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Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology

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Department of Religions & Theology

Irish School of Ecumenics

The Loyola Institute

Department of Religions & Theology

Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

(HE110C Introduction to World Religions)

5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Patrick Claffey

Description and Learning Outcomes

This course seeks essentially to give students an experience of religion in Southeast Asia. Emphasising the heterogeneity of religion in Asia, it will present an overview, while concentrating on Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. There will be an examination of the various cosmologies, gods and goddesses, and important concepts dharma, bhakti, samnyasa as well as the caste system. Students will engage critically with the scriptures, notably the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The course will deal with the question of Hindu identity and the more recent politicisation of Hinduism in the Hindutva movement. The use of iconography is an important element of the course as it will help to give students an understanding of the wider cultural world of Asian religions

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and engage with several important religious traditions in Southeast Asia
  • Appreciate the heterogeneity of Asian religion and culture
  • Have a knowledge of the various cosmologies, Gods and Goddesses, and important concepts
  • Engage critically with the scriptures of these religions
  • Understand the social significance of religion in Asia
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE106C Eras and classical authors in the history of Christianty)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Cathriona Russell

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course introduces discourse about God in Eastern and Western European Christianity from the patristic to the modern eras. It examines key turning points in theological history: the role and achievements in Christology of the Ecumenical Councils in the patristic period with a focus on Nicaea (325); Byzantine Iconoclasm, the Schism East and West in relation to theologies of the Holy Spirit; the rise of the monasteries with a focus on the Rule of St Benedict; the medieval synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology (Aquinas); the Reformation (Luther) and Counter-reformation (Council of Trent); theology in Modernity (Schleiermacher) and contemporary theology, including the reception of humanist atheism (Feuerbach) and ‘nihilism’ (Nietzsche).

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • appreciate the historical development of theological discourse
  • explain some major theological achievements in each epoch
  • discuss the challenges for theology in the modern period
  • be familiar with strategies of academic reading, different types of literature and sources, and skills in academic writing
  • present and investigate these concepts and interpretations in class and in a written assignment.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE111Q Religion in Public: Great Speeches (CA))

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof.A Junker-Kenny abd Dr W. Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module investigates “Great Speeches” – famous, influential, remembered speeches that made an impact on cultural and political changes in different areas of the world – with a special focus on the many and diverse roles religion has been playing in important moments of cultural change. The goal of the module is to provide different scholarly perspectives on the diversity of how religion is mediated and has been part of public debate in many, and often unexpected ways. Through the lenses of Biblical, Islamic and Literary Studies, Theology and the Cultural Study of Religion we will analyse the speeches and their contexts, from politics and cultural life, linked to the relevance of religion as argument, as rhetoric and as value background. Names such has Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Arundhati Roy and Albert Camus, Mohammad the Prophet and Friedrich Schleiermacher at the turn of the Enlightenment into Romanticism, demonstrate the scope of backgrounds we will address. Knowing about the impact of religion as a cultural force will build up a competence which is most important for the encounter within a multi-cultural globalized world.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Acquire insight into the diversity of forms in which religion and religions impact on public debate
  • Distinguish different conceptions of the “public sphere” and “public reason”
  • Contextualize the authors and speeches discussed
  • Identify and assess the way in which religion is involved in public communication: as topic, as part of an argument, as object of critique, as rhetoric or as position
  • Identify religion as an aspect of culture and historical developments in its variety
  • Understand and critically assess the problems raised about the construction of a “public sphere”, and the regulation of religion within.
  • Apply the speeches, their histories of interpretation as well as the analytical concepts to their own perception of public life
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE1023C Ethics in Sport and Media Ethics)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. John Scally

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Beginning with an overview of traditions of ethics, this module treats two key areas of applied ethics. Sport in contemporary society has been described both as an expression of the highest human and social values, and as a legally secured parallel world of the elite pursuit of victories and medals. On the one hand, as a sphere of physical self-realization, social formation and of moral training in fairness, it is seen as an area with standards of excellence that can be closely aligned to ethics. On the other hand, individual sport stars and the institutions of organized sport have been subject to multiple enquiries and critiques: for example, on doping, corruption, sponsorship, the power of mentors and child protection. The variety of facets to the question of ethics in the domains of sport requires a multidisciplinary response. In order to connect to the necessary element of “field work”, an integral part of this module will be attendance in a conference on Ethics in Sport which will take place in the Trinity Long Room Hub on Saturday Nov 4th, 2017. It will feature some leading personalities in Irish sport of the past and present to give the practitioners’ perspective on ethics and sport. The concluding part of the module with deal with Media Ethics. At a time of “fake news” and of debates on the effects of social media, its importance is inescapable.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Evaluate how ethical issues in sport are shaped by the particular socio-political contexts of the time.
  • Assess the continuities and discontinuities between the present and the past by appraising the influence of the Greek, Corinthian and Olympic ideals.
  • Outline the principles and values stated in current ethics charters and relate them to current controversies in sport.
  • Identify traditions of ethical thought in the work of leading writers on the topic of ethics and sport, and locate them in relation to relevant developments in sport today.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE3203C Institutions of Education and Science in Classical Islam)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Walter Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will explore the historical development of the various institutions that shaped religious and scientific knowledge in Islamic civilization. It will examine philosophical/scientific and religious contexts of learning in their symbiotic relationship, with an emphasis on the connections between science and religious tradition, revelation and rational methods of investigation. The module will survey the main institutions that marked the full development of classical Islamic scholarship, ranging from the hospital and observatory, to the library, mosque, caliphal palace and especially the madrasa or Islamic university. Topics covered in class will include patterns and practices of knowledge production in medieval and postclassical Islam (circles of learning, patronage, medieval Islamic curricula, etc.), the place of science in medieval Islamic scholarship, modern scholarly debates about the relationship between science and Islam, and the development of the madrasa from its medieval origin up to the modern period and its relation European universities.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • extensive knowledge of the various institutions that shaped Islamic civilization
  • a basic understanding of the timeline of Islamic dynasties and the major period of Islamic history
  • insight into the scholarly discussions and debates about the place of science in Islam
  • the ability to navigate and assess scholarly literature on specific issues pertaining to Islamic education and history
  • a deeper and more detailed understanding of modern and contemporary issues related to the Near and Middle East
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE231B The Historical Jesus and the Gospels)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Benjamin Wold

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Who was the historical Jesus – the Jewish Galilean whose activities and death resulted in the emergence of Christianity? This class explores questions about Jesus the man, his world, his Jewish disciples and their literary activities. The earliest literary witness to his life— namely the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke—occupy a significant amount of our attention. In order to assess Jesus’ environment and social milieu we shall engage with material culture and archaeology, as well as other ancient literature such as Josephus and selected Dead Sea Scrolls. You will have the opportunity to study literary theories and approaches used to read ancient literature in order to develop and articulate your own viewpoint on the origins of Christianity. In conclusion to this module issues that arise in the assessment of Jesus as a historical figure will be explored as they relate to other religious traditions, particularly ancient Judaism and early Islam (i.e. the historical Muhammad).

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Outline at least three approaches to resolving the “synoptic problem.”
  • Describe the main characteristics of each of the “quests” for the historical Jesus.
  • Provide a brief synopsis of at least five of the approaches historians have developed to read the gospels.
  • Dialogue at an intermediate level about the significance of literary and historical approaches to the gospels for the study of religion in antiquity.
  • Discuss the basic content of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
  • Differentiate between the character and tendencies of each evangelist and postulate how their various contexts influenced their editorial activities.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE233B Contemporary Theories of Religion)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Alexandra Grieser

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course provides a survey of recent developments in the academic study of religion. We will get to know and discuss contemporary theories of religious thought and behaviour by comparing sociological, cognitive and anthropological approaches to myth, ritual, and religious experience.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the multi-methodical, systematic structure of the discipline and distinguish different methodologies and perspectives.
  • Identify, distinguish and characterise key concepts in the contemporary academic study of religion
  • Identify the relevance and consequences of theorizing in the study of religion
  • Understand and reconstruct critical discussion of theoretical issues
  • Apply concepts to empirical cases.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE235B Christology: Jesus in the first century, at turning points of Christian thinking, in music and film)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Profs. Daniele Pevarello & Maureen Junker-Kenny

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course investigates Christology, the study of the person of Jesus Christ, and Soteriology, the understandings of his work of redemption as they were developed in different eras. The first part will begin with the worship of Jesus Christ in the first Christian communities and conclude with the first Christian councils from Nicaea to Chalcedon which tried to resolve disputes about the understanding of his person in the intellectual categories of Greek philosophical culture. The second part will follow the developments in the theological understanding of his person and his work of redemption from the Middle Ages to Modernity. Specific elements of the cultural history of reception of Christology will be exemplified in classical music and modern film.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the main theoretical stances in the study of Christology and of their importance for early Christian history and contemporary theology. This includes, for example, knowledge of the different stages and positions within the Historical Jesus debate and of the most relevant textual evidence for its study, as well as a basic understanding of the Christological doctrines of the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon.
  • Demonstrate basic familiarity with methods and tools of the study of Christology, including the ability to read primary sources and engage in summarising and explaining complex theological texts and formulations.
  • Understand the plural nature of the sources and recognise conflicting interpretations and contrasting theological positions (e.g. of Antioch and Alexandria, or Anselm and Thomas Aquinas) on the significance of the person and work of Christ.
  • Have learned how to handle academic bibliographies and textbooks and how to write an academic essay, and demonstrate the ability to communicate and explain the epistemological status and anthropological relevance of central questions and themes in the Christological debate (e.g. Resurrection), employing skills such as the ability to identify and synthesise classical Christological positions and to illustrate their significance for contemporary theology.
  • Have developed confidence in approaching classical and modern Christological texts and questions and the ability to undertake further study, understanding the role of Christology in the framework a pluralist theology of religions and its relevance for contemporary anthropological and ethical debates, such as feminist critiques and transhumanism.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE3201C Great Controversies in the Histories of Monotheism)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Profs. D. Pevarello, M. junker-Kenny, C. Russell and Dr. W. Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    European thinking has been marked by great disputes in the encounter between the monotheistic religions and the philosophical and ethical thinking of their times. The module will treat key questions and turning points in the history of thinking from Antiquity to Modernity: the conflict between Gnosticism and a positive biblical understanding of creation, debates about free will and human sin between Augustine and Pelagius, and on determinism, predestination and human freedom in Islamic religious thought. The polemics on God as One or as Triune between Islam and Christianity will be investigated, before turning to the early modern ages with Las Casas’ defense of the humanity of the natives of Latin America. The controversy between Luther and Erasmus is followed by the religion versus science dispute of Galileo. The challenge of Kant’s demolition of the proofs for God’s existence for theology and Schleiermacher’s response will conclude the study of the series of conflicts that have constituted key elements of the West’s intellectual history.

    Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this module students should be able to

  • Situate the interpretation of key passages of the Bible and of the Qur’an in relation to the philosophical currents of their time
  • Identify key tenets of the monotheistic religions in relation to the great philosophical schools
  • Examine the differences within and between the monotheisms on issues such as the status of their foundational scriptures, on reason and revelation, on the oneness of God, providence, predestination and human freedom
  • Assess the effect of these encounters and efforts of translation, of conflicts and polemics on the subsequent histories of theological and philosophical thought
  • Demonstrate the capability to analyse and reconstruct argumentations in key theological and philosophical disputes at relevant turning points of Western thinking
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE238C Approaches to Theological Ethics)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. M. junker-Kenny,

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The contributions Christian ethicists make to debates in the public sphere depend on the approaches they take to this discipline, basing it on the Bible or the worshipping community, on virtue, on classical or revisionist Natural Law, on principled autonomy in a Christian framework, or on different feminist positions. The module will investigate these approaches in terms of their methods and basic concepts, and on how they relate to movements of philosophical thought and to other theological disciplines, such as biblical studies and hermeneutics. How they evaluate some concrete ethical issues and justify their positions will also be compared.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognise and illustrate with examples the typical uses of core ethical concepts in each School’s argumentation
  • Analyse each approach regarding the relationship it proposes between faith and (practical) reason, biblical revelation and church community, theological ethics and the human sciences
  • Relate the five theological ethical approaches studied to philosophical and theological anthropologies within the history of Western thinking
  • Outline some transformations within this heritage arising from the interaction between philosophical and theological ethics
  • Distinguish alternative positions in the philosophical debate on public reason and argue for their own view on the role of religion in civil society.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE404B The Dead Sea Scrolls & the New Testament)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term Competence in Biblical theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Benjamin Wold

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The focal point of this seminar is reading early Christian literature vis-à-vis new developments in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. The Scrolls are our best witness to Palestinian Judaism in the Second Temple era and are therefore one of the most significant resources for the study of the Jewish context of writing collected in the New Testament. Literature discovered at Qumran is by no means monolithic, but rather represents religious traditions from a multiplicity of authors and a variety of communities. These Scrolls allow us to assess patterns of thought, religious matrices, and a variety of speech acts found in nearly 350 different compositions preserved in over 900 manuscripts. Although the eleven caves that held scrolls were found in the late 1100%s and early 1950s the materials from Cave 4, where 574 manuscripts were discovered in 1952, were not published in critical editions until the mid 1990s through to the early 2000s. Therefore, our understanding of the significance of many Scrolls is still nascent since even approximately twenty years of research is insufficient time to thoroughly study the host of questions arising from them. In addition to learning about the content of the scrolls significant attention is given to manuscript studies and the archaeology of Qumran.

    Learning outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Argue their own interpretation of Qumran as an archaeological site.
  • Develop a broad knowledge of the diversity of writings among the scrolls
  • Use tools acquired well enough to conduct research
  • Identify common matrices observable in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament
  • Articulate continuities and discontinuities between Christology and Messianism
  • Discuss in basic terms the relationship of Palestinian Judaism to the New Testament
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE4049C Islamic Political Ethics from the Classical to the Modern Period)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term Competence in Biblical theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Walter Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Political thought—especially the connections between politics, religion, and prophecy—was an important topic of discussion in medieval Islam and was addressed in a variety of literary genres. This module will explore some of the key texts, thinkers and issues of the Islamic political tradition, from the formative period of Islam to the present day. Among the topics covered in class are the historical differences between Sunnites and Shi’ites, medieval and modern theories of the caliphate and prophetology, Platonic and Aristotelian political thought in Arabic philosophy, and the use and interpretation of Islamic tradition by modern Muslim intellectuals.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Acquire a global understanding of Islamic political theory in its various forms from the beginning of Islam to the present day
  • Develop the ability to relate many modern events and movement to their historical roots and formative developments
  • Become familiar with the key notions and theories of political Islamic thought, including the caliphate, jihad, and prophetology
  • Explore the connections between Greek and Islamic political thought, especially in the Platonic tradition
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE404C The Sensory Sacred: Aesthetic Approaches to Religion)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term Competence in Biblical theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Alexandra Grieser

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The study of religion has often been confined to texts, beliefs and doctrines, or a singular experience of religion as something sui generis. However, religions are as much danced, imagined, painted and sung as read and theorised in a broad variety of ways, and beliefs are grounded in sensory experiences, body practices and emotional engagement as much as in reflecting and thinking. Recent approaches to the study of religion as a sensory practice rethink the relationship between body and mind, and between matter and form; they recognise all the senses as religious media – sight, sound, touch, smell; they investigate how religious traditions “tune the body”, stimulate the senses, use things and objects and implement convincing and repeatable experiences of “other worlds” or powers.

    We will askto what extent the body and the senses are hig hly political media being restricted and engaged, symbolising and enacting what is religious, and what is secular, and cultivateexperiences that are not mere expressions of beliefs, but rather create ways of perceiving and representing what is taken as real. We will address the practical consequences for studying religion as a sensory practice and apply the approaches in case studies and exercises.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify, understand, distinguish and characterise typical concepts and approaches in the aesthetic and material study of religion.
  • Analyse the interaction between bodily practice, patterns of perceptions and religious ways of world-making in historical perspective
  • Critically discuss the relevance of aesthetic and material approaches in the study of religion, and why they have long been negated
  • Understand and apply specific methods of studying and representing the sensory aspects of religion as a lived cultural practice
  • Theorise concepts such as body/embodiment, cognition, imagination, perception, emotion, and apply them in a mode of interdisciplinary thinking to cases and in exercises
  • Reflect on the impact religious ways of world-making have on a larger culture
  • Analyse the political aspects of cultivating the body and the senses in both religious and secular realms.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE103C Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christianity: texts and context)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Daniele Pevarello

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course invites learners to engage with the earliest extant written records of believers in Jesus: the narratives and letters that make up the New Testament, employing a variety of approaches used in biblical scholarship today. Students will discover both the consistency and the fascinating diversity that evidently characterised early Christian belief, ritual and practice.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the main approaches of investigation of New Testament literature (e.g. 
historical-critical, narratological, feminist) and the principal methodological 
difficulties related to the study of the New Testament and its origins.
  • Demonstrate adequate familiarity with the content of the writings which form the 
New Testament, their structure and the main historical and cultural factors which 
contributed to their development.
  • Read the New Testament in English translation with awareness of the complex process of its formation and with an appreciation of the diverse traditions which are represented in it. This includes a basic awareness of the history of its interpretation and exegetical traditions and an increased facility in presenting scholarly views about the New Testament to both specialists and non-specialists, writing well-structured essays and compiling well-reasoned bibliographies.
  • Appreciate the importance of the transmission of the text of the New Testament, its canon, its manuscripts (in particular those preserved in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin) and its critical editions for the understanding of early Christianity.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE107C The Qur'an and its history of reception)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Walter Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This is an introductory course on the Qurʾān, the sacred text of Islam, and on its reception both in the classical Islamic period and modernity. The course does not require prior knowledge of the subject and will introduce students to some of the major Qurʾānic themes and to the ways in which this foundational work has been interpreted by generations of medieval and modern readers. Topics to be discussed include the social, religious, and historical circumstances surrounding the emergence of the Qurʾān; the structure, style, and literary techniques underlying the Qurʾānic text; the tradition of religious exegesis (tafsīr) that developed in Islam; and key Qurʾānic narratives and themes. Students will acquire a basic understanding of the place of this scripture in the Islamic tradition and of its role in Muslim worship and cult. The class will consist of both lectures and student discussion on key themes covered by the readings. We will also be reading various Qurʾānic verses in a comparative perspective with the other monotheistic traditions.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Be familiar with the historical, religious, linguistic and cultural contexts in which the Qurʾān emerged.
  • Have read a number of key sūras of the Qurʾān in English translation.
  • Be able to describe and discuss the structure and main themes of the Qurʾān.
  • Be familiar with tafsīr – the Islamic science of Qurʾānic exegesis.
  • Have an understanding of the role played by the Qurʾān in Islamic practice and belief in the classical and modern periods.
  • Have engaged with some of the critical issues in western academic scholarship of the Qurʾān.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE111C Approaches to the Study of Religion)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Alexandra Grieser

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Religion as a cultural phenomenon is interrelated with all aspects of human life. A broad range of approaches are applied within the academic study of religion. After a short overview of the disciplinary history of this subject, the course will provide an introductory understanding of ‘classical’ approaches such as the sociology, the anthropology and the psychology of religion, and of more recently emerging concepts such as the economy or the aesthetics of religion.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Recognize religion as a complex and interrelated cultural phenomenon.
  • Identify key approaches in the development of the academic study of religion
  • Recognize the multi-methodical structure of the discipline and distinguish different methodologies and perspectives.
  • Characterise classical positions and their foundational concepts and relate them to their historical, social and philosophical contexts.
  • Apply concepts to empirical cases.
  • Critically reflect on their own notion of and interest in religion.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE111R Religion in Public: Great Images (CA))

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Daniele Pevarello

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Religion is too often seen as a matter of reading and interpreting holy books and doctrinal formulations. Religious expression, however, is also a function of the eyes, where seeing and being seen play a central role in the public expression of religious thoughts. “Great Images” are visual examples of the public understanding of religion from antiquity to contemporary society which will be studied at different levels (political, social, and cultural). Students will be offered the opportunity to reflect on examples of religious visual culture such as the depiction of crucifixion in early Christianity, the role of icons in Orthodox Christian devotion and worship, important landmarks of Islamic architecture, the role of artistic expression in the theological debate of European modernity, as well as its role in religious propaganda, conflict and contemporary interreligious dialogue.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and assess the importance of materiality and visual culture for the 
understanding of the impact of religion in the public sphere.
  • Recognise the main methods of investigation and the core methodological issues 
related to the study of religious visual culture in the public sphere, learning to approach the use of images in religious thought with a methodological awareness which goes beyond the divide between word and image and the centrality of verbalisation of belief.
  • Identify religion and religions as an important factor in the production and fruition of visual culture in ancient as well as in contemporary society.
  • Understand the centrality of the study of the religious gaze and of religious visual culture as a learning tool for further research in fields such as history, politics and sociology and for independent thinking on the study of religion and transfer the awareness of the discourse on religious images to the comprehension of the function of images in contemporary debates about public life, democracy and politics.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE231C The End of the World: The Johannine Writings)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Benjamin Wold

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The book of Revelation depicts a series of apocalyptic, end time judgments that lead to cosmic catastrophe followed by a new heaven and new earth. The author of the Apocalypse, John at Patmos, is not alone in believing that there is more than just this world—there is another world. As such, the book of Revelation is participating in a worldview in which reflection upon another world and otherworldly beings are dominant themes. Expectations of the end are not only thought about in terms of time (i.e. a linear progression from past, to present, to future), but also space (e.g. the world above and below; material vs. spiritual). To better understand the Apocalypse of John this class sets it among: (1) other early Christian writings and especially the Gospel of John; (2) ancient Jewish apocalyptic thought; and (3) the so-called early Christian “Gnostic” writings.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the study of ancient apocalyptic along lines of form, content, and social movements.
  • Articulate major debates about the influence of apocalypticism on ancient Judaism and Christianity and suggest why it matters.
  • Provide a summary of the characteristics that lead to grouping different compositions as “Johannine Writings.”
  • Gain and awareness of academic tools and resources available for the study of ancient apocalyptic thought at Freshman level.
  • Engage the Johannine writings with a historical and literary methodology.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE236C Hermeneutics: the Bible, classical texts, modern disputes, the enviornment)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Catherine Russell

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course will trace the history of interpretation of texts, investigating the nature of language and meaning, of action, interpretation and subjectivity. It will reflect on the theological and philosophical presuppositions that influenced Biblical interpretation in the history of those texts’ reception. It will explore the hermeneutical approaches and evaluations of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur and case studies in hermeneutics in biblical studies, historiography, translation, ecology, ethics and intercultural encounter.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Differentiate the theological and philosophical presuppositions that have influenced Biblical interpretation and text interpretation, particularly since the Enlightenment.
  • Identify classical authors in hermeneutics.
  • Demonstrate their understanding by outlining the limits and scope of different approaches to interpretation.
  • Apply these insights to the interpretation of any text in the contemporary context and validate their insights in a case study.
  • Present their insight in a precise and illustrative paper.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE233D Contemporary Ethical Issues)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Maureen Junker-Kenny

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The course analyses contemporary biomedical debates in their underlying philosophical and theological principles, values, and views of the human being.

    The course examines the different Irish, European and international argumentations and legislations that these debates have produced. Issues at the beginning and at the end of human life, the possible conflict between parents’ and children’s perspectives, and the visions of society and humanity implied in positions on advance care directives, on the new reproductive technologies, genetics, healing, enhancement, and cloning will be discussed. Films and excerpts from (what used to be?) science fiction will provide additional avenues to the topics.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish social, individual, and professional ethical perspectives on concrete 
issues in biomedical ethics
  • Relate the content of the principles invoked, such as ‘dignity,’ ‘autonomy’, ‘embodiment’, and ‘privacy’, to different schools of moral thought
  • Distinguish an empirical from a transcendental understanding of human dignity and its consequences for concrete ethical issues
  • Trace differences in European debate and legislations to two traditions of thinking about autonomy
  • Know about basic documents regarding medical research on human subjects: World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (1964), and its subsequent updates, and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Council of Europe 1997).
  • Explain the positions taken on the question of human enhancement by authors from the Rawls School and by J. Habermas.
  • Recognize links between argumentations in Christian Ethics on God as creator and humans as co-creators to systematic theological positions on the doctrine of God
  • Develop a critically reflected position of their own in relation to the concrete ethical issues under debate
  • Argue for their position on which language to use in public discourse on biomedical ethics
  • Know how to handle academic bibliographies and textbooks, and how to structure 
an academic essay, demonstrating the ability to reconstruct an argumentation.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE3202C Comparative Religios Ethics in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Profs. L. Hogan, Jude Lal Fernando, ISE, and Dr W. Young

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Comparative religious ethics has long been an area of academic interest, one which has acquired greater significance over recent decades. In the contemporary context of global interdependence the comparative study of religious ethics is of great importance since it provides opportunities for mutual understanding and cross-cultural engagement. Using a variety of theoretical, historical, hermeneutical and narrative approaches, comparative religious ethics facilitates an examination of the moral beliefs, values, practices and institutions of the various religious traditions; an interrogation of their apparent similarities and differences and an appreciation of the evolution of, and diversity within, some of world’s most influential moral traditions. This module provides an introduction to the comparative study of religious ethics, with an emphasis on the religions of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. The module will begin with a discussion of the methods and purpose of the comparative study of religious ethics, highlighting the different conceptual and methodological approaches and discussing their relative limitations and strengths. The module will then examine the traditions of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity focusing in each case on i) their conceptualization of the moral life, ii) understandings of the self, iii) of the individual in social and political life and iv) their attitudes to violence. The module will conclude with a case study on Engaging Sacred Values: Peace making in the Holy Land.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • recognise the main methodological and conceptual approaches in comparative religious ethics;
  • assess the limitations and strengths of the various approaches to comparative religious ethics;
  • understand how different ethical traditions conceptualise the moral life, the self, and the individual in social and political life;
  • compare, and assess the different conceptualisations of the moral life, self and individual in social and political life across a range of traditions;
  • analyse and compare the different approaches to violence across a range of religious traditions;
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE235C Current Expressions & Movements in Christianity, Hinduism & Islam)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr. Patrick Claffey

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module compares developments within these three religions in the context of modernity, such as revivals, political expressions, and fundamentalism.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Learn to approach religion from a theoretical perspective that is other than theological and exclusively Eurocentric.
  • Develop an understanding of the discipline of the study of religion from contemporary manifestations of religious traditions.
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the diverse manifestations of the religious imaginary across the spectrum of particular historical religions in the modern world.
  • Learn to use key concepts in the study of religious revival and renewal movements.
  • Assess the concept of inter-religious dialogue on the basis of examples and comparisons.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE234C Religion, Media & the Public Sphere)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term None One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Religion is prominent in public debates, in the media, and in the cultural imaginary of people’s daily life, no matter whether they see themselves as believers or not. In turn, religions also “make use” of media and mediation, creating symbolic representations and special experiences, be it through architecture and music, images and narratives, or through clothes and body practices. The course will focus on how the relationship between religion and media can be studied and how this can help to better understand the role of religion in the public sphere. Our understanding of media will reach beyond TV and internet – scripture and dance, money and microphones are means of mediating religion as well. We will ask, what is a medium, how are religions depicted in the media, how do religions act on and react to new media, and how can religion be understood as mediation while often claiming to provide “im-mediate” experiences? Besides signing up for an “expert group” on one of the weekly readings, you will engage in studying and presenting a self-chosen case.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Distinguish and reproduce approaches to the study of religion and media
  • Conceptualise key terms (medium/mediation, religion, public sphere)
  • Describe the interaction between religion and media in historical perspective
  • Understand the role of mass media in the contemporary religious field
  • Distinguish the diverse media performances in religion as a lived cultural practice
  • Reflect how religious media usage impacts on larger culture
  • Present a self-chosen historical or contemporary example of religion in the public sphere; formulate a research question; outline an approach to study the case.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE4047C Friendship in the New Testament and Early Christianity)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term Competence in biblical, theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Daniele Pevarello

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Does the New Testament envisage Christian love as a form of friendship? Did Jesus have any friends? Why did the early Christian believers prefer to call themselves as brothers and sisters rather than friends? Can early Christian devotion be described as a form of ‘friendship with God’? Interpersonal relationships such as friendship and patronage played a central role in Graeco-Roman societies. This module investigates the development of friendship and other human relationships (e.g. patronage and mentorship) in the Graeco-Roman world and their impact on the characterisation of human relationships in the New Testament and in early Christianity. Views on friendship in the New Testament (e.g. the Gospel of John) and early Christian authors (e.g. Augustine) will be studied within their broader contexts in ancient Greek and Roman societies. The module will emphasised how the understanding of friendship in the New Testament and early Christianity reflects a gradual change observable also in the ancient world from classical philosophical definitions of friendship (e.g. Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus) to the reformulation of human relationships in Roman imperial societies (e.g. Valerius Maximus, Lucian).

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify the main methods of investigation and the core methodological issues and problems in the understanding of friendship in the ancient world. Students should be able to demonstrate familiarity with relevant primary sources (literary, documentary and archaeological) and to assess the principal questions and trends of the scholarly debate on friendship and patronage in early Christianity.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the human relationships which contributed to shape Graeco-Roman societies and of their impact on the New Testament and the development of early Christian thought and practice, showing an informed understanding of the structures of ancient societies and main historical and cultural factors which contributed to their development.
  • Read ancient religious texts in English translation with competence and awareness of their religious and practical implications and premises. Students will have improved their ability to interpret and assess the evidence beyond the assumption that friendship in the ancient world functioned as friendship does in contemporary societies. This includes an increased facility in expounding scholarly views on social structures of the ancient world to both specialists and non-specialists, to write well-structured essays and to use and compile well-reasoned bibliographies.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE4048C Religions, gender and human rights)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term Competence in biblical, theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Linda Hogan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The relationship between religion and human rights is controversial and contested. On the one hand is the claim that human rights require a religious grounding, and have their antecedents in religious traditions, while on the other hand is the view that human rights provide a necessary antidote to the prejudices and inequalities that are characteristic of religion. This module aims to explore the complex connections between religion and human rights, both in terms of the evolution of the contemporary human rights regime, and in relation to the specific disputed issue of gender. The module will begin with a consideration of contemporary understandings of human rights, of the role of religion in the evolution of the language, values and norms of human rights; and of contemporary debates about orientialism, colonialism and post-colonialism in the articulation and implementation of human rights. The second section considers debates about the nature and politics of gender, the role that different religions play in the construction and maintenance of gender norms, and the manner in which different religions deal with the issue of women’s rights. Key contemporary debates will be considered in depth including debates about conceptualisations of gender equality, embodiment, complementarity, and heteronormativity; about LGBTQ rights and religion; sexuality, reproduction, and the role of family; and gender and religious practices. The module will conclude with a consideration of freedom of religion and the limits of accommodation, with a focus on how states should deal with religiously-motivated values and conduct that offend democratic values.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Evaluate the main debates on the relationship between religion and human rights;
  • Assess the role of religion in the development of the contemporary human rights regime;
  • Critically evaluate key debates about the role of religion in the construction of gender norms;
  • Interrogate the role of religion in a range of contemporary debates including about embodiment, complementarity, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights and family law;
  • Understand and assess contemporary debates about freedom of religion and the limits of accommodation, in relation to gender and human rights;
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE405C Theological Ethics and Ecology)

    10 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term Competence in biblical, theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof. Cathriona Russell

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will introduce students to the key positions—anthropocentrism, eco-centrism and theocentrism—in environmental theology. It will explore; the problem of productionism; the question of population, food and freedom; the concept of sustainable development; stewardship ethics; the principle of subsidiarity; and the tangentially related question of animal welfare and rights. These will be ethically evaluated from philosophical and theological perspectives and through the exploration of scriptural themes in relation to environmental concerns.

    Students will explore the philosophical and ethical assumptions at work in policy formation on biodiversity, on climate change and climate justice and on the ethical questions presented by food biotechnology and synthetic biology as well as intellectual property rights. They will be expected to develop their analytical and presentation skills through participation in class discussions, the delivery of a student seminar and in a final year examination.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Present and interpret the use of key themes and concepts in environmental ethics such as sustainable development, stewardship and climate justice
  • Articulate and evaluate the core areas of concern in environmental ethics from theological, biblical and philosophical perspectives in such areas as food security, burden-sharing in a changing climate, and biodiversity and resource conservation.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the argumentation and environmental effectiveness of public policy in Ireland, the EU and globally.
  • Articulate their analysis and interrogate these evaluations in class and in a formal individual seminar presentation.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE490B Ethics and Politics)

    10 ECT Credits Competence in biblical, theological and/or religious studies One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr John Scally

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course is aimed to empower students to reflect on the many ethical issues, which arise in the world of politics in the broadest sense. The course is intended to develop awareness of the multiplicity of issues that arise from the interface between ethics and politics and to reflect on how they might be resolved and what theories have been developed to respond to these issues throughout history from Aristotle through to Mary Robinson as well as reflect on specific issues like: Is there a just war? What are the ethical implications of globalisation?

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this course, student will be able to:
  • Summarise the work of the leading theologians – through the presentation of material in lectures and reading material.
  • Evaluate how theology is shaped by a particular socio-political context.
  • Assess the links between the present and the past and appraise the influence of the modern period today.
  • Identify crucial theological questions in the political sphere.
  • Situate the topic under study in a wider theological framework.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE11B - Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Michaelmas Term none One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Dr D. Pevarello

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Why did the ancient Egyptians build the pyramids and mummify the dead? Did the Phoenicians practise human sacrifice, as some ancient sources say? Did the Greeks and the Romans believe in their myths? This module investigates the religious beliefs of the people who lived and prospered in the ancient Mediterranean world with particular emphasis on Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Carthage, Greece and Rome. We shall study literary sources, inscriptions and archaeological evidence in order to understand the religious institutions, rituals and burial customs of some of the most significant civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean in their socio-cultural contexts. The module will focus on Mediterranean myths and mythologies, with special emphasis on dying and resurrecting Mediterranean deities, the theory and practice of sacrifice and prayer in the ancient world, and the difference between public and private religious devotion in ancient societies.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the main methods of investigation and the core methodological issues and problems in the study of ancient religions. Students should be able to demonstrate familiarity with relevant primary sources (literary, documentary and archaeological) and to assess the principal questions and trends of the historiographical debates on ancient Mediterranean cults.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the most important myths and religious ideas of the ancient Mediterranean world, showing an informed understanding of the structures of ancient Mediterranean societies and main historical and cultural factors which contributed to their development.
  • Read ancient religious texts in English translation with competence and awareness of their religious and practical implications and premises. Students will have improved their ability to interpret and assess the evidence beyond the simplifications found sometimes in modern views of ancient ‘paganism’. This includes an increased facility in expounding scholarly views about ancient religions to both specialists and non-specialists, to write well-structured essays and to use and compile well-reasoned bibliographies.
  • Understand the importance of the study of ancient religions for further research and independent thinking on the theory of religion.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (HE101B Key Themes in Theology)

    5 ECT Credits 11 weeks, Hilary Term none One 3,000 word essay 22 hours in total Prof M. Junker-Kenny

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module first presents key systematic themes in theology: Creation and salvation, Christology and the Trinity, theodicy and eschatology. Secondly it will introduce key modern contextual theologies: political, liberation and feminist theologies. Its third part will discuss the question of theology at the university since 1800.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    Demonstrate familiarity with the formulation of these key systematic and contextual themes in cultural and historical context

    Be familiar with strategies of academic reading, different types of literature and sources, and skills in academic writing

    Present and investigate these concepts and interpretations in class and in a written assignment

    Irish School of Ecumenics

    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Semester Abroad EM3302 - Religion, Conflict and Peace in International Relations)

    Ect credits 10 Hilary Term, 12 weeks NA One three thousand word essay on agreed topic. 22 Dr Carlo Adrovandi

    Description

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    • Assess the normative debate about the role of religion in International Relations, focusing on the following traditions of IR theory: Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, Constructivism and the English School.
    • Discuss contemporary issues in international affairs which are associated with the idea of a widespread religious resurgence (i.e. globalization, religious Fundamentalism and violence, transnational religious actors, faith-based peacemaking and diplomacy).
    • Address the religious dimensions in contemporary world conflicts, whilst identifying perspectives and movements within main religious traditions which contribute to peacemaking, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
    • Evaluate the salience of religious beliefs, identities and movements in selected national contexts such as the United States, Israel, Iran and Sri Lanka.
    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Semester Abroad EM3303 - Engaging Religious Fundamentalism)

    Ect credits 10 Hilary Term, 12 weeks NA One three thousand word essay 22 Dr Andrew Pierce

    Description

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    • Identify and describe the significant historical factors in the emergence of religious fundamentalism.
    • Assess dominant paradigms of fundamentalist study.
    • Analyse the key social, political and theological elements in the construction of religious fundamentalism.
    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (EM7460 Postgraduate - Religion, Conflict and Peace in International Relations)

    Ect credits 10 Hilary Term, 12 weeks NA Four thousand word assignment on agreed topic. 22 Dr Carlo Adrovandi

    Description

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    • Assess the normative debate about the role of religion in International Relations, focusing on the following traditions of IR theory: Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, Constructivism and the English School.
    • Discuss contemporary issues in international affairs which are associated with the idea of a widespread religious resurgence (i.e. globalization, religious Fundamentalism and violence, transnational religious actors, faith-based peacemaking and diplomacy).
    • Address the religious dimensions in contemporary world conflicts, whilst identifying perspectives and movements within main religious traditions which contribute to peacemaking, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
    • Evaluate the salience of religious beliefs, identities and movements in selected national contexts such as the United States, Israel, Iran and Sri Lanka.
    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (EM7467 Postgraguate - Engaging Religious Fundamentalism)

    Ect credits 10 Hilary Term, 12 weeks NA Four thousand word assignment on agreed topic. 22 Dr Andrew Pierce

    Description

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

    • Identify and describe the significant historical factors in the emergence of religious fundamentalism.
    • Assess dominant paradigms of fundamentalist study.
    • Analyse the key social, political and theological elements in the construction of religious fundamentalism.
    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (EM7436 Postgraduate - Gender, War and Peace)

    Ect credits 10 Michaelmas Term Term 12 weeks NA Four thousand word essay 22 Dr Gillian Wylie

    On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:

    • Understand the foundational and ongoing debates in Gender Studies concerning sex and gender, femininity and masculinity, gender and difference and be able engage in discussion of these.
    • Comprehend and enter into arguments made concerning the gendered nature of war, the perpetration of gender based violence, the relationships between masculinity and violence/femininity and peace and the necessity of the inclusion of gender concerns in peacebuilding.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of key international political and legal developments in this area such as UNSC Resolution 1325 and the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals.
    • Show a familiarity with the literature in this field and engage in informed discussion of it.
    • Present persuasive written work with analytic arguments based on evidence, reading and reason.

    The Loyola Institute

    Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (The Making of Catholic Theology: The Modern Period (c. 1900 - 2000) LY1100)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Continuous assessment- chapter review (10%) - in class presentation and essay (60%) - Critical Review: Journal Article (30%) 22 hours Dr Katie Dunne

    Description

    The purpose of this module is to survey the political, cultural and religious context in which, through a series of movements of thought, Catholic theology changed and developed profoundly in the period 1900 – 2000. The students will be introduced to the work of some representative theologians of the period. The module includes a seminar-study of the work of one such theologian. This seminar will comprise one third of the contact hours.

    Among factors influencing the formation and re-formation of theology in the period are the political and social effects of the First World War, the rise of fascism and Soviet communism, the Second World War and the Cold War, the anti-modernist regime that was in the ascendant in Church circle at the beginning of the twentieth century, the rise of neo-scholasticism, movements known as ‘ressourcement’ and ‘nouvelle théologie’, the gradual surmounting of neo-scholastic theology, the opening to critical and historical Catholic hermeneutics in Biblical studies, the liturgical movements, rethinking Judaism, and the Second Vatican Council.

    Among the important or representative theologians in this period, the work of Yves Congar, Karl Rahner and John Courtney Murray will be introduced.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe what is meant by a living tradition with reference to formation and re-formation of Catholic theology in this period.
  • Explain the importance of the study of historical context for the study of theology.
  • Identify the theological developments and movements of renewal which preceded and prepared for the work of the Second Vatican Council.
  • Outline key themes in the work of one influential theologian of this period.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Jewish Origins and the Hebrew Bible: Texts and Contexts LY1101)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA In-class test (50%) and written assessment (1,500 words) (50%) 22 hours Dr David Shepherd

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The variety of terms used to designate the ‘Hebrew Bible’ (e.g. Old Testament, Hebrew Scriptures, Tanak) indicate the richness of traditions related to these writings, the various ways that they are viewed, and also their life within different communities at different times. This module will orient students to the literary and theological contours of the Hebrew canon, introducing them to the rich variety of genres within. The exploration of the historiographical literature (Pentateuch and The Chronicler’s History) will develop students’ ability to identify literary themes while interrogation of the Prophets, Psalms and Wisdom Literature will facilitate the introduction of critical approaches to the study of the Hebrew Bible. Students will also be required to critically engage with the reception of the Hebrew Bible in contemporary culture.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand the canonical contents and contours of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Identify key figures and themes in the Hebrew Bible.
  • Discuss the contributions of critical scholarship to the study of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Understand the complexities of the reception of the Hebrew Bible in popular culture.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Catholic Theology in a Secular Age: A Critical Introduction LY1102)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Annual examination (60%) and written assignment (1,500 words) (40%). 22 hours Dr Cornelius Casey

    Description

    The purpose of this module is to introduce the student to the foundational concepts of catholic theology as a living tradition with deep roots of intellectual enquiry. There will be an examination of the concept of living tradition as it is used in this context and of the roots of catholic theology in its ecclesial context. Fides quaerens intellectum (Faith seeking understanding) is a fundamental inspiration in the making and remaking of Catholic theology.

    At the same time it is recognised that in a secular age, many others seek understanding of reality and human flourishing in explicitly non-theological terms. A study is undertaken of the concept of secularity and post-secularity. There will be an examination of the argument that there is a sort of ‘buried’ theological narrative in western culture and its consequences explored.

    Basic concepts of theological method will be introduced, including hermeneutical theory. Debates about the ultimate object of theology will also be studied, that is, what, ultimately, is theology about? Is it about texts, or is it about what the texts are about – the mystery of God? To illustrate that it is precisely the later there will be a short introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

    Students will be introduced to current electronic and library resources for theology and will be required to demonstrate their use in preparing their contributions to the seminars.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain the role of ecclesial roots in the doing of Catholic theology.
  • Describe and discuss a variety of theological methods and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyse the importance of the contemporary context for the doing of theology in the contemporary period.
  • Make efficient use of electronic and library resources for theology.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Introduction to Philosophy LY1105)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Annual examination (60%) and written assignment (40%). 22 hours Dr Ciaran McGlynn

    Description

    This course introduces students to the study of philosophy. It explores the major themes pursued and arguments put forward by some key thinkers. It will explore the views of these thinkers on questions like: What is the nature of reality? What is knowledge, and is it possible? How is the mind related to the body? What is meant by virtue ethics? Students will be taught how to critically engage with these views.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Read philosophical texts in their historical context
  • Identify and critically evaluate philosophical theories and arguments
  • Write essays in a critical and dialectical manner
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Theological Anthropology (A) LY1103))

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Continuous assessment: Take home test (40%) and Essay (60%) 22 hours Dr Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module studies what it means to be human from the perspective of theology. The study begins within the horizon of Jewish experience as articulated in selected texts from scripture. Within these chapters the themes of the human reality as the Imago Dei, as well as the theme of deep seated human alienation, are studied. The broad outlines of Christian thought in this area are introduced.

    In the Western tradition grace became a key concept in the articulation of the interplay of the divine and the human in history. The module studies its deployment through the centuries, alongside contemporary re-workings. The vocabulary of grace is argued over, refined, re-fashioned. Among many others there are breakthrough theologies of grace articulated by Augustine and Aquinas. The module will also give some attention to the different and distinctive vocabularies that developed in the Eastern tradition around themes of sanctification and deification. Early Irish iconography, specifically the great High Crosses, will be studied as a distinctive treatment of these themes Running through the module is the question, the debate, as to whether there are resources in theological anthropology for an understanding of human nature which have been lost in modern culture.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe and discuss the importance of the Jewish heritage in Christian tradition.
  • Recognise the distinctive theological elements in the storytelling of the early Irish crosses.
  • Explain the importance of the concept of grace in Christian humanism
  • Evaluate the different approaches to the theology of grace in the writings of St Paul, Augustine and Aquinas.
  • Give an account of the distinctive emphasis in Eastern Orthodoxy on the theology of grace.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (The Making of Catholic Theology: The Medieval Period LY2000)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Continuous assessment: Seminar Presentation (50%) and Essay (50%) 22 hours Dr. Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The purpose of this module is to survey the political, cultural and religious context in which Catholic theology developed in the medieval period. An important aim will be to introduce the student to some representative figures in the theology of the period. The module includes a seminar-study of representative works from the period. In the early medieval period the Church monastic schools existed alongside cathedral schools. This was the context in which a flourishing Christian literature thrived. Some of this literature will be examined. The revolutionary results of the introduction of Greco-Arabic thought and Hebraic wisdom in the final decades of the twelfth century and the first decades of the thirteen can be seen as the dividing point between the early and the late Middle Ages.

    In the thirteenth century new institutions, universities developed. These differed from the preceding monastic schools in that these were governed by fluid scholarly communes. The exhilarating discovery of Greek thought (and its Arabic commentaries) had a profound effect on the Catholic theological tradition. The importance of the new synthesis of previous lines of theological exploration and the new discoveries of Greco-Arabic thought which is achieved in the works of Aquinas will be examined. Towards the later centuries of the medieval period new forms of social and urban life, including new feminist roles, are the context in which notable movements of women mystics flourished. Some works of these women mystics will be studied.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the contributions of the monastic schools and that of the new universities to the development of Catholic theology.
  • Explain the importance of the Greco-Arabic influence, philosophically and culturally.
  • Evaluate the importance of the synthesis created by Aquinas for the formation of European thought.
  • Appraise the importance of the emergence of urban organisation as the context for new forms of feministic mystical expression.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Christology and Eschatology LY2005)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA 1,500 word essay or assigned art project (50%); end of the year examination (50%). 22 hours Prof Siobhan Garrigan

    Description

    The module examines the variety of ways through which the Gospels explore the identity of Jesus: Jesus is the Son of Man, Logos, Lord, the New Temple, the one who through whom the Spirit of God is poured out upon humankind. In the following centuries the Christological exploration continued with extraordinary passion and acuity, often fueled by bitter controversy. The module will study these developments which culminate in the text of the Council of Chalcedon, always keeping in view how much was at stake, including the political identity of the protagonists.

    In the Catholic tradition the Conciliar definitions are normative, not in the sense that the matter is closed but in the sense that further explorations cannot be authentic if they are contradictory. Contemporary Catholic Christologies are studied. Particular attention is given to the Christology expressed at the Second Vatican Council, in documents such as Gaudium et Spes (no 24) and the ecclesiology that mirrors it in Lumen Gentium.

    In the New Testament the identity and the significance of Jesus is bound up with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly a study of Christology leads to a study of the theology of the Holy Spirit. This is also a study of the birth of a hope that endures and that leads to commitments that endure even when circumstances seem to invite despair.

    Learning Outcomes: On successfully completing this module students should be able to:

  • Describe the variety and diversities of approaches to Christology in the New Testament.
  • Analyse the political and cultural factors in the early Christian struggle for an adequate Christology.
  • Explain the normative force of early Conciliar statements for the subsequent tradition.
  • Compare, contrast and assess contemporary approaches to Christologies.
  • Evaluate the significance of the relative neglect of the theology of the Holy Spirit in the Western traditions.
  • Appreciate and discuss the portrayal of the image of the Passion of Christ in art through the ages.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (The Ethics of Embodiment LY2006)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA 1,500 word essay (40%) and end of year examination (60%). 22 hours Dr Jacob Erickson

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will examine the central importance of embodiment and incarnation in Christian theological traditions generally and Catholic Christian thought in particular. We’ll explore how Christian theo-ethical traditions think with and have defined (or not) bodies and flesh. Centered on the embodied themes of “vulnerability” and “resilience”, this module will ask how those carnal traditions might inform personal ethical stances and public politics. We’ll reflect upon a number of themes including embodiment as everyday practices like eating or bathing, sexual ethics, LGTBQ identity, race, ideas of the “body politic”, the politics of empathy, and embodied affect.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of embodiment and the moral significance of the body in Catholic Christianity.
  • Explain and analyse the Christian tradition's approach to sexuality and bioethics, particularly as they have developed within the Catholic theological tradition.
  • Assess the arguments in the key contested issues covered in sexual ethics and bioethics.
  • Acquire an ability to engage with wider issues particularly those which have a global dimension such as HIV/AIDS and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Mission, Culture and Diversity in a Global World LY3004)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term NA Continuous Assessment: Two Essay's (50% each). 22 hours Dr. Joseph Egan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    A biblical survey of the idea of ‘mission’ will examine selected passages from Genesis, Exodus, the Psalms, Job, Jonah, and the Prophets (especially Deutero-Isaiah). The context and content of the mission of Jesus will also be studied, as well as the various New Testament paradigms of mission found in Lucan, Pauline and Johannine communities.

    The module will analyse the general trends in Christian mission history from approximately the European age of exploration to the present day (late fifteenth century to the twenty first century, with a particular emphasis on the Irish missionary movement.

    A brief survey of the theology of mission to the present day will cover the three major Christian traditions, eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. Participants will be invited to identify and explore key features in an emerging ecumenical paradigm of mission and draw them together into a coherent vision under four headings: the source of mission (the missio Dei); the goal of mission (Reign of God); agents of mission (Holy Spirit; entire church; specific ecclesial groups); forms of mission (witness nd liberation, proclamation and inculturation, inter-faith dialogue, community building).

    Learning Outcomes: On successfully completing this module a student should be able to:

  • Analyse the historical trends in Christian mission from the fifteenth century to the twenty first.
  • Appraise the significance of the Irish missionary movement from the mid nineteenth century to the present.
  • Differentiate diverse theologies of mission that have operated in the course of the history of Christianity down to the present day covering the three major Christian traditions of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant.
  • Explain the emerging ecumenical paradigm of mission.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Theological Anthropology (B) LY1109 )

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Continuous assessment: Written Assignment (40%) and essay (60%) 22 hours Dr. Michael Kirwan

    Description and Learning Outcome

    This module studies what it means to be human from the perspective of theology. The study will continue to narrate the story of the human as imago Dei, at once enmeshed in a story of deep seated human alienation. In the Western tradition grace became a key concept in the articulation of the interplay of divine and human in history. This module studies its deployment from the time of Reformation and the Council of Trent. The vocabulary of grace is re-fashioned and refined over the eras by thinkers such as Luther, Henri de Lubac and Rahner. Perspectives on graced desire and graced bodiliness will be seen as foundational to Catholic thinking on sexuality, justice, and the dignity of human life.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Contrast and compare different models of revelation within theology.
  • Explain the importance of the concept of grace in Christian humanism
  • Evaluate the different approaches to the theology of grace in the writings of Luther, Trent and Rahner.
  • Give an account of the nature-grace debate.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (The Making of Catholic Theology: The Patristic Period LY1106)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Continuous assessment: Two written assignments (50% each) 22 hours Dr Cornelius Casey

    Description

    The purpose of this module is to explore the emergence of the discipline of theology in its historical, social and cultural contexts in the early post-New Testament period. The Patristic period, the period of the first seven ecumenical Councils of the Church, exerted a great influence on such important areas as the establishment of the canon of Scripture, the science of the interpretation of the biblical text, the development of liturgy, and reflection and catechesis on the sacramental rites. The Fathers of the Church contributed greatly to the development of Christian theology in such vital areas as Christology, Pneumatology and Trinitarian theology.

    Important authoritative teaching on doctrinal matters were often occasioned in response to the emergence of heresy and schism in the Early Church. The Early Church witnessed the search for true Christian identity in relationship to her acknowledged ancestry in Judaism, her developing relationship and dialogue with the surrounding cultures in which she found herself, and her critical appropriation of some of the best elements of the Philosophical schools. This module will explore some of the contributions of the Fathers of the Church to developments in theology. Individual Fathers will be studied for their specific contributions to doctrinal issues. A variety of genres of Patristic writings will be explored and students will be encouraged to adopt a ‘hands-on’ approach to reading selected Patristic texts throughout.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain the contribution of major Fathers of the Church to the development of Christian Theology and doctrine.
  • Access critical editions of Patristic texts, reputable translations and relevant secondary literature and commentaries in this area.
  • Explain the importance of the Early Church Councils in terms of their historical contexts, and the doctrinal issues at stake
  • Illustrate the influence of Patristic thought with specific reference to some major theologians of recent centuries.
  • Illustrate the phenomenon of the development of doctrine.
  • Critically assess the importance of tradition in Catholic theology.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Liturgical Theology LY1107)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Annual examination (50%) and written assignment (1,500 words) (50%). 22 hours Dr Tom Whelan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will introduce the student to the idea of sacrament, in the first part, as a central theological hermeneutic that underpins some of the key ways of thinking in the Catholic tradition. The idea of the ‘sacramental imagination’ will be explored from the perspective of the early Christian writers (for example, Augustine), as well from that of modern theological discourse on a sacramental worldview, especially in the writings of Odo Casel, Otto Semmelroth, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx and Louis-Marie Chauvet. A second part of the module will move to the idea of liturgy as theologia prima, and explore some contemporary expositions of (sacramental) worship as an encounter of the humanity of God in Christ (Schillebeeckx, David Power, and Chauvet). This will allow for an exposition of ritual sacramental theory through the ages: including that of Augustine, the medieval theologians and the reformation. Contemporary inter-church and ecumenical discussion will be explored. A specific sacrament, baptism, will be surveyed from the perspective of the principal debates that helped shape how it is understood today in various church traditions, and from the perspective of the various schools of thought that have been presented in the module.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Outline the relationship between faith, reason, and imagination as interpretation of life in different periods and authors.
  • Distinguish analogical, metaphorical and literal uses of language.
  • Recognise and evaluate different approaches to the sacramental view of the world which is central to the Catholic theological tradition.
  • Recognise the distinctive contribution of different schools and thinkers to liturgical understanding.
  • Appraise the paradigm shifts in understandings of sacrament in its liturgical expression from patristic through scholastic and neo-scholastic, to contemporary.
  • Explore some of the principal theological themes as they relate to baptism.
  • Evaluate the postmodern critique of fundamental theological assertions
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Ethics and Society in Catholic Traditions LY1108)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Annual examination (60%) and written assignment (1,500 words) (40%). 22 hours Dr Katie Dunne

    Description and Learning outcomes

    This module examines the modern tradition of Catholic social thought. It has a dual focus, namely, on the social encyclicals of different pontiffs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and on the diverse theological traditions of interpretation in different historical, cultural and geographical contexts. Key concepts including solidarity, subsidiarity and the common good will be considered through the lens of these texts and the interpretative traditions. Theological analyses of, and responses to, specific social and political issues will be assessed. Among the issues that will be considered will be: religious liberty, economic justice, war and political conflict.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Analyse the evolution of Catholic social thought in its different contexts.
  • Explain how the social encyclicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries relate to the context of their composition.
  • Evaluate key concepts such as the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity.
  • Assess the contribution of Catholic social thought to specific debates on social and political issues.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Theology in Reformation and Counter Reformation LY2001)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Continuous assessment: 2 essays (50% each). 22 hours Dr. Cornelius Casey and Dr Jacob Erickson

    Description

    The purpose is to survey the political, cultural and religious context in which Catholic theology in the Reformation and Counter Reformation period. An important aim will be to introduce the student to some representative figures in the theology of the period. The module includes a seminar-study of representative works from the period, (comprising one third of the contact hours).

    The Reformation must be considered in its historical and social context of late medieval Europe and the beginnings of the ‘new learning’ of the renaissance. The contribution of the major figures of the European Reformation such as Luther and Calvin will be evaluated critically. Crucial to any understanding the Reformation is an appreciation of the role of the bible, its translation and commentary both by the Reformers and by Catholics.

    The Catholic response to the Reformation (‘the Counter Reformation’) was both a renewal of church structures and a clearer statement of Catholic theology in which a critical role was played by the Council of Trent. The module will include a careful reading of some of the documents of the Council of Trent, principally those on justification and Catholic Eucharistic theology The Counter Reformation saw the emergence of new forms of religious life (e.g. Ignatius Loyola and the Jesuits), of pastoral reform (e.g. the work of Charles Borromeo) and a re-invigorating of the mystical tradition (especially in the works of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola) which deeply influenced the spiritual life of individuals, lay and religious, and also saw a vigorous visual restatement of Catholic beliefs in the work of artists like Michelangelo Caravaggio. Particular attention will be given to the Reformation and Counter Reformation in Ireland.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Assess the importance of the ‘new learning’ of the Renaissance in the theological developments of the period.
  • Evaluate the crucial role of the Bible and its commentaries in the controversies of the period.
  • Explain the importance of the Council of Trent in the reshaping of Catholicism in this period.
  • Analyse with critical sympathy some examples of the theological work of the Reformers (e.g. Luther’s On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion) and of the Catholic mystics (e.g. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises).
  • Apply skills from their learning to reassess the contemporary relations between the churches in the light of a critical study of this period.
  • Illustrate how the art of this period can be an illuminating source of understanding the theological debates
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (God: One and Three LY2004)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Annual examination (100%) 22 hours Dr Fainche Ryan

    Description

    This module will explore historical and contemporary perspectives on what might best be termed ‘the mystery of God’. The module will begin with an exploration of God as one, the God revealed to Israel, as recounted in the Book of Exodus, and then continue to a consideration of God: One and Three.

    The Christian understanding of God as Trinity emerges from the Christology of the New Testament. The module will examine the development in understanding of God as Trinity in the Patristic era, most notably in the texts of the early Councils of the Church, culminating with the formation of the Creeds. The trinitarian theologies of some major theologians in the Western tradition, particularly Augustine and Aquinas, will be examined, and the distinct path taken by the Eastern tradition sketched.

    The work of a number of contemporary theologians, whose work has contributed significantly to the renewal of trinitarian theology in a way that is pastorally enriching, ecumenically sensitive and facilitating of inter-religious dialogue, will form an important part of the course.

    The module will include a study of the theology of the Holy Spirit an important theological theme which, it is claimed, has been neglected in the Western tradition.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain how Trinitarian doctrine originates from the New Testament.
  • Distinguish the phases through which Trinitarian doctrine was developed in the Patristic period.
  • Evaluate the differences between the Trinitarian formula of the Catholic and the Orthodox traditions.
  • Evaluate the Trinitarian writings of contemporary theologians.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Catholic Life and Thought in the Age of the Enlightenment LY3001)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Annual examination (70%) and written assignment(30%). 22 hours Dr. Cornelius Casey

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The purpose of this module is to survey the political, cultural and religious context in which Catholic theology developed in the Age of Enlightenment. An important aim will be to introduce the student to some representative figures in the theology of the period. The module includes a seminar-study of representative works from the period.

    In this module particular attention is given to the French Enlightenment as, arguably, it is the French Enlightenment that impacted most on theological thought in the Irish context. The module will study the Jansenist movement and its consequences for Catholic thought and life. The battle with Jansenism led to restatements and new expressions of some fundamental Catholic beliefs, e.g. the universal love of God (expressed as devotion to the Heart of Jesus) and the primacy of conscience in moral theology (e.g. Alphonsus Liguori).

    The Enlightenment made its contribution to theology through the development of more rigorous historical critical methods. While much nineteenth century theology was a restatement of the past (e.g. Neo-Scholasticism), some theologians like Antonio Rosmini and John Henry Newman articulated a fresher vision of a renewed church. The importance of documents of the first Vatican Council is studied, principally those on Papal primacy, and Faith and Reason. Catholic Church in post-emancipation Ireland will be considered in the light of the larger theological picture, including the role of Paul Cullen and the so-called ‘devotional revolution’.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successfully completing this module students should be able to:
  • Analyse some of the classical theological texts of this period in their theological and cultural context.
  • Assess the importance of the Enlightenment for the development of a critical study of the Bible.
  • Explain the importance of the documents of the first Vatican Council on the relationship between faith and reason in the context of the rationalist critiques of religion in this period
  • Evaluate the devotional renewal which reached Ireland under Archbishop Paul Cullen.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Ecclesiology: Unity and Diversity in Catholic Christianity LY3002)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Essay (30%) and examination (70%) 22 hours Dr Katie Dunne

    Description and Learning Outcome

    The module begins with the origins of the self-understanding of Church in the New Testament, and its antecedent history in the Hebrew Bible. It then outlines some of the developments that have taken place over the last 2,000 years. Next there is a careful study of key texts in contemporary Catholic self-understanding, as articulated in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, principally Lumen Gentium, studied with and alongside other key texts that have direct bearing on ecclesiology, ‘Ad Gentes Divinitus’, ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’, and ‘Orientalium Ecclesiarum’. The module studies some of the contested issues in Church governance today; the relation between Papal primacy and Episcopal sacramentality and the related theological issue of the relation between local Church and universal Church, the issue of in Church governance and ministry, and the contested issues in the theology of the magisterium. Catholicity’s unity in diversity is carefully studied as the communion of Churches with diverse liturgical rites and canonical arrangements.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Explain the origin of the Church in the New Testament.
  • Evaluate the ecclesiology of Vatican II in the core document Lumen Gentium.
  • Explain the links between Lumen Gentium and the other documents which articulate the ecumenical and the missionary dimensions of Church understanding.
  • Evaluate the argumentation in contemporary contested issues such as gender roles in ministry and the relationship between the local and the universal.
  • Explain the vision of unity in diversity within the communion of the Churches centred on Papal ministry.
  • Recognise and convey the theological significance of Church.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (The Book of Kells: A Theological Reading LY3109)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term NA Continual Assessment: twi essays of 1,500 words each 22 hours Dr. Corneilius J. Casey,Dr Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The Book of Kells, one of the greatest treasures of Trinity College, is perhaps the most renowned illustrated manuscript of the early medieval period. This module, benefiting from several recent scholarly contributions, will enable the students to learn both the theology and the iconography of this wonderful manuscript. The module will also introduce the students to the world in which this manuscript was created, and to some other aspects of insular art.

    The module is designed to be accessible not only to theology students but also to students coming from other disciplines who have an interest in the Ireland of the early medieval world.

    On successful completion of the module students:

  • Will have a knowledge of the cultural and ecclesial context in which the Book of Kells was produced.
  • Will be aware of the distinctive Celtic culture surrounding the creation of the manuscript
  • Will have the skills to read and evaluate the artistic iconography used in the Book of Kells.
  • Will be able to assess and to appreciate the theological significance of this illuminated manuscript.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Advanced Topics in Scripture (The Hebrew Bible and its Afterlives LY4001)

    (10 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term Students will have completed 10 ECTS's in theological modules. Essay (4000 words). 22 hours Dr. David Shepherd

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    The student will be introduced to a reading of texts from the Hebrew Bible and the afterlives of these texts within and beyond the biblical tradition. Critical scrutiny of the reception and interpretation of selected texts from antiquity to the present, in a diversity of religious traditions and in various media (including the visual and performing arts) will seek to illuminate how and why biblical traditions have been and continue to be reflected and refracted in various ways. Texts to be analysed may include Genesis 1-4, Exodus traditions relating to Moses, and/or those relating to the David cycle.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Understand the literary and theological contexts of various Hebrew Bible texts.
  • Evaluate the subsequent interpretation of these texts and traditions in various forms.
  • Communicate their critical analysis of the interpretations of these texts in clear and compelling ways.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Foundations for Theological Ethics LY1104)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term None Annual examination (60%) and written assignment 1,500 works (40%) 22 hours Dr. Jacob Erickson

    Description

    This module introduces students to the central concepts and key debates in theological ethics, with a focus on the manner in which they are developed in streams of Christian thought and Catholic tradition. The module will examine the nature of moral experience and its relation to religious faith and in this context will consider the role of the bible in theological ethics from both historical and theological perspectives. The module will introduce students to key debates in theological ethics including natural law and the universality of ethics; the nature and role of conscience, moral reasoning and the role of moral principles; the role of Church teaching in the Catholic tradition. The module will also introduce students to the diversity of methodological approaches in theological ethics including the deontological, the teleological and virtue-based approaches, and throughout will consider feminist, ecological, and other liberationist perspectives on the shape of contemporary theological ethics.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Articulate and evaluate the central concepts in theological ethics.
  • Evaluate perspectives of some key theologians in major historical debates in theological ethics.
  • Describe the relationship between ethics and religious belief in the context of the Catholic tradition.
  • Critically reflect upon feminist, ecological, and economic justice in cross-cultural contexts.
  • Critically reflect upon different methodological approaches operative in theological ethics such as deontological, utilitarian, and virtue ethics.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Ethical issues today - Alimentary Theology: eating, drinking and ethics)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hillary Term None Continuous Assessment Essay 1 (30%) Essay 2 (30%) Project (40%) 22 hours Dr. Jacob Erickson

    Description and Learning outcomes

    In an episode of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, the Buddhist monk Jeong Kwan makes the provocative statement that, “With food we share and communicate our emotions. It’s that mind set of sharing that is really what you’re eating.” At first thought, one might perceive this experience to be about simple nourishment. But, upon further reflection, many webs entangle the practices of eating and drinking. We eat within shared webs of mind set and emotion: hunger for your next meal, longing for your favourite dish, excitement at taste, envy of another’s order at a restaurant, or remembering a dish a loved one once prepared. We eat and drink within ethical webs: agricultural systems of food production, global hunger and justice, manifold perceptions of body image and dieting, the complexities of access to clean drinking water, questions of food and gender, and ongoing debates over the ethics of eating other animals and the global meat industry. And we eat within other webs of theological, spiritual, and ethical belief: churches practice the Eucharist in bread and wine, one might pray before or in preparing a meal, one wonders if animals carry souls, a clergy member expresses faith in metaphors of food (one might hunger or thirst for God), or one might offer the hospitality of food to a stranger out of neighbourly love.

    This module explores these contemporary theological and ethical perspectives on eating and drinking: from food systems to vegetarianism to water scarcity and more. We’ll primarily read contemporary Christian theologians on food ethics, but we’ll also consider contemporary visual documentaries about food ethics. How might theology, spirituality, and ethics shape and be shaped by what we eat or drink, how we eat or drink? This module will practice hunger for such reflection, and we may eat a bit along the way.

    Learning Outcomes:

    Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Articulate and assess major themes in contemporary theo-ethical considerations of food
  • An ability to articulate what an agricultural “food system” is and how that system functions locally and globally.
  • An ability to analyse multiple theological perspectives on animal ethics and vegetarianism.
  • Analyse contemporary issues on drinking water, water scarcity, and water’s theological significance
  • In depth analysis of the metaphors of eating and drinking in theological reflection.
  • Be able to articulate your own theological or ethical perspective on a significant issue in contemporary food ethics.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Development of the Wisdom Literature LY2302)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term None Weekly Reflections 50%(200-400 words) Essay 50% (2000 words) 22 hours Dr. David Shepherd

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This course represents an opportunity to explore the richness of the Wisdom tradition found in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. An introduction to critical and comparative issues in the study of Wisdom literature and the reading and discussion of texts from books such as Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes will be accompanied by an exploration of how these texts have been employed by later tradition to answer the question: where can Wisdom be found? Topics explored include: the Wisdom paradigm, Wealth and Proverbial Wisdom, the personification of Lady Wisdom, Job and the problem of innocent suffering, was Ecclesiastes a misogynist?, where may Wisdom be found outside the ‘Wisdom literature’?, and what became of the Wisdom tradition in Second Temple Judaism and Christianity?

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key themes of the Wisdom books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the ways in which various texts resonate with them.
  • Evaluate scholarly arguments relating to the classification of different OT texts as ‘Wisdom literature’.
  • Evidence skills in critically evaluating the interpretation of particular texts within the Old Testament sapiential corpus.
  • Use appropriate primary and secondary textual resources to formulate a coherent interpretation of a text from the OT Wisdom literature which critically engages with differing opinions and their implications.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Prophets, Seers and Sages LY2301)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term None Weekly Reflections 50%(200-400 words) Essay 50% (2000 words) 22 hours Dr. David Shepherd

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module introduces the phenomenon of ‘prophecy’ as we find it represented in the ‘Latter Prophets’ of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. In doing so, we explore writings associated with the pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic periods including Amos, Ezekiel, Daniel, Malachi and especially Isaiah, whose voice resonates throughout these periods, echoes down into the Common Era and is heard prominently in the Christian tradition. In both lectures and seminars, students are encouraged to explore: the relationship between these prophetic voices and others within the Hebrew Bible, the ethical proclamation of the prophetic tradition, the dynamics of ‘false’ prophecy, the historical situatedness of prophecies of doom and peace, the relationship between prophecy and the apocalyptic tradition and the Christian appropriation of the prophetic tradition.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Articulate the unique literary characteristics of various latter prophets.
  • Critically evaluate scholarly arguments relating to the literature associated with the latter prophets.
  • Understand the complexities of Christian appropriation and interpretation of the latter prophets.
  • Analyze the relationship between prophetic and apocalyptic traditions.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Eucharistic Theology LY3003)

    (5 ECTS credits) Michaelmas Term None Annual examination (70%) and essay (30%) 22 hours Dr. Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will examine the claim across churches that the Church is most itself when it gathers to celebrate the Eucharist. The module will trace the origins of the Eucharist in the New Testament, and how this was understood in selected early church writings. The eighth century debates on presence will be looked at, as well as the medieval synthesis on Eucharist, the thinking of Trent, and a survey of contemporary issues and directions in Eucharistic theology. It will discuss the disputes over the Eucharist that arose during the Reformation, as well as the attempts among theologians of various churches to articulate a new synthesis in contemporary ecumenical dialogue. To this end the bilateral discussion on Eucharist (ARCIC), and the relevant section of the Lima Statement of convergence from the 1982 World Council of Churches will be explored.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Assess theories relating to the origins of the Eucharist in the New Testament.
  • Debate and critique the patristic theories, the medieval synthesis as well as contemporary directions in Eucharistic theology.
  • Identify relationships between different theologies of church, ordained ministry, and Eucharist.
  • Analyse and appraise current directions in ecumenical discussions.
  • Evaluate contemporary positions relating to Eucharist.
  • Contribute to debate on contemporary diverse theologies of Eucharistic practice.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Classic Spiritualitites LY3100)

    (5 ECTS credits) Hilary Term None Methods of Assessment: 50% exam, 50% essay at the end of semester 22 hours Prof. Siobhan Garrigan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This module will introduce students to the key themes and many of the classical texts from the vast literature of Catholic spiritual traditions. The module will outline some of the prominent features of the Catholic spiritual tradition including spirituality as theology, the roots of Catholic spirituality in the New Testament, the influence of monastic movements in the development of diverse spiritual traditions, and the differences between Roman and Celtic worlds, texts and legacies when it comes to spirituality. The greater part of the module will be devoted to a concentrated study of texts representing the desert, Benedictine, Jesuit, Carmelite and Celtic streams of the tradition. (For example, the Rule for Monastics (Benedict), the Spiritual Exercises and Autobiography of Ignatius Loyola, the Life of Teresa of Avila by Herself, the Interior Castle (Teresa of Avila) and the Story of a Soul (Therese of Lisieux).

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Critically read selected texts from the monastic, Jesuit, Carmelite and Irish streams of tradition.
  • Assess the wisdom of these streams in relation to their own times and to the present day.
  • Understand the theological claims and backgrounds of the texts.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Advanced Topics in Systematic Theology LY4002)

    (10 ECTS credits) Hilary Term None Continuous assessment (Essay - 40%) 22 hours Dr Cornelius Casey & Dr Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This is an advanced reading course in selected texts from the Christian tradition that have been, and remain influential to theology. There will be careful critical and in-depth reading of selected texts. While the chief focus is on the reading and discussion of primary texts there will also be a complementary engagement with selected secondary commentary texts. In preparation for each lecture/seminar the student will have read assigned texts, and be prepared to participate in class discussion and critique.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Display an appreciation of selected texts from the Christian tradition, both ancient and modern.
  • Read, value and critique selected primary texts and authors.
  • Communicate with confidence, both orally and written, critical knowledge of primary texts and authors.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Advanced Topics in Systematic Theology LY4002)

    (10 ECTS credits) Hilary Term Students must have completed some theology and scripture modules - Lecturer permission required Continuous assessment (Essay - 40%) 22 hours Dr Cornelius Casey & Dr Fainche Ryan

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    This is an advanced reading course in selected texts from the Christian tradition that have been, and remain influential to theology. There will be careful critical and in-depth reading of selected texts. While the chief focus is on the reading and discussion of primary texts there will also be a complementary engagement with selected secondary commentary texts. In preparation for each lecture/seminar the student will have read assigned texts, and be prepared to participate in class discussion and critique.

    Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Display an appreciation of selected texts from the Christian tradition, both ancient and modern.
  • Read, value and critique selected primary texts and authors.
  • Communicate with confidence, both orally and written, critical knowledge of primary texts and authors.
  • Module Code & Name ECTs credits Duration and semester Prerequisite Subjects Assessment Contact Hours Contact Details

    (Advanced Topics in Theological Ethics LY4003)

    (10 ECTS credits) Hilary Term Students must have completed some theology and scripture modules - Lecturer permission required Continuous assessment response paper 40%, Research paper 60% 22 hours Prof Jacob Erickson

    Description and Learning Outcomes

    Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical letter Laudato si’: On Care for our Common Home states that, “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” Thinking alongside this encyclical, this module will tackle some of the most vexing theoethical challenges implicated by human-caused global warming. We’ll ask how theological worldviews contribute to, ignore, or creatively respond to global warming. We’ll explore the science and politics of climate change alongside theological cosmologies. We’ll ask what resources theological ethics might bring to bear on questions of ecojustice, consumerism, fossil fuel use, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, water shortages, and adaptation to ecological change.

    Learning Outcomes:

  • To articulate major features in the contemporary scientific understanding of global warming.
  • To articulate and evaluate some key features in the field of religion and ecology.
  • To evaluate the how ecological ethics theologically responds to global warming.
  • Articulate your own theological response to global warming in conversation.