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Unit information: Topics in Religion and Theology in 2018/19

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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 Professor. Gethin
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 understand 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 in both oral and written form appropriate to level C

Teaching details

2 x 1-hour seminars

1 x 1-hour workshop

Assessment Details

2 x 15-minute oral presentations (40%) [ILOs 1 & 2];

2 x 1000 word essays (60%) [ILOs 1 & 2, 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