Body and Belief TRS4105

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore the development of ideas of the body from the ancient world to the modern era, looking at primary texts from a variety of historical periods and socio-cultural contexts.


One 2 hour seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into MA Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Project (3,500 words) - 60%

Reflective journal (consisting of 5 entries of 500 words each) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore the development of representations of the body in religious traditions;

■ engage critically with primary sources that demonstrate these developments;

■ deepen understanding of ways in which contemporary theory challenges traditional understandings of the body;

■ develop awareness of scriptural, historical and theological engagements with these themes;

■ plan and conduct an independent project.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe a range of scriptural, historical and theological understandings of the body; 

■ offer a critical analysis of debates surrounding the significance of the body in both historical and contemporary contexts;

■ compare and contrast different understandings of the body in a variety of traditions;

■ conduct independent research leading to a seminar presentation and an extended essay or project;

■ present complex arguments in written and oral form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.