MA Religions and Theology
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Christian Thought and Practice in Contemporary Society
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course unit develops critical theological perspectives on contexts and issues in contemporary society, with particular reference to UK.
- Provide an opportunity to explore the engagement of theology with a range of social, political and ecological issues
- Enable the exploration in critical and constructive ways the difference that theology makes in the interpretation of contemporary issues and challenges
- Critically evaluate the secular, and its theological critics
- Examine critically creaturely flourishing and wellbeing in theological perspective
- Assess critically and constructively theological issues raised by living in the city, as urban space and polis
- Test critically the (ir)relevance of the pastoral role and witness of the churches in a postsecular context
- Critically evaluate theological claims regarding the claimed public nature of theology
Knowledge and understanding
- Critique and deploy a range of theological methodologies.
- Present a range of theological critique of ‘the secular’, and be able to explain the methodological decisions that accompany this range.
- Offer a theological characterisation of concepts of (civil) society.
- Discuss the possible contribution of theology to sustainability and the integrity of creation.
- Comprehend the plurality of contemporary society and the polydoxy of contemporary applied theology.
- Explore the relationship between doctrine and practice.
- Demonstrate a sensitive yet critical attentiveness to the role of the churches in contemporary society.
- Analyse and critically evaluate theological responses to contemporary society and related issues.
- Demonstrate a critical awareness of the arguments, assumptions and concepts relating to society, environment and the Church.
- Develop the ability to reflect on his/her theological thinking and religious ideas in the light of discussion and reading, and relate to the views of others in a civil, reasoned and informed manner.
- Apply key methods and concepts of theological and ethical analysis as these relate to material covered in the unit.
- Retrieve, select and evaluate information from a range of sources, including libraries, daily living and the internet.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Demonstrate an ability to respond critically but respectfully to diverse opinions.
- Analyse primary and secondary sources and communicate these effectively in discussion and writing.
- Develop independent thought and critical self-awareness about their own beliefs and practices.
- Develop problem-solving skills and demonstrate the ability to locate, analyse and utilize information.
- 1. Identify an issue or problem and propose a solution. 2. Manage and undertake self-defined research tasks. 3. Present and defend conclusions to colleagues.
|Tutorial discussion of essay plan||0%|
Formative or Summative
Oral and written feedback on essay plan
Written feedback on essay
Beaumont, Justin, and Christopher Baker (eds.). Postsecular Cities: Space, Theory and Practice. (London: Continuum, 2011)
Bevans, Stephen B., Essays in Contextual Theology. Boston: Brill, 2018.
Luke Bretherton, Christianity and Contemporary Politics (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
Malcolm Brown (ed.), Anglican Social Theology (London: CHP, 2014).
John Milbank, Theology & Social Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006 2nd edition)
Oliver O’Donovan, The desire of the nations (Cambridge University Press, 1996)
Michael Northcott and Scott, P.M. Systematic Theology and Climate Change (New York: Routledge, 2014).
Elizabeth Phillips, Political Theology (T & T Clark, 2012)
Elizabeth Phillips, Anna Rowlands, Amy Daughton (eds), T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology (2021)
Peter Scott and William T. Cavanaugh (eds), Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006/second edition 2018)
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2007).
Graham Ward and Michael Hoelzl (eds), The new visibility of religion: studies in cultural hermeneutics (Continuum, 2008).
Rowan Williams, Faith in the Public Square (London: Bloomsbury, 2012).
Woodhead, Linda, and Rebecca Catto (eds.). Religion and Change in Modern Britain. (London: Routledge, 2012)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Peter Scott||Unit coordinator|