Contemporary Issues in Theology

MTh pathway in Biblical and Theological Studies
COURSE UNIT 436

UNIT DESCRIPTION

The unit focuses on three contemporary challenges to orthodox Christian belief – atheism, pluralism and changing notions of truth - seeking to deepen an understanding of their origins within a wider historical and cultural context. Particular attention focuses on the rise of the so-called ‘new atheism’ and the contrast with older forms of atheism. The social reality and theological challenge presented by religious pluralism is critically examined using a variety of theological resources. The related notion of truth, the rise of dogmatic pluralism and the associated breakdown in notions of authority are examined. Differing theological responses to these issues are examined through engagement with significant texts; the response of the local church to these challenges is addressed in a way that is theologically consistent with the Christian Faith and practically relevant.

Aims

To engage theologically and critically with contemporary issues as they impinge on the life and mission of the local church, paying particular attention to atheism, religious pluralism and the nature of truth and authority.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES:

CATEGORY OF OUTCOMEBY THE END OF THIS UNIT STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
Knowledge and understanding
  • analyse critically the key ideas and underlying belief systems of differing forms of atheism
  • engage critically with various forms of pluralism, particularly in the realm of religious belief and develop a Christian theological understanding of such beliefs
Intellectual skills
  • examine differing philosophical and theological understandings of the nature of truth and understand the impact of such beliefs in contemporary culture
Practical and transferable skills; personal qualities
  • articulate a Christian response to atheism and pluralism within the context of Christian ministry

Assessment:

ASSESSMENT TASK:LENGTH:WEIGHTING WITHIN UNIT
Formative:
  • Seminar presentation

45 minutes

n/a
Summative:
  • An essay

6000 words

100%
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Contemporary Issues in Theology

MTh pathway in Biblical and Theological Studies
Course Unit 436

Credits:

30

Level:

7

Hours of Learning:

300

Tutor:

Dr. Graham J. Watts

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