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Religion & Gender - 20 credits (RT1217)

Module Tutor: Professor Geoffrey Samuel

Summary of course content

Introduces students to a range of issues relating to gender and particularly to the role of women in different religious traditions, both Western and Asian. The approach is mainly anthropological, but also draws on feminist, historical and religious sources.

Credits: 20

Availability of module: Next taught in 2013-14


Necessary for:


• To introduce students to current theoretical perspectives in the study of gender and religion
• To introduce students to current methodological approaches to the study of gender and religion
• To introduce students to the ways in which gender roles are formulated and challenged in a range of religious traditions
• To familiarise students with examples of religious practice that have a gendered dimension
• To encourage students to consider common themes in the study of gender and religion (such as the nature and role of authority and protest, the negotiation of individual and group identities and the social and political roles of religious practice)
• To encourage students to consider the global role of gender and gender studies in the study of religions both ancient and modern

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will:
• be aware of and knowledgeable about gender issues within a number of historical and contemporary religious traditions;
• understand the significance of religion in relation to issues of gender and sexual identity;
• have an ability to analyse anthropological, textual and other relevant bodies of material;
• be able to discuss these issues in assessed work with coherent and logical arguments, clearly and correctly expressed

Teaching Methods

Lectures; seminars; some film and video


Assignment and Exam

Suggested book purchases

A collection of seminar readings and supplementary readings will be available via Learning Central.

Suggested preparatory reading

Nothing specific, but students are encouraged to look at relevant material about religious traditions in which they are personally interested.

Primary sources

Again nothing specific, but personal exploration is encouraged.