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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Religious Studies

Undergraduate Course: Modern Religious and Ethical Debates in Contemporary Literature (REST10049)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity 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 the influence of contemporary religious and ethical debates on literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It will consider the differences between Scottish, English and American fiction in religious and theological terms. Writers from Christian, Jewish, and atheist perspectives will be contrasted.
Course description Academic Description:
The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to enable students from a variety of academic backgrounds to engage in religious and ethical debates as these are embodied in literary texts. A range of texts from the fields of Scottish, English and American literature are discussed and their contributions to, and interactions with, wider religious and ethical concerns are explored. In its widest sense, the context of these texts and their authors is established and this includes both the faith perspective and the ethical stance promoted, implied or critiqued in the text.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course draws on the diverse academic backgrounds of both staff and students as it offers opportunities to reflect on contemporary texts from a Christian, Jewish and atheist tradition, and from Scottish, English and American literature. After a session which introduces the approach to be taken, each week a text is set in its context and its contribution to religious and ethical debates of its time is explored. The course concludes with a review of material covered, and an opportunity to prepare for the examination. Texts covered will be drawn from a list which will include Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory; James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack; Aldous Huxley's Brave New World; J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials; Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev and Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of a weekly one-hour interactive lecture, followed by a one-hour seminar in smaller groups. There will be reading set for each week, which will include the key literary text plus secondary literature. Each student will give a short presentation in one seminar over the semester. Through participation in lecture and seminar discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Moses and the Torah (BIST08020) OR Prophets and Their Oracles (BIST08019)) OR ( Jesus and the Gospels (BIST08021) OR Paul and His Letters (BIST08022)) OR ( Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (THET08014) OR God in Philosophy: Plato to Hume (THET08010) OR Christian Theology: Doctrines and Debates (THET08017)) OR ( Global Religions A: Judaism, Buddhism, Islam (REST08015) OR Global Religions B: Indigenous African Religions and Religions of Asia (REST08017) AND Studying Religions (REST08016) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004)) OR Social Christianity in Britain, Germany and the United States, 1848-1930 (ECHS08009)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Or by permission of the Course Manager
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least three introductory level Divinity/Religious Studies/English Literature courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay of 2,500 words (40%);
Examination at the end of the course (60%).

Feedback The formative feedback event will be an opportunity to have a draft of the essay commented upon in advance of submission.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of selected contemporary literary texts and of their interaction with range of modern religious and ethical issues.
  2. Engage in current debates in the field of literature, religion and theology.
  3. Discuss the differences in religious and literary themes between Scottish, English and American literature, and between Christian and Jewish writers.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsModern Literature,Theology,Ethics,Religious Debates
Course organiserDr Alison Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 8944
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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