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Christianity & Science - 20 credits (RT6310)

Module Tutor: Dr John Weaver

Summary of course content

The course will explore some of the key questions raised by early scientific developments, including the debates around Galileo, Newton and Darwin. It will also explore such fundamental questions as the impact of physics on our understanding of chance and design; the “big bang” and the place of an active, creator God; evolution, DNA and the nature of human beings; psychology, neuroscience and the human mind. It will consider contemporary developments such as genetic engineering, technological changes and environmental threats. It will conclude by asking: Is there meaning and hope after science? How has Christian theology responded to scientific and technological developments?

Credits: 20

Prerequisites: None

Necessary for: BA and BTh (optional)

Aims

To understand the interaction between religion and science and to explore the place of religion in an age of science.

Learning outcomes

The module will enable students

• to explain the nature of science and its impact on faith,
• to evaluate the variety of responses made, especially during the twentieth century, and
• to begin to articulate their own religious and ethical positions on some key topics.

Teaching methods

Lectures

Assessment

2 X 3000 word essay

Suggested book purchases

Alexander, Denis, Creation or Evolution. Do we have to choose? (Monarch, 2008)
Barbour, Ian, Religion and Science (A Revised and Expanded Edition of Religion in an Age of Science), SCM, 1998, 2005.
Deane-Drummond, Celia, Biology and Theology Today (London, SCM, 2001)
Greenfield, Susan, The human Brain. A Guided Tour (London, Phoenix, 1997) and id: the quest for meaning in the 21st century (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009)
Hannam, James, God’s Philosophers. How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science (Icon Books, 2010)
Murphy, Nancey, Reconciling Theology and Science (Pandora Press, 1997) ISBN 0-9698762-4-6
Northcott, Michael, A Moral Climate. The ethics of global warming (DLT, 2007)
Ward, Keith, The Big Questions in Science and Religion Templeton Foundation Press, 2008); Why there almost certainly is a God. Doubting Dawkins (Lion, 2008)

Suggested preparatory reading

Weaver, John, Christianity and Science. SCM Core Text (SCM Press, 2010)

Primary sources

Weaver, John, Christianity and Science. SCM Core Text (SCM Press, 2010)