Theology and Philosophy at Newman – Student Case Study

Published by Huma Whitehouse on

Hear from our third-year student Jess Muxlow on her experience studying Theology and Philosophy at Newman during Covid, and what makes this course so unique.

“I am just entering the third year of my degree in Theology and Philosophy after a year of studying from home. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t yet spent a full year on campus attending university as I expected, however, this hasn’t diminished my experience, it simply changed it. When I began my first year, I expected to be attending classes on campus, hiding out in the library, and enjoying a little more freedom and independence. However, COVID had other ideas and changed my experience of university along with every other student in the country!

“In my first year, I had one semester and a half on campus, enjoying all of the rites of passage a university student has to experience. These included 9 am lectures, plenty of Starbucks in the main lobby, as well as social events with new-found friends. However, as of March 2020, I along with my fellow students have been working from home. This included online lectures via zoom, lots of independent learning, and adapting to researching without the library at hand. Despite the difficulties I have loved every second of my university experience so far, even the panic-ridden day before an assignment is due when you realise you’ve forgotten to reference something!

“My course is easily adaptable due to the broad nature of the topics, having covered the foundations of philosophy and theology in the first semester of my first year I felt somewhat prepared to work from home. One of my favourite topics so far has to be text, culture, and interpretation. This topic was covered in my second year during 2020-2021, based on how the bible is used in different cultural settings and how the interpretation of its text varies in those settings. This module allowed me to explore the use of the Bible in popular culture, specifically in The Handmaid’s Tale. I thoroughly enjoyed examining how the Bible was used in both the book and Television adaptation, so much so that I am hoping to focus my dissertation on the topic too!

“The beauty of a Theology and Philosophy degree is it can go anywhere you want it to, after learning and understanding the foundations and basic theories in the field, using them to explore the world is both exciting and enthralling. It is a well-known fact to all theologians and philosophers that theology and philosophy underpin absolutely everything we experience, whether it is the law, economy, education, or art.

“The tutors at Newman all share the same sense of wonderment at how theology and philosophy can be applied to real-world settings. Richard Goode has taught me several modules over the course of the last year, and his enthusiasm for the field is infectious and ultimately characterises the lively and fun lectures he leads. Tom Hunt is another lecturer on the course who is an excellent facilitator for discussion, allowing for neutrality but challenging each student to justify their opinion and then argue for the opposite of that opinion. Tom and Richard along with Sue, Eamon, and Louise are the backbones of the theology department, all inviting us as students to delve deeper when we enter into the classroom.

“Theology and Philosophy is a course that fits all shapes and sizes, all backgrounds, and abilities, that is what makes it so enjoyable and valuable. I for one, can’t wait to be back on campus, in the classroom again this September.”