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Public Theology

The twenty-first century is the religious century.  Theological ideas have surpassed political ideologies as the driving force of global history.  In all aspects of life, be it social, political, or cultural, it is individual and community theologies which shape our beliefs and actions. 

The study of public theology is the study of how these personal and corporate faiths function in our society.  It is the study of how theologies influence our life choices, guide our politics, and shape our culture and media, be it film, TV, music or literature.  Theology is found in the language of politics and governance, in music lyrics and the aesthetics of music videos, in the history of art, architecture, literature, film, and in social media.

You will be taught by leading researchers in the field.  They have written books on major social and political questions such as the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and the response of the churches; the role of the Bible in animal rights debates; and the theological nature of cultural secularism.  They have written articles on contemporary political movements and ideas such as Thatcherism, the Far Right, and New Labour as well as on leading theological and philosophical scholars.  Professor Smith founded the international journal Political Theology and serves on a number of scholarly editorial boards.  He is a member of an international team of scholars researching the work of seafarers and their experience of religious diversity on board ship and in port.  Dr Strømmen is working with scholars from Iran, Germany and the US to investigate the development of liberal beliefs and ideas.  All members of the team speak frequently at major conferences.  

The study of public theology enables you to understand and critique the most important ideas in world history. It involves thinking about how people have made sense of their own lives and place in the universe in the most fundamental way.