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CHTH420 Public Theology and Social Justice (Advanced)

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An examination of public theology’s contribution to social justice, through case studies of contemporary public issues, such as poverty, family violence, human trafficking, and environmental stewardship.

Why does social justice matter for Christian faith? What does public theology have to contribute on social issues, and how should it address public debates?

This paper develops a critical and constructive public theology approach to a variety of contemporary social justice issues, with attention to the local, national and global context in which they arise.

Paper title Public Theology and Social Justice (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH420
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,154.90
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,801.79

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CHTH 320
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.

Dr Andrew Shepherd –

Teaching staff

Dr Andrew Shepherd

Paper Structure
  • Two essays (2,500 words) - 30% each
  • One essay (4,000 words) - 40%
Teaching Arrangements

Thirteen 2-hour lectures. Recordings will be available on Blackboard for students who cannot attend live.

No textbook required. A course book has been developed for this paper, and other resources will be provided electronically.
Course outline

View the latest course outline here

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper at 400-level will be able to
  • Display knowledge for understanding a selection of contemporary social justice issues
  • Explore the principles and process of an effective and academically robust approach to public theology
  • Construct evidence-based arguments to apply a creative public theology approach to selected social justice issues
  • Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of academic literature for both social analysis and theological reflection on social justice themes
  • Interpret contemporary social issues in the light of relevant biblical material and vice-versa
  • Research and present an investigation on a social justice issue as an in-depth case study in public theology

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Not offered in 2021

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