Course: Introduction to religious thought

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Course title Introduction to religious thought
Course code KPD/KÚNM
Organizational form of instruction no contact
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study 1
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 2
Language of instruction Czech, English
Status of course Compulsory
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Kaplánek Michal, doc. Th.D.
Course content
1. Introduction and terminological preparation (religiosity, spirituality, religion, theology, secularization) 2. Sacred and Profane between human and divine 3. Human person and religion anthropological constants of the human relationship to the divine (human condition in world religions) 4. Revelation, faith and religious community dynamics of life as conceived from the religious point of view 5. Religion and secularization 6. Reason and faith 7. Christian theology as a rational reflection of faith and more 8. Religious and Christian identities

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing), Dialogic (discussion, interview, brainstorming)
Learning outcomes
"Introduction to religious thinking" (IRT) course aims to introduce students to the basic differences between secular and religious types of thinking. Religious thinking will be presented and described further on the example of Christianity and its theology. Students will be equipped with basic terminology enabling them to get orientation not only in this course but in other related courses as well. Apart from that, students will be able to reflect better on societal debates about religion and gain basic overview about the main ways of religious thinking. What does it mean to be religious? What type of thinking is connected to religiosity? How is this different to the secular type of thinking? What is the role of the sacred and the profane in human lives? What is the meaning of secularization? These and similar questions will be discussed in the IRT course. We will be discovering religion in lives of people and societies. We will learn to reflect on its presence among people and within various societies enriched by reading relevant literature, discussing course topics in classes and meditating contemporary challenges connected to the plural characteristic of the world, the situation of global migration, clashes of civilizations and world religions encounters. Gain rudimentary knowledge of basic types of religious thinking. Develop ability to understand, recognize and interpret main differences between religious and secular type of thinking. Be introduced to the elementary terminological specifics characteristic to religion and theology. Encounter Christianity and its theology as a specific example of religious thought typical in our cultural context. Gain basic ability to recognize relevant literature and other resources from popular publications and pulp fiction on religion and theology. Develop critical thinking skills.
Students will gain rudimentary knowledge of basic types of religious thinking. Students will be able to understand, recognize and interpret main differences between religious and secular types of thinking. Students will be introduced to elementary terminology characteristic to religion and theology. Students will encounter Christianity and its theology as a concrete example of religious thought typical to our cultural context. Students will gain basic ability to recognize relevant literature and other resources from popular publications and pulp fiction on religion and theology. Students will develop their critical thinking skills.

Assessment methods and criteria

Course attendance (80% compulsory); individual study and reading; final colloquium and written test Bibliography (compulsory): 1. CASANOVA, José. Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspective In: Religion, globalization and culture. 2007. Editor Peter Beyer, Lori Gail Beaman. Leiden: Brill, vii, 608 p. International studies in religion and society, vol. 6. P. 101-120. ISBN 978-90-04-15407-0. Available online at: 2. Dictionary of Religious Terms; Available online at: (This is a quality online dictionary provided by The Association of Religion Data Archives affiliated to the Pennsylvania State University (US), acquaintance with this extensive dictionary is compulsory and using it for your study is highly recommended) 3. DULLES, Avery. Faith and Reason: From Vatican I to John Paul II. In: FOSTER, David Ruel and Joseph W KOTERSKI. 2003. The two wings of Catholic thought: essays on Fides et ratio. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, p. 193-208, ISBN 978-0-8132-1302-6. Available online at: 4. ELIADE, Mircea. 1987. The sacred and the profane: the nature of religion. San Diego [Calif.]: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, ISBN 978-015-6792-011. (Whole book); Free versions available online: A) In *.txt format for online reading at: B) In *.pdf format for download at: 5. JOHN PAUL II. Fides et Ratio. (Encyclical letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on the relationship between faith and reason), Available online: 6. ŠTĚCH, František. 2014. Fundamental Theology, Dynamics of Christian Life and Identity: New Impulses for Fundamental Theology. ET-Studies. 5(1): 77-95. ISSN 2032-5215. 7. VALEA, Ernest. 2015. The human condition in world religions. Available online at: (Brief introduction, read the whole text) 8. Other shorter (unpublished) study texts will be provided by course facilitator in PDF at the beginning of the course. Bibliography (extension reading, optional): 1. DYRNESS, William (ed.) and Veli-Matti KARKKAINEN (ed.). 2008. Global dictionary of theology: a resource for the worldwide church. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, xxviii, 996 p. ISBN 08-308-2454-5. 2. FOSTER, David Ruel a Joseph W KOTERSKI. 2003. The two wings of Catholic thought: essays on Fides et ratio. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, xi, 249 p. ISBN 978-0-8132-1302-6. 3. HELM, Paul. 2003. Faith with Reason. 1. published. in paperback. Oxford: Oxford University Press, xvi s., 185 p. ISBN 0-19-925663-2. 4. LYON, David. 2000. Jesus in Disneyland: religion in postmodern times. Malden, MA: Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers, xii, 188 p. ISBN 07-456-1489-2. 5. LYON, David. 1985. The steeple's shadow: on the myths and realities of secularization. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, x, 165 p. ISBN 08-028-0261-3. 6. NEŠPOROVÁ, O. NEŠPOR, Z. R. Religion: An Unsolved Problem for the Modern Czech Nation. In: Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 6. p. 1215-1237. 7. NEVILLE, Robert C. 2001. The human condition. Albany: State University of New York Press, xxvi, 337 p. ISBN 07-914-4780-4. 8. SOKOLOWSKI, Robert. 1995. The God of faith and reason: foundations of Christian theology: with a new preface. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, xvii, 172 p. ISBN 0-8132-0827-0.
Recommended literature
  • CULIANU, I. P.; ELIADE, M. Slovník náboženství. Praha: Argo, 2001.
  • ELIADE, M. Posvátné a profánní. Praha: Česká křesťanská akademie, 1994.
  • JAN PAVEL II. Fides et ratio.. Praha: Zvon, 1999.
  • LUŽNÝ, D. NEŠPOR, Z. R. (eds.). Náboženství v menšině.. Praha: Malvern, 2008.
  • MUCHOVÁ, L. Budete mými svědky.. Brno: Kartuziánské nakladatelství, 2011.
  • MUCHOVÁ, L. ŠTĚCH, F. Mezi lidským a Božím: Udržitelnost křesťanské práce s mládeží v post-sekulární Evropě,. Studia Theologica 14, č. 3 [49] (2012): s. 1 ? 12., 2012.
  • SALAJKA, M. Orientační teologický slovník. Rychnov nad Kněžnou: Ježek, 2000.
  • SALAJKA, M. Slovník náboženských a teologických výrazů a pojmů pro školu, pracovnu a dům.. Praha: Církev československá husitská, 2001.
  • SKALICKÝ, K. Současná křesťanská teologie aneb Pokus stručně představit bohovědu.. Universum, 1/2004, s. 14-19., 2004.
  • SOKOL, J. Člověk a náboženství. Praha: Portál, 2004.
  • ŠTĚCH, F. Láska jako srdce teologie?. Caritas et Veritas, 1/2011, s. 24-29, 2011.
  • ŠTĚCH, F. Tu se jim otevřely oči. Olomouc: Refugium, 2011.
  • WALDENFELS, H. Světová náboženství jako odpovědi na otázku po smyslu života a světa. Praha: Zvon, 1992.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty: Faculty of Theology Study plan (Version): Free Time Education (2016) Category: Pedagogy, teacher training and social care 1 Recommended year of study:1, Recommended semester: Winter