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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Paradise Lost? Christianity in the Pacific 1668-1999 (DIVI10020)

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
SummaryThe course will examine the history of Christianity in the Pacific in the context of change and continuity over a period of three hundred years. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the nature, interpretation and significance of the encounter between European Christianity and the religions of the Pacific; the forms of Christianity which have emerged there; and the impact of religious change on Pacific societies.
Course description Academic Description:
The course examines the history of Christianity in the Pacific in the context of the interactions between religions and cultures c.1668-1999. It will look at the factors which have shaped the churches of the Pacific and the impact of religious change on communities. The approach will be historical examining both indigenous and settler societies. The course will highlight the diverse beliefs and motivations of those engaged in cross-cultural encounters through the use of primary evidence drawn from a wide range of perspectives.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
Themes covered will include: representations of indigenous peoples; the nature of religious conversion; Christian missions and colonialism; indigenous agency; the role of women; the creation of national identity; race relations and Pacific theologies.

Student Learning Experience:
The eleven week course will begin with an introductory session. In weeks 2-10 the first part of the class will include student presentations, discussion of primary sources and the seminar readings. In the second hour a lecture from Dr Murray will introduce the themes for the following week.
Students will be expected to contribute to the Learn forum as a prelude to the seminar discussions by preparing a comment on one piece of evidence each week and also read a set text (see below) in preparation for the discussion. Once in the semester each student will prepare a reading report posted to Learn and present their findings to the group.

The following material will be available on Learn to support learning: lectures slides, keyword lecture outlines and an online resource list. There is a printable document for each of the themes containing: the class reading and questions; possible presentation topics with guidance; and essay titles with bibliography. The primary sources for discussion both texts and pictures are also on Learn.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Paradise Lost? Christianity in the Pacific 1668-1999 3/4 (ECHS10013)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs Pack of printed seminar readings circa £5.
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. Demonstrate a historical approach in interpreting primary evidence to provide information about the past and evaluating material on the basis of reliability and significance.
  2. Analyse events by identifying causes and constructing empathetic explanations which reflect the complexity of factors which influenced them and the diverse perspectives of participants.
  3. Construct analytic accounts of change and continuity and draw appropriate cross-temporal [diachronic] and geographic comparisons.
  4. Reflect critically on the nature, interpretation and significance of the encounter between European Christianity and the religions of the Pacific and also on the forms of Christianity which have emerged there.
  5. Demonstrate skills in constructing bibliographies, writing and presentation skills and their ability to participate actively in seminar leadership and discussion.
Reading List
For those unfamiliar with the Pacific a good starting point is:
I. C. Campbell, A History of the Pacific Islands (Christ Church: Canterbury University Press, 1989) or Worlds Apart (2003) = revised edition.

M. Ernst & A. Anisi, 'The Historical Development of Christianity in Oceania' in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, ed. L. Sanneh and M. J. McClymond (2016).

See also:
I. Breward, A History of the Churches in Australasia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

D Hilliard, "Australasia and the Pacific," in A World History of Christianity, ed. Adrian Hastings. (London: Cassel, 1999), 508-535.

Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions Second edition ed., Penguin History of the Church (London: Penguin, 1986).

Tony Swain and G. W. Trompf, The Religions of Oceania (London: Routledge, 1995).

Full reading list available on Learn via Resource List.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
- Technological and media literacy, including the generation of documents and other resources
- Electronic communication and interaction in various forms and accessing information from a variety of sources
- Awareness of the importance of contemporary media as both a study resource and a disucssion medium
KeywordsPLost,Christian,history,Polynesia,Melanesia,Australia,New Zealand,Micronesia,mission
Course organiserDr Kirsty Murray
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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