Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ANTM112: Animals and Religion

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

  • 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.
  • To engage critically with the concept of religion and its manifestations in different times and places, and to appreciate the complex categorical distinctions and uses of language which shape the way we can and do talk about religion and the place of animals within religion.
  • To critically evaluate the position of human-animal encounters within the context of religion and in diverse sociocultural schemes globally and historically, and how this shapes the ethical treatment of either specific animal species, or non-human animals generally.

To consider how contemporary representations of animals through religious doctrine and ceremony can inform wider theoretical/philosophical debates such as 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 religion with particular reference to the many dimensions that religiosity might take (ritual, belief, texts, narrative, ethics etc);
2. Identify and evaluate the place of animals within the cultural history of religion and draw common themes using cross cultural analysis.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the extent and limitation of social and cultural categories (e.g. religion) and their application within an academic context;
4. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate ethically relevant behaviour within a wide range of cultural contexts with clarity and well justified arguments.
Personal and Key Skills5. identify a research problem and conduct independent research to test the research problem;
6. clearly and concisely convey complicated ideas to academic and non-academic audiences; and
7. prepare for writing papers suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.