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CHTH333 Public Theology: Faith in the Public Square (Advanced)

A critical study of the nature of Christian theology as public discourse: aims and methods, challenges and possibilities.

What does it mean to talk of doing theology 'in public'? How can theology contribute to current issues?

Paper title Public Theology: Faith in the Public Square (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH333
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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One 200-level CHTH or CHTX paper
CHTH 233, CHTH 413, CHTX 413, CHTX 333
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited with CHTX313 or CHTX411 passed in 2009.
Students are welcome to study papers in Theology regardless of whether they have a particular faith commitment or not. Papers in Theology examine the scriptures, history, content, and relevance of the Christian faith, but presuppose no Christian commitment from students. All that is required is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.
Professor David Tombs:
Teaching staff
Professor David Tombs
Paper Structure
  • What is Public Theology?
  • Public Theology and Scripture
  • Public Theology and the Church
  • Principles of Theological Engagement in the Public Square
  • Making Theology Engage: Globalisation and the Global Economic Crisis
  • Going Global, Going 'Glocal'
  • Two essays (2,000 words, 30% each)
  • Essay (3,000 words, 40%)
Teaching Arrangements
Campus: one 2-hour lecture each week, plus one teaching day

Distance: one 1-hour and three 2-hour videoconferences, plus one teaching day, throughout the semester
No textbook required. A course book has been developed for this paper, and other resources will be provided electronically.
Course outline
View the course outline for CHTH 333 (distance)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  1. Describe what scholars mean by 'public theology' and show how it draws upon the central tenets of the Christian faith
  2. Construct an argument to show that theology has an inherently 'public' dimension
  3. Develop skills in showing the relevance of Scripture and Christian tradition to matters of contemporary public concern
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the church and public theology
  5. Develop a more critical analysis of the principles underpinning theological engagement around contemporary issues
  6. Demonstrate self-critical reflection on one's own arguments

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Not offered in 2019

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