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Unit information: The Renaissance and the Rise of the Modern Age in 2015/16

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Unit name The Renaissance and the Rise of the Modern Age
Unit code THRS20108
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Balserak
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The Renaissance, and inventions like the printing press, profoundly changed people’s conception of themselves, the world, God, and the purpose of life. This unit explores these changes. It examines how Renaissance ideas helped bring about current (Western) worldviews. Applicability to the present day will regularly be made during lectures and seminars.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have (1) developed a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the relationship between the Renaissance and the modern age; (2) in-depth understanding of the intellectual, religious and cultural contexts informing this relationship; 3) demonstrated the ability to critically analyse and evaluate competing scholarly perceptions of the renaissance and its relationship to the modern era; (4) demonstrated the ability to identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument.

Teaching Information

20 hours (lectures/seminars).

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 2500 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 6 (50%).

Reading and References

William J. Bouwsma: The Waning of the Renaissance 1550-1640 (New. Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000). Mark Peterson, Galileo’s Muse; Renaissance Mathematics and the Arts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011). Jacob Burkhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1990). Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (New York: Doubleday,1996).