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Unit information: Symposium II in Religion and Theology in 2017/18

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Unit name Symposium II in Religion and Theology
Unit code THRS20097
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
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


In this mandatory unit, students will be assigned to two different symposium groups (one focusing upon Judeo-Christian religions and one upon Asian religions) and will participate in two parallel sets of ten weekly hour-long seminars. The tutor of each small group will guide students through the in-depth discussion and analysis of a central theme or key text in theology and religious studies, with an emphasis on the in-depth critical analysis of a specialist body of material. Emphasis will be placed on (a) student participation, which will take the form of (i) oral presentation of independent work and (ii) working with other students to develop close readings of a text or texts; and (b) enhancing essay writing skills.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

(1) learnt how to explore a body of religious material in depth through critical reading and engaged discussion;

(2) further improved their capacity for oral expression;

(3) further developed methodological rigour;

(4) demonstrated the advanced ability to identify and critically evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument in both oral and written form.

Teaching details

2 x 1-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Details

2 x oral seminar presentations of approx. 15 mins (50%) [ILOs 1 & 2] and 2 x 2000 word essays (50%) [ILOs 3 & 4]

Reading and References

Rowan Williams, On Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Britain and Beyond Debra Dean Murphy, Feminist Appraisal of Milbank Alan Unterman, ‘The Jewish Mystical Tradition’ in Jews: Their religious beliefs and practices Steven T. Katz, ed. Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis Fiona Bowie, The Anthropology of Religion, Augustine, Confessions