Modules for course VVV2 | BA/PRWH
BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh History

These were the modules for this course in the 2017–18 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2018–19; 2019–20.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • HCH-1050: The Past Unwrapped (20)
    1. Introduction: From Past to Present: Some ideas on how to make the best of your existing skills as you move to university-level study. Learn some of the basics of studying History and/or Archaeology at Bangor. 2. Library skills and making intelligent use of the web: Looking at what to expect in the university library, how to use reading lists, how much to read and what to do with all those electronic resources at your disposal. 3. From chaos to order: organisation and note-taking. How to plan and organise your work, and how to make wise decisions when taking notes from books, articles and lectures. 4. Avoiding plagiarism: Learn why cutting and pasting from the web is bad practice, and why academic misconduct is treated very seriously. Learn as well how to avoid this by referencing effectively i.e. using evidence, footnotes and compiling solid bibliographies. 5. Essays and making a good (grammatical) impression: Understand what the essay question actually wants you to do, how to structure your work, and how to develop an argument. Gain insight into some of the common errors in History and Archaeology essays, and see why good spelling and punctuation are crucial. 6. Historiography: How to make sense of all these academics saying different things and disagreeing with each other. What are the differences (and similarities) between ‘academic’ and ‘popular’ history? 7. Analysis and critical thinking: Or, how to move beyond just describing the past. Understand what your tutor means by telling you to be more critical. 8. Make your voice heard: competent communication: Understand why it’s important for you to communicate your ideas clearly, and how you can prepare effectively for presentations. 9. Documents and sources: Learn how historians use different types of documents and artefacts, and explore how you can analyse them yourself. 10. Far-reaching feedback: What is the purpose of feedback, and how are different types of assignments marked? Learn that you need to look beyond your mark to improve your work. 11. Exam technique: How to keep it together in exams, and how to deduce what exam questions actually want you to do.
    or
    HCC-1050: Dechrau o'r Dechrau (20)
    1. Rhagarweiniad: O'r Gorffennol i'r Presennol: Rhai syniadau ar sut i wneud y defnydd gorau o'ch sgiliau presennol wrth i chi symud ymlaen i astudio ar lefel prifysgol. Dysgu rhai o egwyddorion sylfaenol astudio Hanes ac/neu Archaeoleg ym Mangor. 2. Sgiliau llyfrgell a defnyddio'r we yn ddeallus: Edrych ar yr hyn y dylech ei ddisgwyl yn llyfrgell y brifysgol, sut i ddefnyddio rhestrau darllen, faint i'w ddarllen a beth i'w wneud gyda'r holl adnoddau electroneg hynny sydd ar gael i chi. 3. O anrhefn i drefn: rhoi trefn ar bethau a chymryd nodiadau. Sut i gynllunio a threfnu eich gwaith, a sut i wneud penderfyniadau doeth wrth gymryd nodiadau o lyfrau, erthyglau a darlithoedd. 4. Osgoi llên-ladrad: Dysgu sut mae torri a phastio deunydd o'r we yn ffordd wael iawn o weithio a pham mae camymddwyn academaidd yn cael ei drin fel mater difrifol iawn. Dysgu'n ogystal sut i osgoi hyn drwy gyfeirnodi effeithiol, h.y. defnyddio tystiolaeth, troednodiadau a llunio llyfryddiaethau cadarn. 5. Traethodau a gwneud argraff (ramadegol) dda: Deall beth yn union mae cwestiwn y traethawd eisiau i chi ei wneud, sut i drefnu eich gwaith a sut i ddatblygu dadl. Cael golwg ar rai camgymeriadau cyffredin mewn traethodau Hanes ac Archaeoleg a gweld pam fod sillafu da ac atalnodi yn allweddol. 6. Hanesyddiaeth: Sut i wneud synnwyr o'r holl academyddion hyn yn dweud pethau gwahanol ac anghytuno â'i gilydd. Beth yw'r gwahaniaethau (a'r tebygrwydd) rhwng hanes 'academaidd' a 'phoblogaidd'? 7. Dadansoddi a meddwl yn feirniadol: Neu, sut i fynd ymhellach na dim ond disgrifio'r gorffennol. Deall beth mae eich tiwtor yn ei olygu pan fydd yn dweud wrthych am fod yn fwy beirniadol. 8. Cyfle i ddweud eich dweud: cyfathrebu medrus: Deall pam mae'n bwysig i chi gyfathrebu eich syniadau'n glir, a sut y gellwch baratoi'n effeithiol at gyflwyniadau. 9. Dogfennau a ffynonellau: Dysgu sut mae haneswyr yn defnyddio gwahanol fathau o ddogfennau ac arteffactau ac edrych sut y gellwch eu dadansoddi eich hun. 10. Adborth (sylwadau) pellgyrhaeddol: Beth yw diben adborth (sylwadau ar eich gwaith), a sut y caiff mathau gwahanol o aseiniadau eu marcio? Dysgu bod angen i chi edrych y tu hwnt i'ch marc i wella eich gwaith. 11. Sut i weithredu mewn arholiadau: Sut i beidio â chynhyrfu a gwneud yn dda mewn arholiadau, a gweld beth yn union mae cwestiynau arholiad yn gofyn i chi ei wneud.

40 credits from:

  • HXC-1006: Cymru yn y Byd Modern (20) (Semester 2)
    Wythnos 1: Darlith: Deall Cymru fodern ac amcanion y modiwl Dim seminar Wythnos 2: Darlith: Meithrin Cymru fodern (i): Diwydiant ac economi Seminar: Siartiaeth a Beca Wythnos 3: Darlith: Meithrin Cymru fodern (ii): Trosedd, cosb a moesoldeb Seminar: Y Gymru fywgraffiadol: David Lloyd George fel astudiaeth achos Wythnos 4: Darlith: Themâu (i): Mewnfudo ac allfudo Seminar: Mewnfudo Wythnos 5: Darlith: Themâu (ii): Iaith, addysg a chrefydd yn y 19eg ganrif Seminar: Cenedlaetholdeb, Tynged yr Iaith Wythnos 6: Darlith: Themâu (iii): Effaith y ddau ryfel byd Seminar: Y Gymru Lafurol Gweithdy: Eidalwyr yng Nghymru Wythnos 7: WYTHNOS DDARLLEN Wythnos 8: Darlith: Themâu (iv): Merched a llunio Cymru fodern Seminar: Cerddoriaeth boblogaidd Wythnos 9: Darlith: Themâu (v): Diwylliant poblogaidd a newid cymdeithasol Seminar: Merched mewn llenyddiaeth Gymreig Wythnos 10: Darlith: Themâu (vi): Chwaraeon a hunaniaeth Seminar: Hunaniaeth Wythnos 11: Darlith: Materion (i): Y frwydr am hunan-reolaeth Seminar: Y Cwestiwn Cenedlaethol Wythnos 12: Darlith: Materion (ii): Creu Cymru newydd? Seminar: Sesiwn adolygu
    or
    HXW-1010: Wales since 1789 (20) (Semester 2)
  • HXW-1007: Wales: Princes to Tudors (20) (Semester 1)
    Wales in the age of Owain Gwynedd and Lord Rhys; Gerald of Wales; rise of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in Gwynedd and over much of the rest of Wales; the reign of Dafydd ap Llywelyn and succession to Gwynedd; the hegemony and downfall of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Wales; poetry and history writing in medieval Wales; Welsh political aspirations in l4th century; Owain Glyndŵr and his movement; Brutus, 1485 and political prophecy; Wales and the Reformation; Wales and the Renaissance; Wales and 16th-century politics – the Acts of Union.
    or
    HXC-1007: Cymru: Tywysogion i Duduriaid (20) (Semester 1)
    Oes Owain Gwynedd a'r Arglwydd Rhys; Gerallt Gymro; Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (m. 1240) a'i feibion; Penarglwyddiaeth a chwymp Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Tywysog Cymru (m. 1282); barddoniaeth a hanes yn yr Oesoedd Canol; dyheadau gwleidyddol Cymreig yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg; mudiad Glyndwr; Brutus, 1485 a'r traddodiad proffwydol; Cymru a'r Diwygiad Protestannaidd; Cymru a'r Dadeni; Cymru a gwleidyddiaeth yr unfed ganrif ar bymtheg - y Deddfau Uno.

Optional Modules

60 credits from:

  • VPR-1103: Existentialism (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with an overview of the meaning of existentialism, its key themes and thinkers. The module is then divided into five parts. In part one we examine the philosophical groundwork that underpins existentialism as a theory. Here students will be introduced to such ideas as Sartre’s concepts of consciousness, being, nothingness, facticity and transcendence. In part two we explore the importance of freedom to the human condition, and the meaning behind Sartre’s famous slogans, ‘we are condemned to be free’, and ‘existence precedes essence’. Here we will examine the first of our contemporary films, The Truman Show, in order to demonstrate the validity of these ideas within society today. Part three then surveys the notion of the ‘absurd’ as a philosophical concept and identifies its trace in literature, art, and film. Students will examine a variety of responses to the absurd, including those outlined by Kafka, Camus, and Kierkegaard. We will then watch the film Ground hog Day with a view to identifying how these responses can be portrayed in contemporary film. Part four examines Sartre’s notion of bad faith, and the ease in which we fail to respond adequately to the demands of existentialism. Finally, part five considers the effect that others have on our existence and in our capacity to engage our lives authentically.
  • VPR-1104: Death of God (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by examining how the events of Nietzsche’s life and the cultural climate of his time are reflected in his writing style and the ideas he seeks to expound. Following this introduction, the module is divided into four parts. In part one we explore the philosophical context for why God’s death is deemed a necessity for Nietzsche. Here we look at his criticism of Christianity and Platonism, and examine his concepts of will to power, slave and master morality, bad conscience and ressentiment. In part two we examine the nature of God’s death, and by looking at a variety of Nietzsche’s writings, we piece together how God ‘died’. In part three, we begin to investigate the implications of the death of God for our understanding of morality, truth, and suffering. Here students are introduced to Nietzsche’s idea of a revaluation of values, and his famous conceptions of the Übermensch (or superman), eternal recurrence, and the relevance of Dionysus. Finally, in part 4 we revisit the key ideas that have been explored within this module to entertain a controversial yet coherent reading of Nietzsche’s philosophy—one that proposes the possibility of God’s return.
  • VPR-1105: Ethics: Religious Perspectives (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a discussion of the origin of ethics and will examine some of the relevant survivng materials relevant to the subject from the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt (including the stories about heroes who exemplified the kind of virtues most admired, and the legal codes which defined acceptable and unacceptable conduct). The module will then examine the ethical values of the Jewish religion, as reflected in the Old Testament, and the ethical values of the Christian tradition as reflected in the New Testament. This will be followed by an overview of ethical concerns in the Buddhist tradition. The module will conclude with an examination of the ‘divine command’ theory of ethics and will consider to what extent the moral good should be identified with God’s will or God’s command.
    or
    VPC-1105: Moeseg: Agweddau Crefyddol (20) (Semester 1)
    Bydd y modiwl yn dechrau gyda thrafodaeth ar darddiad moeseg a bydd yn edrych ar beth o'r deunyddiau perthnasol i'r pwnc sydd wedi goroesi o ddiwylliannau mawr Mesopotamia a'r Aifft (yn cynnwys storïau am arwyr a ymgorfforai'r rhinweddau a edmygid fwyaf, a'r codau cyfreithiol a ddiffiniai ymddygiad derbyniol ac annerbyniol). Bydd y modiwl wedyn yn archwilio gwerthoedd moesegol y grefydd Iddewig, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn yr Hen Destament, a gwerthoedd moesegol y traddodiad Cristnogol, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn y Testament Newydd. Yn dilyn hynny ceir golwg gyffredinol ar faterion moesegol sy'n gysylltiedig â'r traddodiad Bwdistaidd. Daw'r modiwl i'w derfyn drwy edrych ar ddamcaniaeth foesegol 'gorchymyn dwyfol', a bydd yn ystyried i ba raddau y dylid uniaethu daioni moesol ag ewyllys Duw neu orchymyn Duw.
  • VPR-1106: Intro: Judaism & Christianity (20) (Semester 2)
    The module outlines of some of the basic tenets of the Jewish faith as reflected in the Old Testament and the Christian faith as reflected in the New Testament. Among issues considered will be the contribution to the Jewish faith by the rabbis and the controversies faced by Judaism over the centuries, culminating in a discussion of issues relating to the holocaust. Among Jewish philosophers discussed will be Maimonides and Martin Buber. The modules will then turn to the Christian faith and will examine some of the theological issues arising from the New Testament, with a particular focus on Paul’s theology and the Early Church Fathers, such as Origen and Eusebius. There will also be a discussion of a representative sample of major Christian thinkers over the centuries.
    or
    VPC-1106: Iddewiaeth a Christnogaeth (20) (Semester 2)
    Man cychwyn y modiwl fydd astudiaeth o rai syniadau yn yr Hen Destament a’r Rabiniaid cynnar; yna eir ymlaen i drafod rhai o’r pynciau dadleuol a gododd ynglyn â’r grefydd hon dros y canrifoedd gan ddiweddu gyda thrafodaeth o’r holocost a rhai o syniadau prif feddylwyr y grefydd dros y blynyddoedd. Yn troir at y Testament Newydd a chanolbwyntio ar Paul cyn mynd ymlaen i ystyried cyfraniad y Tadau Eglwysig a rhai o’r prif feddylwyr Cristnogol dros y canrifoedd.
  • VPR-1109: Introduction to Islam (20) (Semester 1)
    Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, yet for most people its beliefs and practice remain obscure despite having close religious connection with Judaism and Christianity. For this reason, this module has been designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Islamic faith, philosophy and practice. The module will introduce students to the study of Islamic theology by exploring the emergence and development of Islam, from its origins in the seventh century to its modern revival. Therefore, the module will guide students through the following aspects of the study of Islam: (1) Introduce students to the history and development of early and modern Islam (against the background of social and cultural contexts); (2) Examine core Islamic beliefs and practices; and (3) Investigate the wider Islamic tradition by surveying Islamic law, philosophy and mysticism.
  • VPR-1110: Themes - Eastern Religion/Phil (20) (Semester 2)
    This module offers an introduction to the philosophical and religious development of key eastern religious traditions - Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Shinto – and provides a detailed overview of their origins, histories, doctrines and scriptures. In order to explore a wide spectrum of religious and philosophical beliefs, the following will be considered teaching priorities: (1) Survey of the beliefs and practices of six Eastern religions and philosophies; (2) understand the multifaceted religious heritage of the six Eastern religions – from the pre-modern era to contemporary religious practice; (3) Examination of the mutual influences and intersections of the Eastern religions and philosophies and how they interact with other elements of Eastern culture and society; (4) Deconstruct the East and West meeting points, focusing on the spread and influence of Eastern religion and philosophy in the West.
  • VPR-1300: Intro to Philosophy of Religio (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-1301: Introduction to Logic (20) (Semester 1)

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • HGW-2003: Re-igniting the Dragon (20)
  • HCH-2050: Debating History (20)
    The first part of the course is concerned with the use of the past made by historians and commentators such as politicians, the way traditions are invented (and destroyed), and introduces the different historiographical schools. The second part covers some historiographical (ie. concerned with the art of writing history) issues with emphasis on the various ideas about the study and writing of history which have developed over the last two centuries and which students need to understand in order to engage confidently with the different approaches which professional historians take to their work. This is taught through a case-study approach where students can apply the different approaches studied in the first part of the course to specific controversial historical subjects. The course will cover the following topics: Whig and Tory history, Ranke, the professionalisation of the study of history, nations, empire, structuralism, post-structuralism, revisionism, counter-factual history, case studies may change from year to year but will include topics such as The Peasants’ Revolt, The English civil war, the outbreak of world war one; suffrage, consumerism, the Welsh in history, the Reformation. American Civil war, Cold War; Oral history; National identity.
    or
    HCG-2011: Dehongli'r Gorffennol (20)
    Er y byddir yn rhoi peth sylw i rai o haneswyr mawr y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg – fel Ranke, Macaulay a Marx – bydd pwyslais y cwrs ar hanesyddiaeth yr ugeinfed ganrif. Canolbwyntir gan hynny ar feddylwyr a thueddiadau allweddol ym maes hanesyddiaeth yn ystod y ganrif ddiwethaf gan astudio enghreifftiau penodol o gynnyrch y meddylwyr a’r ysgolion dan sylw. Ymysg y pynciau a astudir bydd Ysgol yr Annales, Hanesyddiaeth Farcsaidd, Hanes Merched, Hanes Llafar, a her syniadaeth ôl-strwythurol ac ôl-fodern. Neulltuir yn ogystal ddwy ddarlith i drafod agweddau ar Hanesyddiaeth Cymru yn y cyfnod diweddar.

Optional Modules

20 credits from:

  • HWW-2070: Welsh History Workplace S1 (20) (Semester 1)
    The student normally spends one day a week during the appropriate semester, and in total about 70 hours, working in an archives office, an archaeological unit or a museum service undertaking specific tasks of a practical as well as an academic nature as given them by the officer(s) in charge. These typically include drawing up inventories, collating field evidence, drawing up catalogues of discrete manuscript or artefact collections, as well as at times dealing with public enquiries. Currently the Department has agreements with most of the archive record offices in north Wales, but especially at Caernarfon and Llangefni, with the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, with Oriel Bangor and Oriel Môn at Llangefni and the regimental Museum at Caernarfon. Approved excavation training courses may qualify if of sufficient duration and rigour and conform to the Course Guidelines. Students should also be aware that there are health and safety implications to all placements.
  • HWW-2071: Welsh History Workplace S2 (20) (Semester 2)
  • HTA-2111: Ancestral Landscapes (20) (Semester 1)
    1. Introduction and the chronology of later prehistoric Britain and Ireland 2. Mesolithic background and the nature of hunter-gatherers 3. The Mesolithic/Neolithic transition 4. The environment, forest clearances and the role of cereals and meat in Neolithic diets 5. Settlements, houses and mobility 6. Neolithic material culture: pottery, stone tools, axes and flint mines 7: Places for the ancestors: the role of the dead in Neolithic society 8. Monuments 1: chambered tombs 9. Monuments 2: causewayed enclosures 10. Monuments 3: cursus, henges and stone circles 11. Theory 1: Prehistoric landscapes, phenomenology and experience 12. Theory 2: The natural world: natural places and human-animal relations 13. Ireland: a case study 14. Early Bronze Age: Introduction 15. Places for the dead: Earlier Bronze Age burial and ceremony 16. Early Bronze Age: elements of continuity, elements of change 17. Early Bronze Age/Middle Bronze Age transition 18: Dividing the land: Later Bronze Age Settlement 19. Later Bronze Age burial and ceremony 20. The production and consumption of prestige goods 21. Regional archaeologies? 22. Revision session
  • HGH-2112: Civil War: Eng & Wal 1558-1660 (20) (Semester 1)
    The course concentrates upon political and religious history - but social, cultural, economic and intellectual aspects are also considered where they are relevant to the core of the course. Major topics explored include: The ‘crisis’ of the 1590s; The impact of the arrival of the Stuart dynasty; Divisions in English Protestantism; Charles I’s Personal Rule, and the outbreak of civil war; The course of the conflict, and attempts at a settlement; The reasons for the regicide; The English Republic and the restoration, 1649-1660
  • HTH-2112: Reformation & Counter-Reforma. (20) (Semester 2)
    The nature of the late medieval region; Luther's teaching; the early spread of the Reformation in town; the Peasants war; radical reformation and protestant divisions; the reformation in kingdoms and principalities; Calvinism and its association with revolt; the origins and nature of the counter-reformation; comparison of sixteenth century protestantism and catholicism.
  • HTA-2114: Experimental Archaeology (20) (Semester 2)
    1. Introduction: experimental archaeology today and its links with ethnoarchaeology 2. The history of experimental archaeology 3. Experiment by design: designing experiments, recording data and methodology 4. Prehistoric metallurgical practices: copper and bronze production 5. Stone and flint technologies; production and use-wear analysis 6. Prehistoric metallurgical practices: iron production 7. Food production: cooking with stone and food storage pits 8. Making prehistoric roundhouses 9. Cremation pyres: a case study on Early Bronze Age practices 10. Taphonomies: understanding the formation of the archaeological record through experimental archaeology 11. Experiencing experiments and materials; revision lecture
  • HTA-2117: Roman Frontier Society (20) (Semester 2)
    One of the key themes of this module is the interaction between the Roman army and native populations, and the subsequent evolution of distinct frontier societies. Contextualisation will be central to the investigation of the archaeology. Examination of material evidence from military and civilian sites will include settlement, burial and environmental evidence. Iconographic and epigraphic evidence will also be examined, as will contemporary written sources (e.g. the Vindolanda letters). Key issues explored will centre on continuity and change, and topics will include syncretism and native resistance. The history of Roman scholarship and its influence on perceptions of frontier life forms an important aspect of this course, with particular emphasis given to current post-colonial approaches.
  • HTA-2118: Field Archaeology in Britain (20) (Semester 1)
    Lectures 1. Course introduction: outline of course aims, content, assessment. 2. Research designs and regional sampling. 3. Desk-based research: (using HERs, literature searches (including grey literature), accessing aerial photographs, historical documents, place name research, map regression analysis). 4. Surveying upstanding monuments: building recording; setting up a site grid (EDM and tapes); surveying earthworks; fieldwalking strategies. 5. Geophysical surveys: magnetometer, resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, GPR 6. Setting up an archaeological excavation: SMCs, landowner permissions, logistics, sampling strategy, schedule. 7. Doing an excavation: excavation techniques: dryland, wetland, contexts 8. Doing an excavation: recording techniques (planning, section drawing, small finds) 9. Doing an excavation: sampling strategies (soil samples, dating samples) 10. Excavating human remains 11. Planning post-excavation analyses and presenting sites to the public: the importance of outreach Workshops 1. Interpreting aerial photography and geophysical surveys: formation processes, site and landscape stratigraphy, plotting data 2. Making maps (downloading data from Edina, Illustration, plotting data) 3. Designing an excavation strategy for three different case-study sites 4. Environmental soil sampling; sorting of soil residues (course residues) and presentation and analysis of data 5. Interpreting archaeological field illustrations (e.g. sections and plans); site formation processes and stratigraphy; writing stratigraphic reports Fieldtrips 1. Using the HER and grey literature searches: Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (2 hours) 1. Setting up a site grid and surveying upstanding remains (5 hours) 2. Building recording (3 hours)
  • HGH-2119: Britain 1945-1990 (20) (Semester 2)
    Britain at the outbreak of war; Dawn of a new Jerusalem; The Attlee governments, 1945-51; The affluent society ? The Wilson governments; Heath to Thatcher The decline of socialism Social attitudes and class; Youth culture Thatcherism to the Third Way; New Labour The break-up of Britain ?.
  • HTA-2120: Rethinking Archaeology (20) (Semester 2)
    Lectures 1. The origins of archaeological theory 2. The ‘New Archaeology’ and post processualism 3. Marxist and structuralist approaches in archaeology 4. The post-processualist critique 5. Multi disciplinary approaches to the archaeological record 6. The archaeology of people and social relations 7. Towards an archaeology of gender 8. Approaches to the study and interpretation of material culture 9. Contemporary approaches to archaeological landscapes 10. Understanding the built environment 11. The archaeology of ritual and religion 12. Archaeology in theory and in practice Seminars 1. The identification of cultural groups from archaeological evidence 2. The loss of innocence and the development of the ‘New Archaeology’ 3. Symbolic and structural archaeology 4. Re-constructing an interpretive archaeology 5. Social evolution and cognitive archaeology 6. How were past societies organised? 7. Representing gender in the archaeological past 8. Art or artefact: key debates in material culture studies 9. Experiencing the past: a phenomenology of landscape 10. House form and culture 11. What is ritual and religion and can we identify them in the archaeological record? 12. Critical approaches to archaeological fieldwork
  • HTA-2123: Archaeology Field School (20) (Semester 1)
    Practical skills: Archaeological excavation and survey: removing turf and topsoil cover, cleaning surfaces, sectioning and excavating features, recovering finds, soil and paleoenvironmental sampling, drawing of plans and sections, 2D and 3D photography, surveying with a total station and GPS Rover, producing written records. Archaeological post-excavation work: finds processing and recording, wet sieving soil samples, plan digitization, finds drawing and photography, report writing. Theoretical knowledge: Principles of archaeological stratigraphy, GIS and CAD applications in archaeology, UK archaeological heritage legislation; organising and financing an excavation
  • HTH-2124: Heritage and Identity (20) (Semester 1)
    Individual, group, local, regional, national and global identities; museums; political and cultural role of archaeology and history, the heritage in minority groups, the heritage of elites, oral culture, heritage and the nation state, the creation of heritage-based identities in past societies.
  • HGH-2127: Europe, Early Middle Ages (20) (Semester 2)
    1. The fall of the western Roman empire; 2. The foundation of the `barbarian¿ kingdoms; 3. Merovingians and Carolingians; 4. Charlemagne; 5. The papacy and monasticism; 6. Justinian and the Byzantine revival; 7. Culture and society; 8. Towns and economy; 9. The Vikings and the foundation of Normandy; 10. The birth of Islam and the creation of the caliphate of Cordoba. Students taking the course will study these topics using both primary sources (such as Gregory of Tours, Paul the Deacon, Einhard¿s Life of Charlemagne) and the modern historiography.
  • HTW-2127: Wales, Renaissance & Europe (20) (Semester 2)
  • HTC-2128: Cestyll a Chymdeithas (20) (Semester 1)
    Bydd y modiwl yn edrych ar y themâu canlynol: 1. Cefndir a chyd-destun hanesyddiaethol; 2. Gwreiddiau cestyll y cyfnod; 3. Cestyll a chrefft rhyfela yn y cyfnod; 4. Castell pawb ei dŷ: cestyll fel cartrefi ac anheddau; 5. Astudiaeth achos 1: Cestyll y Croesgadwyr 1098-1291; 6. Cestyll y dychymyg a’r delfryd sifalrig; 7. Astudiaeth achos 2: Cestyll yng Nghymru 1063-1415; 8. Tirlun a phensaernïaeth gastellog; 9. Cestyll a chartrefi caerog yr Oesau Canol Diweddar; 10. Machlud Cestyll yr Oesau Canol? Ceir cyfle yn ystod y seminarau i archwilio’r themâu hyn ymhellach.
  • HTC-2132: Rhyfel Mawr trwy lygaid y Cym. (20) (Semester 2)
    (Wythnos 1) Cyflwyniad Darlith 1 - Adrodd hanes y Rhyfel Sut mae’r ddealltwriaeth o’r Rhyfel Mawr wedi newid dros y degawdau Seminar 1 - Trafodaeth o sut mae’r myfyrwyr yn edrych ar y Rhyfel, a’r delweddau sydd yn gyfarwydd i’r Cymry; gwylio rhaglen Y Rhwyg (1988), a gyflwynwyd gan Dr John Davies (Wythnos 2) 1880-1914 Darlith 2 - Sôn am ryfel; poeni am ryfel; paratoi at ryfel; ysu am ryfel? Darlith 3 - Gorffennaf i Awst 1914 (Wythnos 3) Gwleidyddiaeth: Lloyd George, y Rhyddfrydwyr a’r Sosialwyr Darlith 4 - Cymeriad Lloyd George; Cyfraniad Lloyd George; Chwedl Lloyd George; Atgofion Lloyd George Darlith 5 - Sosialwyr a’r Rhyfel Seminar 2 – Gwleidyddiaeth a’r Rhyfel. Sut wnaeth gwleidyddion bortreadu’r Rhyfel, yn ystod yr ymladd ac yn y degawdau canlynol. (Wythnos 4) Her i’r hen syniadau am wareiddiad Darlith 6 - Gwrthwynebwyr Cydwybodol; Merched Cymru a’r Rhyfel Seminar 3 - Ymladd a gwrthod ymladd: agweddau Gwrthwynebwyr Cydwybodol, ac agweddau cymdeithas tuag at wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol (Wythnos 5) Ennill y Rhyfel; colli’r heddwch Darlith 7 – Buddugoliaeth Lloyd George? Cytundeb Versailles Darlith 8 – Dirwasgiad a Dadrithiad: y 1920au; Gwersi 1914 a’r ymgais i gymodi â Hitler: y 1930au (Wythnos 6) Yn sgil y Dadrithio Darlith 9 – Ymateb llenyddol yn y degawdau ar ôl 1918: chwedl Hedd Wyn; All Quiet on the Western Front Seminar 4 - David Davies a’r mudiad heddwch; Dyhuddiaeth a gwrthwynebiad i’r Ail Ryfel Byd (Wythnos 7) Y Llewod a’r Asynnod Darlith 10: Trafodaeth y 1960au: ‘Lions led by Donkeys’; pwysleisio ffolineb a gwastraff y rhyfel Seminar 5 – Gwylio darnau o gyfres The Great War (BBC, 1964) (Wythnos 8) Conundrum ‘y ddau Ffrynt Gorllewinol’ Darlith 11: Y gwahaniaeth rhwng maes y gad a fodolodd yn Ffrainc a Fflandrys rhwng 1914 a 1918 a’r un dychmygol sy’n gread y cenedlaethau a edrychai nôl mewn syndod a braw Seminar 6 – Cofeb Mametz; gwylio rhaglen Mametz (S4C, 1987) (Wythnos 9) Atgofion hen wŷr Darlith 12 - Trafferthion gydag atgofion cyn-filwyr, er gwaethaf eu hatyniad amlwg Darlith 13 – atgofion Griffith Williams, Bob Owen ac Ithel Davies (Wythnos 10) Hanes Diwylliannol y Rhyfel Darlith 14 - Rhoi’r cyfan mewn i gyd-destun diwylliannol Seminar 7 – Portreadu’r Rhyfel Mawr yn y Gymraeg heddiw: Lleisiau’r Rhyfel Mawr (2008) + Sesiwn ar gyfer cyflwyniadau’r myfyrwyr
  • HTH-2139: Norman Sicily (20) (Semester 1)
    1. Introduction - the creation of the kingdom, 1000-1130; 2. Roger II: the establishment of a new monarchy, 1130-1154; 3. Court culture and race relations; 4. Roger II's assizes: law and kingship; 5. Government in Sicily under the kings; 6. Reign of William I `the Bad', 1154-1166; 7. Reign of William II `the Good', 1166-1189; 8. The mosaics of the Norman kingdom¿Cefalu, Palermo and Monreale; 9. The church and the kings; 10. The chroniclers: Alexander of Telese and Hugh Falcandus. Students taking the course will study these topics using both primary sources (including the art produced in the kingdom) and the modern historiography.
  • HTH-2149: Britannia Rule the Waves (20) (Semester 2)
    (1) Introduction to the module, British Empire and Imperial Studies (2) Governing the Empire (3) British Policy and Trade (4) Technological Change (5) Scientific Exploration (6) The Empire: Asia (7) The Empire: America (8) The Empire: Africa (9) The Empire: Australasia (10) The British Empire and the Approach of War (11) Concluding lecture
  • HTH-2150: Britain in the Jazz Age (20) (Semester 2)
    1. War, Empire and Modernisation: The Boer War, WWI and an overview of the period. 2. Royalty and national identity: the Edwardian era; 1911 Investiture of the Prince of Wales; the Abdication Crisis. 3. Technological modernisation: Electricity, the wireless and motors. Case study of the Wembley Exhibition 4. Britain on the Breadline: health, living conditions and depression 5. Whippets, fish & chips and gambling: Workers, socialism and leisure 6. Nationalism and identity: Wales, Ireland and Scotland. 7. Ideology and the prelude to 1939 in Britain. A case study of Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. 8. Women in Love: Gender roles and fashion. A case study of the Mitford sisters 9. Bright Young People: Sexuality, aristocracy and decadence 10. Popular music: music halls, Jazz and Americanisation. 11. From bodyline bowling to mountaineering: Sport and society 1900-1939. 12. Workshop: Film and Jazz Age Britain 13. 1 day field trip to Manchester: Museum of Science and Industry and the People’s History Museum (including access to the Labour Party Archive)
  • HTC-2151: Gwladgarwyr a Gwladychwyr (20) (Semester 2)
    1. Cyflwyniad: trefedigaethau America yn yr Ymerodraeth Brydeinig 2. Radicaliaeth: Gweriniaethwyr a Cymedrolion 3. Cwrs y Rhyfel 4. Boston, Efrog Newydd a Virginia 5. Dynion Mawr: Washington, Jefferson 6. Y rhyfel mewn cyd-destun ehangach: Ffrainc a Phrydain 7. Creu gwladwriaeth: Datganiad Annibyniaeth; y Cyfansoddiad; Mesur Iawnderau 8. O’r tu allan: Americanwyr Cynhenid, Teyrngarwyr, Pobl Du a Menwod 9. Y Weriniaeth Gynnar 10. Effeithiau’r ‘Chwyldro’ a barnau cyfoes
  • HTC-2156: Rhyfel Cartref America (20) (Semester 1)
    Y Gogledd a’r De Gwleidyddiaeth yr 1850au Caethwasiaeth Achosion y Rhyfel a’r Argyfwng Arwahanu Ymladd y Rhyfel Abraham Lincoln Y Cymry a’r Rhyfel Y Rhyfel a’r Gorllewin Rhyddhau’r Caethweision Ennill y Rhyfel Adluniad a’i Fethiant
  • HTH-2157: The Age of the Castle (20) (Semester 1)
    This module explores the following themes: 1. Introduction: From the ‘Castle Story’ to Current Thinking; 2. The Origin of the Castle; 3. ‘The King of the Castle’: Great Towers and Keeps; 4. ‘An Englishman’s Home is his Castle’?: The Castle as Lordly Residence; 5. The Castles of the Crusaders 1098-1291; 6. Castles and the Chivalric Ideal; 7. The Castles of Wales 1066-1415; 8. Castles and Elite Landscapes; 9. The Decline of the Castle?; 10. Romantic Ruins? Artists, Poets and the Heritage Industry You will be given an opportunity to focus in-depth on these themes and on the underpinning primary sources in your seminars.
  • HTH-2159: History in Practice (20) (Semester 2)
  • HTH-2163: Nazi Germany 1933-1945 (20) (Semester 1)
  • HTH-2164: Violence in Early Mod Britain (20) (Semester 1)

60 credits from:

  • VPR-2202: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion and the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc).
    or
    VPC-2202: Moeseg Gymhwysol (20) (Semester 1)
    Bydd y modiwl yn dechrau gydag amlinelliad byr o'r gwahanol sialensiau moesegol sy'n wynebu cymdeithas gyfoes. Bydd wedyn yn ystyried y materion canlynol: (a) tlodi byd-eang (ai cyfrifoldeb unigolion neu lywodraethau, neu'r ddau, yw lliniaru tlodi byd-eang?); (b) y dadleuon sy'n cyfiawnhau moeseg amgylcheddol; ystyriaethau moesegol i'w hystyried yn achos ewthanasia gwirfoddol ac anwirfoddol; mater erthyliad a'r syniad o barchu bywyd dynol; rhyfel a heddwch (theori'r rhyfel cyfiawn; moeseg ac arfau niwclear etc).
  • VPR-2203: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz./Jung (20) (Semester 2)
    We begin with a survey of how opposites have been construed within Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. Particular emphasis will be given to how they have been, and continue to be regarded as necessary postulates for making sense of the way we think and experience life, and also useful approaches for considering how we can enhance our lives and make them more meaningful. This introductory part of the module will recap some of the relevant themes studied in the Year One modules, ‘Existentialism’, and ‘Death of God’ (including metaphysics; truth; subjectivity; and freedom). Students will then identify these ideas within two contrasting models of opposites proposed by two iconic thinkers of twentieth-century philosophical and psychological thought: Friedrich Nietzsche and C.G. Jung. We shall explore their models side by side, drawing on their similarities and essential contrasts, and also drawing upon their key philosophical influences, whose ideas helped to shape their different models. (These include, Heraclitus, Aristotle and Plato, Schopenhauer, and Kant, and also Eastern philosophical traditions.) The implications of their different models of the nature and dynamics of opposites will be scrutinised in light of how they apply their theories to real life, and how they have different ideas about how oppositional thinking can be utilized and maximised in our own lives. To this end, students will explore their different ideas of the ideal human being who does just that: the Übermensch (or superman) of Nietzsche, and ‘the Self’ of Jung. The module will conclude with an analysis of the extent to which Nietzsche’s and Jung’s models of the union of opposites and their embodiment within their visions of an ideal human being can be regarded as viable, practical models for us to emulate. To this end, students will have the opportunity to see how Nietzsche and Jung themselves fare when compared to their own and each other’s ideal conceptions.
  • VPR-2218: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a comprehensive discussion of the classical and modern theoretical underpinnings of the sociological study of religion. The module will cover several theoretical topics and issues: Firstly, the origins of religious belief and practice will be explored by reviewing the major theories related to the debates on the social origin of religion. Secondly, the module will provide different theoretical foundations for understanding religion in modern social life, its culture and institutions. Thirdly, the module will identify common themes across religious traditions, providing broader insight into different understandings of religion, of those who practice religion, and how religious motivations and justifications affect the social world. Fourthly, these common themes will be examined within a sociological framework, which will be built on the contributions of both classical sociologists, such as Durkheim, Marx, Troeltsch and Weber, and recent sociologists.
  • VPR-2219: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 1)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-2300: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-2301: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-2302: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-2303: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

40 credits from:

  • HSW-3019: Native Wales & the Normans (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
  • HDW-3075: Welsh History Dissertation (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    The report and dissertation will set the chosen Welsh History research in its broader context e.g. historiography, theoretical framework, geographical and historical framework. It will set research questions and a structure will be worked out. It will describe and analyse the chosen topic using a range of relevant secondary and primary evidence. The project will be written up in an ordered and academic manner.
  • Students must EITHER take the Dissertation OR choose a Special Subject (to be taken over both semesters)

Optional Modules

60 credits from:

  • VPR-3300: Undergraduate Dissertation (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    In this final level dissertation students will mainly be working alone to produce a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words. The content of the dissertation will be determined by the students in conjunction with their supervisor. As students may choose to undertake project which involves research in both philosophy and religion, they may consult other members of the teaching team in addition to their supervisor. Students will also be asked to produce a 20 minute assessed oral presentation on their dissertation.
    or
    VPC-3300: Traethawd Hir (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Yn y traethawd hir lefel derfynol hwn bydd myfyrwyr yn gweithio'n bennaf ar eu pennau eu hunain i lunio traethawd hir o tua 10,000 o eiriau. Y myfyrwyr, mewn cydweithrediad â'u goruchwyliwr, fydd yn penderfynu ar gynnwys y traethawd hir. Oherwydd y gall myfyrwyr ddewis gwneud project sy'n cynnwys ymchwil mewn athroniaeth a chrefydd, gallant ymgynghori ag aelodau eraill y tîm addysgu yn ogystal â'u goruchwyliwr eu hunain. Gofynnir i fyfyrwyr hefyd ddarparu cyflwyniad llafar 20 munud ar eu traethawd hir a chaiff ei asesu.
  • VPR-3302: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc.)
    or
    VPC-3302: Moeseg Gymhwysol (20) (Semester 1)
    Bydd y modiwl yn dechrau gydag amlinelliad byr o'r gwahanol sialensiau moesegol sy'n wynebu cymdeithas gyfoes. Bydd wedyn yn ystyried y materion canlynol: (a) tlodi byd-eang (ai cyfrifoldeb unigolion neu lywodraethau, neu'r ddau, yw lliniaru tlodi byd-eang?); (b) y dadleuon sy'n cyfiawnhau moeseg amgylcheddol; ystyriaethau moesegol i'w hystyried yn achos ewthanasia gwirfoddol ac anwirfoddol; mater erthyliad a'r syniad o barchu bywyd dynol; rhyfel a heddwch (theori'r rhyfel cyfiawn; moeseg ac arfau niwclear etc).
  • VPR-3303: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz..Jung (20) (Semester 2)
    We begin with a survey of how opposites have been construed within Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. Particular emphasis will be given to how they have been, and continue to be regarded as necessary postulates for making sense of the way we think and experience life, and also useful approaches for considering how we can enhance our lives and make them more meaningful. This introductory part of the module will recap some of the relevant themes studied in the Year One modules, ‘Existentialism’, and ‘Death of God’ (including metaphysics; truth; subjectivity; and freedom). Students will then identify these ideas within two contrasting models of opposites proposed by two iconic thinkers of twentieth-century philosophical and psychological thought: Friedrich Nietzsche and C.G. Jung. We shall explore their models side by side, drawing on their similarities and essential contrasts, and also drawing upon their key philosophical influences, whose ideas helped to shape their different models. (These include, Heraclitus, Aristotle and Plato, Schopenhauer, and Kant, and also Eastern philosophical traditions.) The implications of their different models of the nature and dynamics of opposites will be scrutinised in light of how they apply their theories to real life, and how they have different ideas about how oppositional thinking can be utilized and maximised in our own lives. To this end, students will explore their different ideas of the ideal human being who does just that: the Übermensch (or superman) of Nietzsche, and ‘the Self’ of Jung. The module will conclude with an analysis of the extent to which Nietzsche’s and Jung’s models of the union of opposites and their embodiment within their visions of an ideal human being can be regarded as viable, practical models for us to emulate. To this end, students will have the opportunity to see how Nietzsche and Jung themselves fare when compared to their own and each other’s ideal conceptions.
  • VPR-3318: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a comprehensive discussion of the classical and modern theoretical underpinnings of the sociological study of religion. The module will cover several theoretical topics and issues: Firstly, the origins of religious belief and practice will be explored by reviewing the major theories related to the debates on the social origin of religion. Secondly, the module will provide different theoretical foundations for understanding religion in modern social life, its culture and institutions. Thirdly, the module will identify common themes across religious traditions, providing broader insight into different understandings of religion, of those who practice religion, and how religious motivations and justifications affect the social world. Fourthly, these common themes will be examined within a sociological framework, which will be built on the contributions of both classical sociologists, such as Durkheim, Marx, Troeltsch and Weber, and recent sociologists.
  • VPR-3319: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 1)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-3330: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-3331: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-3332: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-3333: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.
  • Students may choose whether to take the dissertation in Phil osophy/Religion or their other subject