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Semester 1

Religion and Ethics in Literature (DIVI10016)







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Visiting students should have passed at least three courses in Divinity/Religious Studies and/or English Literature, at grade B or above, for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

This course will explore the influence of contemporary religious and ethical debates on literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It will consider the differences between texts exploring different religions and none across the field of literatures in English.

Course Description

Academic Description: The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to enable students from a variety of academic backgrounds to engage in religious and ethical debates as these are embodied in literary texts. A range of texts from the field of literatures in English are discussed and their contributions to, and interactions with, wider religious and ethical concerns are explored. In its widest sense, the context of these texts and their authors is established and this includes both the faith perspective and the ethical stance promoted, implied or critiqued in the text. Syllabus/Outline Content: The course draws on the diverse academic backgrounds of both staff and students as it offers opportunities to reflect on contemporary texts from a range of religious and secular traditions. After a session which introduces the approach to be taken, each week a text is set in its context and its contribution to religious and ethical debates of its time is explored. The course concludes with a review of material covered, and an opportunity to prepare for the final essay. As this is a team- taught course, a wide range of texts will be covered, and the specific texts will vary each year according to staff availability. In the past, these have included Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory; James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack; Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials; Ruth Kluger's Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered; Jackie Kay's Fiere. Student Learning Experience Information: Teaching input will involve a lecture and seminar discussion each week, with further online resources available after each lecture. There will be reading set for each week, which will include the key literary text plus secondary literature. Preparation for seminars will also depend on students meeting in advance in autonomous learning groups to discuss issues raised by the set texts. Groups will present the findings of their discussions by contributing to online Discussion Forums. Through participation in seminar and online discussion, and the coursework essay and final essay, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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