Religion and Politics

Subject POLS40018 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject will be taught intensively from 9:00am-5:00pm on Friday 4 March, Saturday 5 March, Friday 18 March, Saturday 19 March 2011.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate level
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Ralph Pettman


Prof. Ralph Pettman -
Subject Overview: Contemporary politics is typically seen as a secular practice detached from religion. This subject will question that detachment in three main ways. Firstly it will look at politics as it occurs within particular religions (e.g. the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland). Secondly it will look at religion as a cause of political conflict and compromise per se (e.g. the conflict between Islam and Hinduism that led to the partition of India). Thirdly, and most radically, it will look at religion as providing an alternative to the modernist mode of knowing and being and the ways in which that project is articulated.
  • demonstrate familiarity with the essential principles of the world's religions.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the main political debates within these religions.
  • show an understanding of the main ways in which religion causes political conflict and is used to effect political compromise.
  • show how the essential principles that underpin the world's religions provide alternatives to the secular approach to contemporary politics.

A 1000 word briefing paper (25%) due after the intensive teaching period. a 1000 word briefing paper (25%) due towards the end of semester and. a 3000 word essay (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, Lecture/Seminar attendance is compulsory on all 4 days. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: Ralph Pettman (2004) Reason. Culture. Religion. The Metaphysics of World Politics (Palgrave, Houndmills)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic
  • apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively
  • to develop cross-cultural understanding
Related Course(s): Master of International Relations
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Politics
International Studies
Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
Politics and International Studies

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