|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
This course expands interests in religious studies and/or history. Why has religion led to conflict? Does conversion matter? When is peaceful coexistence possible? In exploring these and other questions you will move in time from the Roman Empire to September 11, 2001, and in space between Britain, Europe, India, the Middle East, Africa and the United States. Case studies include the Crusades, the Reformation, and the Holocaust. You will engage with controversies regarding the impact of Europe on the non-Western world, and over the ‘death of Christian Britain’. Through extending your knowledge of history you will better understand contemporary problems.
Modules at Level 3 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.
No current presentation - see Future availability
|This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2012.|
Questions of religious conflict, conversion and coexistence have an abiding fascination, both in exploring the chequered historical record and in coming to terms with the role of religion in the contemporary world. There are naturally no simple answers, but those who study this course will gain much scope for better informed and more constructive judgements.
This course spans nearly two millennia of human history and is built around wide-ranging case studies. It is designed to appeal both to those interested in religion in the contemporary world and wanting to understand its long-term context, and to those studying history who would like to explore the profound role played by religion in shaping the past. Christianity receives particular attention and is a recurrent focus, and its own internal diversity and interactions with other traditions and forms of religious expression are a central concern. The standpoint of the course is non-confessional: in other words the integrity of all forms of religious (and anti-religious) belief and activity is respected, but the ideal is rigorous analysis and even-handed judgement rather than the promotion of any particular religious viewpoint. Students will be encouraged to make up their own minds about the material presented to them and will be provided with opportunities to pursue topics of particular interest by means of the internet and other resources for independent learning.
The study materials include the following:
The main content of the five blocks of the course is outlined below.
Block One, Introduction to religious history, explains the nature and scope of religious history as studied in the course, and then provides a survey of some key developments between the first and fifteenth centuries CE (AD). It concentrates particularly on interactions between Christianity and paganism in the later Roman Empire and on the sometimes violent encounter of Christianity and Islam in the Crusades.
Block Two, The Reformation and its aftermath. This block concentrates primarily on the varieties of Christianity that emerged in the early modern era, set in the context of its wider religious environment. It concentrates on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but also explores the legacy of the polarisation of Protestant and Catholic Christians for subsequent periods of history.
Block Three, Conflict, conversion and coexistence in the non-European world, is concerned with interactions between Christianity and other religious traditions between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. It is built around three contrasting regional case studies – the United States, Africa and India – and explores both transformations of Christianity and alternative approaches in which Christianity is no longer the central reference point.
Block Four, The death of Christian Britain, explores the contested interface between religion and secularity. The block reviews and evaluates the arguments of the set book of the same title, especially its claim that the 1960s constituted a crucial turning-point in the religious history of Britain. It also examines the role of gender in twentieth-century religion with particular reference to the controversy over the ordination of women to the priesthood. (Please note that for the October 2012 presentation you will need to purchase the second edition of this book.)
Block Five, Religion, conflict, and coexistence since the Holocaust, begins with an examination of Jewish-Christian relations at the time of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry. It then moves on to explore the role of religion in the conflict in Israel-Palestine. The course is then drawn together through material on the role of Islamic and other ‘fundamentalisms’ in recent and contemporary international conflicts, and on different approaches to religious decline and resurgence in the late twentieth century.
You will gain knowledge and understanding that includes the following:
By studying the course, you will also acquire and develop transferable skills that include the following:
While the course does not relate directly to specific vocational or professional training requirements, it provides a historical knowledge of religious issues valuable to people in a wide variety of fields, including teaching, journalism, politics and international development, as well as to those actively involved in religious leadership or reflection. The transferable skills acquired are essential in a wide range of work situations involving the collection and ordering of information, the management of time, and good understanding and relationships with colleagues and clients of diverse backgrounds.
This is a Level 3 course. Level 3 courses build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. You are not expected to have any special knowledge, but some experience of interdisciplinary work in arts or social sciences would be an advantage.
If you would like more information about this course you can visit the AA307 website. This site includes further details about the course content, what each block of study contains and frequently asked questions.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
If you have not previously taken an Open University arts course, you are advised to read The Arts Good Study Guide (E. Chambers and A. Northedge, The Open University).
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
The study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
Volume of essays, study guides, CDs, website.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.
Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
You can choose whether to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) on paper or online through the eTMA system. You may want to use the eTMA system for some of your assignments but submit on paper for others. This is entirely your choice.
One of the TMAs is double-weighted and will provide an opportunity for you to develop a more independent piece of work that reflects your own interests within the scope of the study material.
The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2012, when it will be available for the last time. A new course Why is religion controversial? (A332) is available from October 2013.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.
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“AA307 was by far one of the most enjoyable, fascinating, interesting and challenging courses I have studied with the OU. ...”
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
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