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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module explores how various religious traditions influence ethical decision-making and practice. The module will firstly examine ways in which religious beliefs and worldviews influence the development of various forms of ethical perspectives and standards that have come to shape and define cultures and societies. Secondly, it will explore particular religious moral traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. African, Asian and indigenous ethical perspectives will also be explored. Thirdly, course participants will be given the opportunity to compare how religious traditions approach and assess particular ethical issues (e.g. economics, ecology, health, human rights) and thus demonstrate an active and creative interaction between theory and practice. Finally, the module will examine the development of a universal or global ethic.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of ethics in a broad range of religious traditions and of the similarities and differences between these traditions in terms of values, norms and methodology.
2. Display a critical awareness of contemporary public and professional ethical issues together with ethical insights developed and informed by a variety of comparative religious perspectives.
3. Select from a number of ethical decision-making models that have been informed by a religious worldview that incorporates both a theoretical and an applied approach to ethics.
4. Apply and appraise the various religious frameworks for dealing with ethical problems, challenges and dilemmas to demonstrate an understanding of how religious traditions can lead to various ethical positions on contemporary ethical concerns.
5. Apply skills in scrutinising and reflecting on specific contemporary ethical challenges arising from either work practices or from social and political issues in a religiously pluralist world.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Directed learning96No Description
Class Presentation20No Description
Assignment Completion100No Description
Independent Study10No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Universal Moral Experience
We will study and evaluate the Global Ethic.

Relationship between Ethics and Religion
Is ethics dependent upon religion? What about secular ethics?

Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, African, Asian and Indigenous Ethical Perspectives
We will work closely with primary and secondary religious texts in the World Religions (including Indigenous traditions)

Comparisons in Religious Ethics in Relation to a Selected Issue such as Economics, Ecology, Health, Human Rights
We will learn how best to compare religious traditions through a range of ethical and moral issues.

Declaration Toward a Global Ethic
What unites all faiths? What divides them?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Haleem, M. A. S. Abdel (trans.): 2008, The Qur'an, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Schweiker, William: 2008, The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, WileyBlackwell, New York,
  • Swidler, Leonard (ed.): 1998, For All Life: An Interreligious Dialogue: Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic, White Cloud Press, Ashland,
  • Steven D. Smith, Cambridge: 2010, The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse., Harvard University Press,
  • Peter Admirand, Eugene, OR: Cascade/Wipf and Stock (2011).: 2012, Amidst Mass Atrocity and the Rubble of Theology: Searching for a Viable Theodicy.,
  • Peter Phan, (Maryknoll: Orbis).: 2004, Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue,
  • Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton, (London: Continuum, 2008): 0, The Golden Rule: The Ethics of Responsibility in World Religions,
  • Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Lloyd Ridgeon (London: SCM Press, 2007): 0, Islam and Inter-faith Relations,
  • Chester Gills: 1998, Pluralism: A New Paradigm for Theology,
  • Jon Sobrino, (Maryknoll: Orbis: 2008, No Salvation Outside the Poor: Prophetic-Utopian Essays,
  • Levinas, Emmanuel. . Trans. Richard A. Cohen (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2009), 85-101.: 0, Ethics and Infinity: Conversations with Philippe Nemo,
  • Avishai Margalit, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002).: 2002, The Ethics of Memory,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes