Liberal Arts and Sciences: Currently offered modules for the academic year 2020-2021

Autumn Semester

Liberal Arts & Sciences Core Modules

  • Hermeneutics and Literature
    Founded on classical, medieval and early modern ideas of Grammar this seminar surveys the development of the art of textual interpretation from the classical age, through the medieval era up to late modernism. Central texts will focus on philosophy, theology and literature, from Plato, patristics, medieval Christian, Jewish and Islamic texts, Reformation interventions, and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics from Schleiermacher through to Strauss, Gadamer.

Literature & Language

  • Classical Latin I
    This module provides and introduction to classical Latin, including pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, translation and syntax. The focus is directed towards developing the ability to read, comprehend and translate Latin.
  • Explorations in Literature
    This module introduces a wide range of literary works which are central to the Western canon, ranging from ancient Greek texts in translation to the contemporary. The emphasis is on the reading and exploring of a diversity of primary texts and cultures. In addition to the set texts each student is required to select two additional works per semester for research and presentation in seminar.

Mathematics & Astronomy

  • Introduction to Astronomy
    Following a brief historical introduction to astronomy, the module is organised into three topical sections. The first section introduces the basic physical principles of gravitation, electromagnetic radiation and spectra. Additionally, the tools and techniques of astronomical observation including telescopes, detectors, imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy are introduced. The second section involves the study of the Solar System, including the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, the Giant Planets, and outer regions. This section concludes with an introduction to contemporary research on the formation of the Solar System and exoplanet discoveries. The third section introduces stellar, and more briefly, galactic and extragalactic, astrophysics. Topics for study include nuclear fusion and stellar interiors, the observational characteristics and classification of stars, and the stellar life-cycle. This section concludes with a brief introduction to the Milky Way, the classification and characteristics of external galaxies, the evolution and distribution of galaxies and cosmology.
  • Astronomy Experience Seminar
    This seminar is offered as a complement to the Introduction to Astronomy module for Study Abroad students, providing laboratory experience through our partnership with Concordia University, Irvine and the Great Basin Observatory (GBO), the first research grade observatory ever built in a U.S. National Park. Experiential tours will include a visit to the historic Royal Observatory in Greenwich and London’s Planetarium, a tour of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, focusing on the history of radio astronomy, and a visit to the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy including an opportunity to observe through the historical Northumberland and Thorrowgood Telescopes (weather permitting).

Theology & Religious Studies

  • World Religions
    This module examines several major non-Christian religious traditions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, in terms of their history, worldviews, beliefs and practices. Emphasis is placed on historical and geographical origins, later adaptations and developments, and methods of comparative analysis.

Spring Semester

Literature & Language

  • Classical Latin II
    A continuation of classical Latin, with an emphasis on developing vocabulary, grammar, syntax and the translation of set texts. Prerequisite: LAT 201 or equivalent
  • British Science Fiction
    This module surveys British science fiction with a focus on the analysis of both literary texts and cinematic productions and their relationship to British life and culture. The history and theory of the genre is engaged through the study of set texts and broad themes in the literary tradition such as Deep Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Evolution and Spirituality are investigated.

Theology & Religous Studies

  • Christianity and the Arts
    This interdisciplinary module considers how visual art, architecture and music have developed and been used in relation to Christian worship. Focusing on various dimensions of religious art and architecture – iconographic, didactic, institutional, communal, experiential and aesthetic – questions will be posed for students to research, taking advantage of the wealth of historical and contemporary Christian art, architecture and music throughout Great Britain. This module will involve numerous field trips to visit museums, art galleries, worship spaces and worship services in Cambridge and its environs, London and beyond. NB. This module will include an extra fee to cover the costs of field trips.
  • Philosophy of Religion
    This module studies of the main problems in the philosophy of religion, including such topics as: the proofs of God’s existence; the justification of religious belief; religious diversity; the divine attributes; miracle; prayer; eternal life; the problem of evil. Topics include: the problem of religious plurality, ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments for the existence of God, voluntarist theories of faith, epistemology, the problem of evil, miracles, the attributes of God (simplicity, omniscience, omnipotence), prayer, and eternal Life.
  • Science and Religion
    This introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Science and Religion is organised into two topical sections. The first section introduces the historical tensions and methodological differences between science and religion. Beginning with a discussion of the relationship between religion and science, often discussed in terms of models of conflict, independence, dialogue, and/or integration, several important events in the history of the relationship between science and religion are surveyed, concluding with an introduction to key themes in the philosophy of science and their relationship to theology. The second section of the module will extend the understanding of the relationship between science and religion by examining a series of key contemporary topics such as modern cosmology, bioengineering and genetic modification, and neurophysiological accounts of religious practices.