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CHTH235 Special Topic: Christian Theology and Science

An exploration of the relationship between Christian theology and Science, including investigation of historical debates and issues of current concern.

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 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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36 100-level points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with CHTH 335 passed in 2018.
Phone: 03 479 8901
Teaching staff
Dr Nicola Hoggard-Creegan
Paper Structure
Topics covered will include:
  • Models of Interaction between Theology and Science
  • Creation
  • Copernicus and Galileo
  • Darwin
  • Interactions with Evolutionary Science
  • Science and the Human Person
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Ethical Issues, such as New Technologies and Ecology and Other Animals
Teaching Arrangements
The paper will be taught over five weeks by means of one 3-hour and one 2-hour class each week.

Distance students will participate synchronously through the Zoom videoconference facility. Although participation in the live videoconferences is expected, lectures will be recorded and available for later viewing should students miss a class.

Note that you will be required to join in most of the Zoom sessions live if studying by distance. Please refer to the on-campus timetable at the bottom of this page for times.


Tom McLeish, Faith and Wisdom in Science, Oxford University Press, 2014

Highly Recommended:

J.B. Stump & A.G. Padgell, (eds): The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, Blackwell 2012

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the paper at 200-level will:
  1. Show familiarity with different models of and approaches to the science/theology interface;
  2. Be able to identify some of the cultural aspects of our knowing and research;
  3. Understand some of the historical threads of engagement between faith institutions and science;
  4. 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; and
  5. Show the relevance of sources in popular culture for exploring major themes in the engagement between theology and science.

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Not offered in 2020

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