Heaven, Hell and Damnation in the Medieval Imagination

This short course traces the development of early Christian thinking about the nature of the Universe and the End Times. Recognising the signs that heralded the Last Days and preparing oneself for what followed after death was paramount. Various natural disasters such as plague, famine and war were seen as portents of the End. Such fears may explain the production of illustrated apocalypses that reached its apogee during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Apocalypse of St John (Book of Revelation) inspired the rise of apocalyptic art which encompassed themes including the Antichrist, the Day of Judgment and the New Jerusalem.

We will see how Dante’s Divine Comedy influenced the depiction of heaven, hell and paradise in the later Middle Ages and end the course by reflecting on the impact of the Reformation on apocalyptic thought. 

15 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students. You may have to fulfil specific prerequisites for some intermediate-level or advanced-level courses, but these will be specified where relevant.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You enrol directly onto the classes you would like to take, using the Enrol Now link below. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then enrol onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.

First class: Wed 02-May-18 6.30pm-8.30pm

Class location Central London
Class code SSHC447H4AAA

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