Integrative Seminar

lsrel2912  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Integrative Seminar
6.00 credits
30.0 h

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2022-2023
Main themes
In order to achieve these aims, - each seminar will address a fresh research issue - the various theories devised to study the contemporary transformations of religion (such as secularization or post-modernity) will be taken up and put to the test of factual data and specific interpretations.
From a methodological point of view, the seminar work will focus among other on
- (a) the case study under its multiple forms (e.g. participant observation, interview),
- (b) the quantitative approach (e.g. questionnaires and tests), and
- (c) the hermeneutics of texts and content analysis (e.g. historical-critical method, structural analysis).
Exercises will provide the opportunity to understand in a practical way the logic proper to each method (passive understanding of all three types of methods and ability to use at least one of them).
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 - analyse a religious fact from interdisciplinary approaches
2 - grasp the contributions of the various disciplines and paradigms to the concrete analysis of a religious fact
3 - show the complexity of religious phenomena.
4 - understand the different methodological approaches, qualitative as well as quantitative, required for the analysis of religious facts within the main disciplines of the sciences of religions
5 - identify the specific character of these approaches and their complementarity
6 - use at least one of these approaches, particularly in the preparation of the thesis required for the Master degree (see also "Other information").
In 2022-23 : Animal & Religion : Ritual slaughter as an issue for religious studies between law and philosophy
In contemporary European societies, the protection of animals is progressively spreading. Most vulnerable lives are the object of increasing attention. How, however, to articulate the guarantee of human rights, in particular of religious minorities, themselves vulnerable. Tensions are multiplying as public awareness grows. How can we analyze the attempts to balance the rights of some and the interests of others? Beyond the emotions and the cross condemnations, the status of animals is a revelation of the mutations of our societies and of the perception of religion as well as of the relationship to suffering between species. Various facets will be explored in this seminar: the relationship of democracy to science and expertise; the distinctions between majority culture and minority practices; the relationship between sovereignty and the globalization of law and economies; the relationship between norms and emotions; the relationship between religious conviction and scriptural sources; the markers of possible compromise with religious authorities; etc. If the law originally constitutes the formal stabilization of a political compromise, it is then called upon to produce deeper systemic balances around "general principles" that emerge from jurisprudence and legal doctrine to fill in gaps, remove contradictions, and ensure an overall normative coherence, which is certainly always provisional but distinct from circumstantial political games. It is in the interstices of this formal discourse of the law that a specific look at religious practices in democracy emerges, and at the perimeters of unacceptable suffering. What is the contribution of the sciences of religions to these new social stakes in a double philosophical and legal approach?
Particular attention will be paid to the epistemological, methodological and documentary prerequisites of the seminar.
Teaching methods
After three introductions in philosophy, legal theory and research heuristics, students present the progress of their own work and readings in an interactive seminar setting.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation is threefold: a personal written work integrating two approaches to philosophy and legal theory on a theme chosen in agreement with the teachers (60%); the quality of bibliographic research (20%) (*); the active participation of each student (20%). 
(*) This 20% is equally based on an assessment of the bibliographic quality of the final written work (presented orally at the December 13 session), and a compulsory test organized on the benches at the November 29 session. The test will consist of a (very short) research paper on a specific topic related to the seminar with the transcription of the results according to a system of bibliographic standards.
In September, 100% of the final grade is a personal written work.
Other information
Student participation is mandatory and is part of the final evaluation.
Online resources
See the course moodle website.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Sciences of Religions