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You are here Courses > Postgraduate > Taught M.Phil in Classics > Goddesses in Context: Exploring the Divine Feminine in the Ancient World

Goddesses in Context: Exploring the Divine Feminine in the Ancient World

Goddess. One simple word, yet one guaranteed both to spark the imagination and to arouse passion and disagreement. Over the last century, scholarly acceptance of a universal prehistoric Great or Mother Goddess has largely been replaced by more varied and locally situated interpretations which resist and challenge universalising tendencies to treat Goddesses as interchangeable or as 'creatures of their biology'. Taking case studies primarily from the Greek world, this module draws on art, archaeological remains and textual evidence and makes use of interdisciplinary approaches to gender and ritual, in order to explore the rich and complex roles of ancient Goddesses from prehistory to classical times. We will also explore some of the modern re-imaginings of ancient female deities, including modern Goddess spirituality and visual and creative arts.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Professor Christine Morris
  • Duration:
    • Semester 2
  • Contact Hours:
    • 22 hours
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 100% Continuous Assessment

Learning Outcomes

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of Goddesses from the ancient Mediterranean within their cultural and religious contexts.
  • Analyse critically a wide range of primary evidence, including texts, artefacts, imagery, sites and landscapes.
  • Apply interdisciplinary perspectives, such as anthropological and ethno-archaeological approaches, ritual theory, to the material.
  • Engage critically with modern uses and reimaginings of ancient Goddesses.
  • Evaluate the major debates and modern scholarship relevant to the module topics.
  • Discuss the above, both in oral presentation and in written form, in a clear and scholarly manner