Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
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.
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.
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.
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.
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