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CHTH235 Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets

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

This paper will critically explore how a theological perspective can shed new light on issues relating to markets, capitalism, consumerism, wealth, poverty, inequality and growth.  Drawing upon a wide range of resources, including the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures, historical and contemporary writings of theologians, church reports and Catholic social teaching, the paper will explore important moral and ethical considerations concerning the influence and operation of markets and in particular, the functioning of these markets within the prevailing global capitalistic paradigm.  Originally taught in January 2013, soon after the full impacts of the Global Financial Crisis began to be felt in Aotearoa New Zealand, this ‘resurrected’ paper will be particularly relevant in 2021 (and beyond) as the economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and climate change, in threatening the stability of the status quo political-economic paradigm, offers opportunities for new and alternative economic thinking and practices. 

Paper title Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets
Paper code CHTH235
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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Prerequisite
36 100-level points
Restriction
CHTH 334, CHTX 334
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Notes
May not be credited together with CHTH335 taken in 2021
Contact

Dr Andrew Shepherd

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Andrew Shepherd

Paper Structure

Topics covered will include:

Module 1 – Historical Reflections

  • Session 1: Theology and Economics – an introduction
  • Session 2: The Bible and Economics – Torah and the Prophets
  • Session 3: The Bible and Economics – Jesus and the Gospels; The Early Church and the New Testament 
  • Session 4: Historical Theology – Early Church Fathers, Medieval Period and the Reformation
  • Sessions 5: Historical Theology – The Rise of Capitalism and the ‘Acquisitive Society’ 

Module 2 – Contemporary Challenges

  • Session 6: The Total Economy’: Global Capitalism and its (Dis)contents
  • Session 7: A Pound of Flesh’: Credit-Interest-Debt
  • Session 8: Fractured Societies: Inequality and its Implications
  • Session 9: A Sick Planet: Climate Change & Ecological Limits
  • Session 10: Surveillance Capitalism: Technology & Commodification

Module 3 – Responses

  • Session 11: Democratising and Reforming Institutions
  • Session 12: The Church as Alternative Economy

Assessments:

  • Online discussions (20%)
  • Creative Biblical-Theological Apologetic (30%)
  • Research Essay (50%)
Teaching Arrangements

This is a distance-taught paper.  Wellington-based students will be able to join the lecture at the Anglican Centre; Dunedin students can meet in one of the AV suites on campus.  Students elsewhere can join the videoconferences via Zoom.

Textbooks

There is no compulsory textbook for this paper.

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 completing this paper will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of how key biblical motifs can relate to contemporary economic discourse.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution made to economic ethical concerns by selected Christian writers.

3. Outline a theological ethical framework for engaging with economic concerns.

4. Offer a critical and creative theological analysis of a contemporary economic concern/issue.

5. Demonstrate analytical, interpretative and critical skills by engagement with scholarly texts.

6. Demonstrate research skills.

7. Demonstrate written and oral communication skills.

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Timetable

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Wednesday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22

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
Paper code CHTH235
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) 1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 16 December 2022) (Distance learning)
1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 16 December 2022) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2022 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
36 100-level points
Restriction
CHTH 334, CHTX 334
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Notes
May not be credited together with CHTH335 taken in 2021
Contact

Professor David Tombs - email david.tombs@otago.ac.nz

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 phsyics
Issues in Biology and theology (with visiting lecturer Graeme Finlay)

Week 4
Contemporary Interactions with biology and physics

Week 5
Ecology
Bioethics and AI

Assessments:

  • 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.

Textbooks

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.

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 200-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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Timetable

1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 16 December 2022)

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

1st Non standard period (14 November 2022 - 16 December 2022)

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

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