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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ANTM112: Animals and Religion

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:


– What is Religion? What’s it got to do with animals? (module description, assignment description, the problem of using ‘religion’ as a concept and the peculiar role of Protestantism).


– Prehistoric and Oral Traditions (archaeology and anthropology, shamanism, animism, totemism, appeasement, Australian dream time, shifting boundaries).


- Early History and ‘civilisation’ (mythology, farming, structural origins, economics, domestication, classical literature).


- The Indian Subcontinent (The variety of ‘Hindu’ traditions, reincarnation and animal sacredness, asceticism, Jainism and Buddhism).


- East Asia (Dao vs social order, pre-Han traditions, Shinto and syncretism).


- Abraham (The origins of Jewish traditions and the emergence of Christianity and Islam, world order and hierarchy, biblical vegetarianism, stewardship).


- A Bad Rap (Christianity in the middle ages, was it all bad? Inhuman daemons and witches, angels, St Francis, Protestant purity and property).


 - Enlightenment, Science and Machines (Descartes’ legacy, Human as an animal, a return to philosophy, big economics, global mixing).


 - New Age, Vegetarians and Animal Rights (full circle – world religions and neo-shamanism, animals as sentient, anthropomorphism).


- Death, burial and other themes (drawing it together, picking out common themes from disparate traditions).

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1010 x 1 hour podcast audio lectures with accompanying PowerPoint presentations
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1010 x 1 hour discussion/seminar participations on the VLE discussion forums (Including formative assessments)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 x 1 hour assessment preparation tutorials
Guided Independent Study30Preparation for formative assessments
Guided Independent Study98Research and writing of summative assessments

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).