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Unit information: Clash of religions: Christianity and Islam in 2013/14

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Unit name Clash of religions: Christianity and Islam
Unit code THRS10038
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. D'Costa
Open unit status Open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

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

Description

This unit looks at a number of key Christian and some Muslim thinkers in the twentieth century to examine their attitude to the religious ‘Other’. The responses within each of the religions have some similarities and there are also important differences. Students will learn to discern patterns, identify the ways these approaches are shaped by social, theological and philosophical influences, and see how differing stances are criticised from within that tradition. From Christianity key figures like Karl Barth (Reform), Karl Rahner (Roman Catholic), Paul Knitter (liberation theology) and others will be examined. From Islam, key figures like Sayyid Qutb (of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt), Seyyed Hossein Nasr (the Islamic perennialist philosopher) and Farid Essack (an Islamic liberationist theologian) will be examined. These thinkers are not exhaustive in representing different approaches from each tradition, but they give a good selection and overview. All texts are in good English translations.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have (1) developed a broad knowledge and general understanding of the major topics involved in the study of modern Christianity and Islam; (2) gained an introductory understanding of the theoretical ideas that inform selected thinkers from each tradition regarding religious pluralism; 3) demonstrated the ability to analyse and evaluate a variety of perceptions of other religions and how these are shaped by the religions own configuration of its scripture and tradition and authority figures; (4) demonstrated the ability to identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument.

Teaching details

20 hours (lecture/seminar)

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 1500 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 6 (50%).

Reading and References

Ed Paul Griffiths, Christianity through non-Christian Eyes, Orbis, 1990 Eds. John Hick & Brian Hebblethwaite, Christianity and Other Religions, Oneworld, 2001 Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, Kazi Publications, 2007 Eds. William C Chittlick & Huston Smith, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Naser, Wisdom, 2007 Gavin D’Costa, Christianity and World Religions, Blackwell, 2009

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