Theology through Film syllabus

Adam’s recent post below got me thinking about the course I taught last semester and the help I received here at AUFS. In the spirit of gratitude and friendship I’ve decided to share the syllabus I created for the Theology through Film module. I was pretty happy with how the course went this past semester, though I’ve already decided to change one of the Christology lectures and need to consider how to deal with the British system of (not) reading texts. Anyhow, any suggestions are welcome and I hope it helps those who may try to create one of these courses in the future.

6 thoughts on “Theology through Film syllabus

  1. “and need to consider how to deal with the British system of (not) reading texts”

    do you mean that students don’t read assigned books or that there are no assigned books in classes like in the US and only “recommended readings”?

  2. The amount that British university students are expected to read, at least in my department, is about 2/3 less than I was expected to read. So when I originally wrote the syllabus I had all the reading listed as required, but (due to a number of factors, including being given the course very late in the game) I had already printed up the course readers (students are also expected not to buy books) and couldn’t radically change the readings after being told this by the head of department. The compromise I came up with was to make all the reading recommended thinking that the keen students who would read it all still would and the shit students who wouldn’t read a word of it wouldn’t anyway. The way grades work here are a little different too in so far as there is no “class participation” part of the mark, so you can generally tell who read anything in the essays, who didn’t read but attended lectures, and who read and attended lectures. There was one student, however, who wrote two incredible essays but didn’t attend more than two lectures. I would have been upset giving her such a high mark if those essays weren’t publishable quality.

  3. After doing my undergrad in England, then my grad work in the US, I think I can safely say that the amount of reading done by English undergrads is pitifully low. In fact, while reading at least 150 pages a day for my masters, I often had the thought ‘what the hell did I do during undergrad?’ I honestly couldn’t remember a single book I had read right through. It was only my intense personal interest in the subject, and extra reading I engaged in, that gave me the edge above the rest while doing my BA.

  4. I was glad to see that some of the films later in the list were not as intentionally about faith. I think that religious attitudes are more honestly expressed when we are not trying to express them.

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