Undergraduate Course: Political Theologies: Thinkers and Themes (THET10075)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Political theology is interested in the intersections of theological thinking with politics, interpreting a vast array of issues that reach from tolerance through climate change to terrorism. Where does theological thinking intersect with politics? Where does politics intersect with theological thinking? And why are these intersections important? Questions like these are asked and answered in the increasingly interdisciplinary field of political theology that draws on philosophy and theology as well as political, cultural, legal, and literary studies. This course examines key thinkers and key themes in political theology, concentrating on global challenges in the 20th and the 21st century. It aims to enable students to evaluate and engage with theological thinking in politics both critically and constructively.
Political theology is interested in the intersections of theological thinking with politics, interpreting a vast array of issues that reach from tolerance through climate change to terrorism. Where does theological thinking intersect with politics? Where does politics intersect with theological thinking? And why are these intersections important? Questions like these are asked and answered in the increasingly interdisciplinary field of political theology. The field connects philosophy and theology to political, cultural, legal, and literary studies, thus offering robust and radical accounts of the roles of religion in pluralising and polarising political contexts. This course examines key thinkers and key themes in political theology, concentrating on global challenges in the 20th and the 21st century. It aims to enable students to evaluate and engage with theological thinking in politics and politics in theological thinking both critically and constructively.
The course is organised around key thinkers and key themes in political theology. Framed by 'Introduction' and 'Conclusion' that cover the emergence and the evolution of the increasingly interdisciplinary field, the course will
(1) examine the formations of political theology in classic 20th-century debates (in weeks 2 to 4),
(2) explore the frontiers of political theology in contemporary 21st-century debates (in weeks 5 to 7), and
(3) evaluate the fallout of political theology as it continues to stir up controversy in the political sphere today (in weeks 8 to 10).
Student Learning Experience
The course is structured around a lecture of one hour that introduces students to the topic of the week. The lecture is complemented by a seminar session of one hour dedicated to the discussion of set texts. The texts are selected to show the spectrum of thinkers and themes studied in political theology. The seminar sessions include student presentations of around ten minutes with a view to initiating discussion. These presentations can cover either a political-theological publication or a political-theological problem. In addition to their presentation in class, students will be assessed by an essay and an exam. Through these assessments, students will demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students are welcome.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Presentation = 10%
Each student will deliver a presentation of around 10 minutes with a view to initiating discussion during the seminar session. If numbers are higher than feasible for individual presentations, students will be assigned into small groups.
2000 word essay = 30%
Each student will submit an essay of 2000 words on a topic relevant to the field of political theology.
24 hour take-home exam = 60%
||Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback on an essay plan in advance of the submission of the essay.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||9:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interdisciplinary field of political theology in the 20th and the 21st century.
- Compare and contrast key thinkers and key theories in political theology.
- Analyse and assess the significance of theological thinking for the political sphere.
- Pursue and present research in the field of political theology.
- Engage in constructive and critical debate with peers.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Ability to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue.
- Ability to interpret primary and secondary literature in an interdisciplinary context.
- Ability to analyse evidence from a variety of sources.
- Ability to think systematically.
- Ability to pursue and present research.
|Keywords||theology,philosophy,political theory,critical theory,cultural studies,political studies,legal
|Course organiser||Dr Ulrich Schmiedel
Tel: (0131 6)50 8918
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227