Well it’s the last exam and in many ways I believe the trickiest. Development of Christian Thought, especially in year 2, covers a vast area including such topics as secularism, pluralism and its influence on society as well as theology, and feminism’s influence on theology. There is also a topic on Marx and Liberation Theology. These are all areas which most teachers will not have taught before 2 years ago, even if they have studied them before. I found the year 2 DCT to be a genuinely fascinating area to study with my students – our discussions covered so many interesting themes such as gender politics and feminism, Christianity and its relation to our culture and so on. But I have to admit it is a challenge getting students ready to actually answer questions in these areas.
I will give some question examples which are really not predictions, but just topics that I will explore how to answer questions in.
‘Ruether’s approach to theology does not go far enough to be truly feminist’. Discuss
To what extent is Western culture Christian culture?
‘Universalism is incoherent.’ Discuss
‘Christ is more a teacher of wisdom than a political liberator’ Discuss
Over the next few days I hope to post some answers to these questions.
So the exam is tomorrow. Remember there will be 4 questions and you answer 3. They will be marked out of 40, 16 marks for AO1 and 24 for AO2, which means you must be evaluative and have an answer which is driven by answering the question rather than reciting a list of views. The questions could be from year 1:
Plato and Aristotle
Mind, Body and Soul
Arguments for God from experience
Arguments for God from reason
Problem of Evil
or from Year 2:
Religious Language – traditional approaches
Religious language – 20th Century approaches
Nature of God
As this is the first year of this exam I have nothing to go on for a prediction as no areas have come up yet. However, I think it would be odd if they didn’t have at least 2 questions from the second year, perhaps even three. In that case there is likely to be a question on God’s nature, and one on religious language. So here we go, here are my four guesses – no idea if anything like this will come up, but it’s always good to have a focus, and as I say, there should be something in at least a few of these areas.
“The conflicts between the divine attributes make belief in the classical view of God impossible” Discuss.
Critically assess non-cognitive approaches to religious language.
“Tillich’s view of Symbol is incoherent” Discuss.
To what extent can teleological arguments be defended from the challenge of chance?
Update: The questions were:
Boethius on eternity and free will
Hume on arguments from observation
The Cataphatic Way
I have two more possible questions (see last post for the Augustine one):
“God cannot be known through reason alone.” Discuss.
For this you would be able to use people like Calvin and Aquinas, who viewed things differently but who would both agree with the statement. The question is about the validity of natural theology, and whether it is enough for knowledge of God.
Critically assess the extent to which Christian ethical principles can be based on the Bible alone.
This question involves looking at Protestant views based on ‘sola scriptura’ or the principle that the Bible alone can be an authority, or looking at the Catholic belief that Bible, tradition, and reason have to all be involved in moral decisions.
OK, good luck!