REL140 Religion in Norway - from homogeneity to multiculturalism
Students from any partner university outside Norway as well as Norwegian students who want to study the role of religion in the Norwegian society – taught in English. Objectives: The objectives of this course are to provide the students with knowledge of the development of the role of religion in Norwegian society from the introduction of Christianity in the Middle Ages to the plural society of the present time. The course introduces the students to three main topics: the development of Christianity in Norway from the Middle Ages until the 1800s; the development of Norway into a pluralistic society during the 20th century; the role of religions and world views in the public discourse in the welfare state of Norway today. The public discourse is further advanced with an introduction to diverse means of cooperation among people belonging to different religions and world views in Norway.
In accordance with the National Qualifications Framework the student will have following learning outcome after completing the course:
* The student will have obtained knowledge about the most central aspects of the development of Christianity in Norway since the Middle Ages and onwards.
* The student will be able to use knowledge, information and relevant research results to illuminate different questions related to the topic.
* The student will be able to communicate and discuss the role and influence of religious life and religious culture in Norway.
Course content: Part 1: The History of Christianity in Norway In this part of the course the following topics are covered: an overview of the historical development of Christianity in Norway from the process of Christianization in the Middle Ages to the Reformation. Christian Norway belonged to the Roman Catholic Church until the Reformation of 1537, and special emphasis will be placed on how the transition from a dominant Catholic Church to a Lutheran Church changed the Christian outlook of Norway. The students will further be introduced to the role of the Lutheran Church during the period of democratization and nation building in the 1800s. Part 2: Modernity and religious change in Norway Political legislation in 1842 and 1845 gave rise to several free-church movements and a strong lay organization within the Church of Norway. In this part of the course the students will be introduced to the following topics: the development of freedom of religion in Norwegian society, its implication for the development of the free churches in Norway, and the role of the Church of Norway. The students will also be introduced to the development of Norway into becoming a plural society from the nineteen sixties as a result of the following factors: Firstly, immigration from Africa and Asia led to the establishment of different religious communities representing all the world religions within Norwegian society. Secondly, the immigration from East Europe led to the establishment of different Christian communities from the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Thirdly, the development of the Norwegian Humanist Association and the new religious movements further advanced the development of Norway into a multi-religious and plural society. Finally, the students will be introduced to the process of secularization and its impact on the possibilities for Norwegian society to allow pluralism to flourish. Part 3: Religion and world views in the public discourse. The Christian faith plays a significant part of Norway’s cultural heritage, but people with other religions and world views have become more visible in the Norwegian society during recent decades. In this part of the course the students will be introduced to the role of religion and world views in some of the public discourses in the contemporary welfare state of Norway. The students will learn about religious education in the Norwegian school system and the different opinions on this topic within public discourse. The students will further be engaged in the discourse on democracy, citizenship, gender issues and the role of the Church of Norway within the public sphere. Finally the students will learn about different strategies for communication and cooperation among communities representing different religions and world views in Norway.
Teaching methods The teaching methods include lectures, group work and seminars. Visits to churches in the local community can be relevant as part of the course.
Two written papers within the range of 1500 words each. The topic of the papers will be formulated by the teaching staff, and the students will receive tutoring during the writing process.
Grading will be done in accordance with the Regulations governing studies and examinations at Volda University College, § 5-11.
The study is evaluated in accordance with the assurance quality system of Volda University College.
|Form of assessment||Grouping||Duration||Type of duration||Grading scale||Proportion||Comment||Supported material||Scope|
|Portfolio||Individual||Semesters||A-F, A is the best grade and E is the lowest passing grade||100%|
|Form of assessment:||Portfolio|
|Type of duration:||Semesters|
|Grading scale:||A-F, A is the best grade and E is the lowest passing grade|