Religion and popular culture in early modern Britain

Course Dates: 15/01/20 - 25/03/20
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

This course explores religious and cultural change from the Reformation to the eighteenth century. It takes a comparative look at England and Scotland, asking how religion impacted popular beliefs and the observance of holidays and festivals.


What is the course about?

Through a series of interactive lessons, we will examine the role of religion in shaping people’s every day lives in the early modern period. Starting with the Reformation, we will compare the different characteristics of the English and Scottish Churches and uncover the corresponding impact on popular beliefs and practices. Essentially, we will be asking ‘how did ordinary people live, love, and spend their free time in early modern Britain?’.

What will we cover?

- The Reformation
- Magical beliefs
- Witchcraft and witch trials
- Early modern holidays and festivals.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Explain the impact of the Reformation on popular beliefs.
- Compare early modern popular culture in England and Scotland.
- Appreciate the impact of belief in fairies, elves, and witches on the lives of ordinary people in Britain.
- Understand the origin of modern festivals such as Haloween.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a beginner level course, suitable for anyone with an interest in early modern English and Scottish history.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A mixture of lecturing and group discussion, with student participation strongly encouraged. There will be opportunities to study source material outside the class, but this is entirely optional and dependent on individual level of interest.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You may wish to bring a pen and notepad.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Other courses in British and European history. Please seee the City Lit website.

Tutor Biographies
Jamie Mcdougall

Jamie is an Early Modern historian with a passion for teaching at all levels. He gained his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2018 and has published several academic articles on various aspects of Early Modern British history. His research specialism is the social and religious history of Scotland from 1638 to 1679 and he has taught a broad range of history and religious studies courses at the University of Glasgow. Since moving to London in summer 2018, Jamie has been presenting his research and preparing further publications. As well as engaging with the academic community, Jamie also currently teaches history at a South London secondary school.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HBH23

Wed, eve, 15 Jan - 25 Mar '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £159.00
Senior fee: £159.00
Concession: £70.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.