Within a degree course dissertations are heavily weighted and thus vitally important to your final result. Handing in a mediocre attempt can be the difference between a 2:1 and a 2:2 or a 2:1 and a First. As your dissertation is usually the only independently set question, your grade isn’t simply based on covering the basic points or how you present your work. What topic or question you choose and what your work adds to the subject area is also critically important. No lecturer is expecting you to come up with completely new theological theories, but they will expect your literature to add to what is already out there. To help you to prepare for your religious studies dissertation, this article makes suggestions of topics on which to base your dissertation.
Modules in world religion cover all aspects of traditions from around the world. Studies can be on belief systems as niche as the Samurai or as mainstream as Catholicism. The focus is on fully exploring and gaining new insight into the highly diverse nature of faith. Ideas of how to specify an area on which to research for a religious studies dissertation are suggested by the following titles:
Religious history is the study of belief systems throughout time. The subject pays particular attention to which religions were dominant and which religions have had a historical impact on cultures throughout time. It will often involve close examination of all literature and culture from a specific era in search of religious references. Although the institution that you study in may have bias or emphasis to a particular faith, studies in this area are not restricted to mainstream religions such as Christianity or Islam. Religious history is a key component to how the human race has evolved through time. A religious studies dissertation in this area will create many areas of research for you. Some are suggested below.
As the heading suggests, this topic focuses on how religions operate in the contemporary world. This might be questioning whether a faith is applicable to modern day dilemmas, or how a faith is portrayed by the media. This is a particularly important study for those wanting to continue their study in theology to post graduate levels, as academics are increasingly questioning the relevance of religion to modern day life and making this a focus of religious discussion. For topics suggestions for your religious studies dissertation, see below.
Religious ethics or religion and ethics is concerned with understanding the morality of religion, how it applies to every day life and key moments throughout history. If you are looking to base your religious studies dissertation in this area, the following topic suggestions may help you.
Philosophy of religion is concerned with logical arguments for and against the existence of a superior being and for and against the potency of religious faith. The objective is to question all aspects of religion to ascertain whether religion can be philosophically justified as a possibility. The following are just some of the topics you could discuss for your religious studies dissertation.
Religious mythology is concerned with the myths and religious stories that accompany the various religious factions across the world. You will often be asked to offer interpretation and fresh insights into what such literature means to believers.
This topic focuses on the role architecture plays in the realm of religion and within religious communities. To effectively study this topic you need to look beyond the physical aesthetics of a building and attempt to understand what buildings symbolise for those following a religious faith. With many religious buildings around the world, a religious studies dissertation in this area will provide you with many research possibilities.
Worship and ritual is concerned with the physical and spiritual rites people of religious faith use to honour their principles and their deity. Within this subject you may study life changing ceremonies such as weddings and funerals or simple methods of connecting with a deity such as meditation or chanting. Factors still prominent in modern society, a religious studies dissertation on one of the following topics could be very intriguing.
Religion and politics examine the relationship between these two discourses and their impact upon one another. For further topic suggestions for your religious studies dissertation, see the examples below.
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