MEDV1080 Religion and Culture in the Western Middle Ages

Reading List

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

This module will introduce students, through interdisciplinary study, to various organisational and devotional features of medieval Christianity (c 1000 to 1500). It will challenge students to envision a developing relationship between the religious traditions and the cultural values of medieval Europe, as well as the mutual influence and interdependence of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious traditions in the Middle Ages.
On completion of this module, students will, through exposure to a variety of topics, have an understanding of how to critically engage with a culture that is separated from them by time. This module will also provide a useful foundation in medieval studies, which would then allow students to pursue various optional and compulsory modules in a number of departments.
Teaching on the module consists of one workshop and one seminar per week.

Workshops and seminars will examine topics such as:

  • - the establishment of religious practice in medieval Judaism, Islam and Christianity;
  • - religious culture(s) and devotional practices in comparison;
  • - basic features of intellectual traditions and doctrinal development in the Western Church;
  • - direct interaction and conflicts between the religions;
  • - and the relationships among Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, whose interaction helped shape Western medieval traditions.

Objectives

To introduce students through interdisciplinary study to the various organisational and devotional features of medieval Christianity, from 500 to 1500; to challenge students to envision a developing relationship between the Christian tradition and the cultural values of Western medieval Europe.
On completion of this module, students will, through exposure to a variety of topics, have an understanding of how to critically engage with a culture which is separated from them by time.

Syllabus

The Religion & Culture module will cover:
Week 1: Introduction to Medieval Christianity
Week 2: Introduction to Medieval Judaism
Week 3: Introduction to Medieval Islam
Week 4: Pilgrimage and Travel
Week 5: Relics and the Cult of Saints
Week 6: Religious Poverty
Week 7: Blood Libel and Ritual Murder Accusations
Week 8: Interfaith Disputations and Polemics
Week 9: Holy War and Jihad
Week 10: Mission and Conversion
Week 11: Module summary.

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching

Coursework

Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Essay 1,500 words to be submitted by 12.00pm on Monday of teaching week 8 30
Essay 2,500 words to be submitted in revision week 70
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 100

Private Study

  • - preparatory set reading for workshops and seminars;
  • - researching, preparing and writing two assessed essays;
  • - researching and answering three non-assessed interactive quizzes (VLE);
  • - self-directed reading around the subject.

Progress Monitoring

Two assessed essays: one of 1,500 words, one of 2,500 words.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Lecture 11 1 11
Seminar 11 1 11
Private Study Hours 178
Total Contact Hours 22
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 200

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