In this unit, students will explore various discourses of the end of history as they have developed in the post-WWII world and their impact upon our current intersecting climate and economic crises. On the far side of the Cold War, seeing the fall of the Berlin Wall as a sign, American philosopher Francis Fukuyama claimed that history had ended in the final victory of liberal capitalism and the end of ideological struggle. Many consider the 1990’s to be emblematic of this end of history. However, a new end of history is now on our horizons in the form of ecological catastrophe brought on by the developmental forces leading to the universalization of liberal capitalism. Indeed, cracks are appearing in the liberal capitalist democratic project from a number of angles: immigration and refugee crises, ecological catastrophe, reenergized nationalisms, and economic crisis. Students will explore the history of these developments, the theological visions inspiring various thinkers involved here, and the eco-theological and political theological resources on offer to negotiate these problems in the doctrines of creation and eschatology.

Unit code: AP9700T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Explain key developments in contemporary eco-theology and political theology.


Critically evaluate the relationship between the doctrines of creation and eschatology.


Describe the emergence of the end of history thesis’ relationship to the political theological formation of the present.


Critically evaluate ethical responses to the intersecting climate and ecological crises.


Develop a theologically informed understanding of the origins of key relevant ethical/political concepts.

Unit sequence

Students should have completed at least one foundational unit in CT or AP.


Lectures, tutorials, online discussion, forum

Indicative Bibliography

  • Giorgio Agamben. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Trans., Daniel Heller Roazen. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998.
  • ___________. State of Exception. Trans., Kevin Attell. Chicago, Il: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
  • Thomas Bierbreicher. The Political Theory of Neoliberalism. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics. In, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 6. Ed., Clifford J. Green. Trans., Reinhard Krauss, Charles C. West, and Douglas W. Scott. Minneapolis, MA: Fortress Press, 1996.
  • Wendy Brown. Walled States, Waning Sovereignty. New York, NY: Zone Books, 2010.
  • _________. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. New York, NY: Zone Books, 2015.
  • David Clough. On Animals II: Theological Ethics. London & New York: T&T Clark, 2019.
  • Francis Fukuyama. The End of History and the Last Man. New York, NY: Free Press, 1992.
  • Scott A. Kirkland and John C. McDowell. Eschatology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2018.
  • Michael Northcott. A Political Theology of Climate Change. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013.
  • Bruce Pascoe. Dark Emu. Broome: Magabala Books, 2016.
  • Quinn Slobodian. Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018.
  • Rowan Williams. Christ the Heart of Creation. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 3000 words

3000 40.0

Essay 3000 words

3000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Tutorial presentation 1000 words

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-08 12:06:32 +1100