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Biblical & Religious Studies

Welcome to Biblical and Religious Studies

In accordance with the requirements of the new National Curriculum Policy on Education that religious education focus on the general phenomenon of religion and not on a specific religion only, the name of the subject Biblical and Religious Studies changed to Biblical and Religion Studies (code: REL) in 2006. Contents of the course now focus not only on the Bible, but also on various other world religions, without alienating our traditional students from the subject. Therefore we offer a wider range of modules to all students.

Values, vision and mission

Religion is a human phenomenon. In the programme Biblical and Religion Studies different religions (African Traditional Religions, Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism) are treated as that. Keeping in line with the changing circumstances in a multi-religious South African society, Biblical and Religion Studies seek to understand the world and the various existing perceptions of religion. Students gain valuable knowledge about the different world religions and as a result they become prepared for conducting themselves in a diverse religious and cultural environment. Therefore our subject fits into almost all the programmes at UP as an elective subject.



GIBS/Grand-Pa spaza shop programme to take headaches away - 10/07/2014
The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), in partnership with Grand-Pa, a division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), announced the launch of a business management programme aimed at assisting shop owners in growing their existing spaza shops into sustainable businesses.
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Debra Deel science programme on television - 07/07/2014
Debra Deel, a television programme which aims to make science more accessible to the public at large, started on Wednesday, 9 July at 20:30 on KykNET. The programme is the brainchild of Prof Debra Meyer, acclaimed researcher and Head of the Department of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She is also the programme presenter.
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Leading expert on fracking, shale gas and water resources speaks at UP - 07/07/2014
Speaking at UP, Professor Avner Vengosh, Professor of Geochemistry and Water Quality and Chair of the Water and Air Resources programme at the Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University, USA, shared his expertise on the risks to water resources posed by unconventional shale gas development and hydraulic fracking in the United States. This was an appropriate topic of discussion given recurring debates on water issues and the exploration of fracking in the Karoo.
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Four winners from UP in NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards - 04/07/2014
Four UP researchers have emerged as winners of their respective categories in the NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards Ceremony held at Emperor’s Palace on 3 July 2014. They are “tree doctor” Prof Brenda Wingfield, genomics expert Prof Don Cowan, bat researcher Prof Wanda Markotter and audiologist Prof De Wet Swanepoel. The annual NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards Ceremony is widely recognised as South Africa’s “Science Oscars”, honouring achievers in scientific research and related activities. This year, seven of the 48 finalists came from UP.
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Faculty of Veterinary Science's Equine Research Centre key to success of new horse export strategy - 03/07/2014
In spite of significant international interest in South African horses, investment in this sector currently falls far short of its potential. The main reason for this is the prevalence of African horse sickness (AHS). In a multi-disciplinary collaboration to improve research initiatives in AHS, UP’s Equine Research Centre based at the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the University of the Witwatersrand, along with various other role players, have developed a strategy to be presented to various potential trading partners.
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Searching for Noah's Ark: Analysing the Ararat Anomaly - 02/07/2014
Prof Sunil Maharaj of the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, and Francois Luus, a PhD student, recently featured in an article titled “Noah’s search: probing satellite imagery for lost ark”, which was headlined on,, as well as the science pages of Yahoo and Fox News.
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Getting rid of rabies - 01/07/2014
The Faculty of Veterinary Science’s Prof Darryn Knobel is in pursuit of eliminating dog rabies across Africa through a novel approach to rabies research. Rabies claims the lives of thousands of people across the continent every year but, for the first time in decades, using evidence-based research the elimination of this devastating disease is considered feasible. Knobel uses a simple method of understanding demographics to determine the vaccination thresholds required for rabies to die out.
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