HS1MMM-Monks, Moors and Magic: Patterns of Belief in Medieval Europe

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Ms Harriet Mahood

Email: h.mahood@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.


Aims:

We think of Europe in the middle ages as being predominantly under the religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church, yet this picture fails to take account of the diversity of belief in the medieval era. This module aims to introduce students to this diversity and to investigate how beliefs shaped day-to-day life.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

• identify the sources of the topic in question

• trace its historical development

• be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development

• understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts

• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed coursework

• demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.


Additional outcomes:

The module also aims:

• to encourage students to think independently 

• to help students develop good oral and written communication skills 

• to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations 

• to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources. 


Outline content:

Belief was, and is, at the centre of everyday life and ranges from moral and medical beliefs, to religious faith. In this module we will investigate what the people of medieval Europe believed in.  We will begin with the Catholic Church and study its foundations to understand how it became the predominant religious authority in medieval Europe. After this, we move on to the role traditional beliefs had in this new system, and how these fitted into Church doctrine. We will use various sources including accounts of miracles and recipes for charms, as well as archaeological artefacts such as amulets and pilgrim souvenirs to reveal what people believed in. We will also look at the different forms of Christianity, from local parishioner and cloistered monk to holy visionaries and ‘walled in’ anchorites. Finally we examine what it was like to be non-Christian. What was it like to be a pagan, Jew or Muslim in the medieval world? How did their lives differ from that of Christians?


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 17
Guided independent study: 83
       
Total hours by term 100 0 0
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Written exam 50% 

one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment 50%:

1 written assignment of c. 1,250 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin, by 12 noon on the submission deadline in Week 11 specified on the module site on Blackboard.


Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 11 September 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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