Neighbours have been represented by images ranging from that of the monster and alien, to those of strangers or friends. This transdisciplinary unit explores the shifts in understanding the neighbour as they overlap with, and are consequential for, conceiving of ‘the self’, responsible political/moral decision-making and action, and the nature of sameness and difference as political categories. Attention is paid to associated themes such as those of ‘gift’, ‘sacrifice’, ‘love’, ‘hospitality’, and ‘democracy’.

Unit code: AP3200A

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Articulately evaluate major strands within political philosophy, political theology, and moral theology.


Demonstrate critical distinctions between various approaches to the theme of the neighbour.


Critically analyse the shifts in theorising about the neighbour and the politics of the practice of neighbourliness.


Evaluate the relationship between concepts of the neighbour, sameness and difference.


Demonstrate a capacity to research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.

Unit sequence

1xAP, or CT unit.


lectures and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

Popular Patristics Series (NY: SVS Press).
Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1958). Augustine. City of God. Trans. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972).
Bauman, Zygmunt. Strangers at Our Door (Cambridge and Malden: Polity, 2016). Brown, Wendy. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019).
Burrell, David B. Friendship and Ways to Truth (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000). Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (London and New York: Verso, 2004).
Connolly, William E. Identity/Difference: Democratic Negotiations of Political Paradox, expanded edn. (Minneapolis and London: University of Minneapolis Press, 1991).
Derrida, Jacques. ‘Hostipitality’, in Acts of Religion (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 356–420. Giroux, Henry. The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism (New York and London: Routledge, 2018). Kearney, Richard. Strangers, Monsters, and Gods: Interpreting Otherness (London and New York: Routledge, 2003). Mouffe, Chantal. For A Left Populism (London and New York: Verso, 2018).
Schmitt, Carl. Political Theology : Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Trans. George Schwab (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1985). Wyschogrod, Edith. Saints and Postmodernism: Revisioning Moral Philosophy (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1990).
Žižek, Slavoj. Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Trouble with Neighbours (Milton Keynes: Allen Lane, 2016).
Žižek, Slavoj, Santner, Eric, and Reinhard, Kenneth. The Neighbour: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Essay 1500 35.0
Essay 3000 65.0

Variant 2


outline and structure of major essay project

400 10.0

major research-directed essay

4100 90.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 26 Jul, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2023-09-06 13:47:26 +1000