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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Theology and Contemporary Science (DIVI10030)

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 a series of twentieth century developments both in the philosophy of science and in natural science itself which broaden possibilities for dialogue between modern theology and modern science.
Course description Academic Description:
This level 10 course examines the contemporary field of Science and Religion, looking at the current debates and challenges, as well as more constructive areas of dialogue. The course is available to all Honours level undergraduate students in the School of Divinity (including visiting students), and also students in the College of Humanities & Social Science. The course complements THET10010 Science and Christian Theology, which runs in alternate years to this one.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course begins by taking a careful look at the task of science, including some of the contemporary philosophical views that arise from science regarding the nature of 'reality'. Students will not be expected to have any prior scientific expertise, because the material will presented in accessible ways in order to aid theological interpretation. The course will proceed by looking at areas such as theological challenges from quantum mechanics, the cognitive sciences, evolutionary biology and the ongoing Darwin debates, genetic engineering, science and the problem of evil, miracle and the laws of nature, artificial intelligence, and scientific eschatologies. The aim is to enable students to gain a good understanding of the main scientific challenges in the contemporary Science-Religion debate, and the ways in which theologians are responding to them.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course is taught by means of eleven classes, each of which includes core content presented by one of the course teachers, a student presentation, and opportunity for class discussion. Most classes will require a schedule of reading to be carried out in advance. Student will give short assessed presentations as part of each class, and they will be encouraged to take part in class discussion. Through participation in the classes, and through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Theology and Contemporary Science 3/4 (THET10011)
Other requirements Students who have previously taken the following course MUST NOT enroll: Theology and Contemporary Science 3/4 (THET10011)
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
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  38
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10% - Presentation

30% - Essay (2000 words)

60% - Exam (online short format)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of science and its interaction with modern theology.
  2. Apply this knowledge to the dialogue between science and religion, and have explored ways in which these disciplines can illuminate each other.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to deliver a presentation for a seminar and to engage in constructive dialogue across a range of disciplinary backgrounds.
Reading List
Christopher Southgate, ed., God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 3rd edition 2011) offers an excellent introduction to many of the topics considered in this course.

This course uses Resource Lists: to see the latest reading list for the course go to and search for the course title.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information
- Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
- Writing skills, including clear expression and citing relevant evidence
- Ability to engage critically with the meaning of documents and recognise that meanings may be multiple
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserRevdr Michael Fuller
Tel: (0131 6)50 8963
Course secretaryMr Andre Johnson Hall E Vasconcelos
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