Religion modules we offer

Below is a typical list of the first, second and third year modules that are offered to Philosophy and Religion students and Combined Honours students for the Religion side of their degree. We are constantly developing our courses so it is possible that the modules running during your time at Sheffield may differ slightly from those listed here.

Level 1

A Life Worth Living - Visions of the good life by the Buddha, in the Torah, and by Jesus, Mohammed, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Death - What happens to us when we die? What attitude should we have towards death? Are we right to dislike death, or is it a good thing?

Foundations in Literary Study - Unlocking the biblical and mythical influences in English literature, from Adam and Eve to the Greek gods and heroes.

The History of Ethics - Key ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche, Rawls and Gilligan, and main types of ethical theory.

Introduction to Islam - An overview of Islam, its central pillars, Koran and Hadith, as well as life of the prophet Mohammed, and major historical events.

LGBT* Studies - Gender and sexuality in history and today, with psychology, culture, media, and theory.

Matters of Life and Death - A range of life-and-death moral dilemmas, which develop skills of analysis and critical reasoning engaging with moral theory.

Mind Brain and Personal Identity - Philosophical issues concerning the mind-body relation, the question of free will, the nature of personal identity, animal minds and machine minds.

Philosophy of Religion - Philosophical debates on life after death, heaven and hell, miracles, religion and science, and the nature and existence of God.

Religion in Britain Today - An introduction to diverse religious traditions in our society, engaging with social scientific research on religious communities, rituals and identities, along with the study of secularism, atheism, and humanism.

Level 2

Ethics - Important texts in Moral Philosophy ranging from e.g. Aristotle, Smith, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, and Sidgwick.

Good Books - The Bible is an important source of narrative, character and image. This module will analyse film, TV and visual media as well as literary forms, to explore the ways in which creative writers interpret and re-imagine biblical narratives and tropes.

Jesus, Gospels and Christianity - This module will consider the early evidence of Jesus and the emergent community of Jesus worshippers, consulting the work of New Testament scholars and historians of the first three centuries of the common era.

Religion and the Good Life - Philosophical debates about the relationship between religion and the good life. For example, is a religious reality needed as a foundation for morality? Do religious traditions provide insights into a life well-lived?

Religion in An Age of Terror - Religious identity, conflict and violence, engaging with theology, philosophy, sociology, ethics and politics.

Sociology and Anthropology of Religion - An introduction to the classical theory and pioneering figures, as well as contemporary topics, like secularisation, de-secularisation, religious market theory, and ritual theory.

Ten Commandments - Political, social, economic, and ethical aspects of ancient life, and law codes of the Hebrew Bible.

Understanding Islam - Reading Quran, Sunna and Hadith, applying these to contemporary issues such as gender, sharia, and democracy.

Level 3

Dissertation - Individual research project on a topic of your choice supervised by staff.

Forced into Being: How Involuntary Migration Created Ancient Israel - This module aims to familiarise students with the role involuntary migration played in ancient Israelite history and the way this experience shaped its sacred texts and religious practices.

Free Will and Religion - Philosophical issues about the role of free will in religious thought. For example, is human freedom compatible with divine foreknowledge? Can God have free will? Can free will help account for evil?.

Gender and Religion - Examining constructions of gender and sexuality in different religious traditions, cultures and contemporary debates around the world, engaging with feminism, queer theory, social sciences, and cultural studies.

New Testament Texts - Advanced examination of texts and interpretive debates.

The Political Philosophy of Climate Change - Why is climate change a problem of global justice and how could the international community address the problem fairly?

Project Module: Texts of Terror - This course confronts a host of biblical narratives that embody the horrific, such as genocide, rape, child abuse/sacrifice, etc., using a variety of contemporary methods in their interpretation.

The Radical Demand in Løgstrup's Ethics - A consideration of the ethics of K. E. Løgstrup, who wrote both as a philosopher and a theologian.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Who will be teaching me?

Religion modules are taught by a team of specialist staff from Philosophy, English and History. Staff who may teach on your degree will include:

Dr Ryan Byerly - Ryan's primary research interests are in Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, and Virtue Ethics.

Dr Chris Bennett - Chris’s main interests are in moral, political and legal philosophy.

Dr Mark Finney - Mark's research interests include the relationship between religion and violence, particularly in relation to the conflict in the contemporary Middle East and Early Christian Identity. He is also interested in Paul, religious art and the Greco-Roman context of the New Testament. Mark’s teaching includes New Testament Greek and introduction to Islam.

Prof Eric Olson - Eric works primarily in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind with a particular focus on personal identity, time and death.

Dr Katie Edwards - Katie specialises in the Bible in contemporary and popular culture, including representations of religion in the media and advertising, and biblical literacy. Her teaching and research also includes critical study of religion and gender.

Dr Minna Shkul - Minna specialises in social sciences and religion, examining religious rituals, memory and identity in both ancient and contemporary contexts. In addition, Minna is involved in faculty initiatives on equality and diversity, and runs the LGBT* studies module for Interdisciplinary Programmes in Arts & Humanities.

Dr Casey Strine - Casey works on the history, literature, and cultures of the ancient Near East, specialising in ancient Israel and Judah. Casey’s research is interdisciplinary, as he uses the study of migration to reconstruct ancient history and to interpret ancient texts. In addition to epics and myths of the ancient world, and the Old Testament, his teaching also includes philosophical and theological debates, in the module ‘Life Worth Living'.

Dr Meredith Warren - Meredith's primary research interests lie in the cultural and theological interactions among the religions of ancient Mediterranean, especially early Judaism and Christianity. In particular, Meredith is interested in how shared cultural understandings of food and eating play a role in ancient narratives, including the Pseudepigrapha, Hellenistic romance novels, and the Gospels.

If you'd like any more information, or have any questions, please contact us.

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