Courses - Faculty of Arts


Theological and Religious Studies

Stage I

THEOREL 101
15 Points

THEOREL 101G
15 Points

The Bible and Popular Culture

An exploration of biblical themes, images, and metaphors in contemporary film, music and cultural arts through which religion and culture intersect. It develops tools appropriate for analysing popular culture, as it moves from the local to the national to the global.

Restriction: THEOLOGY 101, 101G

THEOREL 102
15 Points

Studying Religion: An Introduction

Introduces students to some of the central issues, questions, and debates in the contemporary study of religion. It guides students through a series of case studies, each focusing on a particular topic pertaining to religion, and introduces them to ways of thinking about these topics in an informed and critical way.

THEOREL 106
15 Points

THEOREL 106G
15 Points

Islam and the Contemporary World

Since the religion of Islam has become a very significant aspect of contemporary global and local societies, this course seeks to introduce students to an understanding of key aspects of Islam and an analysis of its significant contribution to New Zealand society as well as to societies and cultures across the world.

Restriction: THEOLOGY 106, 106G

Stage II

THEOREL 200
15 Points

A Major Religious Thinker

In-depth study of a figure whose thought has had a major impact on the development of one or more religious traditions. It includes the critical study of selected texts by the chosen thinker (where these have survived), and of texts and traditions related to the thinker. The figure chosen reflects the research interests of current staff.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 300

THEOREL 201
15 Points

Religions in New Zealand

An exploration of living religions in contemporary New Zealand, surveying the beliefs, traditions and practices that are central to religious groups in New Zealand and their interactions with contemporary culture both locally and globally. The course will introduce students to the comparative study of religion, engaging in such topics as religion and ritual, exploring belief, and interfaith dialogue.

Prerequisite: 15 points at Stage I in Theology or from the BA Schedule, or approval of Academic Head or nominee

Restriction: THEOLOGY 201

THEOREL 202
15 Points

A History of the Apocalypse

An 'apocalypse' is a divine revelation about the shape of history. It is written for a society in crisis, often describing that society’s collapse before the coming of a better world. This course traces the development of apocalyptic thought in the religions of the West, from the ancient Middle East through to apocalyptic themes in modern cultures.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 302

THEOREL 206
15 Points

Religion in Film and Television

Explores the ways that religious themes, myths, and imagery are expressed within the narratives of some classic and contemporary films and television dramas. Students will learn skills to identify the articulation of religious beliefs, narratives, and the sacred or transcendent within the medium of film and television, and to discuss critically this cultural engagement with religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 306

THEOREL 207
15 Points

Christianity and Modernity, 1600-2000

A study of the history of the church from 1600 CE focusing on issues such as: church and society in seventeenth-century England, missionary expansion, the Evangelical revivals, relationship between church and state, the challenge of modernity, revivalism and fundamentalism, ecumenism, secularisation, and post-Vatican II Catholicism.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: CTHTHEO 255, 355, THEOLOGY 255, 355, THEOREL 307

THEOREL 208
15 Points

Special Topic in Theological and Religious Studies

Study of a particular theme, religious tradition or set of texts from within the discipline of Theological and Religious Studies.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I from BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 308

THEOREL 209
15 Points

Religious Texts of Terror

Explores the ways that various forms of violence are evoked and discussed within religious texts and traditions. Students will learn about the origins of these ‘texts of terror’, and then trace their ongoing influence throughout history and up to the present day across a range of socio-cultural contexts, both global and local.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I from the BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 301

THEOREL 210
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I from the BA Schedule

THEOREL 211
15 Points

Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Considers how gender and sexuality are articulated and debated within contemporary religious communities. Topics covered may include: gender and sexuality in religious texts and traditions; women in religion; sexualities and religion; gender, sexuality, and religion in popular culture; feminist, gender and queer theories in the study of religion; gender violence and religion; HIV/AIDS and religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 311

THEOREL 213
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 313

THEOREL 214
15 Points

Special Topic: The Evolution and Psychology of Religion

Approaches religion as a dimension of human biology, psychology, and social life. We consider how approaches in the human sciences clarify patterns of individual and cultural variation in the expression of religion and spirituality. Topics include the evolution of religion and cooperation, social inequality, ecology, virtue, transformational experiences, collective rituals and the diverse social functions of religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I

Restriction: THEOREL 314

THEOREL 215
15 Points

Danger and Desire: The Bible and Visual Culture

Explores how biblical themes of sexuality, gender, sin, and desire are represented in the visual arts, including fine art, advertising, and film. Students will learn how artists’ cultural contexts shape and inspire their visual interpretations of the Bible, and how these interpretations have influenced cultural discourses of gender and sexuality throughout history.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I from the BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 212, 312, 315

THEOREL 216
15 Points

Early Christianity

Examines the history of Christianity from its origins in Palestinian and diaspora Judaism through to its official endorsement by the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century. Explores how various traditions about Jesus evolved, how Christians both accommodated and resisted the wider culture, and how norms for “orthodoxy” (correct teaching) gradually took shape.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I from the BA Schedule

Restriction: CTHTHEO 252, 352, THEOREL 316, THEOLOGY 104

Stage III

THEOREL 300
15 Points

A Major Religious Thinker

In-depth study of a figure whose thought has had a major impact on the development of one or more religious traditions. It includes the critical study of selected texts by the chosen thinker (where these have survived), and of texts and traditions related to the thinker. The figure chosen reflects the research interests of current staff.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: THEOREL 200

THEOREL 301
15 Points

Religious Texts of Terror

Explores the ways that various forms of violence are evoked and discussed within religious texts and traditions. Students will learn about the origins of these ‘texts of terror’, and then trace their ongoing influence throughout history and up to the present day across a range of socio-cultural contexts, both global and local.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 209

THEOREL 302
15 Points

A History of the Apocalypse

An apocalypse is a divine revelation about the shape of history. It is written for a society in crisis, often describing that society’s collapse before the coming of a better world. This course traces the development of apocalyptic thought in the religions of the West, from the ancient Middle East through to apocalyptic themes in modern cultures.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: THEOREL 202

THEOREL 306
15 Points

Religion in Film and Television

Explores the ways that religious themes, myths, and imagery are expressed within the narratives of some classic and contemporary films and television dramas. Students will learn skills to identify the articulation of religious beliefs, narratives, and the sacred or transcendent within the medium of film and television, and to discuss critically this cultural engagement with religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: THEOREL 206

THEOREL 307
15 Points

Christianity and Modernity, 1600-2000

A study of the history of the church from 1600 CE focusing on issues such as: church and society in seventeenth-century England, missionary expansion, the Evangelical revivals, relationship between church and state, the challenge of modernity, revivalism and fundamentalism, ecumenism, secularisation, and post-Vatican II Catholicism.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: CTHTHEO 255, 355, THEOLOGY 255, 355, THEOREL 207

THEOREL 308
15 Points

Special Topic in Theological and Religious Studies

Study of a particular theme, religious tradition or set of texts from within the discipline of Theological and Religious Studies.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 208

THEOREL 309
15 Points

Directed Study 1

Provides students with the possibility of undertaking directed study of a topic in Theological and Religious Studies approved by the Academic Head and directed by a member of academic staff with relevant expertise.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule

THEOREL 310
15 Points

Directed Study 2

Provides students with the possibility of undertaking directed study of a topic in Theological and Religious Studies approved by the Academic Head and directed by a member of academic staff with relevant expertise.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule

THEOREL 311
15 Points

Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Considers how gender and sexuality are articulated and debated within contemporary religious communities. Topics covered may include: gender and sexuality in religious texts and traditions; women in religion; sexualities and religion; gender, sexuality, and religion in popular culture; feminist, gender and queer theories in the study of religion; gender violence and religion; HIV/AIDS and religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 211

THEOREL 313
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: THEOREL 213

THEOREL 314
15 Points

Special Topic: The Evolution and Psychology of Religion

Approaches religion as a dimension of human biology, psychology, and social life. We consider how approaches in the human sciences clarify patterns of individual and cultural variation in the expression of religion and spirituality. Topics include the evolution of religion and cooperation, social inequality, ecology, virtue, transformational experiences, collective rituals and the diverse social functions of religion.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: THEOREL 214

THEOREL 315
15 Points

Danger and Desire: The Bible and Visual Culture

Explores the ways that biblical themes of sexuality, gender, sin, and desire, are represented in the visual arts, including fine art, advertising, and film. Students will learn how artists’ cultural contexts shape and inspire their visual interpretations of the Bible, and how these interpretations have influenced cultural discourses of gender and sexuality throughout history.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule

Restriction: THEOREL 212, 215, 312,

THEOREL 316
15 Points

Early Christianity

Examines the history of Christianity from its origins in Palestinian and diaspora Judaism through to its official endorsement by the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century. Explores how various traditions about Jesus evolved, how Christians both accommodated and resisted the wider culture, and how norms for “orthodoxy” (correct teaching) gradually took shape.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in the BA Schedule

Restriction: CTHTHEO 252, 352, THEOREL 216, THEOLOGY 104

THEOREL 318
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in the BA Schedule

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