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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:26

Course Overview

How did the Jesus movement turn into the church? At what point did the church decide Jesus was God? How can God be one and three? What is heresy and why did it matter? How did Christianity relate to surrounding philosophy? Did theology develop and change? What were the sources for Christian thought and doctrine? The course introduces students to these questions through the rich history of Christian thought by considering a number of representative theological thinkers, such as Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin. Assessment is through two short essays and a final essay.


Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Eric Saak

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 1
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will introduce students to the rich history of Christian thought by considering several representative theological thinkers from the time of the earliest church up to the era of the European Reformation. Students will be introduced to important developments in pre-modern Christian thought and formative theological controversies by close consideration of the work of leading theological figures including, for example, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Luther and Calvin.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Weekly Discussion Board Entries (150/250 words) 25%

1000 word text analysis 25%

2000 word essay 50%

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandto grasp the lineaments of the history of Christian thought as represented by the work of selected leading thinkers;
ProceduralAnalyseTo gain familiarity with different theological methodologies; and to acquire a measure of precision in writing through evaluating a specific theological problem.
ReflectionAnalyseTo continue to reflect upon the nature and stakes of contemporary debates regarding central Christian teaching in view of the longer history of the tradition.
ProceduralAnalyseTo explore and to communicate intellectual problems through collaboration and interaction with other students.
ReflectionEvaluateTo reflect critically on the doctrines of the Christian faith in their historical formulation; to acquire the capacity to engage theological positions different from one’s own with sympathy &integrity
ConceptualApplyTo deepen appreciation of the distinctiveness of Christian belief and its relation to other philosophies and religious traditions.

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