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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: The Medieval Bible: An Evidence-Based Approach (ENLI11124)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe Bible permeated medieval society: its texts were recited in liturgy and evoked in sermons, its images portrayed on church walls and manuscript illuminations and its narratives served as the basis for artistic reinterpretation in literature, drama and architecture. This course will examine the the medieval Bible, on its various manifestations and mediations; these will unearth the complex phenomenon of biblical mediation - transmitting and modifying the biblical text through diverse mediums - and portray, through the prism of the Bible, a picture of a society in which direct access to the biblical text (if ever such existed) was replaced by rituals, visual and oral mediums. Dichotomous views of medieval society (i.e. high-low / lay-religious etc.) will be challenged revealing a complex and vibrant society; key moments in western culture and religion, from scholasticism and the rise of universities and mendicant orders to the Reformation and the advent of print, would also be presented through the transformation of the material culture of the Bible and its manifestations. Even less evident facets of medieval society, such as jurisprudence and bureaucracy, would be tied in with the Bible, though as a physical object in the form of oathbooks. The course will be source-oriented and draw heavily on texts, manuscripts, building and visual images; it will integrate excursions to parish churches, galleries and manuscript collections, challenging the students constantly to investigate theoretical structures on the background of existing evidence. Knowledge of Latin and paleography, although an advantage, is not a pre-requisite for the course. In line with language proficiency and extant materials, the course will concentrate on England and Scotland in the High and Late Middle Ages.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will gain a better understanding of the complexity of medieval society and basic knowledge in palaeography and codicology. By the end of the course they should be familiar with medieval liturgy, preaching, jurisprudence and literature, through their use of the Bible. They will understand the place of a sacred text in a non-(or partially-)literate society, and will be able to apply this paradigm to other societies. They will be exposed to recent theoretical discussions, from anthropology and history to literature and bibliography, and will be able to critically analyse them against the backdrop of the medieval evidence. Lastly, a variety of sources, from visual images to literary accounts, court records, biblical manuscripts and sermon collections, will lead students, in writing their dissertations, to understand the complexities, difficulties and wonders gained from a analysis of medieval sources.
Assessment Information
One 4,000 word essay to be submitted as directed in the programme handbook
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Eyal Poleg
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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