Religions, Cultures, and Environmental Crises TRS5120

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course examines religion as a system of social organisation in relation to environmental crises, in particular, those related to climate change and unsustainable development. The course introduces students to key concepts in research on adaptation to climate change, sustainable development, and disaster risk reduction from the perspective of religious studies frameworks of analysis.


10 x 2 hour seminars

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





1 report of 1000 words (20%)

10-minute presentation (20%)

1 x essay of 3000 words (60%)

Course Aims

This course aims to

■ relate religious traditions and practices to key issues in human geography

■ contextualise climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development within religious studies analytical frameworks

■ conceptualise the term local and indigenous knowledge systems (LINKS) in concrete ways

■ cultivate adaptive and transformative approaches and practices across religious traditions and cultural differences

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically evaluate sustainability and resilience in relation to religious practices (rituals, prayers, worship, festivals, etc.)

■ Appraise religiosity and religious organisation in relation to disaster response, recovery, and preparedness (e.g., congregational spaces, relief operations, inter-faith dynamics)

■ Analyse disaster myths and cultural expressions in pragmatic terms of disaster risk perception and community resilience

■ Develop pathways to integrating local and indigenous knowledge systems in bridging the gaps between technoscientific solutions and local experiences and organisational forms

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.