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This subject will be taught by a Visiting Scholar in an area of their expertise. It will provide graduate-level engagement with contemporary work in the student's own or cognate disciplines. A subject description and any preliminary reading will be available by the beginning of the academic year in which the subject is to be taught.
2018: "The Archaeology of Religion and Belief from Mesopotamia to Classical Greece and Rome"
Coordinator: Prof Chris Gosden (Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford)
New views are emerging of ancient religion, which allow for a much wider range of belief systems and practices, not just focusing on official temple or polis practices. These include modes of informal religious practice in the home, fields or small shrines, magical practices and magical specialists. As well as widening the scope of practices considered religious, there is much evidence of influence and mixing between cultures across the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. This course will consider new theories and approaches to religion, as well as re-evaluating empirical evidence. The archaeology of religion is seeing something of a renaissance, as it allows us to rethink models of reality, cause and effect and forms of power as these played out in the ancient world.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- enhanced knowledge of the topic or area of scholarship taught in the module;
- an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module; and
- enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in particular areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences today.
The subjects will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing skills and capacities including those identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:
- the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
- an advanced ability to engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of research-based and scholarly literature; and
- an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
Last updated: 3 November 2022