Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC1018: Foundations in Political Thinking: From Early Christianity to the Renaissance

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Karen Scott (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


In this module you will cover the key works of six of the most important thinkers from early Christianity to the European Renaissance: Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, Niccoló Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza. Their writings may be approached from a number of different perspectives and may be read (amongst other ways) as addressing problems peculiar to the historical context in which they were written; as abstract theoretical explorations of some of the key concepts in politics, such as the state, sovereignty and liberty; or as important episodes in a narrative of the development of modernity that shapes how we understand both the history and identity of politics today. These perspectives need not be antithetical and the scope of the course encompasses all three.

There are no pre-requisite or co-requisite modules required in order to take this module. 

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