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 good life by the Buddha, in the Torah, and by Jesus, Mohammed, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

The Bible in Popular Culture - Analysing classic and contemporary use of the Bible in TV, film and newspapers.

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 of Biblical and Classical Literature - Unlocking literary traditions of the Bible along with Greek and Roman mythology.

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.

Judaism, Text and Tradition - Jewish beliefs and practices in the ancient world and today.

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.

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

Level 2

Bible and Literary Imagination - Reading with Literary Theory, including feminist, post-colonial, ecocritical, Marxist, and social scientific criticisms.

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

Gender, Religion and the Bible - Religious texts on topics like heteronormativity, sex, rape, and incest and drag meet gender studies, queer theory, and feminism.

Good Books - The Bible is a 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.

LGBT* Studies - Gender and sexuality in history and today, with psychology, culture, media, and theory. Either level 1 or 2.

Religion and the Good Life - Philosophical debates concerning the relationship of the divine to the human good life.

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

Topics in Ancient Philosophy - An examination of the contrast between philosophical discussion and rhetorical manipulation.

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

Level 3

The Bible and Visual Culture - Analysis of biblical stories and characters in art.

Christian Theology - Systematic theology on key topics like God and revelation, biblical authority, and Christology.

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

Feminism - Philosophical feminism on family, feminine appearance, sexual behaviour, science, culture and language.

Free Will and Religion - Philosophical issues about humanity and the omniscient God.

Global Justice - Applications of notions of justice outside national boundaries. What do the global wealthy owe to the global poor? And do we owe more to our fellow citizens than to those in other countries?

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.

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

Plato's Symposium - A dramatic discussion of erotic love (eros), exploring its origins, definition, aims, objects and effects.

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.

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

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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