||Engaging the World: Faith
and Public Life
||Dr. Michael Demoor and Dr. Will Van Arragon
AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION:
||credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs
sem 2 - hrs lab 0)
||Through experience and reflection,
this course explores a number of fundamental issues, problems and
opportunities that shape public life. Topics may include: poverty, the
environment, multiculturalism, religious pluralism, and the
relationship between economy and politics. The aim is to understand the
nature and limits of public life and to examine the distinctive
understanding and voice that Christian faith can bring to public debate
on, and resolution of, these topics.
Three credits of ECON 203, ECON 204, HIST 202, HIST 204, POLI 205.
- Readings will be incrementally posted on Moodle.
These must be read if indicated by ‘Read:’ while the reading is
optional if prefaced by ‘FYI:’ It is imperative that students
frequently check Moodle to keep up to date on readings, assignments,
and field trips.
- On a daily basis, students must read a major newspaper or media outlet, such as the Globe and Mail or Edmonton Journal, National Post, (most also available in library or online) or CBC news, for “political” news.
DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
|Written assignment 1: Op-ed||10%
|Written assignment: Discussion Paper||20%|
|Class participation, field trips||20%
||Hunger. Homelessness. War. Pollution. The list of issues facing our
world today is long and depressing. And the more we learn about these
issues, the more we realize how complicated they are. Many interrelated
factors contribute to them. Many individuals and institutions must work
together to find solutions - and they don't seem to want to do that.
Maybe a Christian perspective will give us the answer - but there are
many Christian perspectives as well, and they don't all agree! What's a
poor confused student to do?
We have three objectives for this introductory course in the PHE program:
We're not going to
solve the world's issues in a single course! In fact, this course
focuses on asking questions more than answering them, on exploring
possible ways forward rather than defining a path to success, on
opening up alternative ways of thinking rather than coming to
conclusions. As you continue your studies at King's, you will have many
opportunities to explore these questions in more depth and perhaps even
arrive at some answers. We hope that this course gives you a good place
from which to start that journey, with a vision of not only the many
challenges but also the many opportunities that we all have to take
action in God's coming Kingdom.
field trips, guest speakers, and readings, to explore some of the
issues facing our society and the range of different institutions that
have roles to play in solving them. We will see that indeed, there are
many difficult and complex questions that must be faced in the course
of addressing these issues - questions that we may not have clear
answers to either!
- To introduce you to some ways of
thinking that can help us start to make sense of these questions. We'll
explore perspectives from a variety of Christian traditions and see
that even though they don't necessarily agree on everything, each
nevertheless has valuable insights to offer us.
encourage you to think about where you stand in relation to all these
things. Which issues inspire you to take action? Where do you see
yourself doing that - from within government, the church, social
service agencies, justice organizations, international development
agencies, business, school, the media? How do you see your faith
playing a role in what you choose to do?
|COURSE OUTLINE:||I. Introduction|
II. The Institutional Topography of Public Life – what is ‘public life’?
- Introducing “Faith” and “Public Life”
- History of faith & public life in Canada
III. Possible topics: “Issue clusters” in Public Life
- Examining society as a whole
- Government and public life
- Economy, market, business and public life
society/associations (including family, university, political parties
and public interest platforms, church institutions) and public life
- Ecological commons: the embeddedness of society, the economy and public life
- Social movements and public life
- Media and public life.
- Engaging public life: public discourse, dialogue, persuasion, opinion, media …
- Making change: faith, action and social hope.
- Arts and culture
- Poverty and homelessness
- Urban-suburban: agriculture & land use
- Environment and economy
- Crime, law and public safety