Religion, meaning and value

Level 4 - DT1150

This course provides an introduction to the study of religion which outlines key aspects of five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) and five methods for studying them (anthropology of religion, sociology of religion, psychology of religion, philosophy of religion, ethics in religion).

Topics covered

Section A: What is religion?

  • Introduction:
    - Definitions, including the relationship between religion, meaning and value,
    - Types of religion (e.g. theism, pantheism, panentheism, non-theistic religion),
    - Major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism).
  • Judaism and Christianity
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism.

Section B: Studying religion

  • Anthropology of religion
  • Sociology of religion
  • Psychology of religion
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Religion and ethics.


Forum participation (10%); a two thousand word essay (40%) and a 1.5-hour seen written examination (50%).

Tutor in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

Dr Sarah Pawlett Jackson: Divinity tutor

Dr Sarah Pawlett-Jackson

Sarah Pawlett Jackson completed her PhD in Philosophy in January 2020. Her research interests are in intersubjectivity, social cognition, phenomenology, ethics and philosophy of religion. Her doctoral research focused on intersubjectivity beyond the self-other dyad. She has lectured and tutored at a number of Higher Education Institutions, including Heythrop College, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and the University of Roehampton. She is currently a Tutor at St Mellitus College.