Comparative Theology (May 2021)

Online Education of Theology and Philosophy to University Students: Methods and Issues in the Corona Pandemic Period

  • Ahmad Ebadi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 25
pp. 159 – 174


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Extended Abstract: The contribution of the research aspect to education is based on its being successful in providing qualified and innovative education. This principle is evident in theology and philosophy disciplines. To write valuable research papers, proper educational and systematic planning is of importance. Online or distance learning means that students are spatially distant from their professors and communicate indirectly. In this training, the interaction between students and teachers is done through technology and the design of learning environments can have a significant impact on the results of such learning. The Corona pandemic has forced us to resort to new educational mechanisms in all disciplines including theology and philosophy. In the present study, an attempt is made to run a survey to assess do's and don'ts, and opportunities as well as threats we have encountered. Although much research has been done on the philosophical and theological issues surrounding Corona in the short term, what has been explored in this study is the issue of teaching philosophy and theology in this period – an issue not addressed so far. For this purpose, the following two research questions are addressed: 1) what are the processes of online teaching?; and 2) what are the aspects of online education concerning philosophical and theological issues? The participants of the present study were students of philosophy and theology. To answer the first research question, the data were obtained from a total of 270 students and the answers of 157 students were categorized and analyzed to fulfill the second question. The results of the study regarding the first research question showed that if the role of the students is properly explained to them at the level of attitude, influence and motivation, perceived behavioral control, and cognitive engagement (which are all cognitive components in education), online education could have a positive effect. As a result, the quality of the educational performance of students could increase. Regarding the second research question, specific philosophical-theological issues were investigated. The results were categorized in the following five groups: 1) growing the existential views, 2) improving the issues related to the meaning of life, 3) the crisis of political and managerial philosophy (like health and economy), 4) accepting the newly-developed sufferings by human (referred to as Heavenly tests), and 5) the socio-governmental aspects of Corona.