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Christianity and Interreligious Relations (MA)

Course Description

MA Christianity and Interreligious Relations
The MA Christianity and Interreligious Relations engages with some of the political, ethical, sociological and policy questions raised by the historical and cultural shifts that have formed our complex world. But its special focus is the religious dimension. How do traditions respond to secular modernity and religious pluralism? How can we understand what ‘religion’ means in our kind of society? And how are Christians to make theological sense of the presence, power and persistence of the many faith traditions?

The programme consists of four taught modules and a dissertation:

Understanding Religion in the Age of Modernity helps students to reflect in depth on the mutually dependent relationship between modernity and ‘religion’, asking how modernity has tried to situate and understand religions and how, increasingly, religious people are seeking to re-situate modernity. In the first half of the course, we will explore various different theoretical approaches to religion developed over the last two centuries, including secularisation theory, the phenomenology of religion, hermeneutical approaches, and pragmatism. In the second half, we will explore in some depth the ground-breaking work of philosopher Charles Taylor who provides a compelling understanding of both the origins of the modern secular worldview and of the place of a responsible religious faith within it.

Muslim - Christian Relations explores the full implications of the unique challenge for Christianity posed by Islam's claim that God has abrogated Christ’s message with a subsequent revelatory initiative, the Arabic Qur‘ān revealed to Muḥammad. It looks at how Christians have responded to it over fourteen centuries during which adherents of the two religions have often found themselves in conflict. It then asks how Christians living in contemporary multicultural Britain might best approach this enduringly problematic situation. The course will focus largely on issues of theology and religious thought and, presuming a basic knowledge of Islam, will examine some of the issues involved in the complex relationship between Islam and modernity.

Christian Relations with Buddhism & Hinduism focuses on the dialogue between Christian faith and the great religious traditions which have originated on the Indian sub-continent; topics include Hindu theology, mysticism and spirituality, the Dalit movement, Engaged Buddhism and liberation theology, the silence of the Buddha and the question of God.

Christianity in Dialogue begins with the emergence of a theology of religions and considers the questions it raises for the uniqueness of Christ; it builds on the Jewish matrix for Christian theology and discusses key themes, such as Church and Mission, dialogue and inculturation, salvation and the action of the Holy Spirit in a pluralist world.

Evenings; typically two evenings a week in term-time for a full-time student and one evening for a part-time student.

If you do not complete the full MA, you may qualify for an interim award of a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) or Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip).

A range of bursaries and scholarships are available to help eligible students meet the cost of the tuition fees.

Entry Requirements

An honours degree, normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent, in theology or another appropriate subject.

Course Fees

£4,500 (full-time, Home & EU fees), £2,350 (part-time Home & EU fees), £11,500 (full-time International fees)

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Recipient: Heythrop College

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