The official subject outline above is due for significant updating to reflect the course as it is now taught.
A draft description (work in progress) of the course as it will be experienced in 2016 is:
The course begins with a fast paced but wide ranging review of the state of the world- its ecology, and human equality, and some of the patterns which have degraded both. In the light of this, we reread the Scriptures, including their stories of creation and salvation, with the help of various scholars. We then listen to other aspects of the Creation story coming from other sciences like cosmology and evolutionary biology. As a way of beginning to create our own response to what we have encountered in days 1-3, we listen to a range of other responses; First Nation, Pacific Islander, the Pope, and cosmologist, evolutionist and environmentally engaged Christians. Finally, we bring head and heart together as we prepare ourselves to help our communities move forward with hope.
To flesh that out a little, whether you participate as an audit or credit student, I hope the course will...
help us participants,
Work out what it means for us and perhaps others to live a faithful life in the present context of our changing awareness of the place of human beings within the whole creation.
Work out how we confess our faith in fresh words and deeds in the context of new scientific knowledge, including Climate Change
That is, to create a story of the creation and our place in it which,
- Hears the suffering and resilience of
First Nation and Islander communities…
…and of the whole Earth.
- Draws on a scholarly approach to
the Judeo Christian scriptures,
…and the wisdom of those who have and do live in closer relationship to Earth
- in the light of new scientific discoveries about creation.
- Inspires people in community to embrace the good news of a more faithful, loving and hopeful possibility for our relationship with the rest of Creation.
- Empowers communities to help people explore the spiritual and faith dimension of this relationship amidst a cultural mood of fear and anxiety.
All of which should easily fill our week together ;-)
The course assumes that life on Earth is ancient and constantly evolving, and that our climate is currently changing, triggered by the activities of some humans.
It isn’t necessary to share those assumptions to excel in the course.