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DR151Q: ATHEISM AND ATHEISMS (2023-2024)

Last modified: 05 Oct 2023 08:46


Course Overview

In our lifetime, Western nations are becoming increasingly detached from religion and religious practice. Now, it’s more important than ever to understand the place and function of atheism (and atheisms) in modern thought. This course will explore the historical development of atheism from ancient times, as well as more current trends in thinking. Starting with an overview of atheism in Ancient Greece and Rome, students will learn about the “death of God” and “religionless Christianity.” We will explore atheism from various angles, from theories of secularisation to New Atheism, to what happens when atheists set up a church. There will be opportunities to discuss atheism in relation to race and gender, and to think about those it includes and excludes. We’ll also consider what it means to be “spiritual but not religious.” Finally, the course will explore the future of atheism and theological engagements with it.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Katie Cross

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

As Western society becomes increasingly detached from religion and religious practice, it is more important than ever to understand the place and function of atheism (and atheisms) in modern thought. This course will explore the historical development of atheistic perspectives from ancient times, as well as more current trends in thinking (including New and ‘Temperate’ atheisms, the phenomenon of ‘godless churches’ and claims that we now live in a ‘post-secular’ society). Discussions will turn towards theological engagement with atheism and religious responses to unbelief. Finally, we will consider the place of atheism in contemporary discourse, and how theology might engage with it in future.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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1000-1500 word count

Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Case Study

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
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1500-2000 word case study. Questions to include opportunities for analysis and evaluation, and long-form answers.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Resubmission of essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseStudents will critically analyse the functions of various atheisms.
FactualUnderstandStudents will become familiar with the historical development of atheism, as well as associated key tests and events.
ConceptualUnderstandStudents will be introduced to various forms of contemporary atheism, and the differences (and similarities) between them.
ConceptualEvaluateStudents will reflect upon the place of atheism (and atheisms) in contemporary culture, and be equipped to discuss and evaluate the wider implications of secularisation in Western society.

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