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Unit information: Roman Catholic Beliefs and Practices: Contemporary Controversies in 2021/22

Unit name Roman Catholic Beliefs and Practices: Contemporary Controversies
Unit code THRS20195
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Stacey
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will first explore the documents of the Second Vatican Council to introduce students to some of the key areas in Catholic theology and practice after the second world war. We examine Catholic attitudes towards: religious freedom, ecumenism, other religions, and the role and nature of the pope’s authority. The unit also explores some key neuralgic issues in contemporary Catholic teaching that were not addressed at the Council: contraception, abortion, and women priests.

Students will thus engage with major debates within the largest Christian denomination in the world and have a grasp of contemporary Catholic history and thought.

Aims:

To introduce students to some major topics involved in the study of modern Roman Catholicism.

To provide an introduction to the theoretical and methodological issues involved in dealing with magisterial documents and contemporary theologians engaging with magisterial teaching.

To provide a framework for analysing and evaluating a variety of perceptions of Catholic teachings.

To develop critical interaction with primary and secondary materials.

To develop written presentation skills through the course assessment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate a broad knowledge and general understanding of some major topics involved in the study of modern Roman Catholicism;

(2) reflect critically on the theoretical and methodological issues involved in dealing with magisterial documents and contemporary theologians engaging with magisterial teaching;

(3) analyse and evaluate a variety of perceptions of Catholic teachings;

(4) identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument.

(5) demonstrate analytical and writing skills appropriate for level I.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback. 

Assessment Information

Formative:

1 x 2000 word portfolio [ILOs 1-5]

Summative: 

1 x 2500 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-5] 

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THRS20195).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

Assessment
The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.

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