HM5505: Women, Men and Religion

HM5505: Women, Men and Religion

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

Module Title Women, Men and Religion
Module Code HM5505
Module Tutor Melissa Raphael
School School of Education and Humanities
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 5
Brief Description

This module explores the present and historical role, status and image of women and men in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The module will analyse how women have been both marginalised in these traditions as well as empowered and sometimes liberated by them, and how male social and intellectual power (especially that of elite men and husbands and fathers) is underpinned by gendered cosmic hierarchies.  The module will also include examination of ways in which some women are working towards becoming the speaking subjects of their own religious experience within existing dispensations and outside them, in the more radical forms of religious community.

Indicative Syllabus

The module will open with a study of the central themes in the study of gender and religion and the role of the sacred/profane distinction in the gendering of men and women's religious lives, especially that of menstrual impurity in the construction of gendered religious difference. The students will then be introduced through a mixture of lectures and workshops to the role and construction of gender in the theology and practice of three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The rise of men’s studies in religion and the (re)construction of male spirituality and religious identity will also be considered. Moving onto post-traditional religion, there will be an analysis of the Women's Spirituality Movement and its revival of Goddess worship as a tradition privileging women’s biological, political and cultural experience.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of religious teaching about women and the religious practices forbidden to or ordained for women in the three Abrahamic traditions.

2. Demonstrate a critical awareness and knowledge of some of the historical, geographical and social diversity within the teachings and practices of the Abrahamic traditions.

3. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic interpretative issues and debates that arise in both the radical and reformist types of feminist study of religion.

4. Undertake informed group discussion and critical analysis of textual and visual resources.

5. Use a range of ICT skills in order to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information.

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 28
Independent Learning Hours: 122
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 0% Presentation: Group: 15 Minute presentation.
002: 100% Assignment: Individual: 2000 Words
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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