Free online course on Religion and Sexual Wellbeing

image created by Bart Campman
The project team of 'Religion, Sexuality and Secularism' has been working hard to develop a freely accessible 4-week internet course: ‘Religion and Sexual Wellbeing: Pleasure, Piety and Reproductive Rights’, starting on 2 May.

Debates featuring sexuality, gender, and reproduction often showcase two clear voices: conservative voices often associated with religion, and liberal voices often associated with secular ideologies, such as feminism. Sexual wellbeing is an intensely private matter, yet many aspects that influence wellbeing are publicly debated and decided upon. How can we look beyond the polarization in the public domain?

Learn about culture, religion and sexual wellbeing

Learning about the dynamics of sexuality, religion and culture in everyday lives of individuals is one way towards an informed stance on these globally contested topics. To this end, the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen is now offering a free online course titled ‘Religion, Gender and Sexual Wellbeing: Pleasure, Piety, and Reproductive Rights’ .

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) helps you to critically reflect on the influence of culture and religion in people’s everyday choices relating to sexual wellbeing. You will learn how people navigate their decisions in the midst of local traditions, religion, and voices from their immediate environment. You will investigate the dynamics of religion and sexual wellbeing in three different cultural settings: the Philippines, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands. Each week of this course focuses on a certain theme, which will be examined through a specific locale.

About the course

The course will take four weeks. In the first week you will learn how to find items of polarization and learn to look beyond the binary voices that are dominant in debates regarding SRHR. In the second week of the course, you will digitally travel to the Philippines to explore in-depth the role of religion in the choices that individuals make regarding sex and reproduction. The third week will bring you to Zimbabwe, where you will dive deep into concepts of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ and learn how mediators relate to religious discourses in tackling the issue of gender-based violence. In the final week of this course, we will answer the question of how people become sexually knowledgeable in the Netherlands, a culturally and religiously diverse setting that is characterized by secularism.

This course will start on 2 May 2022 and is open to everyone, free of charge. The course is taught entirely in English and is located on the online platform FutureLearn.