Reflections on the Body: Sensation and Emotion in Medieval Religion TRS4111

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the role of the body within medieval religion through an exploration of sensation and emotion. The course will concentrate on two key issues: how attitudes towards the body and its place in medieval religious practice and belief are illuminated by considering sensation and emotion, and the special focus that sensation and emotion receive in women's writing and mystical literature of the period.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 10 teaching 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 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



Essay (2,500 words): 40%

Presentation of 10 minutes:10%

Examination (90 minutes duration): 50%

OR: in place of the exam an additional 3000 word essay on a topic to be agreed with the convener, by an agreed date: 50%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 various attitudes towards the body, sensation and emotion and their relationships in light of historical criticism and modern literary theory;

■ assess critically approaches toward the body in medieval religion and culture;

■ explore the relationship between cultural attitudes and biblical interpretation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ offer a critical and theoretical understanding of the place of the body within theological belief and Christian practice in the medieval period;

■ analyse the assumptions and methods of both historical criticism and modern literary approaches towards medieval religious texts;

■ analyse the approaches of specific writers towards the body, sensation and emotion with Christian belief and practice;

■ identify and reflect upon the continuing influence of certain writers perpetuating certain attitudes towards the body, sensation and emotion with Christianity;

■ 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.