This module will introduce the students to theology by reviewing the historical development of theological schools while also providing the students with a grounding in the current debates between theists and atheists about the existence of God through an exploration of the relationship between science and religion. Over the course of the module, students will be exploring the common arguments for God’s existence, including the various teleological, cosmological, and ontological proofs offered by theologians from both the Western and Islamic worlds. Topics that may be explored by students include:
- Ways of understanding the science-religion relationship.
- Religion and science in medieval European and Islamic contexts
- The roots of the “clash” narrative in the late 19th-century.
- Modern science, disenchantment and the secular.
- Anthropic arguments and the multiverse.
- The cosmological argument and quantum physics.
- The ontological argument and materialism.
- The problem of evil and religious theodicies.
- Theological arguments for God’s existence.
- The historical development of theological schools in Islam
Upon completion of this module, a successful student will be able to:
- Demonstrate awareness and explain the similarities and contrasts between the disciplines of science, theology and philosophy. (A5)
- Analyse the way in which scientific concepts and theories affect classical debates within theology. (A3, A5)
- Identify and provide an outline of the debates surrounding different proofs for God’s existence. (A1, B4)
- Demonstrate awareness in Identifying the origins, development and history of Islamic doctrine. (A5, A6)
This module will call for the successful student to:
- Examine and engage in debates on the relation between science and theology. (B4-B5, C2, C4, D1, D3)
- Point out logical and well-thought-out arguments while assessing the views of others. (B2-B4, C2, C4, C6, D2-4)
Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy
In addition to attending lectures, students are expected to augment their learning through research and preparation leading to a research-based essay. Seminars are used to debate and explore specific issues while the use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process.
Questions arising from lectures form the basis formative assessment, through small group discussions leading to the development of theological understanding. Each portfolio assignment is entitled to formative feedback from the module leader before the 10th learning week. Students are required to see the module leader regularly to receive feedback and support with their portfolio work. Additionally, tutorial time enables the module leader to give guidance to students on topics of concern and provide constructive feedback related to portfolio work. Revision sessions are also arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.
Summative, graded assessment for this module consists of portfolio and a written examination. The portfolio will consist of two assignments of 1,500 words each (Outcomes 5, 6). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4).
Written Examination: 50%
- Copan, P. & Moser, P. K. eds., (2003) The Rationality of Theism, London: Routledge.
- Dawkins, R., (2007) The God Delusion, London: Black Swan.
- Mutahhari, M., (2002). Understanding Islamic Sciences. London: ICAS.