotek (Kompendium). Hentet fra doi.org
  • Hammersley, M. (2014). Provoking misunderstanding: A comment on Black's defense of value-free sociology. The British journal of sociology, 65(3), s. 492-501. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Jensen, J. S. (2011). Revisiting the insider-outsider debate: Dismantling a pseudo-problem in the study of religion. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 23(1), s. 29-47. Bibliotek (Kompendium). Hentet fra search.ebscohost.com
  • Kalleberg, R. (2005). What is "public sociology"?: Why and how should it be made stronger?. The British journal of sociology, 56(3), s. 387-393. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Knott, K. (2010). Insider/outsider perspectives. I J. R. Hinnells (Red.), The Routledge companion to the study of religion (2. utg., s. 259-273). London: Routledge. Bibliotek (Kompendium)
  • Leider, J. (2018). Rohingya: The history of a Muslim identity in Myanmar. I Oxford research encyclopedia of Asian history. (Kompendium). Hentet fra dx.doi.org
  • Lwin, R. N. S. (2018). Re: Oxford U. Press, Myanmar genocide & its choice of Dr Leider as the expert on Rohingyas. (Kompendium) Hentet 2019-06-20 fra www.change.org
  • Nygaard, L. P. (2017). Writing your master's thesis: From A to Zen (s. 1-150, 181-194). Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE Publications. Bibliotek
  • Peters, T. (2018). Public theology: Its pastoral, apologetic, scientific, political, and prophetic tasks. International journal of public theology, 12(2), s. 153-177. Bibliotek (Kompendium).
  • Religious studies project (2012b). Roundtable: Critics or caretakers?.. Hentet fra www.religiousstudiesproject.com
  • Religious studies project (2012a). Should scholars of religion be critics or caretakers?.. Hentet fra www.religiousstudiesproject.com
  • Ridley, D. (2012). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students (2. utg., s. 1-174). Los Angeles: Sage. Bibliotek
  • Tosh, J. (2015). The pursuit of history: Aims, methods and new directions in the study of history (6. utg., s. 278-288). London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Bibliotek (Kompendium)

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