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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Saints Cults, Pilgrimage and Piety in Scotland (PGHC11224)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of the course is to introduce students to some of the many roles the cult of saints played in the religious, political, social and cultural life of late medieval western Europe. Most of these wider themes will be illustrated through a focus on the development of saints' cults within late medieval Scotland, at both the national and local level
Course description Across Western Europe the late medieval period was characterised by a great, and apparently increasing, popular interest in a variety of saints. The course examines some of the distinctive aspects of this popular devotion as it was manifested in late medieval Scotland. Topics covered include the growth of Marian devotion and burgeoning interest in the Virgin Martyrs, the role of military saints such as St George, the relationship between saints cults and secular power, the distinctive patterns of pilgrimage within Scotland and across Western Europe, and the generation of miracle-working cults around the figures of political figures such as Thomas of Lancaster and Simon de Montfort. Worksheets addressing the specific issues to be covered in each seminar will be distributed once students have selected the topics they wish to present on. Each session will also involve discussion of relevant primary sources and how they should be approached/interpreted as 'historical' documents.
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:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1 x 5,000 word essay (100%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning saints cults in late medieval Scotland and Europe
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning medieval saints cults, primary source materials concerning popular piety and devotion, and conceptual discussions about medieval belief
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course including the analysis of liturgical material
  4. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Abou-El-Haj, B., The Medieval Cult of Saints: Formations and Transformations (Cambridge, 1994)

Delehaye, H The Legends of the Saints (1998 reprint)

Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars (London, 1992)

Finucane, R.C., Miracles and Pilgrims. Popular beliefs in Medieval England (London, 1977)

Vauchez, A., Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages, trans. J.Birrell (Cambridge, 1997)

Webb, D., Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in the Medieval West (London, 2001)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSaintsCults Pilgrimage Piety Scotland
Course organiserProf Stephen Boardman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4035
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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