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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Theology and Ethics

Undergraduate Course: Regarding the Other: Theological Ethics in Continental Perspective (THET10057)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines recent theories of the person and relationships between people that have been developed or used by Christian ethicists. It is primarily for third and fourth year students in the School of Divinity, including those also studying Philosophy.
Course description Academic Description:
In modern theological and secular ethics, theoretical and issue-based approaches have each made people strangely invisible. In reaction, this course focuses on interpersonal ethics, drawing on the French continental tradition from the mid twentieth century to the present day. This material is highly significant for philosophers, Christian ethicists and Jewish ethicists. Although the course is text-based, students are encouraged to develop their own constructive understanding of interpersonal ethics by reflecting, according to preference, on the philosophical or theological perspectives proposed by the course.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
After initial orientation the course turns to Emmanuel Levinas, looking at his ethics of the face and his later hostage imagery. The second ethicist studied is Paul Ricoeur, with the key ideas covered being friendship and responsibility. The course then moves on to Jacques Derrida and his notions of gift and hospitality, which are followed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty's theory of embodied ethics. The course concludes with the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer's understanding of guilt, which has interesting affinities with earlier material. Throughout the course, the ideas encountered will be situated in their philosophical and biblical context.

Student Learning Experience Information:
There is one two-hour seminar each week and the course manager is available for consultation at other times. A key text is to be read before each seminar and forms the basis for the seminar teaching and discussion. Each student gives a presentation on one of these texts. The assessment comprises the presentation and seminar participation, a coursework essay and a written exam. Although the course includes some demanding material, the seminar provides the opportunity for this to be discussed and understood through practical examples.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed God in Philosophy: Plato to Hume (THET08010) OR Ethics and Society (THET08015) OR Morality and Value (PHIL08015)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Divinity/Religious Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key concepts in interpersonal ethics in recent philosophical and theological texts.
  2. Deploy these concepts in ethical reasoning.
  3. Develop and defend a constructive interpersonal ethics.
  4. Debate scholarly issues relating to interpersonal ethics.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Grumett
Tel: (0131 6)50 8970
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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