- The students are capable of articulating the fundamental resemblances and differences between the Christian social traditions (official and non-official)
- The students understand and can articulate the thinking of prominent theologians who have contributed to the development of these traditions.
- The students understand the new challenges of Christian social thinking in the context of a post-secular society.
- The students can analyse the official social documents from Christian churches critically in the light of the theories presented in the course.
This course will explore the richt diversity of Christian social traditions. The focus will be the tension between 'official' texts with regards to social and political problems and non-official texts from theologians or grass roots activists.
- Simulatneously the question is: what is the 'space' in which churches can intervene in politics. The starting point is Casanova's theory on the public role of religions in the modern world and Cavanaugh's critique of the public role of churches on the level of the civil society. Unlike the course 'Christian Political and Social Ethics' (Bachelor's Programme), this is as such not an introduction to Christian social ethics or to official Catholic social teaching.
A sufficient basic knowledge of Christian political and social ethics is presupposed.
The starting point of the course will be the problem of the public role of Christian churches. This question will be elucidated on the basis of the work of Casanova and Cavanaugh, as well as via a framework with different models for a reflection on the relationship between faith and politics.
Subsequently we will critically read the official social 'doctrine' of different Christian traditions (the Catholic Church; the Church of England and Wales, the Russian Orthodox Church, mainstream Potestantism, evangelical protestantism).
The official social teaching will be confronted with Christian social ethics as developed by critical theologians and grass roots movements
Articles and literature
Is also included in other courses
- Master in de gespecialiseerde studies in de godgeleerdheid en de godsdienstwetenschappen (Theology and Religion) 60 ects.
- Master of Theology and Religious Studies 60 ects.
- Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion 60 ects.
- Master in de godgeleerdheid en de godsdienstwetenschappen 60 ects.
- Two interrelated questions are the basis of the course: on the one hand the tension between official texts of churches on political and social issues and the work of critical theologians belonging to the same tradition and, on the other hand: the problem of the 'space' in wihch the church can operate on the public forum (relation church/state; civil religion; the public role of the church).
- The point of departure will be the work of Casanova on Public Religions in the modern world.
Description of learning activities
Because of the uncertainty about the number of participants, the learning activities can vary from a seminar form in wich all the students actively participate via presentations about articles or chapters in books, to a classical course with lectures. In this case there will be space for discussion.
- Mandatory reading: José Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
- The students will receive a reader and information about the websites where they can find documents
See description learning activity.
Oral exam on the whole of the course. This exam consists of, on the one hand one or two questions about theory and, on the other hand, one question about interpreting a text. If there are a limited number of students, the course will take the form of a seminar. In that case the evaluation will be based on (a) presentation 30%; (b) active participation in the discussions (students must give evidence of having read the manadtory readings (30%) and (3) a paper in wich the presentation and the discussion are integrated (40%).