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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOAH3150 Religion and Violence

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Gregorio Alonso

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will provide participants with an overview of the manifold relationships between religion and violence across cultures and historical periods. The power of systems of beliefs, theistic and non-theistic alike, over the ways in which societies understand, resist and criticise the legitimate use of force will be explored in depth. Their influence on gender roles will also be explored in different socio-political settings. The module will provide a sound understanding of the relationship between politics, religion and Western processes of secularization, too. Group work will be encouraged by individual presentations to wok as the basis for seminar debates and further examination of the different research fields they will be working on. Students will also be assessed by the completion of a report of the presentation potentially usable as an official or media report. Individual performance will also be assessed through a book review and a 3.000-word essay.


1. To develop students' ability to examine different religious cultures in past and current societies, including Abrahamic and Dharmic traditions.
2. To enhance participants' analytical resources to engage with the use of force and its ideological and religious dimensions.
3. To consider the ways in which religions can act as a resource for peace building as well as the display of violence.
4. To familiarise students with theories of secularization and the sacralisation of politics.
5. To critically examine an array of written and audio-visual primary sources.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
1. Develop their intercultural skills through the study of several religious and spiritual traditions.
2. Acquire significant knowledge of the main concepts, theories and themes related to the study of religion and violence.
3. Display the aptitude and confidence to work in the preparation and presentation of a topic.
4. Develop their research and analytical skills while examining existing literature and sources.
5. Demonstrate an advanced capacity for independent critical thought and the skills necessary to exercise this in sustained debate.

Skills outcomes
Intercultural Skills
Research Skills
Analytical Skills
Employability Skills


Students will be covering a wide range of topics related to the manifold relationships between religion, civil life and conflict across cultures and historical periods. The module will start by dealing with the theory of secularization and its critics. The use of ritual violence against people and animals in the Classical period as well as its treatment in Judeo-Christian traditions and other religious schools will be discussed. Some sessions will be devoted to discussing encounters and conflicts between Christianity and Islam, dealing with Media representation, the Crusades and Jihad as well as the role of gender in religious thought. Assessed individual seminar presentations will allow students to engage with the topics and the specialised literature.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours40.00
Private study hours140.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to:
1. Do the assigned weekly readings
2. To find resources for their essays, book reviews and group presentations
3. To rely on the books held at the University’s libraries, digital libraries and journals.
4. To seek for guidance and support by individual members of the teaching team and/or the module convenor.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Informal feedback will be provided in one-to-one sessions in preparation for the seminar presentation. After the presentations the tutors will also provide oral feedback during their support and guidance hours to further mentor students working on their specific fields of choice.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words65.00
Literature Review2000 words35.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Working in groups, students will do a project report and present it in a seminar, either collectively or through one or two spokespersons. Each seminar group will be split into 4 groups and, given that the expectation will be full with 30 students, each sub-group will have 3 or 4 students.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:42:35


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