HS3SHP-Heretics and Popes: Heresy and Persecution in the Medieval World

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Rebecca Rist

Email: r.a.c.rist@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will focus on the growth of heresy during the Middle Ages (eleventh to fifteenth centuries), the persecution of heretics by the Church and secular authorities, the status of heretics as a minority group, and the concept of the ‘Other’. Different types of heresy will be explored: theological, political, popular, those stemming from grass-roots disaffection and those from intellectual and philosophical traditions. Seminars will examine the origins of the concept of heresy, different types of heretics, the papacy’s response to heresy, the growth of Church legislation and jurisdiction against heretics, and the establishment of the Inquisition. Students will be able to access a range of sources in translation including the writings of heretics themselves, contemporary chronicles, papal letters, sermons, theological treatises, conciliar legislation and canon law. The course will also examine the construction of heresy and orthodoxy, Max Weber’s famous distinction between Sect and Church, and recent trends in the historiography of heresy, including Emmanuel le Roy Ladurie’s Montaillou and Robert Moore’s The Formation of a Persecuting Society and its critics.   



The seminars will explore: Heresy and orthodoxy in medieval society; the concept of heresy; heresy and ‘the Other’; the construction of heresy; political heresy; popular heresy; intellectual heresy; women and heresy; Cathars; Waldensians; Lollards; Hussites; the persecution of heretics; the Albigensian Crusade; the Inquisition; heretics and other minority groups; the historiography of heresy.  


Aims:

Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.


Assessable learning outcomes:

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



 



undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials



achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole



organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions



recognise and interpret a wide range of different primary materials


Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.


Outline content:

This module will focus on the growth of heresy during the Middle Ages (eleventh to fifteenth centuries), the persecution of heretics by the Church and secular authorities, the status of heretics as a minority group, and the concept of the ‘Other’. Different types of heresy will be explored: theological, political, popular, those stemming from grass-roots disaffection and those from intellectual and philosophical traditions. Seminars will examine the origins of the concept of heresy, different types of heretics, the papacy’s response to heresy, the growth of Church legislation and jurisdiction against heretics, and the establishment of the Inquisition. Students will be able to access a range of sources in translation including the writings of heretics themselves, contemporary chronicles, papal letters, sermons, theological treatises, conciliar legislation and canon law. The course will also examine the construction of heresy and orthodoxy, Max Weber’s famous distinction between Sect and Church, and recent trends in the historiography of heresy, including Emmanuel le Roy Ladurie’s Montaillou and Robert Moore’s The Formation of a Persecuting Society and its critics.   



 



The seminars will explore: Heresy and orthodoxy in medieval society; the concept of heresy; heresy and ‘the Other’; the construction of heresy; political heresy; popular heresy; intellectual heresy; women and heresy; Cathars; Waldensians; Lollards; Hussites; the persecution of heretics; the Albigensian Crusade; the Inquisition; heretics and other minority groups; the historiography of heresy.  


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The teaching for this module involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars.



Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated.



Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature.



Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 22 22
Project Supervision 1 1
Guided independent study: 177 177
       
Total hours by term 200 200
       
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A two-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from the sources studied.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write two essays (each constituting 30% of the overall mark for the module) to be submitted electronically, the first by 12 noon on the Monday of Week 1 in the spring term, the second by 12 noon on the Wednesday of Week 11 in the spring term. Each essay shall not exceed 3,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. Essays which exceed the word limit by more than 5% will incur a penalty of five marks. Candidates will be rewarded for making appropriate use of the prescribed texts.


Formative assessment methods:

Formative work, for instance seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, practice source commentaries, will be required for this Special Subject over the two terms.


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:

    Re-assessment will be by the same method as the module’s original requirement, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 10 September 2019

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

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