Religion in the 21st century

Ref: C3527576

Last century, science, atheistic ideologies and consumerism looked set to replace religion. This course examines the staying-power of C21 religion - Its inner dynamics and its social and international context - Seeking a better understanding of our world and our neighbour.

Additional information about this course

12.30pm finish on first and last sessions.

Course aim

To provide an up to date understanding of the social, national and international profile of religion; its rapid development during the present century and its political impact, present and future.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

Religious Fundamentalism: - only one way to interpret a religious text? - militant piety - reaction to Modernism Is fundamentalism inherently dangerous? Abrahamic fundamentalism Other forms - esp Sikh and Hindu Jihadism “Bring it on” End-timers and the Religious Right in the US Ultra-orthodox Judaism and Zionism Developing a more informed internationalist perspective: Investigating common ground and significant differences between world faiths investigating the roots of sectarianism and fundamentalism

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Identify the main areas where the profile of religion has been raised in the C21. 2. Evaluate the political, historical, cultural and worldwide significance of religious fundamentalism. 3. Apply insights from the course to political and social developments at a national and international level. 4. Articulate and evaluate own beliefs and those of others. 5. Use ideas, insights and structures from the course to develop personal approach to multi-cultural understanding and social cohesion.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Your tutor will ask you to present an evaluation of the course and of your own learning. Your tutor will observe and take note of your contributions to discussions (whole-group and small-group), providing feedback where appropriate either at the time, or following the session.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Notebook and pen.

Reading and information sources

Visiting and reflecting on almost any internet site based on religion or spirituality, regardless of quality, will be a source of awareness and a starting point for the activities of this course. A History Of God - Karen Armstrong (ISBN: 9780099273677)

What could the course lead to?

Further WEA courses in Philosophy and Comparative Religion in 2017-18.

Download full course outline

Religion in the 21st century Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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