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CHTH415 Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology (Advanced)

The challenges posed by social reconciliation in different countries in recent times, and their relevance to Christian Ethics and Public Theology.

This paper seeks to develop a fuller understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to reconciliation in the aftermath of division and violence. It explores the ethical challenges in transforming personal, social and structural relationships that have been damaged by conflict in different contexts. It highlights both the pitfalls and the positive potential that Christian theology might offer towards the search for a better future.

Paper title Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH415
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,206.91
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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CHTH 319
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts, PGCertChap, PGDipChap, MChap, PGDipFBLM, MFBLM, BTheol(Hons), PGDipTheol, MTheol, PGDipMin, MMin
Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires 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

The paper is structured in four modules:

  • Introduction to Reconciliation, Ethics and Public Theology
  • The South African Context
  • The Northern Ireland Context
  • The Aotearoa/New Zealand Context
  • forgiveness

Assessment comprises two 1,250 word essays and one 4,000-word essay.

Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

Campus: One two-hour lecture each week.
Distance: One-hour introductory videoconference, a teaching day, and four two-hour videoconferences on Zoom during the semester. Recordings will be available on Blackboard for students who cannot attend the teaching day live.


Bloomfield, David, et al. (eds), Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: A Handbook (Stockholm: IDEA, 2003).
This is available to download free of charge as a PDF from the publishers:

Tutu, Desmond, No Future Without Forgiveness (Doubleday: 1999).

Course outline

View the latest course outline here

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  • Clarify a sound understanding of the challenges posed by reconciliation as a personal and political process and its relevance to Christian ethics and public theology
  • Analyse the ethical and theological complexity of truth, justice, forgiveness, remorse and apology in the social transformation of division and conflict
  • Critically evaluate the resources that Christian ethics and public theology can draw upon to contribute constructively towards personal and political reconciliation
  • Present persuasive written work with analytic arguments based on evidence, reading and reason
  • Develop the capacity to identify a research topic and pursue a research plan to satisfactory completion

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Semester 2

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

Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41