Religion, Politics and Philosophy in Early Modern English Literature (PGT) ENGLIT5123

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines how early modern literary writers engage with a variety of political, religious, and philosophical ideas. It will consider subjects like the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the idea of Rome ancient and modern, women and prophecy, self-writing, the 'New Science', speculative thought/poetry, and anti-Catholicism.


1x2hr seminar per week over ten weeks, as scheduled in MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT 4102: Religion, Politics and Philosophy in Early Modern English Literature (UG)

ENGLIT 4078: withdrawn (UG)




Critical Response Exercise (1000 words): 20%

Essay (4000 words): 80%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop students' advanced critical skills in considering the religious, political, and philosophical implications of a range of literary texts in early modern England

■ Expand students' close reading skills by studying some of the rhetorical and literary techniques used by early modern writers in their broader ideological context

■ Enhance students' understanding of key literary and historical debates in early modern studies and encourage them to establish their own independent critical position as evidenced through written assessments

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Compare critically the different religious, political and philosophical positions taken over a range of early modern writings

■ Analyse the texts under consideration by reading them in relation to appropriate primary and secondary sources and producing independent written assessment that demonstrates advanced research skills

■ Apply their knowledge of several early modern literary and historical debates to their reading of primary texts, thus developing independent research skills

■ Explain and use critically a wide and relevant range of secondary material

■ Formulate and adapt their knowledge and understanding to defend an independent critical position in written assessment

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.