SOAS, University of London

Course Introduction

There is a wide range of approaches in SOAS to the study of religions. If your major interest lies in the study of religious ideas and practices, then the BA in Study of Religion, combined with either a language or a specific area'studies or discipline, is the right degree for you. Students on this degree may pursue a special interest in one tradition, but they are also expected to select from a broad range of other options (with or without some language study), and to learn about theories and methods in the study of religions.

Course Modules

Study of religions: modules include: Introduction to the study of religions; Buddhism: foundation; Christianity: foundation; Hinduism: foundation; Judaism: foundation; religions of East and Central Asia; religions of Africa; introduction to Islam; introduction to Jainism; advanced theory in the study of religions; Buddhism in Central Asia; Buddhism in pre'Modern China; Buddhist legends: readings in Avadana literature; Buddhist monasticism; conflict in compliance: about the lives of Buddhist monks in Ancient India; contemporary Islamism in South Asia: readings in Sayyid Abu l'A'la Mawdudi; critical theory and the study of religions; daily life of Jews in Antiquity; death and the meaning of life; Eastern Christianity; independent study project in the study of religions; intermediate Pali; Islam in Britain; Japanese religion: a historical overview; Jewish identity from Ancient to Modern times; Mahayana Buddhism; martyrs and monks in Eastern Christian writings; Messianic movements in Islamic history; Middle Persian; minority religions in the contemporary Middle East; Mysticism in the great traditions; myth and mythmaking; non'violence in Jain scriptures; philosophy and law; Orthodox Christianity; readings in Mahayana Sutra literature; religion and gender; religious philosophies of Ancient and Medieval India; representations of the Holocaust; Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism; Shan Buddhism; Shi'a Islam: religious authority and community identity; Syriac for beginners; Taoism and Chinese religions; Taoism: the great tradition; textual sources of Classical Hinduism; the Bible and its interpretation in Ancient Judaism; the role and representation of women in Judaism; themes in Japanese religions; Theravada Buddhism; Tibetan Buddhism; Tibetan Buddhist texts from Central Asia; translation of Buddhist texts; Vedic Sanskrit; Zoroastrian literature in translation; Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds. History: modules include: approaches to history; further introductory histories; regional history; introduction to the history of Africa; introduction to the history of East Asia; introduction to the history of the Near and Middle East; introduction to the history of South Asia; introduction to the history of South East Asia; culture and identity in modern South Asia; Gandhi and Gandhiism; the Middle East in the period of the Crusades, 1050'1291; cities of paradise and empire, Turks, Mongols and Mamluks 1054'1500; the making of the modern Middle East; Islamic reformism in South East Asia 1760'196; Islamic reformism in South East Asia 1760'1960; South East Asia during the Cold War 1945'1991; society and culture in 20th'century Africa; gender, sex and identity in Africa; race, class and culture in the history of Southern Africa; Atlantic slavery and its legacies: Western Africa 1500'2000; society, environment and state in the history of China; history of gender in China; modern Japan; modern China; Manchu society and culture: an alternative history of China (1600'1997); traders, believers, rebels: a social history of Islam in China (650'2008); Nehru and India's modernity, 1936'64; body, power and society in Early India; histories of partition: India and Palestine; reform, resistance and revolution: the Ottoman Empire 1876'1909; history of Iran: Qajars to the Islamic Republic; rulers, rebels and scholars in Early Islam, 600'1200; the creation of modern Burma 1852'1941; violence, identity and politics in modern East and North East Africa; Asante, the Gold Coast and the British, 1807'1935; opium and empires, 1773 to 1919: China, India and Britain; the First World War in the Middle East and Jerusalem; city and country in modern Japan; Christianity in China (1600'1949); independent study project (Asian and African history).

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
3 years
Full Time
BA (Hons) £9,000  Academic year. First year home fees

Qualifications required:

  • GCE A-level ABB-AAB
  • Course specific

Key Course Information

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£5,450 - £5,450
Typical cost of university accommodation

£5,090 - £5,890
Typical cost of private accommodation