Postgraduate Course: Religion and Nationalism: Theory and Performance (REST11019)
|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||The course aims to address the direct and indirect influences of religion on nationalism, and the relationship that exists between them. Two crucial areas will therefore be explored: a) the creative and subtle ways in which religious ideas are used as a repertoire for nationalist imagining; b) the role 'religion' plays as a contested social space shaped by power. The course aims to complement other optional courses on the history and contemporary interpretations of religion and society, in the Religious Studies and Divinity, Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, Anthropology and International Relations programmes.
This course aims to investigate the manner in which religion and nationalism interact. It will demonstrate that the importance of religion on contemporary debates ranging from nationalism to its place in the public sphere is far from marginal, but central to the way we should think about the global world system. In order to achieve this, the course combines strong theoretical discussions ranging from classical theories from the French Revolution to more recent postcolonial scholarship, alongside detailed case studies from around the world that has many contemporary resonances. These debates will be carefully considered both in the lectures and the seminar discussions based on readings that are both empirically rich and theoretically innovative.
The complexity and richness of the course will be illustrated through thematic considerations such as the importance of homeland, gender, mapping, the discourse of ethnic election, postcolonial nationalisms, the relationship between state, nation, religious identities, secularism, to the resurgence of indigenous peoples' place in the world system. It will discuss the ways in which modern theories of nationalism provide a lens through which nations can be understood both in its modern guise, but also in the way its roots in antiquity have been central to its identity in the present. It will examine classic books on nationalism such as Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson; The Ethnic Origin of Nations by Anthony D. Smith; to the importance of postcolonial and poststructuralist thinkers to this debate by scholars such as Partha Chatterjee and Talal Asad.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of two-hour weekly meetings consisting of one-hour weekly lectures, and one-hour seminar discussions. This will be complemented by five separate hour-each PG seminars, where more in-depth and advanced discussions will be held. Each student will do a presentation based on the assigned reading and will be responsible for leading class discussion during the seminar hour. Students are also required to write a weekly-assessed blog that will demonstrate their understanding and engagement with the readings. Students will also have the opportunity to construct an essay title that focuses on a topic of their interest in conversation with the lecturer. Through their participation in lectures, seminars, written work, and feedback offered, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||This is a graduate-level course. Please confirm subject prerequisites with the Course Manager.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Show an understanding of key concepts such as religion and nationalism, and ability to link these to broader theories of the modern state, secularism, globalisation and belonging.
- Show the critical ability to interrogate the importance of religion in shaping nationalist discourse, in both historical and contemporary contexts.
- Show in depth engagement with primary and secondary sources, and scholarly debates on the relevant texts.
- Show an ability to undertake independent research by devising a 3000-3500 word essay - topic of interest.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
- Writing skills, including clear expression and citing relevant evidence
- Presentation skills, both oral and written, supported by appropriate technologies
- Ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that meanings may be multiple
|Course organiser||Dr Christopher Cotter
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227