Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.


Looking back – Teaching

Finishing up working somewhere provides an opportunity to look back at what’s happened during that time. Today I was thinking about the different courses I taught in the School of Theology at the University of Auckland. Some of the courses below (e.g. Theology 100) I’ve taught in every year, others like PTHEO 221/321 and 222/322 were courses I developed from scratch in the last year or so and only taught once. Most courses were taught on a two-year rotation, except for core Stage 1 and postgrad courses. And in some of these courses I was working with one or more other people to deliver the course – that has both advantages and disadvantages to it. Most years I taught all or part of 5-7 of these.

Anyway, here are my courses from the last 6 years:

Undergraduate Courses

Theology 100 – Beginning Theology in Aotearoa New Zealand
The course aims to introduce students to some of the established processes or methods of doing theology in context. It will provide development of skills in recognising and analysing the sources for contextual theology and of doing theology in relation to a particular question or issue.
Theology 101/101G – The Bible in Popular Culture (My favourite course to teach)
An exploration of biblical themes, images, and metaphors in contemporary film, music and cultural arts through which religion and culture intersect. It develops tools appropriate for analyzing popular culture, as it moves from the local to the national to the global.
Theology 107 – Introduction to Christian Theology
An introduction to key sources and methods drawn upon by Christian theology, including the shaping of ideas of revelation, God, Jesus Christ, creation, humanity and hope. The course examines different ways that these ideas have been related to individual, communal and global life.
PTHEO 215/315 – Theological Ethics
An exploration of the history of the development of theological ethics within Christianity will form the basis in this course of a study of the human person as an ethical being within particular communities and cultures.
PTHEO 217/317 – Spirituality in Aotearoa New Zealand
Christian spiritualities and their relationship to personal, community and societal well- being is the study of this course. The course will be oriented around three key topics: 1. An introduction to spirituality, and in particular, Christian spirituality. 2. Indigenous spirituality 3. Peace and peacemaking
PTHEO 219/319 – Studies in Public Theology
This course provides an introduction to the study of the origin, nature and methods of public theology. The content of this course seeks to provide a critical understanding of the role of theology exerting a positive influence in relation to public issues facing individuals and society today.
PTHEO 320 – Research Essay in Practical Theology
Supervised research on an approved topic in Practical Theology.
PTHEO 221/321- Expressions of Christian Spirituality
Examines a variety of significant traditions within Christian spirituality, with particular emphasis upon their theological, historical and cultural dimensions and their expression in contemporary contexts.
PTHEO 222/322 – Religious Media and Communication
This course explores key areas of religious communication including the coverage of religion by mass media, how religious communities interact with the media, and how mass media shape perceptions of religion. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the interaction between Christianity and the media.

I’ve also taught modules in the following undergraduate course.

PTHEO 211/311 – The Self in Pastoral Care
This course will engage with a variety of theoretical and theological frameworks in order to understand how the self is formed and effects relationships with God and others across in the work of pastoral care across a range of personal and social contexts.
ARTSGEN 92F – Introduction to Arts and Humanities (2013 theme – “Monsters and Moral Panics”)
Introduction to Arts and Humanities is an interdisciplinary, skills based course which takes students through a special research topic with input from a number of different Arts and Arts related disciplines. This not only provides students with research experience, it also assists them in making subject choices for Stage I by introducing them to different disciplines and subject areas in the arts and humanities.

Postgraduate Courses

PTHEO 710 – Spirituality and Wellbeing
In the world today, there are a wide range of spiritualities—traditional and recent, Christian and non-Christian. Some of these may be seen to contribute to human wellbeing while others may be sources of pathology. This course investigates some of the critical aspects of the relationship between spirituality (particularly Christian) and wellbeing for persons, communities and relationships.
PTHEO 714 – Science, Technology, Media and God
The course critically examines the relationship between science, technology, new media and the Christian theological tradition. Attention will be paid to historical and contemporary engagement in global and local contexts.

I’ve also taught modules in the following postgraduate course.

THEOLOGY 701 – Hermeneutics
This course critically examines the development of the theory of hermeneutics within the philosophy of the twentieth century and its implications for the various sectors of theological study. It will explore how hermeneutical perspectives inform the methodologies and approaches particular to Biblical Studies, Christian Thought and History, and Practical Theology.
THEOLOGY 702 – Doing Theology in Context
A critical reflection on the processes of doing theology, with special reference to Aotearoa New Zealand. Using a theme or issue, students will engage with a variety of theological approaches from Biblical Studies, Christian Thought and History, and Practical Theology. Students will relate these approaches to, and integrate them with, the subject area in which they are majoring.
PTHEO 711 – Body Theology and Society
A critical investigation of the way the human body has been situated within the Christian theological tradition. It addresses the central question of how theology can be formulated through the body as subject, rather than as object. The practical applications for engagement in society will be explored.
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