The Gospel and Contemporary Thought and Culture

MTh pathway in Biblical and Theological Studies
COURSE UNIT 742

UNIT DESCRIPTION

This unit analyses some key trends in contemporary Western cultures, in particular the concept of a shift from ‘modern’ to ‘postmodern’ ways of thinking, the critique that the latter offer to the former, and what they do (and do not) put in its place. It offers an opportunity to consider the work of a recent or contemporary non-Christian or secular thinker in depth, e.g. Rorty, Foucault, Derrida or Dawkins. Alternatively, students can consider a representative figure or product of a specific contemporary cultural form in depth, e.g. in the field of film, literature, music or visual art. The unit considers the principles on which the gospel may be related to non-Christian thought (e.g. is ‘apologetics’ still appropriate?) and some specific theological responses to current trends. It also studies the relationship of Christ/the church and culture and discusses the implications of all the above for homiletics and wider Christian communication.

Aims

To examine some key trends in recent and contemporary Western thought and culture in the light of the gospel, with a view to relating the gospel to them in appropriate ways.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES:

CATEGORY OF OUTCOMEBY THE END OF THIS UNIT STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO:
Knowledge and understanding
  • assess and critically evaluate reasons for describing contemporary cultures as ‘postmodern’
Intellectual skills
  • evaluate theological responses to contemporary currents of thought
Practical and transferable skills; personal qualities
  • reflect critically on ways of connecting the Gospel with contemporary cultural expressions, in preaching and other forms of communication

Assessment:

ASSESSMENT TASK:LENGTH:WEIGHTING WITHIN UNIT
Formative:
  • Presentations in the group

30 minutes

n/a
Summative:
  • A written assignment

6000 words

100%
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The Gospel and Contemporary Thought and Culture

MTh pathway in Biblical and Theological Studies
Course Unit 742

Credits:

30

Level:

7

Hours of Learning:

300

Tutor:

Dr Roger Standing

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