We offer one module each semester. Forthcoming modules are listed here.
The programme addresses a number of themes that reflect important aspects of our contemporary world and about which various Christian traditions have something to say. Influence may also work in the other direction; how Christians interpret their own tradition can be shaped by the social, political, or cultural issues that are encountered.
Questions of life and death are never far away in public debates. This could mean scientific and political interventions around conception or concerns about ending life – in medical contexts or, rather differently, where violence and warfare are people’s everyday experience.
Thinking about the bible in the contemporary world often means understanding human relationships, not just in individual terms, but as groups, or even nations. The bible and the theological lens through which it is read have much to say about what it means to be human, and particularly what it means to be human in relation to others who might be different. That difference might be with regards to ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, nationality or wealth (to mention only a few).
People’s hopes and fears are conveyed across generations by stories, some sacred, others mundane. Understanding culture requires appreciating how those stories are preserved and developed in art, music, drama, and literature. Grasping how Christian people read the bible today means paying attention to culture. The impact of George Orwell’s 1984 on the language used about surveillance technologies is a case in point. The impact of analysing personal data upon politics and social relationships is hardly out of the headlines.
Themes of life and death, human relationships, culture, and technology are at the heart of this programme of critical enquiry. These themes are present in the modules in different ways to various degrees. By digging into specialist areas you will deepen your capacity to think critically about the contemporary world and the bible; how each shapes the other.