Peace and Justice Studies - Theological and Ethical Perspectives

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Peace and Justice Studies - Theological and Ethical Perspectives

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Ethics, Peace and Conflict, Theology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    COURSE OBJECTIVE

    • The student can describe and explain the understandings of peace from both philosophical, sociological and theological perspectives.
    • The student can describe and explain the differences and commonalities between standard accounts of peace and the biblical concept of shalom.
    • The student can analyse moral positions on peace and describe how they lead to different evaluations of violence and conflict.
    • The student can describe and analyse the development of the "Just War Theory".
    • The student can explain how the position of the Historic Peace Churches relates to the tradition of the "Just War Theory".
    • The student is familiar with the key biblical terms that relate to the concepts of peace.
    • The student is able to interpret biblical key-texts on peace both from Old and New Testament. The student captures the dimensions of ‘Peace within Biblical Theology, as well as the concepts of justice in ethical and theological terms.
    • The Student is able to give a theological account of the "Way of the Cross" as a reaction to violence and injustice within a Christology from a ‘Peace Church perspective’
    • The student is able to relate Biblical and theological concepts of peace to actual conflicts and themes in society at large.
    • The student is familiar with recent developments in the field of peace studies.
    • The student can explain the relevance of restorative justice as a new development in peace studies.
    • The student can describe the relation between concepts such as justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.
    • The student interrelates peace and justice in a holistic understanding of reconciliation.

    COURSE CONTENT
    This interdisciplinary course combines Systematic Theology, Ethics, and Biblical Theology in exploring the themes of peace and justice. During this course (II.) the focus is on Peace.

    • How is the concept of peace defined and understood in different academic discourses?
    • How do both, peace and justice relate to each other in biblical terms?
    • What does peace mean in the Old Testament and especially in the Torah and the Prophets?
    • What does peace mean in the context of the message of Jesus, and especially within the Sermon on the Mount?
    • In light of the biblical accounts, what is the wisdom of "the way of non-violence" and "the way of the cross"?
    • Christological and ethical reflections.
    • How does Peace relate to both interhuman relationships and the relation between God and humans / creation?
    • In light of the biblical accounts, what are appropriate theological reflections and ethical concepts of peace?

    Alternative approaches to the traditional "Just War Theory" will be introduced and discussed.

    Amongst others, themes will be: The Kingdom of God, The Sermon on the Mount, Justice in Biblical Perspective; Justice understood as Reconciliation; God’s Justice in relation to human justice.

    FORM OF TUITION
    Lectures and workshops.

    Students will prepare short presentations of literature studies and reflections on case studies.

    Primary texts will be studied and analysed together in class

    TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
    Oral presentation and paper. Requirements for the assignment will depend on the program the student is enrolled in.

    RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE
    The Module Peace & Justice Studies – Biblical and Theological Perspectives I –Justice (G_DSJTBP) is recommended

    REMARKS
    Active participation in class is required as according to the exam regulations. The module can be done independently, but is offered as a combination with the module Peace & Justice Studies – Biblical and Theological Perspectives I – Justice (G_DSJTBP). 

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