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Postgraduate Divinity And Religious Studies 2014-2015

DR501P: EXPLORING SPIRITUALITY HEALTH AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

The course aims to explore the connection between spirituality, health and healing within the contemporary practice of health care. The course is multi-disciplinary (including Medicine and Nursing students). It examines issues of health and healing within various contexts, highlighting the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates the spiritual as well as the material aspects of human beings. Areas covered will include: the relationship between the ‘medical’ and the ‘spiritual’ within healing; the practice of Christian healing; psychiatry and religion; and alternative medicine.

DR501U: THE THEOLOGY OF KARL BARTH

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Karl Barth is considered to be one of the most significant Christian theologians of recent times. His work as a pastor in Switzerland and later as a professor in Germany and Switzerland coincided with many of the defining events of the last century. This course critically explores the theology of Barth, attending to his context and to his person. It proceeds by way of a close critical reading of a series of Barth's writings covering the different periods of his life, and considers his ongoing relevance for theology today.

DR501V: THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF GOD

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

The course involves a consideration of the development of the Christian doctrine of God and related themes from Scripture to the 20th century. It pays close attention to significant texts in the Christian tradition (including creedal statements, and the writings of Origen, Augustine, Barth, and others), and to discussions of the doctrine of the trinity. The course requires careful reading of key primary texts.

DR502B: PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELLING: ATTENDING TO GOD THROUGH CHRISTIAN PRACTICES

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course provides a context for theological reflection on the pastoral ministry of the Church. The course reflects on the ways in which the discipline of practical theology (understood as critical theological reflection on the practices of the Church as they interact with the practices of the world) can enable students to gain access to vital dimensions of contemporary pastoral practice, and provide fresh and innovative ways of addressing the needs of people within contemporary culture. A key aspect of the course is the focus on Christian practices.

DR502H: DISSERTATION COLLOQUIUM

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

For the first four sessions we will meet as a group to take an overview of the process of finding a suitable dissertation topic and embarking on research in Divinity and Religious Studies. Then students will develop their own dissertation topics in consultation with their supervisors.

DR502T: CREATION IN CHRISTIAN ETHICS

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course examines the account of creation in the biblical book of Genesis in order to explore the theological account of human moral action it offers. By exploring different movements of the creation story, the course lays out the basic structure of Christian moral theology. The aim is to develop a theological approach to the fundamentals of Christian ethics, clarifying its relevance for issues of sexuality and procreation, economics, work, governance, health, animals and the environment. The course offers a broad theoretical framework for thinking about the whole scope of ethical questions in contemporary society.

DR502V: JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

The course provides a survey of Jewish History (from the Persian and Hellenistic periods to the present day) and of Jewish culture (Jewish identity, rites and other aspects of religious life) through the ages. It provides students with a full overview of Judaism from its inception to the present.

DR502X: SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divnity or Religious Studies agreed upon with his or her supervisor and approved by the Head of School. It may be offered in conjunction with the student sitting in on level 4 lectures relating to the subject material.

DR503A: SPIRITUALITY, HEALTH AND HEALING

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

The course aims to explore the connection between spirituality, health and healing within the contemporary practice of health care. The course is multi-disciplinary (including Medicine and Nursing students). It examines issues of health and healing within various contexts, highlighting the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates the spiritual as well as the material aspects of human beings. Areas covered will include: the relationship between the ‘medical’ and the ‘spiritual’ within healing; the practice of Christian healing; psychiatry and religion; and alternative medicine.

DR503D: READINGS IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This new course engages at length and in depth with the thought of one or more formative thinkers in the Christian theological tradition to foster critical reflection on the scope and coherence of Christian teaching as well as the defining concerns and conventions of Christian systematic theology; and to cultivate in students the interpretative and analytical skills required for advanced work in the discipline. In a year-long series of fortnightly seminars, students will engage intensively with one or more works from the Christian doctrinal tradition.

DR503F: THE EMERGENCE OF CHRISTOLOGY

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

How did the Jesus of history become the proclaimed Christ of faith? At the heart of the earliest Christian Christology is the variously expressed association of the pre-Easter Jesus and his message with the post-Easter proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, as testified in the New Testament. This course explores some of the early expressions and trajectories of the early Christian conviction to this effect, how these related to contemporary messianic expectations as well as other relevant Early Jewish and Graeco-Roman concepts and beliefs, and, of course to the focal point of early Christianity: the Christ-event itself.

DR5089: INTERPRETING MYTH

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

A survey of eight leading theories of myth from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and religious studies. The focus will be on the differing answers the theories give to the common questions of the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth. Each theory will be applied to a familiar myth.

DR551Q: GREAT THINKERS IN THEOLOGICAL ETHICS

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course will introduce students to a number of major thinkers in the area of Theological Ethics. Its focus will be on reading and discussing texts by prominent figures who are of ongoing significance.  Moreover, this course will include figures from different theological and confessional backgrounds (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, non-Conformist, etc.), and explore whether and how their theological commitments connect with practical stances and approaches (i.e. on issues of war and peace, sexual ethics, bioethics, etc.)

DR551T: THEORISING RELIGION WITH THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

We will explore what the authors of the so-called Frankfurt School have had to say about religion: Starting with Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno at the centre of the Institute for Social Research, extending to the likes of Walter Benjamin and Erich Fromm and later on – arguably – Jürgen Habermas. We shall ask in what ways critical theory is different from traditional theory, what the socio-cultural contexts were in which this re-definition of intellectual work took place, its re-interpretations of Freud and Marx, and how it can inform the academic study of religion today.

DR551X: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY SINCE THE ENLIGHTENMENT

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course aims to provide detailed knowledge of key developments in Christian Systematic Theology from the beginning of the modern period through to the start of the 20th century. Through critical consideration of key primary texts, students will acquire an in-depth understanding of the ‘landscape’ of modern Christian thought within which to approach subsequent specialist research. The course will investigate particular questions concerning developments in theological method, shifts in the role of Scripture in theological endeavour, the relationship between theology and modern philosophy and the changing understanding of the nature of doctrine itself.

DR552G: DISSERTATION

60 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

20,000 word dissertation written on a topic related to the student's taught Master's programme and agreed to by the supervisor and the programme co-ordinator

DR552K: THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD: RELIGION, HISTORY, LITERATURE

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

We will discuss the biography of Prophet Muhammad, the main figure in Islam, through whom the Qur’an was revealed. We will look at existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. We will examine various research approaches to this topic and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each. Through a discussion of main episodes in the life of the Prophet we will learn of various ways for understanding these episodes. We will also discuss the status of Muhammad against other prophets in Islam and against the Qur’an.

DR552M: THE HISTORICAL FIGURE OF JESUS OF NAZARETH

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

DR552N: JUSTICE, RECONCILIATION, AND THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This explores the tension between the theological concepts of forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice. How does one, or should one, forgive those who have committed unjust and terrible crimes? To what extent must justice be retributive? This analysis of the difficult work of reconciliation gives particular attention to how the churches in Latin America and South Africa have wrestled with this issue in their own social and political contexts. Some attention will be given to the emotional and spiritual tensions that individuals face when confronted with the complexities involved in living through periods of conflict and reconciliation.

DR552P: ISA: THE ISLAMIC IMAGE OF JESUS – ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

In this course we will discuss the biography and characterisation of Jesus, a major Muslim prophet and the expected mahdi (Islamic messiah). The course will look at the existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. It will examine possible Christian origins of this figure. Through a discussion of the main episodes in the life of the Muslim Jesus we will learn of the various ways for understanding his character. The course will also discuss the status of Jesus against other prophets in Islam, especially Muhammad, and against the Qur'an.

DR552X: SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

The course will begin with a study of environmentality and the use of religion and sacred as categories in UN and donor discourse. We will then look at the neo-colonial creation of people-free national parks and the rise of eco-tourism. Finally we will look at ethnographic accounts of societies creating landscapes through rituals, architecture, land management or other practices in the context of globalisation.

DR5540: DIPLOMA IN PASTORAL STUDIES FIELDWORK PLACEMENT

40 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

The module comprises of a supervised fieldwork project which will last for a minimum of four weeks. This practical work will be done under arrangements to be approved by the course co-ordinator.

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