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Unit information: Topics in Religion and Theology in 2020/21

Unit name Topics in Religion and Theology
Unit code THRS10063
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. David Leech
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will introduce students to two theological texts and / or topics and allow students to develop their skills in oral presentations and close reading. Students will be assigned to two different seminar groups and will participate in two parallel sets of weekly seminars. The tutor of each small group will guide students through discussion and analysis of material introducing students to the study of religion and theology through close reading of a specific body of material related to a specific religious tradition (Judeo-Christian or Asian) or theme in religious studies relevant to more than one tradition. Emphasis will be placed on (a) student participation, which will take the form of (i) oral presentation of independent work and (ii) working with other students to develop close readings of a text or texts; and (b) enhancing essay writing skills.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate an understanding of a body of religious material through critical reading and engaged discussion;

(2) demonstrate skills in oral presentation;

(3) demonstrate methodological skills in the study of religion and theology;

(4) critically evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a coherent argument appropriate to level C

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Details

2 X 10-minute oral presentations [60% ILOs 1-2]

2 X 1000-word portfolio (40%) [ILOs 1, 3, 4]

Reading and References

Readings vary by tutor, but may include:

Dalrymple, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (London, 2010)

Yu, The Monkey and the Monk: An Abridgement of the Journey to the West (Chicago, 2006)

Charles Amjad-Ali, Future of Christian Muslim Dialogue

John Hick, Life and works

Unterman, The Kabbalistic Tradition: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism

Augustine, City of God