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Unit information: Sisters, Saints and Sinners: Women and the Medieval Church in 2016/17

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Unit name Sisters, Saints and Sinners: Women and the Medieval Church
Unit code THRS30076
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Muessig
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

The place of women in the ecclesiastical structure of the medieval Church and in religious society was multifaceted and at times provided women with positions of unprecedented authority. This unit will examine and assess the role of medieval women as teachers, preachers, holy leaders and as heretics. Individuals and themes to be considered include: authority, transgression, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Marguerite Porete and Joan of Arc.

Aims:

  • To provide an overview of the varied role of women in the medieval Church.
  • To provide develop knowledge and skill to access critically a wide range of arguments advanced by historians and theologians relating to women in the Church
  • To develop critical interaction with primary and secondary materials.
  • To develop written presentation skills through the course assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students will have:

(1) Acquired a clear understanding of the varied role of women in the medieval Church.

(2) Acquired the knowledge and skill to access critically a wide range of arguments advanced by historians and theologians relating to women in the Church.

(3) Acquired skills through essay writing and examination, in presenting, analysing and evaluating complex ideas and arguments.

Students will also be expected to show:

(4) Skills in critical thinking and in written communication appropriate to level H.

Teaching details

Seminars - 3 hours per week

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 3000 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 6 (50%). Both elements will assess ILOs (1) (2) (3). The coursework essay in particular will offer students the opportunity to demonstrate ILO (4).

Reading and References

  • George Ferzoco, Beverly Kienzle, Debra Stoudt, Companion to Hildagard of Bingen, Brill’s Companions ot the Christian tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2013).
  • E. Ann Matter and John Coakley, eds., Creative women in medieval and early modern Italy :a religious and artistic renaissance (Philadelphia, Pa. : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994).
  • Carolyn Muessig, George Ferzoco, Beverly Mayne Kienzle, eds. A companion to Catherine of Siena. Brill's companions to the Christian tradition 32 (Leiden: Brill, 2012).

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