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Student and tutor module reviews

Why is religion controversial?

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A332
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

I found this module fascinating and was lucky to have a very enthusiastic tutor.

Like a previous reviewer, I found the ART tool difficult to use and I did not enjoy making the presentation. However, although this did not apply to me, I appreciate that many people may have to do this sort of thing in their professional lives, so it would be useful for them.

I made sure I fully understood the guidelines for the EMA and kept referring to them as I wrote it. In particular, the number of independent sources to use, and what qualified as an independent source can be confusing.

I think knowing exactly what was required for the EMA was the reason why I scored a high mark. I was very pleased with my module result.

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: September 2016

A332 is a topical and thought-provoking module and I am so pleased that I selected it as the final module towards my BA (Hons) History.

I was keen to learn more about religion and its place in society, both now and in the past, and this module does just that by providing a greater insight into the main official religions alongside atheism and non-official religious beliefs such as animism. Most importantly, the module reveals how religion and religious beliefs are intertwined with other controversial factors, and demonstrates how a historical, sociological and ethnographic approach is taken to study 'religious controversies'.

The module books are: Controversial Figures; Controversial Practices; Controversial Ideas, and Controversial Futures. I found the books to be fascinating in their own right as well as when considering them together alongside the three module themes of continuity and change, diverse and contested perspectives, and religion as a category of scholarly enquiry. The module is highly engaging and I felt that I learned so much through working through the materials, further reading, and from considering the TMA questions from the outset. I had never considered, for example, the links between yoga and Indian nationalism. Nor, how atheist and cognitive approaches to religious belief can be challenged by considering broader concepts of religion and belief systems. I attended all the tutorials and, as usual with the OU, had a great tutor who went the extra mile to provide further insight into religion in its historical context.

I would thoroughly recommend A332 to any student even if they haven't studied religious studies at level 2 - I hadn't. I did, however, read the some of the 'Short Introduction' booklets as suggested and found them useful pre-module reading.


Kim Hetherington

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: August 2016

I took a gamble when I chose this module because it was very different from anything else I have studied, however I quite enjoyed it. We seemed to start off gently, learning about four different religious characters, and advanced quite quickly to more complex material. The content was varied and, as usual, the OU offered a range of learning material (books, films, audio etc). I thought the content was a bit dry and stuffy in places and in one or two of the TMAs I got quite low marks and I didn't really understand why (despite detailed feedback from my tutor). I learned a lot but I could have enjoyed it more.

Jane Elizabeth England

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: February 2016

This was one of the best courses I've done with the OU - the focus was less on knowing stuff and more on understanding stuff which compared with some courses was delightful.

The use of up-to-date online sources was excellent, and a clear contrast with some of the other OU courses which rely on students buying significant amounts of additional set books (often written by the tutors).

The ART tool is a pain, and requires some IT skills but isn't a terrible thing to do.

The EMA gives you the ability to genuinely apply your understanding and knowledge with your abilities to look at the topics in the context of the real world issues we discuss.

Tutorial support was excellent - wholeheartedly recommended

Paul Willgoss

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: October 2015

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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