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Classical Thinkers on Religion

This course will explore "classic" attempts to develop theories of religion, mainly from a religious studies’ perspective. Reflecting on religion has been an important element of the intellectual history of European modernity. Thinking about religion also meant to think about societies and power, about culture and what makes a human being human. We will reconstruct the transformations of the concepts of religion within the early study of religion and identify the historical, philosophical and social contexts. While most of the course is dedicated to these classical positions, we will keep track of how the theories responded to the problems of their time, and how they have shaped our understanding of religion until today.

Name of lecturer

Professor Alexandra Grieser

How to apply

Applications can be made in person on Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Department of Religions and Theology, Room 5010, Level 5 of the Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2 or by post before 23rd September 2016.


€150 for the module. For security reasons payment should be by cheque/draft/postal money order only, made payable to Trinity College no. 1 account. A concession rate is available to second and third level students, unemployed persons and those in receipt of a social welfare pension.


Teaching in Michaelmas term commences during the week beginning 26 September. Please note this is a day-time course.


The module runs for a total of twelve weeks, with no lectures in week 7.

Further Information

Contact: Jane Welch, Executive Officer, Department of Religions and Theology, Arts Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2. Phone: 01 896 1297, email: