spring 2020

REL-3016 Anthropological approaches in the study of religions - 10 ECTS

Last changed: 31.03.2020

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is optional for master students in Religious Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Peace Studies. It is also suited for master students who work on issues related to religions in other disciplines within the Social Sciences and Humanities. The course can be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

A Bachelor's degree in a subject within the Social Sciences or Humanities.

Application code 9371 - Singular course Master's level.

Course content

Approaches commonly named anthropological play a significant role in the study of religions. Empirical, ethical, methodological, and theoretical issues of concerns for contemporary anthropological studies of religion will throughout the course be highlighted and critically discussed from several different angles. The readings provide thorough insight into religious traditions, practices, diversities, and dynamics of specific communities; illustrate particular contexts and complexities of the fields they describe and analyse; and raise highly relevant questions concerning ethical considerations, epistemological perspectives, methodological challenges, and theoretical approaches and consequences.

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:


The student has knowledge about:

  • critical terms, questions, methodologies, and theories in anthropological studies of religions
  • different religious traditions, practices, diversities, and dynamics


The student is able to / can:

  • pose relevant anthropological questions to different cases of religions
  • approach and analyse different cases of religions using anthropological perspectives
  • write a text about relevant issues in accordance with established academic norms of the field


  • Ability to plan and execute assignments related to anthropological studies of religions
  • Ability to develop more knowledge, skills, and understanding through further studies in anthropology of religions
  • Ability to critically discuss academic questions related to anthropological studies of religions.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The teaching is done in lectures and seminars, total 20 hours (10 x 2) hours. Active participation in the lectures and seminars is required.

All courses will be evaluated once during the period of the study program. The board of the program decides which courses will be evaluated by students and teacher each year. 


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam: Compulsory student presentation at seminars. Coursework requirements will be evaluated as Approved/not-approved. Students must get the coursework requirements approved to qualify for the final exam.

The exam will consist of: An essay (of approximately 3500 words) on a given topic. Allotted time: 7 days. The application used for all electronic exams is called WISEflow. Please familiarize yourself with the application befor your exam.

The exam will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed.

Retake is offered in the beginning of the following semester in cases of grade F or Fail. Deferred examination is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. Registration deadline for retake/deferred is January 15 for autumn semester exams and August 15 for spring semester exams.

Date for examination

An essay (ca. 3500 words) on a given topic hand out date 11.05.2020 hand in date 18.05.2020

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.



Heneise, Michael

Associate Professor
Phone: +4777623366 michael.heneise@uit.no