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Unit information: Medieval Religion: Christianity and Islam in 2020/21

Unit name Medieval Religion: Christianity and Islam
Unit code THRSM0134
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Balserak
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will examine the role of religion as a major force in shaping the cultural identity of the people of the Middle Ages. Lectures will examine key themes in religion, philosophy and culture in medieval Islam and Christianity.

The aims of the unit are to:

  1. introduce students to the role of religion as a major force in shaping the cultural identity of the people of the Middle Ages;
  2. explore devotional practices (e.g., pilgrimages, fasting); conceptions of sacred scripture (e.g., Bible and Koran); philosophical/theological ideas.
  3. develop skills in reading, writing and argumentation in relation to medieval religion.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

1.Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of some of the core devotional, textual and philosophical issues within the topics discussed in the unit.

2.Demonstrate familiarity with some of the central contemporary literature on these issues.

3. analyse and critically appraise these issues, by providing argumentative justification for their position.

4.demonstrate skills in research, academic writing and argumentation.

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

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

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

(7) demonstrate the capacity for independent research

Teaching details

1 x three-hour seminar per week

Assessment Details

One summative essay of ca. 5000 words Measures outcomes 1-7

Reading and References

See Blackboard