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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2011 - 2012

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module explores definitions of culture and the theological implications of contemporary secular culture. It introduces students to a variety of schools of cultural analysis, from continental philosophy to modern literary theory. It focuses on key texts from representative writers, showing how these modes of analysis can be put to practical use in the interrogation of culture.

Learning Outcomes

1. understand various definitions of culture and the way in which culture impacts on individuals and their religious beliefs, values and practices.
2. demonstrate a broad knowledge of key writers, texts and movements in cultural analysis
3. critique the strengths and weaknesses of particular modes of cultural analysis
4. adopt a balanced perspective on culture, taking into account one's participative and subjective viewpoint, and the need to foster tolerance towards other cultures
5. be sensitive to the challenge of empowering others to engage with a transcendent horizon of meaning and values within secular contemporary culture

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Total Workload: 0

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Definitions of culture

Impact of culture
focus on individuals and their religious beliefs, values and practices; writings of Michael Paul Gallagher

Friedrich Nietzsche
On Truth and Lying

Roland Barthes
Cultural Mythology

Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own

Michel Foucault
Discipline and Punish

Contemporary culture as a secular age
Focus on writings of Charles Taylor

Implications of secular culture
the acceptability of religious beliefs and values and the contribution of theology within the public forum

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Michael Paul Gallagher: 2003, Clashing Symbols: An Introduction to Faith and Culture, Norton, New York,
  • Vincent B. Leitch ed.: 2001, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Norton, New York,
  • Graham Allen: 2003, Roland Barthes, Routledge, New York,
  • Jane Goldman: 2001, The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, Post-Impressionism and the Politics of the Visual, Cambridge UP, Cambridge,
  • Gary Gutting ed.: 2005, The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, Cambridge UP, Cambridge,
  • Henrich Mann ed.: 2006, The Essential Nietzsche, Dover Publications,
  • Charles Taylor: 0, A Secular Age, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA,
  • Charles Taylor: 1991, The Ethics of Authenticity, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA; London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes