Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
This programme is the result of an innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration between the Postgraduate Quaker Study Centre at Woodbrooke, Birmingham and the Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion (PPR).
The MA is designed to introduce you to the theories, issues and processes connected with the history, theology and sociology of Quakerism in a global context. It offers training in research methods and includes a module on the theories of international relations to help you better understand the modern global context.
The programme is especially relevant if you are interested in Quaker theology and history, the adaptation of religious groups to new social and geographical settings, globalisation and religion, and secularisation and Quakerism in a changing political environment.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
The module serves to consolidate postgraduate research and learning support by providing opportunity for students to engage theories, methods and skills of direct relevance to their studies. The module is core for all PPR PGT students and complements core subject and discipline-specific module provision. The first five sessions of the module treat generic theories, methods and skills relating to postgraduate study and research. The next three sessions are given over to subject-specific input which is delivered separately by disciplinary specialists. The contents of these three sessions will be determined relative to discipline-specific needs. The final two sessions are dedicated to online discussions and presentations in respect of student projects through online forum and web seminar.
Cooley, L. 2003. Dissertation Writing in Practice. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Creswell, J. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Grix, J. 2010. The Foundations of Research. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Locke, L. F., Silverman, S. J., and Wyrick Spirduso, W. 2004. Reading and Understanding Research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
McMillan, K. 2011. Study Skills for International Students. Harlow: Prentice Hall, 2011.
Potter, S. (ed.) 2006. Doing Postgraduate Research. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Preece, R. A. 1994 Starting Research: an Introduction to Academic Research. London: Pinter Publishers.
Thody, A. 2006. Writing and Presenting Research. London: Sage.
Walliman, N. 2005. Your Research Project. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Welsh, J. 1979 The First Year of Postgraduate Research Study. Guildford: Society for Research into Higher Education.
Wilkinson, D. 2005. The Essential Guide to Postgraduate Study. London: Sage.
Wisker, G. 2008. The Postgraduate Research Handbook. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
This module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to the central Quaker concepts of peace and justice and how these ideas have been understood in different political and theological contexts. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of key issues within this aspect of Quaker ‘testimony’.
Understanding the differing attitudes to this historic Quaker witness amongst different Quaker traditions is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing values to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of differing emphases of witness in the world amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker past and present in terms of peace and justice work:
The teaching and learning strategy of this distance learning module is designed to give students comprehensive understanding of key issues in Quaker concepts of peace and justice. Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Brock, Peter (1990) The Quaker Peace Testimony: 1660 to 1914. York: Sessions.
Mendl, Wolf (1974) Prophets and Reconcilers: Reflections on the Quaker Peace Testimony. Friends Home Service.
Allman, Mark J. (2008) Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace, and the Christian Tradition. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic Press.
Dandelion, Pink (2007) An Introduction to Quakerism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The module involves the negotiation, design and delivery of a research project whose precise topic will be determined by the student and the project supervisor.
The dissertation will be 20,000 words in length and is designed to provide students with the opportunity to consolidate their existing knowledge and skills base while developing new knowledge and skills made possible by its project-orientated nature.
This module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to key theological ideas espoused by the leaders of early Quakerism and how these concepts have been changed and adapted across time and across new traditions of Quakerism worldwide. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of theological innovation and constancy across global Quaker history. Understanding Quaker theology is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing theologies to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of complex layers of theological meaning and religious identity amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker theology and concepts within Quaker theology to better understand global Quakerism in the 21st century:
The teaching focuses on the theology of different traditions rather than on noteworthy lives of Quakers. The way in which different theologies have different consequences for relationships between Quakers and ‘the world’ is also explored. Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Punshon, John. Portrait in Grey: a short history of the Quakers. London: Quaker Home Service, 1984, reprinted 2007.
This distance learning module contributes to the Certificate and MA programmes by introducing students to key sociological concepts and by analysing how these concepts play out within the sociology of Quaker traditions worldwide. It is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of key issues within contemporary Quakerism and how they can be understood sociologically. Understanding the sociology of different Quaker traditions is central to the understanding of international Quakerism. The decentralised structure of international Quaker ecclesiology allows competing theologies to each assume its primacy whereas the reality is of complex layers of identity-construction amongst a global Quaker community. This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing Quaker past and present sociologically.
Students will gain a broad understanding of key debates and theories in the study of contemporary religion and spirituality and how they relate to Quakerism. They will develop an understanding of the role of belief and practice within Quakerism worldwide and will begin to interrogate categories such as class and gender in Quakerism.
Lectures podcasting and online discussion activities will be complemented by live online seminars through video conferencing facility. Distance learning students will have a lot of opportunities of online interaction with peers and tutors.
Woodhead, Linda and Heelas, Paul (2000) Religion in Modern Times: An Anthology (Religion and Spirituality in the Modern World), Wiley Blackwell
Collins, Peter and Dandelion, Pink (2009) The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Furseth, Inger and Repstad, Pal (2006) An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion: Classical And Contemporary Perspectives Ashgate
This module allows students to study the nexus of religion, politics and society by way of some of the most controversial and pressing debates of today. Inspired by the national ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ which are organised out of PPR, the module makes use of the contributions of leading figures who have taken part, such as Richard Dawkins, Polly Toynbee, Tony Blair and Rowan Williams.
By way of these debates, students will be introduced to methods, approaches and theories from the range of relevant disciplines, including the sociology of religion, religious studies, politics, and philosophy. They will be equipped and encouraged to think about key themes for themselves, in dialogue with existing theories, interpretations and arguments.
The module will consider religion and secularity past and present, but will have a particular focus on the contemporary situation and ‘religious futures’. The approach will be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The teaching will be interactive, and assessment will be by essay, online interaction, and writing a blog entry.
Podcasts and videos on the ‘Westminster Faith Debates’ website, especially the series on ‘Religion and Public Life’ (2012), ‘Global Religious Trends’ (2014) and ‘Religion, Violence and Cohesion’ (2015)
Jeff Haynes, Religion, Politics and International Relations. Routledge: 2011.
Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto, Religion and Change in Modern Britain. Routledge: 2012.
Whether global, national, ethnic or ethical, conflicts frequently involve religion. Between themselves, in their relations with secular states and ideologies, and even at the level of sects or denominations, religions engage in conflict arising from deeply held beliefs and values, as well as in struggles for power, status and legitimacy. Understanding how and why religious groups contribute to global and regional conflicts and civil wars – from terrorist attacks, through historically embedded disputes in Israel/Gaza and Northern Ireland, to Christian/Muslim violence in Nigeria, Uganda and India – is vital for development, humanitarian intervention, international relations, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
This module provides the knowledge and skills to help students understand and analyse why conflict happens within and between religious groups, and to assess the positive and negative contributions that religions make to wider struggles – from local disputes through to global terrorism.
The module is designed to introduce students to key concepts and issues in scholarship on religion and conflict: e.g. on the relationship between conflict and violence, religion and ethnicity, the ‘clash of civilizations’, intra-religious as well as inter-religious conflict, jihad and martyrdom. Equal attention will be given to the importance of context – historical, social, geographical and political. Analysis and debate about religion and conflict will be situated in particular cases, from the UK and Europe, the US, the Indian sub-continent and sub-Saharan Africa. Lecture podcasts and online discussion activities will be complemented by online talks by experts and short films. There will be plenty of opportunities for online interaction with peers and tutors.
Cavanaugh, William T. (2009) The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Haynes, Jeffrey. (2011) Religion, Politics and International Relations. New York: Routledge.
Kaplan, Benjamin J. (2007) Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard.
Maréchal, Brigitte and Sami Zemni (eds). (2012) The Dynamics of Sunni-Shia Relationships: Doctrine, Transnationalism, Intellectuals and the Media. London: Hurst.
Murphy, Andrew (ed). (2011) The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
This module aims to provide students with a broad understanding of the main areas of study within the field of international relations (IR). The introductory session addresses the general question as to what constitutes the study of IR. Subsequent sessions examine the major approaches to the discipline (both mainstream and critical), focusing upon the distinctive insights and analyses that they have brought to bear.
Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the wide-ranging theoretical debates that have shaped the discipline and will develop an understanding of the importance of questions of theory to the way in which we study IR. More particularly, students will be able:
Learning activities consist of compulsory key readings, lecture podcasts, as well as participation in presentation, online seminars and discussion forums. You will have a lot of opportunities to communicate with your tutor and peers through online discussion forum, live web seminar and email. Tutor will provide help and support throughout your distance learning process.
Scott Burchill et al., Theories of International Relations, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Fourth edition, 2009.
Tim Dunne et al., International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, second edition, OUP, Oxford, 2010.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Duration: 12 months, full-time
Entry requirements: An upper second class honours degree, or its equivalent.
IELTS: 6.5 or equivalent.
Assessment: A combination of participation in weekly learning activities, essays and a dissertation
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