Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ANTM106: Representation of Animals Through Religion

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

Module Aims

The module aims are:

  1. To enable the student to engage with the range of human, animal, and environmental encounters according to the religious, mystical, and supernatural contexts that continue to have significance in the contemporary world.
  2. To critically evaluate the position of religiously-constructed human-animal encounters in diverse sociocultural schemes globally and how this frames cultural constructions and the ethical treatment of either specific animal species, or non-human animals generally.
  3. To consider how contemporary representations of animals through religious doctrine and ceremony can inform wider theoretical/philosophical debates such as locally-contextualised constructions of ecology and conservation, approaches to ethics and animal welfare, and of non-human animal entities as participants in the wider religious and political landscapes.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. develop an understanding of the diversity of human interactions with animals in the context of religious practices (ceremony, worship, deification) and of religious moral discourse (gift or sacrifice, animal welfare);
2. identify and evaluate representations of animals in religion through art or religious technology, oral narratives, doctrinal and textual sources, and ceremonial activities;
3. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how the social construction of animals through religion enhances anthropological approaches and methodologies that examine the participation of other-than-human beings in the human social, religious, and political landscape;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate a clear understanding of the historical development of theoretical approaches to the representations of animals within the social sciences;
5. demonstrate the ability to critically assess key theoretical debates from anthropology and cognate disciplines surrounding human interactions with animals in the contexts of religious moral discourses;
6. demonstrate a critical awareness of significance of historical and contemporary socio-cultural influences of particular representatives of other-than-human beings for social scientific theory;
Personal and Key Skills7. identify a research problem and conduct independent research to test the research problem;
8. clearly and concisely convey complicated ideas to academic and non-academic audiences; and
9. prepare for writing papers suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.