The Mad, The Holy, and the Demonic
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
The module will begin with a historical survey of the concept of madness to highlight the difficulties in its definition, and to appreciate the variety of explanations attributed to it in Western culture through the ages. Students will be introduced to the intimate relationship between psychology and religion as two different yet interrelated approaches for making sense of ‘madness’, and the problems apparent in attempts to distinguish between the two. Following this we shall explore two key psychoanalytic models that were developed early in the 20th century for making sense of ‘madness’ and religious experience: the models of Sigmund Freud and C.G Jung. Students will apply these models to prominent case studies of demonic possession (both medieval and contemporary) in order to evaluate the limitations and benefits of either a psychological or religious diagnoses and possible cure. If mutually convenient times can be found, the module convenor will arrange for Exorcists/ Deliverance Ministers to present a class on aspects of their work. Students will be invited to question them.
-threshold -D- - D +. Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows: Generally accurate but with omissions and errors. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material. -good -Good C- - C +. Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates: Good structure and logically developed arguments. At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student. Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style. -excellent -A - - A*. Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways: Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.
- Demonstrate capacity to appreciate the tensions between competing ideas and to debate their values and implications succinctly.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the variety of ways religious instinct and experience presents itself.
- Present coherent arguments, with supporting evidence in assignments.
- Understand basic ideas in psychoanalytic theory and theories of religious experience, and their common principles that enable their useful contrast and comparison.