Postgraduate Course: Scottish Literature, Imagination, and Faith (THET11049)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Scottish Literature, Imagination, and Faith introduces Level 11 students to the work of some of the key writers dealing with faith and fiction in Scotland from the Romantic period to the late twentieth century. Students are encouraged to explore the connections between a varied range of Scottish poets, authors, and dramatists in their evolving national, historical, social and theological contexts.
A: Academic description
This interdisciplinary course will enable students to trace and examine the rich and constantly evolving nature of religious thought in Scotland through selected literary texts published from the Romantic period to the late-twentieth century. In order to achieve this, the work of a variety of writers from different religious (and non-religious) perspectives is considered in historical, theological and social contexts. By analysing key critical terms and concepts which inform Scottish literary texts, including plays, poetry, novels, and short stories, students will relate texts to the religious environments which shaped them. In this way, they will gain a fuller and more enriched understanding of the relationship between Scottish literature and religion. Teaching will take place in New College, itself the product of zeal that arose from religious conflict in the nineteenth century.
B: Syllabus/outline content
This course will begin with consideration of how national literatures are constructed, before moving on to explore selected Scottish texts, religious voices, and literary forms each week in their historical and theological contexts. The course is chronological in structure, and moves through writing reflecting romantic supernaturalism, themes of social and religious change, and Victorian religious pessimism, to twentieth-century reconstructions of Scotland's early religious history and conflict. The course's final weeks reflect the growing religious pluralism and diversity of modern Scotland in selected texts, which nonetheless draw on earlier Scottish literary forms and themes in their exploration of the nation's religious imagination.
C: Student Learning Experience Information
'This course has a programme of one, two-hour seminar per week plus 5 additional tutorials for level 11 students. On the basis of students' preparatory reading of a range of literary texts and other writings, seminars will be used to explore and compare the connections between Scottish authors, poets, and dramatists in their evolving religious and social milieus. Preparation for seminars will also depend on students each leading (or co-leading) discussion in one week of the course. This will involve leading a conversation centred on key theological, ethical and religious themes in the texts. Students will also be required to give formal presentations in the seminar and they will submit these in written form.
The structure for this course is chronological, and though these texts respond to the age in which they are written, many also deal with historical religious conflicts, developments and devotions. As such, students will be encouraged to explore the connections between historical periods, and they will be guided through the examination of concepts such as national literature and religious change. Students will also be offered formative feedback as the course progresses. This will help them to develop the knowledge and analytical skills that will be assessed in the course's assignments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 16,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Class presentation: 10%«br /»
Creative writing exercise due at the start of week 9: (1500 words): 30%«br /»
Extended essay due in week 2 of the exam period (2500 words): 60%«br /»
||Students will have the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on a plan for the extended essay.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Critically appraise the key literary texts and authors dealing with religious themes in Scotland from Romanticism to modernity.
- Identify, compare and contrast the depictions and responses of religious traditions in Scotland.
- Outline and explain the development of the Scottish literary-religious canon.
- Critically examine the differences in theological emphasis in literary texts by Scottish writers over the last two hundred years.
- Evaluate the usefulness and limitations of scholarship on the relationship between literature and religion.
- Bateman, Meg, and James McGonigal, ¿Faith and Religion¿, in The International Companion to Scottish Poetry, ed. by Carla Sassi (Glasgow: Scottish International, 2015), pp. 179-189.
- Brown, Ian, ¿Plugged into history: the sense of the past in Scottish theatre¿, Scottish Theatre since the Seventies, eds. Stevenson and Wallace, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996), pp. 84-99.
- Burgess, Moira, Imagine a City: Glasgow in Fiction (Glendaruel: Argyll Publishing, 1998).
- Carruthers, Gerard, ¿¿Fully to Savour her Position¿: Muriel Spark and Scottish Identity¿, Modern Fiction Studies, 54.3 (2008), 487-504.
- Carruthers, Gerard, Scottish Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009).
- Carruthers, Gerard, and Liam McIlvanney, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
- Cheyette, Bryan, ¿Writing Against Conversion: Muriel Spark the Gentile Jewess¿, in Theorizing Muriel Spark: Gender, Race, Deconstruction, ed. by Martin McQuillan (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 95-112.
- Craig, Cairns, The History of Scottish Literature, IV (Aberdeen University Press: Aberdeen, 1987).
- Craig, Cairns, The Modern Scottish Novel: Narrative and the National Imagination (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999).
- Crawford, Robert, ¿James Thomson and T. S. Eliot¿, Victorian Poetry, 23:1 (1985), pp. 23-41.
- Daniell, D., The Interpreter's House: A Critical Assessment of John Buchan (London: Nelson, 1975).
- D'Arcy, Julian, Scottish Skalds and Sagamen: Old Norse Influence on Modern Scottish Literature (East Linton: Tuckwell, 1996).
- DuBois, Thomas A., ed., Sanctity in the North: Saints, Lives and Cults in Medieval Scandinavia (Toronto: University Of Toronto Press, 2009).
- Duncan, Ian, Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: the Gothic, Scott and Dickens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
- Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning, ¿The Mandelbaum Gate: Integrative Vocation¿, in Vocation and Identity in the Fiction of Muriel Spark (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1980), pp. 61-88.
- Friedman, Melvin J., ed., The Vision Obscured: Perceptions of Some Twentieth-Century Catholic Novelists (New York: Fordham University Press, 1970).
- Gable O.S.B, Mariella, The Literature of Spiritual Values and Catholic Fiction, ed. by Nancy Hynes (Maryland: University Press of America, 1996).
- Greeley, Andrew, The Catholic Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).
- Gribben, Crawford, and David George Mullan, eds., Literature and the Scottish Reformation (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009).
- Griffiths, Richard, The Pen and the Cross: Catholicism and English Literature 1850-2000 (London: Continuum, 2010).
- Hall, Simon W., The History of Orkney Literature (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2010).
- Harper, George M., ¿Blake's "Nebuchadnezzar" in "The City of Dreadful Night"¿, Studies in Philology, 50:1 (1953), pp. 68-80.
- Hass, Andrew, Jasper, David & Jay, Elizabeth (eds), The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
- Hewitt, Regina, John Galt: Observations and Conjectures on Literature, History, and Society (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2012).
- Huberman, Elizabeth, ¿George Mackay Brown¿s Magnus¿, Studies in Scottish Literature, 16 (1981), 122-134.
- Hynes, Joseph, ed., Critical Essays on Muriel Spark (New York: G.K. Hall & Co., 1992).
- Jasper, David, and Prickett, Stephen, The Bible and Literature: A Reader (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1999).
- Jasper, David & Smith, Allen (eds.), Between Truth and Fiction: A Reader in Literature and Christian Theology (SCM: London, 2010).
- Jasper, David, Sacred Desert: Religion, Literature, Art and Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).
- Kermode, Frank, ¿The Novel as Jerusalem: Muriel Spark¿s Mandelbaum Gate¿, in Hynes, 179-86.
- Leonard, Tom, Places of the mind: The Life and Work of James Thomson (London, 1993).
- Lownie, Andrew, John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier (London: Constable, 1995).
- MacDougall, Carl, Writing Scotland: How Scotland¿s Writers Shaped the Nation (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2004).
- McCulloch, Margery Palmer, Edwin Muir: Poet, Critic, and Novelist (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1993).
- McGonigal, James, ¿Millenial Days: Religion as Consolation and Desolation in Contemporary Scottish Poetry¿, Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 41 (2000), pp. 55-76.
- McGonigal, James, ¿Translating God¿: Negative Theology and Two Scottish Poets¿, in Ethically Speaking: Voice and Values in Modern Scottish Writing, ed. by James McGonigal and Kirsten Stirling (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2006).
- Manning, Susan, The Puritan-Provincial Vision: Scottish and American Literature in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
- Marshall, George, In a Distant Isle: The Orkney Background of Edwin Muir (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988).
- Muir, Edwin, Scott and Scotland: The Predicament of the Scottish Writer (London: Routledge, Voice of Scotland Series, 1936).
- Nicholson, Colin E., Poem, Place and Purpose: Shaping Identity in Contemporary Scottish Verse (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1992).
- O¿Donnell, Angela Alaimo, ¿Seeing Catholicly: Poetry and the Catholic Imagination¿, in The Catholic Studies Reader, ed. by James T Fisher and Margaret McGuinness (New York: Fordham University Pres, 2011), pp. 331-351.
- Pawley, Richard, Secret City: The Emotional Life of Victorian Poet James Thomson B.V.) (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001).
- Reilly, Patrick, ¿Catholics and Scottish Literature 1878-1978¿, Innes Review, 29 (1978), 183-203.
- Stevenson, Randall and Wallace, Gavin (eds.), Scottish Theatre since the Seventies (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996).
- Stonebridge, Lindsay, ¿Fiction in Jerusalem: Muriel Spark¿s Idiom of Judgement¿, in The Judicial Imagination: Writing After Nuremberg (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), pp. ( ).
- Tinkler-Villani, Valeria, ¿Ruins of an Unremembered Past: Poetic Strategies in James Thomson¿s The City of Dreadful Night¿, in Babylon or New Jerusalem? Perceptions of the City in Literature (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2005), pp. 125-134.
- Varty, Anne, ¿The mirror and the vamp: Liz Lochhead¿, A History of Scottish Women¿s Writing, eds. Douglas Gifford and Dorothy McMillan, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997), pp. 641-58.
- Watson, Roderick, The Literature of Scotland (London: Macmillan, 1984).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||1. Critical thinking and reflection (developed through reflection on lectures, the seminar, in the creative writing exercise and extended essay)
2. Working within a team (developed through leading the seminar discussion singly on in pairs)
3. Research skills (developed through preparation for the presentation, the creative writing exercise and the extended essay)
4. Effective communication skills (developed through contribution to seminar discussion and leading a seminar for one week in the course)
|Course organiser||Dr Linden Bicket
Tel: (0131 6)50 8946
|Course secretary||Ms Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900