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RET1000 Examining the Sacred

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Examiner: Elizabeth Curtis


The term ‘sacred’ means different things to different people. It is important that students have an understanding of this term as it has both religious and sociocultural connotations. The concept of sacred is important to understand as a basis of study in philosophy, anthropology, sociology and religion. The construct of ‘the sacred’ will be considered from both religious and non-religious perspectives. Many students undertaking this course may be preparing to teach Religion and Ethics and this concept and its wider implications are taught at a senior secondary level in both religious and government schools.

Examining the Sacred provides an overview of what the concept of `sacred' means in its various contexts - both religious and secular. This course presents an overview of spirituality as well as culture, belief and traditions held sacred by different groups worldwide. It provokes thought and contemporary debate on issues such as: what is spirituality, what is worship, what is sacred, is there a difference between sacred and culture. It also provides an introduction to the importance of sacred traditions and how these are commemorated in their various celebrations. Students will draw on their personal experiences and traditions as well as looking at contemporary culture to inform new perspectives on what it means to be religious, spiritual or sacred.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of spirituality and the concept of ‘sacred’;
  2. demonstrate a broad familiarity with key concepts and ideas across a variety of philosophies;
  3. understand spiritual and cultural traditions, celebrations and how people pay homage to these;
  4. critically engage with issues surrounding the study of the sacred;
  5. demonstrate appropriate cognitive, literacy and communication skills, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. What is sacred? 20.00
2. What is spirituality? 15.00
3. What is worship? 10.00
4. Historical evolution of the sacred 10.00
5. The importance of sacred traditions 10.00
6. Sacred celebrations 15.00
7. Sacred vs Culture 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 30 June 2022