What is the course about?
Christmas trees, the Virgin Mary, the shepherds, the magi, the angels, "the little Lord Jesus who laid down his sweet head", Christ the Lord, advent, presents ... This course is about the Christian festival of Christmas and unpacking these ideas to see how the story, imagery, music and traditions shape our understanding of Jesus and his role and the festival fits into past and present history.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- the pre-Christian origins of Christmas;
- what we can learn about who Jesus was and his role from:
o the nativity stories in the Bible;
o Christmas imagery;
o Christmas carols; and
o Christmas traditions; and
- the place of Christmas in contemporary society.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand the origins of Christmas and consider its place in contemporary society; and
- identify and analyse how the Christmas story, imagery, carols and traditions contribute to our understanding of Jesus and his role.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the subject is necessary. Learners with any perspective on faith are welcome.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught on a single half day session so no preparation or work outside the class is required. The course will be delivered using a combination of lecture-style teaching and discussion in response to various media (music, art and texts).
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs associated with this course. You will only need to bring pen and paper should you wish to make notes, although handouts will be provided outlining the key areas covered.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please see City Lit's website for full details of all courses on religion and belief.