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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Peacebuilding, Theology and the Arts (THET11061)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn Peacebuilding, Theology and the Arts students are encouraged to analyse in detail the relationship between peacebuilding and the arts, and the role of different lived and public theologies in this interaction. Through this analysis and engagement with both case studies and pertinent secondary literature, students will investigate the ambivalent role of the arts in the peacebuilding and its complex evolving relationship to lived local/public theologies and lived religion.
Course description Academic Description:
The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to enable students to be able to research and to analyse in detail a range arts including the visual arts (e.g. paintings, sculptures, murals), film, photography, music, literature, theatre and dance, that have emerged out of a variety of historical and cultural settings. Through this analysis and engagement with specific artwork and pertinent secondary literature, students will investigate the ambivalent role of the arts in peacebuilding and its complex relation to diverse theologies. Detailed analysis will focus upon how individual works can contribute to building peace, and interact with religious traditions, beliefs and practices.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
Different kinds of art created will be considered in detail, including: visual arts (weeks 1-2), photography (week 3), film (5-6), theatre and dance (7-8), literature (9-10), and music (11). These case studies will be based upon one introductory week (1), which will lay the theoretical and practical foundations for the analysis and case studies that follow. Students will be strongly encouraged by the end of the first two weeks to have read set Introductory texts to lay the necessary theoretical foundations.

Student Learning Experience:
The course involves one two-hour seminar per week and one one-hour post-graduate smaller tutorial. The full class seminar (2hrs, with honours students) will consist of a combination of interactive lecture-style presentations, discussion and analysis of both the primary and secondary texts. Students will be required to research and then present to the class example relevant to the week's theme. Through participation in seminars, prepared readings and tutorial discussions, as well as through the written work included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the
intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting post graduate students interested in the relation between the arts and peacebuilding, and the role of the theology in this interaction, would benefit from this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and interpret the role of visual art, photographs, literature, music, theatre and dance, in peacebuilding in a critical, discerning and imaginative fashion, with particular reference to lived religion and local theologies.
  2. Summarise, compare and critically discuss specific uses of individual works of art in peacebuilding and their interaction with lived religion and local theologies. Engage explicitly with significant & relevant literature, & where interpreters disagree students should be able to rehearse debates & adjudicate between differing accounts.
  3. Draw upon different appropriate critical approaches when interpreting the religious themes within the set works of art.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to identify and understand key terms, concepts and themes, as well as good judgement about how to assess the relative importance of items on course bibliographies, especially in relation to the set texts.
  5. Develop transferable skills in research, presentation, discussion and communication in a group context, especially in relation peacebuilding and the arts, in relation to the role of lived religion and local/public theologies.
Reading List
Indicative Primary Texts, which will be updated each year:
Jolyon Mitchell et al (eds), Peacebuilding and the Arts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Atalia Omer, R. Scott Appleby, and David Little, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Gather, analyse, evaluate and critique evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources
- Organise and structure arguments and draw these together into a coherent conclusion in written and oral form
- Formulate a coherent written or oral presentation on the basis of material gathered and organised independently on a given topic
- Organise their own learning, manage workload and work to a timetable
- Effectively plan, and possess the confidence to undertake and to present scholarly work that demonstrates an understanding of the aims, methods and theoretical considerations relevant to students working in areas such as: Theology/Religious Studies and/or other relevant Arts/Humanities disciplines
KeywordsTheology,Peacebuilding,Visual Art,Literature,Film,Music,Theatre,Dance; Religion,Conflict
Course organiserProf Jolyon Mitchell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8922
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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