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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO2720 Religion, Gender and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr. Caroline Starkey
Email: c.starkey@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is mutually exclusive with

THEO2280Women and Religion
THEO3295Humanity in Christian Thought

Module replaces

THEO 2280: this new module is a significant revision of THEO 2280 'Women and Religion'

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Does the Christian tradition hold that women are inferior to men because Eve was created from Adam's rib? Are Muslim women who wear the veil oppressed? Does Hinduism promote 'son preference'? What are the implications of such religious attitudes for gender relations in societies globally? In this module students will apply the tools of gender analysis in order to understand the ways in which religion contributes towards inequality between men and women in society. However, we will also use gender analysis to understand the ways in which religious resources have been used to tackle gender inequality (e.g. the emergence of 'religious feminisms' which seek to achieve women’s empowerment). The module will engage with more recent developments that examine the contribution of religions to men’s social role and identities. Students will become familiar with various methodological and theoretical frameworks including feminist theory and post-colonial critique. The module includes weekly lectures and seminars, including the opportunity to work on a group project where students will develop ways of applying their academic learning about gender and religion to meet the needs and interests of different non-academic stakeholders.

Objectives

- Apply the tools of gender analysis in order to understand the ways in which religion contributes towards inequality between men and women in society;
- Use gender analysis to also understand the ways in which religious resources have also been used to tackle gender inequality (e.g. the emergence of ‘religious feminisms’ which seek to achieve women’s empowerment);
- To examine the gendered experience of women, and also men, past and present, in a selection of the major world religions;
- To locate these discussions within the context of broader global processes and issues that impact upon women's lives, in particular, including post-colonial critique, human rights, sexual ethics, poverty and ecological concerns;
- Seek to encourage students to think of ways to apply their academic learning about gender and religion to meet the needs and interests of different non-academic stakeholders.

Learning outcomes
- In depth knowledge of attitudes towards women’s within a range of religious traditions;
- Knowledge about emergent forms of critical theory and praxis that aim to challenge the patriarchy inherent within religious traditions;
- Knowledge about and ability to apply critical and analytical tools to questions raised in the module (e.g. feminist critique, postcolonial critique etc…).
- Knowledge about how to apply academic knowledge for a non academic audience.

Skills outcomes
This module will enable students to develop analytical and methodological approaches essential to the study of religion in particular and other social sciences and humanities subject areas more broadly. Students will also begin to think about ways that they can apply their academic learning to meet the needs and interests of non-academic stakeholders.


Syllabus

This module will not only provide knowledge of attitudes towards women within a selection of religious traditions, but will also use the tools of gender analysis to understand the ways in which religions contribute towards inequality towards men and women in societies. However, religious resources often influence movements for gender equality and the module will examine a number of case studies, from different traditions and geographical locations globally, of 'religious feminism'. The module will also seek to examine and problematise the ways in which many 'public institutions' globally (e.g. political parties, international development bodies etc…) engage with ‘religion’ and the implications of this for gender relations. Following this, it will critically evaluate public discourses about gender and religion (e.g. about the significance and implications of the rise of fundamentalism for women's rights in Islam). The module will also engage with more recent developments that examine the contribution of religions to men’s social role and identities. Students will become familiar with various methodological and theoretical frameworks including feminist theory and post-colonial critique. The module includes weekly lectures and seminars, including the opportunity to work on a group project where students will develop ways of applying their academic learning about gender and religion to meet the needs and interests of different non-academic stakeholders.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Meetings250.250.25
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Tutorial840.170.17
Private study hours178.58
Total Contact hours21.42
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

5 hours a week preparing for seminars = 50 hours
5 hours a week background reading = 50 hours
78.58 hours: half spent on essay preparation/writing and half spent on group project work (including weekly meetings of 30 minutes each between weeks 3 and weeks 7, tutor will not be present).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress monitoring:
Informal meetings during office hours; meeting to receive feedback on essay plan; meeting about group presentation; and attendance monitoring.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project5,000 word report30.00
Essay3,000 word essay50.00
Oral PresentationGroup presentations about reports20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Group Project: In each seminar group the students will divide into groups of 3-4 during the seminar in week 2. The task: ‘You have been asked to prepare a report for a non-academic organisation to present an aspect of the module that is relevant to their needs and interests. You can choose the organisation and must also select the topic. Possible organisations could be selected from the following types: i) Corporate and media
(seminar in week 8) ii) Government and public policy
(seminar in week 9) iii) Museums and galleries
(seminar in week 10) iv) Cultural organisations and industries
(seminar in week 11, or v) v) Community and voluntary bodies/public awareness (seminar in week 11, or iv) Examples will be discussed in the seminar. The report should be no longer than 5000 words long.’ Oral Presentation: In the seminars in weeks 8-11, students to give group presentations about their reports.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/03/2019

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