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Unit information: Sex, Marriage, and Deviance in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras in 2020/21

Unit name Sex, Marriage, and Deviance in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras
Unit code THRSM0109
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Balserak
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

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

Description

This unit explores aspects of Western understandings of human relationships: marriage, family, sex, divorce, celibacy, and social notions of ‘deviance’ and the ramifications of all of these ideas. It examines sex as conceived of by the church, the law, and civil society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. In considering views and practices which deviated from what was deemed appropriate, this unit will explore issues related to cross-dressing, gender, homosexuality and the like, and will examine how such conduct was dealt with by both church and state.

Aims:

(1)To provide a detailed introduction the sexual lives of Early Modern Europeans.

(2)To develop an in-depth understanding of the religious, cultural and institutional contexts informing this

(3)To develop the skills necessary for identifying and evaluating pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent arguments

(4)To develop written presentation skills through the course assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students will have:

On successful completion of this unit students will have (1) developed a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the sexual lives of Early Modern Europeans; (2) in-depth understanding of the religious, cultural and institutional contexts informing this; 3) demonstrated the ability to analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of this topic; (4) demonstrated the ability to identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate cogent argument; (5) displayed high level skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and (where apt) critiquing ideas.

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

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

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

(8) demonstrate the capacity for independent research

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Details

One summative essay of 5000 words (100%). Measures ILOs 1-8

Reading and References

  • William Naphy, Sex crimes: from Renaissance to Enlightenment (Tempus, 2002).
  • Jeffrey Richards, Sex, Dissidence and Damnation; Minority Groups in the Middle Ages (Routledge, 1991).
  • Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva, eds John Witte Jr and Robert Kingdon (Eerdmans, 2005).
  • Robert Kingdon, Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva (Harvard University Press, 1995).

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