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MA Abrahamic Religions

Course length
  • 1 year full-time
  • Not available to study part-time
  • An honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent in an appropriate subject
  • PGCert Abrahamic Religions
  • PGDip Abrahamic Religions
Summary

NB: This programme is only available for full-time study in 2016/17.

Please see further details on the maximum period of study.

Extend your understanding of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. You will focus on the contemporary religious thought of the three faiths, especially their theological responses to the challenge of modernity and engagement with each other.

The programme attracts teachers, ministers, imams, rabbis, community leaders and anyone who is interested in the dialogue between the three Abrahamic Religions.


The timetable for 2016-17 can be found in the Postgraduate Options Handbook at the bottom of the page.

Teaching & Assessment

The programme consists of four taught modules and a dissertation. Students are assessed in each module through a combination of coursework and an end of year essay. The final dissertation of 12,000 – 15,000 words is on a research topic agreed by your supervisor.

Compulsary modules

Religion and the Religions in the Modern World

Examine some of the most important theoretical issues associated with the study of religion in the context of Modernity.

First examine the impact of Modernity on the study of religion and the contemporary discussions about the category of “religion”. Then look at three approaches of studying it including sociological, anthropological, and phenomenological approaches.  Finally, the module will introduce philosophical/critical hermeneutics as a critique of objectivity and ideology in social sciences then it will examine the ramifications of this critique for the study of religion. 

 

Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Explore the tension between tradition and renewal in Muslim responses to the challenges of modernity. You will study the foundational texts of Islam (Qur’an and Sunna) in relation to key issues such as Islamic law, gender and jihad, as well as religious pluralism and interfaith relations.

Modernity has had a fundamental impact upon almost all societies, including Muslim ones. This module will provide an overview of the debates and issues that have emerged in modern and contemporary Muslim discourse.  The module has two focal points: First, it will explore the tension between tradition and renewal that characterises Muslim responses to the challenges of modernity; Second, it will show the centrality of the foundational texts of Islam (Qur’an and Sunna) and how Muslim attitudes to and interpretations of these texts inform and shape their views on key issues such as Islamic law, gender, jihad, human rights, democracy as well as religious pluralism and  interfaith relations with Judaism and Christianity.

Contemporary Christian Thought

Study Christian theological inquiry into faith as it is confronted by the challenges of the modern world.

You will cover biblical hermeneutics and the question of ‘the historical Jesus’, the Second Vatican Council, and the Church’s on-going engagement with major world religions and with critical philosophical inquiry arising from modern and post-modern unbelief.

Contemporary Judaism

Look at how Judaism has been transformed and fragmented by its encounter with the modern world by reviewing the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment, major ethical dilemmas and the impact of feminism on personal and community relationships.

Judaism has been transformed and fragmented by its encounter with the modern world.  In the mid-twentieth century Jews suffered the greatest catastrophe of their history and only three years later found themselves confronted by the challenges of renewed political power. The Holocaust and the development of Israel are central to modern Jewish thought, but they have elicited conflicting responses and left Jews deeply divided.  Judaism had already been fragmented by the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment and the complex and divisive experience of integration into nineteenth century civil society. Today Jewish religious and secular thinkers continue to debate these issues at the same time as they are faced by challenges that range from the major ethical dilemmas of our time to the impact of feminism on personal and communal relationships.