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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 THRSM0115
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Muessig
Open unit status 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 group discussion, essay writing and examination, in presenting, analysing and evaluating complex ideas and arguments.

Additionally (specific to level M), students will be expected to

(4) display high level skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and (where apt) critiquing images and ideas.

5) apply existing analytical strategies to new evidence with flexibility and creativity

(6) demonstrate the capacity for independent research

Teaching details

2 hours per week (seminar)

Assessment Details

One summative essay of 5000 words (100%). Measures ILOs 1-6

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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