Newmaninstitutet. Högskola för teologi, filosofi och kultur


Teologisk högskola i Uppsala


Courses for Fall 2018

Environmental Destruction- So What? (7.5 ECTS Credits)

We currently face several environmental problems such as deforestation, climate change, pollution, mass extinction, ocean acidification and desertification. However, we tend to disagree about what we should do about them. So, what should be done in answer to these problems? In order to answer this question, several ethical questions must first be answered: (i) What is valuable in itself; only well-being or other things such as freedom or life as such? (ii) For whom should these values be revered; only for humans or also for non-human animals or maybe entire ecosystems? And, (iii) how is this to be done; through maximization or mere respect? These are some of the questions that we will deal with in this course. We will look at different ethical theories that try to answer them. We will also learn how to apply these ethical theories to real world environmental problems. We will moreover discuss how the tools that environmental ethics provides can be used in order to remove ideological obstacles in climate politics.

Swedish Environmental Policy and Praxis (7.5 ECTS Credits)
How does the Swedish government work to create sustainable and ecological development in Sweden? In this course you will explore this question through discussions about various policy tools and by examining concrete examples of action. You will also learn about the role that the state government, local municipalities and business communities play.
Course syllabus

International Climate Change Negotiations (7.5 ECTS Credits)

Why are there such great difficulties in negotiating comprehensive international agreements which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently? On the issue of climate change, what has happened globally? How have countries’ positions changed over time, and why? During this course we will follow the developments of climate change negotiations in recent times. Students of this course will learn the history of the UNFCCC’s work, in an attempt to understand the complexities of negotiation and implementation. Aspects of climate justice and global equity will be studied. The interaction between political process and scientific research will also be investigated.
Course syllabus

Sustainable Democracies (7.5 ECTS Credits)

Democracy means rule by the people and a central trait of democracies is majoritarian decision making. May a minority, nonetheless, be allowed to prevent the majority’s will? Should long-term
interests sometimes overrun the will of the people? This course puts a normative lens on the challenges that democracies face, with regard to respecting ethnic minorities as well as securing a
sustainable environment. The course is divided in three parts. The first part introduces democratic concepts and different normative models of democracy. The second part treats minority concerns as a challenge for democratic systems. Principles alternative to majority rule, based e.g. on the idea of human rights, are discussed. The third part of the course treats the challenge to safe-guard the
environment in a democracy. Students discuss different ways to handle environmental issues, such as introducing new rights, setting up new institutions or civic engagement.


Theology and Film (7.5 ECTS Credits)
The course is directed to those who wish to study and critically analyze modern film and the significance of religious, ethical, philosophical and other ideas in these cultural expressions. The course is based on an interplay between analysis in cinema studies and theology. Popular films and artistic films are considered. Sequences from current films will be introduced and analyzed during the course. Course participants will practice their ability to report on and analyze film content, as well as to discern and discuss their religious and worldviews.
Course syllabus