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CHTH335 Special Topic: Christian Theology and Science (Advanced)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

This paper explores what the Christian theological tradition offers to economic questions and reflects on its relevance for the future evolution of global capitalism.

The relationship between Christian theology and science has for the most part been a rich and constructive one, occasional tensions notwithstanding. This paper will explore the history of the relationship between these two spheres of human inquiry and investigate the current prospects for fruitful interaction between theology and science.

Paper title Special Topic: Christian Theology and Science (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH335
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) 1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 17 December 2022) (Distance learning)
1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 17 December 2022) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level points
CHTH 334, CHTX 334
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with CHTH235 taken in 2021

Professor David Tombs - email

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Professor David Tombs

Lecturer: Dr Nicola Hoggard-Creegan

Paper Structure

Week 1
Models of Interaction: past and present
Reading and Writing theology

Week 2
Historical Landmarks
Darwinism in 19th Century New Zealand (with visiting lecturer John Stenhouse)

Week 3
Creation, God and Science: the historical interactions with biology and physics
Issues in Biology and theology (with visiting lecturer Graeme Finlay)

Week 4
Contemporary Interactions with biology and physics

Week 5
Bioethics and AI

Weekly online quizzes (20%)
Weekly reflection journal, based on classes and readings (20%)
Essay (60%)

Teaching Arrangements

This paper will be taught from 7 November to 9 December via twice-weekly classes. Distance Students are encouraged to join in live via Zoom. Classes will be recorded and can be accessed in the evening. Distance students using this option should attend optional tutorials and should make sure they have adequate time to complete this course, which may be demanding for those trained only in the sciences.


Required textbook:
J.B. Stump & Alan G.Padgett, (eds) Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, Oxford: Blackwell, 2012.
Multiple readings from this book will be used in the course, so you may wish to consider buying the eBook through Kindle. It will also be available to download through eReserve.

Course outline

View the latest course outline

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the paper at 300-level will:

  • Show familiarity with different models of and approaches to the science/theology interface
  • Be able to identify some of the cultural aspects of our knowing and research
  • Understand some of the historical threads of engagement between faith institutions and science
  • Give an informed and critical account of selected ethical issues at the boundary of faith and science, especially as they relate to the status of other animals and ecology
  • Show the relevance of sources in popular culture for exploring major themes in the engagement between theology and science

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1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 17 December 2022)

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 17 December 2022)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 46-50
Wednesday 09:00-11:50 46-50