Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Religious Identity Through Story (fusion online) (EFIE11097)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis interdisciplinary course introduces participants to academic frameworks of thinking about story and identity, while offering the opportunity to engage in creative storytelling for a range of contexts. Students will engage with religious stories and their relevance in understanding identity discourses, past and present. Topics covered include inter alia: how retellings of shared stories and characters are used to create identity and inter-religious boundaries in the multi-religious contexts of Europe, Asia and Africa, in relation to indigenous traditions, and in the context of contemporary Jewish, Christian and Muslim interaction. Themes addressed in this course include contemporary literature in our secular age re-writing religious narratives; how folk tales, songs and drama have been augmented and creatively re-invented over time; how shared and divided or contested memories of recent historical events are employed in the construction of religious identities in the present.
Course description In this course we will look at the function of storytelling in religious traditions. We will discuss religious narratives that create community and that set up boundaries, narratives that seek to shape identity and that communicate values, stories that explore a range of human qualities and their potential for unity, division, and conflict. The methods we use to investigate are grounded in religious studies, theology, history and the study of literature. These methods will also form the foundation for our explorations of contemporary retellings of ancient religious stories, such as literary works, poetry, drama, live as well as digital storytelling.

Following a foundation unit that introduces contexts and methods, the course proceeds with three seminars that each introduce a different religious tradition and its core narratives in a range of formats. Workshops with partner organisations will introduce the practical elements of the course laying the groundwork for the creative group projects and the critical essay.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 1, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Other Study Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 73 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 6
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:

1) 1500 Word Creative Storytelling Group Project (or equivalent) 3-5 Minute Audio/Video or Live Performance (40%)

The group project will consist of a narrative, performance, audio/video or other creative piece created for one of the external partners, or, if not actually for use by the partner, the piece will be created with the partner's audience in mind. The project takes narrative material from one or more religious traditions and renders these in a format appropriate to the intended audience, and tests Learning Outcomes 3-5.

2) 2000 Word Individual Critical Essay (60%)

The critical essay reflects on an aspect of the theoretical and methodological parts of the course and can tie the discussion to the creative group project. The CO will provide reflective questions for students to select. These will enable a direct link between the creative project and the reflective essay by asking students to analyse their projects with the skills needed to test Learning Outcomes 1-3.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Formative feedback events are scheduled 14 & 20 days after the intensive study period. This will consist of 2 elements:

1) An online or hybrid group meeting to discuss a draft of the group project.
2) The offer of 15 minute individual meetings with each student to discuss their essay plan.

Feedback on an essay plan can also be given in writing via email if that is the preferred method for the student.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse a range of narrative forms relating to different religious traditions.
  2. Account for changes and developments in religious storytelling across historical time periods and traditions.
  3. Apply theories of identity and of religious belonging to different storytelling practices in the past and in the present.
  4. Critically reflect on literary and performative retellings of core religious narratives historically and today.
  5. Create original work using narrative and storytelling techniques in a range of media.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Valentina Bold, 'Scottish Storytelling Today: Context, Performance, Renaissance', in Bertold Schoene, ed., Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), pp. 371-80.

Thomas E. Boomershine, Story journey: An Invitation to the Gospel as Storytelling (Nashville: Abingdon, 1988)

Gerard Carruthers, 'The Devil in Scotland', The Bottle Imp, (2008) 3.

Sarah Dunnigan and Suzanne Gilbert, The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Traditional Literatures (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013).

R. Ruard Ganzevoort, Maaike de Haardt, and Michael Scherer-Rath (eds), Religious Stories We Live by: Narrative Approaches in Theology and Religious Studies (Leiden: Brill, 2014)

Lizanne Henderson, ¿Studying the supernatural history of Scotland¿, in Henderson, L. (ed.) Fantastical Imaginations: The Supernatural in Scottish History and Culture (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2009), xiii-xxiv.

Frank J. Keerful, ¿Elizabeth Bishop's 'The Prodigal' as a Sympathetic Parody¿ Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate (2002) 12.1, pp. 14-34

Andrew Tate, 'The Challenges of Re-writing Sacred Texts: The Case of Twenty-First Century Gospel Narratives', in Mark Knight (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Religion and Literature (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 332-342.

Samuel Tongue, Between Biblical Criticism and Poetic Rewriting: Interpretative Struggles over Genesis 32.22-32 (Leiden: Brill, 2014).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course develops graduate skills in research, enquiry and communication (SCQF1-4); and offers the opportunity to enhance personal effectiveness and intellectual autonomy (SCQF5).
Course organiserDr Linden Bicket
Tel: (0131 6)50 8946
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information