Maricopa Community Colleges  REL250   20042-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 5-24-2011

REL250  2012 Spring - 9999

LEC  3.0 Credit(s)  3.0 Period(s)  3.0 Load  Acad


Religion in Ireland: Neolithic to Early Medieval

Survey of the Ancient religious traditions of Ireland. Students investigate the beliefs and practices of Irish Religions in the context of their social, economical and political systems from the late Neolithic to the early Medieval periods (4000 BCE-700 CE).

Prerequisites: None.


Course Attribute(s):

General Education Designation: Historical Awareness - [H]

General Education Designation: Humanities and Fine Arts - [HU]

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


REL250  2012 Spring - 9999

Religion in Ireland: Neolithic to Early Medieval


1.         Explain the impact of the last Ice Age on the geography of Ireland and how this impacted permanent habitation in the Neolithic period. (II)

2.         Explain the significance of material culture in reconstructing Irish religion in the prehistoric period. (I, II)

3.         Identify the major religious themes of pre-Celtic Irish culture. (I, II)

4.         Identify the five major mythological cycles of pre-Christian Ireland. (III)

5.         Explain the relationship between nature and Celtic religious belief. (III)

6.         Explain the relationship between the Roman invasion of Britain and the development of Medieval Christianity in Ireland.(IV, V)

7.         Evaluate the role of monasticism on early Medieval Irish culture. (V)

8.         Describe and critically evaluate the role of Irish Christianity in early Medieval Europe. (V)

9.         Explain the relationship between the socio-economic environment and the development of religion in Ireland. (I, II, III, IV, V)

10.       Explain the causes of religious transformation and syncretism in Ireland with particular emphasis on pre-Celtic and Celtic religion, and early Medieval Christianity. (II, IV, VI)


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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


REL250  2012 Spring - 9999

Religion in Ireland: Neolithic to Early Medieval


I.          Basic Concepts in Religious Studies

            A.        Historical/Anthropological tools in Religious Studies

            B.        The role of ritual practice in Religion

            C.        Mythology vs. Theology

II.         Neolithic Religion in Ireland

            A.        End of the Glacial period and permanent settlement in Ireland

            B.        Burial practices and material culture of Neolithic Ireland

            C.        Astronomy and megalithic monuments in Neolithic Irish Religion

III.       The Ancient Celts and Their Religion

            A.        Who were the Celts?

            B.        Classical Sources on Celtic Religion

            C.        The Gods and Ritual Practice in Ancient Celtic Religion

IV.       Celtic Religion in the Roman World

            A.        Expansion of the Roman Empire (58 BCE-410 CE)

            B.        Continental Syncretism

            C.        Insular Syncretism and the Irish Exception

V.        The Introduction of Christianity to Ireland

            A.        Monastic Christianity in Ireland

            B.        The cult of Irish saints

            C.        Irish Missionary Expansion in Continental Europe

            D.        The Viking Invasion and the decline of Monasticism

VI.       The Revival of Celticism in Ireland

            A.        Continuity and Revival of Folklore and Folk Religion

            B.        Saints, Gods, and Faeries:  Religious Syncretism in Contemporary Irish Culture


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