1.4.3 Review and discussion of Unit 1

Back to 1.4.2

Unit 1 Contents

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We are now reaching the end of Unit 1.  This screen outlines two ways of reviewing what you have learned, whether you are doing the module as part of a degree or using it to study informally.

A.        Assessing the ‘learning outcomes’

First, it will be helpful simply to refer back to the ‘learning outcomes’ for this unit (as given in 1.1.5).  Here they are:

By the end of Unit 1, you will be able to

  • outline what Catholic Social Teaching is  [1.1.1, 1.2.3]
  • summarize why Catholic Social Teaching exists  [1.2.1, 1.2.2]
  • describe what ‘prophetic’ literature in the Christian Bible is [1.3.1]
  • name and discuss some of main texts in both Old and New Testaments that can be called prophetic  [1.3.2 to 1.3.4]
  • demonstrate understanding of the learning outcomes for Module A, given in 1.1.3.

It is quite possible that, when you first re-read these, you’ll think you can’t easily do those things.  But this first reaction might be misleading.  When you start thinking about what you’ve worked through, you will probably realize that in fact you have achieved those outcomes, if only to some extent.  As a reminder of what you have studied, open and look through the Unit 1 Contents page.

Having spent a few moments on the Contents page, you may wish quickly to scroll through some of the specific screens.  You could focus on those that relate especially to the learning outcomes – as shown in the list above.

Looking back over what we have read is always worthwhile because it can greatly assist us to retain knowledge of it.  It can also enable better understanding because it can prompt us to see ways in which things fit together that we didn’t notice at first.

When you go to those pages, do you find that you largely know about what you’re reading, even if you couldn’t easily bring it to mind beforehand?  Or is the material really unfamiliar?  If it is the latter, it would be worthwhile reading those pages again carefully.

The fourth learning outcome listed above is not just about Unit 1 but is to do with the overall outcomes for Module A.  At the end of this first unit, it is certainly worth looking again at these, to remind yourself of the ‘big picture’ of where this study will lead you.  See 1.1.3.

After re-reading this, assess whether you could explain to someone else, in your own words (more or less), what this study should enable you to do.

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Reflection

To what extent has Unit 1 already contributed to you achieving the learning outcomes for the module overall?

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B.      Discussing your study

The second way of reviewing your progress at the end of Unit 1 is to discuss it, ideally with others studying the same material.

How you can best do so will depend on the university or other context you are in.

If you are studying formally, you may be expected to participate in a seminar on what you have read for Unit 1.  The format of this will be determined by the Module Convenor in your university/college.  Possibly one student will be asked to prepare a discussion paper.

If you are studying informally in a parish, other Christian community or workplace, it will be worthwhile to join with others to compare and contrast your reactions so far.

If you are working through the module alone, so cannot have a face-to-face discussion of it, you are welcome to post your reactions to it and any questions on the page for this, ‘Comments on Unit 1’.

Whichever of the above applies to you, probably your study has provoked questions.  The ‘Reflections’ in the text, or the ‘Exercise’ on screen 1.3.4, in particular, might have done so.  Try to bring to mind what some of these were.

Discussion with others gives an opportunity to address some of these.

Focus on those that really are to do with this unit – rather than others that might be highly interesting but are not relevant here.

In addition to questions you have come up with, here are some you can address:

  • To what extent were the principles of CST summarized in 1.1.6 new to you?  What questions do you have about these? Is your first reaction that you agree with them or that you want to challenge them? (You will study them further in Unit 2.)
  • In screens 1.2.1-1.2.4, we gave attention to:

–      Christian faith in God (1.2.1)

–      the Christian gospel (1.2.2)

–      what the main documents of CST are (1.2.3)

–      the significance of the Bible for CST (1.2.4).

There was then a quotation from Pope John Paul II:

[T]o teach and to spread her social doctrine pertains to the Church’s evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message, since this doctrine points out the direct consequences of that message in the life of society and situates daily work and struggles for justice in the context of bearing witness to Christ the Saviour. (Centesimus Annus #5)

If you are someone with experience of the Church and Christian faith, have you found CST to be “an essential part of the Christian message”?   If yes, what has this meant in practice?  If no, why do you think this is?

  • Have you read lengthy passages of the Bible before, such as those from Exodus and Luke set in 1.3.2 and 1.3.4?  Did these and others fit with your expectations of the Bible?  What questions did they raise about the Bible and how we should understand it?
  • In light of the Scripture readings set in 1.3.2-1.3.4, does it make sense to see these various texts – from Exodus to Revelation – as all ‘prophetic’ literature?
  • Can you explain to others what the so-called ‘prophetic strand’ running through the Bible is?

  • In what ways do these prophetic passages in Scripture still present challenges in the contexts we are in today?
  • What was familiar and unfamiliar in the reading from the Compendium in 1.4.1?  Was there anything in this you could not understand?
  • To what extent have you achieved the Unit 1 learning outcomes?
  • In light of Unit 1, which later topics/units are you looking forward to studying?  Why?

You might wish to post in Comments on Unit 1 some points from your discussion of these or other questions.

You are now at the end of Unit 1.  You might wish to review the Module A Outline or go to Unit 2 Contents.

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