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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Church, Conflict and Community in Britain and Ireland 1850-1914 (DIVI10017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA study of Church, state and society from the first Christian Socialist movement to the First World War. Topics include the growth of religious pluralism, the "Victorian Crisis of Faith", religion and nationalism in Ireland, liberal "Broad Church" theology revivalism and the "social gospel".
Course description Academic Description:
The course explores religion, politics and society in Britain and Ireland during the height of British imperial power. There are four main themes. First, the course investigates the response of the British Churches to the rapid social changes associated with mature industrial society, the movement for women's equality, and growing democracy. Second, it considers the Victorian crisis of faith, as Christian orthodoxy was challenged by modern science, biblical scholarship and increased exposure to other world faiths. Third, it explores the weakening connection of Church and State, and the growth of religious pluralism. Finally, it assesses the role of religion in defining identities in an era of democratic nationalism, giving attention to the growth of Catholic nationalism and Protestant Unionism in Ireland.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course will apply historical approaches to the religious history of imperial Britain, with a strong emphasis on skills for assessing historical evidence. Themes to be explored include Christian approaches to the challenges of industrialisation and urbanisation; Anglican sisterhoods, deaconesses and Christian feminism; popular religion, gender and secularisation; Protestant revivalism and Roman Catholic missions; Catholic Nationalism and Protestant Unionism in Ireland; Imperial Christianity and Overseas Missions; and new religious movements (spiritualism, theosophy, esoteric magic). We will read short works by a number of religious thinkers and activists, including Charles Kingsley, Charles Darwin, Josephine Butler, Matthew Arnold, John Henry Newman, David Livingstone, and Annie Besant.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course meets weekly for a two-hour session. There will be a pre-recorded contextual lecture, with a very full PowerPoint, that will be available on the course Learn in advance of the course meeting. The first part of the class meeting will be devoted to a discussion of the themes of the lecture and secondary readings for the week, with questions and comments from seminar participants, who will be encouraged to comment on or raise questions. The second part of the class meeting will consist of a discussion of a key primary text or texts. A student will provide a lead blog on one of the seminar readings each week, and introduce the discussion of that seminar reading at our seminar meeting. Students will interact outside class-time by contributing to the blog ahead of the seminar. There is also a discussion board - open 24/7 - providing an informal space to allow you to keep in touch with classmates. Through participation in the lectures and seminar discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed History of Christianity as a World Religion 1B (ECHS08004) OR History of Christianity as a World Religion 1B (DIVI08015)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Church, Conflict and Community in Britain and Ireland 1850-1914 3/4 (ECHS10004)
Other requirements Students who have previously taken the following course MUST NOT enroll: Church, Conflict and Community in Britain and Ireland 1850-1914 3/4 (ECHS10004)
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Divinity/Religious Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise how religion, and especially Christianity, played a vital role in shaping modern British and Irish society and politics.
  2. Construct historical explanations and arguments, with comparisons of social class, gender, ethnic identities, denominational affiliations, and ecclesiastical parties.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the religious, social, political and economic history of Britain and Ireland within the British imperial context.
  4. Show critical awareness of the achievements of Christian thinkers and activists in responding to the challenges of modernity.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions
- Commitment to lifelong learning
- Capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted
- Ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
Course organiser Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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