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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Religion in the Roman Provinces: The Case of Christianity (ANHI10065)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore multi-valent imperial Roman religion of the 1st through 3rd centuries through the lens of Christianity. Students will approach the 'rise of Christianity' not from the perspective of Christianity's later triumph but from its original grounding in the wider religious world of the Roman provinces. Early Christianity itself will be revealed to be not the monolithic institution later church historians suggest, but a diverse collection of local communities in the provinces jostling for position and resources alongside countless other cults and associations. The persons, ideas, and developments of these early 'Christianities' will be defamiliarised by placing them within the traditions, mores and stereotypes of the Roman provinces. Beginning from the Roman religious 'market-place', students will look, for example, at Roman attitudes to religious behaviour (including civic cults, philosophical groups, mystery cults, magic and the unique place of Judaism), the role of women in ancient religion, Roman 'toleration' and 'persecution' of minority groups, and the mechanisms of religious communication and spread in antiquity. Students will not only gain fresh perspective on the nature of early Christianity and its development, but on recent developments in scholarship on Roman religion and provincial management.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have passed Ancient History 2a and Ancient History 2b (or at the Course Organiser's discretion).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate through group discussion, coursework and the written examination that they have acquired the following specific academic competences:

- knowledge and informed understanding of the nature of religion and religious practice in the Roman provinces;
- knowledge and informed understanding of the nature of earliest Christianity, its origins and its diversity;
- an appreciation of the range of historical, literary, archaeological, architectural and art historical evidence pertinent to the question of Roman religion, and how this diversity allows us to approach topics from multiple angles;
- an appreciation of the importance of investigating the nature and origins of ancient evidence and the ability to critically assess it;
- knowledge and informed understanding of a range of secondary scholarship relating to early Christianity and its wider Roman context, including seminal studies of the last century and cutting edge research;
- an appreciation of how to read, judge and use this secondary scholarship in relation to the primary evidence;
- an ability to develop and sustain coherent intellectual argument.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3582/3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsRoman Religion Christianity
Course organiserDr James Corke-Webster
Tel: (0131 6)50 3579
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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