Semester 1 Study Guide (refer to fact sheets, p. 321 of your text, but only for units covered so far)
Unit 1: Theology
Students must be able to:
Explain the two foundations upon which Christianity rests
Define the difference between special and general revelation
Explain the importance of special revelation for Christian theology
Explain how C.S Lewis connected the ability for humans to think with the reality and existence of God
Describe and explain three key characteristics of God and give biblical references (verses) to support them
Explain the key beliefs of Islam and the roles of Muhamad, Jesus Moses and other Biblical prophets
Outline the key pillars of Islam
Define and explain the role of the Hadith and Qur’an
Explain how Muslim’s view the trinity and why they hold those views
Outline what Muslim’s believe when they state the Islam ‘fulfils’ Christianity; Explain the problems with
this view
Secular Humanism
Define Secular Humanism
Explain how secular humanists view the supernatural
Explain how secular humanists would view ‘salvation’; how would someone be ‘saved’ according to a
secular humanist?
Explain the theology of Marxist-Leninists
Describe and explain how Marx viewed humanity and its role in history
Explain, using evidence to support, Karl Marx’s view of Christianity
Explain why Marx adopted an anti-Christian perspective; why did he want to wipe out even the idea of
religion and God from Society? (Reflection Question 1.4)
Cosmic Humanism
How do Cosmic Humanists view Jesus Christ?
Describe how Cosmic Humanists view God and explain why
How do Cosmic Humanists view the soul? Explain their views of what happens when a person dies
What is the theological perspective of Cosmic Humanists? Explain, using an example to reinforce your
Explain, using an example, one way in which Cosmic Humanism is portrayed in popular culture
Describe the theological foundation of postmodernism
Explain why post-modern philosophers tend to avoid making theological statements or any absolute
moral/spiritual statements
Explain Derrida’s theory of Deconstructionism (e.g. that words have no intrinsic/inherent meaning, the
reader ‘constructs’ the meaning in the text as they read it, there is no absolute truth or fixed meaning left
by the author
Analyze the effect of deconstructionism for reading Biblical text (Q. 28 Theology 1.6)
Explain ‘religious pluralism’
Evaluate the effect of post-modernism on religious pluralism in society (Q. 29 Theology 1.6).
Analyze the meaning of Frederick Nietzhe’s poem ‘the Madman’
Unit 2 —Philosophy
You should be able to explain what philosophy is. What are the main questions that philosophy addresses?
What is Real? How do we know things?
Explain what ‘faith precedes reason’ means, using the perspective of Edward T Ramsell to support your
view (Question 3: Philosophy 2.1)
Explain Christianity’s basis for special revelation (history, the law of evidence and the science of
Explain the Christian perspective on the relationship between supernatural and natural, using the notion
of Logos (John 1:14) as evidence (Q 5: philosophy 2.1)
Explain the system of philosophy that influenced Islamic thinkers and describe the problem that poses for
them (Philosophy 2.2 Q 6)
Explain the Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God
Explain how the naturalists Monistic view of the mind and body contrasts with the Christian Dualistic view.
What are two problems that flow from the naturalist perspective? (Q 15: Philosophy 2.3)
Explain how Marxism addresses the mind/body question and describe a problem that results from that
perspective (Q 20 Philosophy 2.4) ( Problem E.g. it calls its own origins into question)
How do the different worldviews answer the key questions that philosophy poses (What is Real? How do
we know things?)
Explain what the Implications for Cosmology are (How was the Cosmos formed and how does this affect
the way we view reality and social issues?)
Explain the cosmology of the main worldviews covered: secular humanists; Marxists; Christian
You will have to be able to define the following concepts and identify how they relate to the different
worldviews covered in the course:
Ontology (the way/nature of Being);
Epistemology (the ways of Knowing);
Dialectical Materialism
Faith and Reason
Correspondence Theory of Truth (a
proposition is only True if it corresponds to
Mind/Body Problem
Monism vs. Dualism (Christianity views the
mind as being more than merely matter,
whereas the materialist would hold a Monist
view—the mind is all there is)
You should be able to explain what the relationship between the natural and the supernatural is for
worldviews covered in the course
You should be able to clearly explain the different historical periods (pre-modern, modern, postmodern)
and the different epistemological approaches of each era (how did they –primarily—interpret
reality/truth). Remember that there is no absolute cut off period between each era (we still function
partially as ‘moderns’ relying on logic and reason, although we are part of the post-modern era)
Evil and suffering: you should be able to explain the different worldview’s responses to Evil and Suffering.
What is the orthodox (mainstream or accepted) biblical view on evil and suffering?
Unit 3 Ethics and Bio Ethics
Please refer to the notes and questions you have made throughout this unit
Key terms you will be expected to know:
Moral Relativism
Moral Absolutes
Political Correctness
Preference Claim
Moral Claim
Proletariat Morality
Cultural Moral Relativism
God’s Nature
Allah’s Will
You will need to be able to explain:
 The Christian view on Ethics and Theology (Ethics 3.1)
 The basis on which Christians base their belief in Moral absolutes
 The way in which Islam and Christianity differ in their views on Ethical Absolutes
 The foundations for Islamic Ethics/role of Jihad in their ethical system
 The foundations for Maxist-Leninist Ethics/their view of human telos/future reality
 The foundations for Secular Humanist ethics
 The foundations for ethics of Postmodernists
 Postmodernisms relationship with political correctness
 The foundation of Cosmic Humanist Ethics
Students will be expected to know the details and explain the concepts from the following exercises and
questions (Short Answer Section 3)
Living as Though People Mattered Essay and Questions
Responding to Relativism Questions
Biotechnology Video and Questions
Unit 4 Biology
Explain some problems associated with theistic evolution
Explain how Christian theology was fundamental to the development of science
Explain the scientific concepts of DNA and Spontaneous Generation and how they pose a problem for
evolutionary theory (Q 3 4.1)
Explain what we should see in the fossil record is evolution was true
Explain what punctuated equilibrium is and why Marxists adopted it as their cosmological starting point
(idea of how life began)
Why does ‘modern’ science rule out creation? (Q 12 Biology 4.3)
Explain why secular humanists must hold to the theory of spontaneous generation/what would they have
to conclude if life did not start that way? (Q 13 Biology 4.3)
Define the six planks upon which secular humanist biology rest (Q 15 Biology 4.3)
Explain why the work of Charles Darwin was so important to Karl Marx (Biology 4.4)
Explain why Marxists ultimately rejected Evolutionary theory as put forward by Darwin and outline what
they replaced it with and why (punctuated equilibrium (Q 18 & 19 Biology 4.4)
Describe how the latest science around the fossil records poses a problem for evolutionary theory (Q 20
Biology 4.4)
Explain why postmodernists are generally unwilling to accept any theory of evolution (Q 26 Biology 4.6)
Describe Thomas Khun’s perspective on scientific theories (Q 28 Biology 4.6)
Unit 5 Psychology
Explain the Christian view of ontology (the study of being)
Explain how secular humanists and Christians differ in their view of suffering (e.g. suffering is simply to be
avoided vs. God can use suffering to bring about his purposes in your life)
According to Marxists, what is the major problem with society and why? “The Major flaw in capitalist
society is the divisive nature of social classes—the oppression of one of more classes by a ruling class that
creates deviant behavior. The only way to eradicate this deviant behavior is by restricting society”. The
family and the church are two institutions that, according to Marxists, produce the psychological problems
we see by reinforcing and reproducing oppressive mindsets that go against human nature.
Postmodernism and the Self
Remember the examples of Brittney Spears and/or Lady Gaga: reinvention of the self as completely
Explain the postmodern concept of psyche/identity. E.g. There are no fixed identities, only what we decide
to create for ourselves.
Explain how Delueuze and Guattari & Foucault see the self (p. 243 of your text)
The self is ultimately a SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION: and therefore, it is not fixed, it is open to change
and constantly in flux, as social structures are also constantly changing
Jacques Lacan: ‘Selfhood is really nothing but a fleeting, unstable, incomplete and open-mindedness of
desires which cannot be fulfilled”