HÖGSKOLA FÖR TEOLOGI, FILOSOFI OCH KULTUR

Courses in English

The following courses will be tutored in English at The Newman Institute.

Spring Term 2024

16th January – 4th June

Module 3 (15th January – 22nd March)
Module 4 (2nd April – 31st May)

Modules 3 and 4

Advanced Reading Course: The Classics of the Coptic Tradition

This course explores the richness of one of the most ancient churches in the world, the Coptic church of Egypt. It starts with the definition of the word “Coptic,” and how this applies to the school of Alexandria featuring key figures such as Clement and Origen, in the third century. Other key figures treated in the course are Athanasius of Alexandria, Anthony the Great, Cyril of Alexandria, Severus of Antioch, as well as some later, lesser known, theologians. 

Advanced candidate and master level
Distance course (meetings via Zoom)
Course leader: Youhanna Nessim Youssef 

Module 3

A Christian History of the Environment

The present socio-ecological crisis compels us to look back in history and consider the role played by natural events and catastrophes on the world’s population. Were people passively undergoing such challenges, or did they take active responsibility for the impact those events had on their surroundings? This course will look at some key historical events from an ecological perspective and reflect on the conscious shaping of an environmentally-friendly way of life. 

Ecology. Theological Studies of Culture and Society
Local course and half distance, 7,5 p
Lessons on Wednesdays: 13:00–16:00
Half distance meetings: January 17 and March 6
Course leader: Barbara Crostini 
Course syllabus

Planetary Boundaries and Integral Ecology

The concept of planetary boundaries, within the broader discussion on the Anthropocene, aims to define the environmental limits within which humanity can safely operate. Facing these limits, Catholic social teaching guides sustainable development principles by favouring both human and natural environments. Thus, this course will analyse the interrelation of the concept of integral ecology with the broader framework of planetary boundaries. 

Ecology. Theological Studies of Culture and Society
Local course in Uppsala, 7,5 p
Lessions on Mondays: 13:00–16:00
Course leader: Vanja Romlin
Course syllabus

Existentialism

Existentialism was one of last century’s most important philosophical schools of thought. Philosophers like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean- Paul Sartre asked themselves what it means to live an authentic life. They struggled with questions about existence, freedom, anxiety, guilt, and lethargy. The course takes the concepts and thoughts developed by the 20th century existentialists as a point of departure and relates them to questions and concerns of our own times. 

Philosophy
Half distance course, 7,5 p
Half distance meetings: January 27 and March 2
Course leader: Kim Solin
Course syllabus

Module 4

What is Nature?

In addition to analysing the term “nature” in philosophy and theology from a historical perspective, the course studies the hermeneutics of nature, how we experience it and how this experience expresses itself in, for example, literature or aesthetic theory. These two aspects are then put in relation to our use of nature (medicine and forestry, for example.) and are concretised in practical examples of the effects it causes. 

Ecology. Systematic theology
Local course, 7,5 p
Lessions on Mondays: 13:00–16:00
Course leaders: Ylva Jansson and others

Ecological Conversion

Scientific evidence shows that efforts to convince consumers to become sustainable are failing. Putting the theological and ethical concept of “conversion” at the heart of the matter may show how personal involvement is indispensable in the climate crisis. Through practical theological and critical reflection, this course addresses identity and socio-cultural standing as it relates to consumption, lifestyle choices, and sustainable practices. 

Ecology. Systematic theology
Local course, 7,5 p
Lessions on Wednesdays: 13:00–16:00
Course leader: Philip Geister

Jeremiah

The Book of Jeremiah is in many ways an outstanding book. For one thing, it is the longest single book in the Bible. It also references many other biblical writings and reflects upon them, thus forming a kind of summary of them on a higher level. The prophet Jeremiah further takes on many different roles: he embodies the “Servant of the Lord” and has an intimate relationship with God. The course will explore the breadth and depth of this remarkable book. 

Exegetic theology
Half distance, 7,5 p
Half distance meetings: May 6, May 7, and May 8 (9:00–13:00)
Course leader: Georg Fischer

Autumn Term 2024

2nd September – 17th January

Module 1 (2nd September – 25th October)
Module 2 (4th November – 17th January)

Modules 1 and 2

Advanced Reading Course: Augustine’s Confessions

Everyone should be acquainted with Augustine’s autobiographical masterpiece, Confessions, as a basis for understanding Western culture, Christian ethics, and of course Augustine himself as a theologian and as a human being. As we read the thirteen chapters, we will explore aspects such as education, morality, entertainment, gender, family, liturgy and the Bible from different critical viewpoints at the same time as we enjoy the storyline.

Advanced candidate and master level. Historical Theology
Distance course (meetings via Zoom)
Course leader: Barbara Crostini

Module 1

The Liturgical Year

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the theology, spirituality and history of the Christian liturgical year with special attention to the Byzantine liturgical tradition. The course will give a holistic perspective of the liturgical year with regard to its biblical and theological foundations, its interpretation in Church tradition over centuries and its spiritual relevance for modern Christians.

Systematic Theology
Half distance
Course leader: Taras Tymo

John Henry Cardinal Newman: his Life, his Work, and his ongoing Legacy

John Henry Newman (1801–1890) is one of the greatest teachers of Christianity, not only of the Catholic Church. As an Anglican priest and theologian, he worked on the profound renewal of his church and in doing this he was led along the path into the Catholic Church. He was beatified in 2010 and canonized in 2019. We will explore the major themes of his theological work in the light of his unique life, and in every topic with a view to his extensive work of preaching.

Historical Theology
Half distance
Course leader: Roman Siebenrock

Epistemology

What can we know? How can we be certain about anything? What are the sources of our knowledge? These are examples of questions in the field of epistemology. The course sets these questions in a historical context, and presents and analyzes some of the answers that philosophers have given to them. A dominant perspective in the course will be virtue epistemology, which goes back to the earliest philosophers and has got a resurgence in recent years.

Philosophy
Local course and half distance
Course leader: Erik Åkerlund

Module 2

Logic and Argumentation

One of the central problems in modern logic is the question of what is a valid argument and a good argumentation. In order to answer this question, arguments expressed in natural languages are translated into formal languages of symbolic logic, whereby their logical structure stands out more clearly. In this course, two such formal languages are studied: propositional logic and predicate-logic language. Several methods in logic for analysis of validity of arguments are also studied.

Philosophy
Local course and half distance
Course leader: Taeda Tomic

Spring Term 2025

20th January – 5th June

Module 3 (20th January – 28th March)
Module 4 (31st March – 5th June)

Modules 3 and 4

Advanced Reading Course: Immanuel Kant

Kant is a classic philosopher who is also an inspiration for tackling philosophical questions in modern times. In this course, we will study some of Kant’s central works during one semester, meeting digitally every other week. Taking Kant’s work “What is Enlightenment?” as the starting point, the course will explore Kant’s theoretical as well as practical philosophy, taking the question of the human being in the modern world as a central topic and common thread.

Advanced candidate and master level. Philosophy
Distance course (meetings via Zoom)
Course leader: Sebastian Maly

Module 3

Ecumenical Theology

The changing religious landscape of our multicultural societies offers new opportunities and challenges for cooperation and dialogue between the Christian churches. In this context, the course presents various approaches to building ecumenical relations and develops theological principles for ecumenism. We will discuss current issues primarily from the Catholic-Protestant relationship and analyze what Catholics could learn from other denominations.

Systematic Theology
Half distance
Course leader: Bernhard Knorn

A Musical History of the Mass

This course will trace the evolution of the sung Mass, from its earliest Gregorian beginnings, through the most significant works by the great composers, and into the 20th century. These works range from simple monophony to complex polyphony, and from conservative classicism to experimental modernism. The roles and functions of the various Masses will be studied along spiritual, cultural and nationalistic parameters.

Theological Studies of Culture and Society
Half distance
Course leader: Paul-André Bempéchat

Philosophy of Science with Natural Philosophy

The sciences occupy a prominent place in contemporary thinking, as well as in today’s society in general. In this course we will take a closer look at the knowledge claims and methods of the different sciences. In what sense can science be said to provide knowledge? What claims do the sciences make to describe reality? Can they help us understand fundamental aspects of the world, such as its temporal and causal structure, or the phenomenon of life in the physical universe?

Philosophy
Half distance
Course leaders: Lukas Kraus och Daniel Saudek

Module 4

Christian Social Teaching East and West

This course provides a historical, theoretical and practical overview of the principles and themes of Christian social teaching. It explores approaches to Catholic social responsibility through the official texts of Catholic social teaching, and compares this to the evolution of Christian social thought within Orthodoxy. Special attention will be paid to contemporary topics such as wealth and poverty, war and peace, and environmental responsibility.

Theological Studies of Culture and Society
Half distance
Course leader: Oleh Kindiy

The Bible in Literature

The Bible, composed of different narrative strands and genres, competed with and eventually overtook Homeric epics as basic inspiration for the shape and expression of Western culture. By approaching the intertextual role of the Bible in literature through several different works and from different theoretical perspectives, this course offers a deeper understanding both of biblical narrative and of the culture it has informed. Though the course is basically in English, readings (where applicable) and assignments can be done in Swedish.

Theological Studies of Culture and Society
Half distance
Course leader: Barbara Crostini

Philosophy of Language and Philosophical Hermeneutics

Philosophy in the 20th century took a “linguistic turn” resulting in questions of language, communication, interpretation and meaning becoming central to contemporary philosophy. This course will treat these questions in two separate parts. The first part of the course will treat language from the point of view of analytic philosophy of language. The second part will treat language from the point of view of philosophical hermeneutics. These parts constitute two separate modules of the course as a whole.

Philosophy
Local course and half distance
Course leader: Erik Åkerlund