Dissertation Preparation (20 credits)
This module provides a structured framework enabling you to gain professional skills in presentation and teamwork, as well as identifying an appropriate dissertation area, research question and supervisor, and completing the initial planning and research for your dissertation.
Optional modules may include:
Religion in the Public Sphere A and B
These modules are the compulsory second year module (part 1) for all students on the BA PRP programme. It consolidates learning about the three subjects gained in the first year and continues to bring their concerns, insights and methods into dialogue by focussing on issues and regions of concern in the contemporary world. A main aim of the module is to ensure that students leaving the Birmingham PRP programme can offer analysis and advice in public arenas on religious, political and philosophical issues in an informed and robust manner and can explain the value and skills of their degree studies to prospective employers.
The modules will enable students to analyse issues and policies concerning religion arising in the public square, critically integrating perspectives from the programme’s three disciplines.
The modules proceeds by equipping students with background and analytic tools developing and understanding and ability to use principles and approaches to understanding religion and social and intellectual context via looking at issues and varying contexts in the history of religious and social relations. Students will then be able to apply these principles and approaches to the analysis of current issues in a variety of contexts around the contemporary world.
Auschwitz in History and Memory
This interdisciplinary Holocaust studies module explores Auschwitz in history and memory.
Topics covered relating to KL Auschwitz include the evolution and multi-functionality of the site; the experience of non-Jews; gendered experiences; the nature of survival and resistance in KL Auschwitz; the Auschwitz Sonderkommando; perpetrators and perpetrator texts. Study of Auschwitz in memory will focus on the ‘afterlife’ of the site, both as a physical location/memorial and as a symbol: visual representations of Auschwitz; memorialization of the site; the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum; Auschwitz as a site of mass/dark/Holocaust tourism, and a site of pilgrimage and (contested) sacred space.
Life After Death: What Happens When We Die?
Life after death is a perennial interest but especially for religious communities. Who doesn’t want to know what happens when they die? And, for many, the whole point of being religious is in order to gain access to heaven. This class will look about the development of ideas about the afterlife in a variety of ancient and modern religions. It will look at how what people think about immortality is reflective of their social and cultural values, legislative and ethical systems, and social hierarchies. Examining what people say about life after death can tell us a great deal about how people respond to crisis and process grief; it reflects how various groups value (or not) gender, disability and race; and can tell us about our own anxieties about who we are and who we want to be.
Religion and the Arts
This module will assess the importance and significance of art (and ‘the arts’ more broadly framed) in its many different forms as a tool for communication, interpretation and critique of religious and theological ideas and ideologies. It will focus on, for example, a range of artefacts, including works of fine art, stained glass, sculpture, literature, film and music, and upon buildings and architectural features, offering and introduction to the development of religious art and seeking to read a range of works from religious and secular perspectives. Students will learn how to read and appreciate such artefacts as theological resources as well as cultural ones, and reflect upon issues such as what it is that makes art religious and how cultural outputs and artefacts can have spiritual impact.
Special Study - Autumn
Special Study - Spring