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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2017-18. The current handbook year is 2020-21

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO2381: TOPICS IN CHRISTIAN ETHICS

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • None.

Corequisites

  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To introduce some major practical issues in contemporary theological ethics.
  • To identify the principal biblical, theological, philosophical, ethical and social scientific resources for addressing them.

Content

  • This module provides an introduction to a number of major practical issues in contemporary theological ethics.
  • It investigates the biblical, theological, philosophical, ethical, and social scientific resources which are available to inform the church’s social witness, and also includes perspectives from comparative religious ethics.
  • Topics may vary from year to year, but are likely to focus on a limited number of specific issues from within (i) global and environmental ethics (such as international poverty, ecological crisis, or war and peace); and (ii) bioethics and medical ethics (such as embryo research, reprogenetics, ethics and posthumanism, or ethics at the end of life).

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge and critical understanding of some major topics within global and environmental ethics, bioethics and medical ethics.
  • An ability to draw on and evaluate critically a range of theological and other resources to inform this understanding.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to analyse topics in practical ethics with intellectual rigour.
  • A capacity to draw on and integrate a wide range of intellectual disciplines in order to inform this critical analysis.
  • An understanding of the specific contribution made by theology to topics in practical ethics.
Key Skills:
  • Skills in the acquisition of information through reading and research, and in the structured presentation of information in written form.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures convey information and exemplify an approach to the subject-matter, enabling students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and to improve their skills in listening and in evaluating information.
  • Seminars enhance subject-specific knowledge and understanding both through preparation and through interaction with students and staff, promoting awareness of different viewpoints and approaches.
  • Through small-group discussion, tutorials provide feedback on student work and the oppertunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.
  • Formative essays develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding, along with student skills in the acquisition of information through reading and research, and in the structured presentation of information in written form.
  • Examinations assess subject-specific knowledge and understanding, along with student skills in the structured presentation of information in written form under time constraints.
  • Summative essays assess subject-specific knowledge and understanding, along with student skills in the acquisition of information through reading and research, and in the structured presentation of information in written form.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week interspersed with seminars over 3 Terms 1 hour 20
Seminars 6 Interspersed with lectures over the first two terms 1 hour 6
Tutorials 2 Twice during the year 1 hour 2
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One 3000 word essay, one seminar presentation or essay; no collection.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University