production
Skip to Content

Undergraduate Divinity And Religious Studies 2014-2015

DR1038: RISE OF CHRISTIANITY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

The course will introduce you to the first five centuries of Christian life and belief. It traces the rise of Christianity from its origins as a Jewish sect to a position of cultural and religious dominance in the Roman Empire. It also looks at the development of central themes in early Christian theology and spirituality. The course consists of lectures on key topics, workshops on preparing and presenting written work and seminars on early Christian texts. It should also include your own reading and research.

DR1039: GREEK LANGUAGE (NEW TESTAMENT) 1

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

The course will introduce students to the form of Greek found in the New Testament and help students to begin to read the New Testament in Greek. The programme will follow the textbook by J. Duff, Elements of New Testament Greek (Cambridge University Press, 2005). This is not to be confused with the textbook with the same title by John Wenham.

DR1042: HEBREW LANGUAGE I

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course is an introduction to classical biblical Hebrew without presupposing any prior knowledge. It involves the study of grammar and syntax and the translation of simple Hebrew prose texts.

DR1044: THE FOUNDERS OF CHRISTIANITY: INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

What we know today as the New Testament, a single book between two covers and most often bundled with the Old Testament, is in fact a small library of twenty-seven texts produced by various followers of Jesus between the 30s and about 120 of the Common Era. The small collection has had an enormous impact not only on Christian churches but also on the whole of Western civilization until today. This course explores the origins of these texts, their authors and audiences, and the events behind them. It neither requires nor expects any prior experience with these texts.

DR1045: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course explores primary themes in Practical Theology from the perspective of human beings as they actually exist rather than as we imagine them to be. We will explore issues in the Christian life from the perspective of the socially marginalised through a survey of the historical tradition. This survey may cover thinkers like the following: the Church Fathers, Augustine, Aquinas, etc . By asking questions about what it means to be human through such an "upside down anthropology" a model of practical theology is developed which informs how one understands Christian practice in churches and in society.

DR1046: JERUSALEM: NAVEL OF THE EARTH

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

The city of Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since before 1000 BCE. After Kings David and Solomon made it ancient Israel's capital,  it fell under a long succession of empires (e.g., Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Christian, Umayyad, Crusader, Mamluk, Ottoman, and British), before the State of Israel's creation in 1948. Following a straightforward chronology from King David to Suleiman the Magnificant (16th cent.), this course considers the political context, urban geography, archaeology, and representative literature from each period. Along with an understanding of this vital city, students gain a unique vantage-point on world history.

DR1536: HEBREW LANGUAGE II

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course is the second part of an introduction to classical biblical Hebrew. It involves the study of grammar and syntax and the translation of simple Hebrew prose texts. Only students who have taken DR1042 or equivalent are eligible to take this course.

DR1538: GREEK LANGUAGE (NEW TESTAMENT) 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course, which builds on the foundations laid in DR1039, introduces further study of the grammar and vocabulary of New Testament Greek.

DR1540: RELIGION AT GROUND ZERO

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course explores theological responses to human tragedy and cultural shock. It examines popular reactions to the terrorist attacks on the USA in 2001, and includes attention to the two European world wars and the Holocaust, the Tsunami in South-East Asia, Hurricane Katrina, and the Japanese response to disasters in its history. Attention will be given to themes such as the question of ‘theodicy’, the function of religious discourse in the face of tragedy, and the relationship between religion and politics. The discussion moves from these analyses to explore the peril of speaking of God in times of terror.

DR1543: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course will contain a survey of the biblical literature of the Hebrew Bible and of the critical methods involved in its study. The course will survey the content, theology, and history of formation of key books within the Hebrew Bible. It will also present and critically evaluate source-critical, redaction-critical, form-critical, and canonical approaches to the biblical texts.

DR1547: INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

What do Christians believe? Why do they believe it? Can it (despite everything!) possibly be true? And if so, what difference does it make? Taking an 'insider's view' of Christian belief, this course asks what it means to think and to speak Christianly--about God, Jesus, creation, religion, human community and responsibility, death, life and other little things.

RS1007: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD 1 - ANCIENT TRADITIONS

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course introduces students to the academic study of religion and develops a Religious Studies perspective on religions. Religions of the ancient world will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions. The course deals with three major religious traditions of antiquity, i.e., Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In addition, the course introduces students to the study of religion, dealing with issues such as: defining religion; insider/outsider problem in the study of religion; belief belief; and rituals as constitutive elements of the religious phenomena across time and space.

RS1508: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course develops a Religious Studies perspective on religions. Religions of the past and the present (including but not limited to Celtic religion, Norse religion, Shamanism) will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions. The main objective is the introduction to the comparative method in the study of religion. Thus, the various traditions examined in this course will be compared both to one another and to other major religions, such as Christianity.

DR2047: HISTORY AND RELIGION OF ANCIENT ISRAEL

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course discusses the issues involved in reconstructing the history and religions of ancient Israel and Judah.

DR2055: READING NEW TESTAMENT GREEK (1)

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Reading the New Testament in the language of its original authors and readers is one of the most rewarding ways of approaching these texts. This course will build on the acquisition of New Testament Greek at Level 1, and focus on reading and translating some of the simpler portions of the Greek New Testament, drawing especially on the Gospels. Students will have the opportunity to compare parallel portions of the Gospels using a Greek Synopsis, and develop skills in evaluating how different translations of the New Testament influence meaning, and consequently the task of interpretation.

DR2056: HEBREW LANGUAGE III

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course is the first part of a two-course sequence over two semesters of study (Hebrew Language III-IV). It is designed to deepen the knowledge of Hebrew grammar and syntax acquired at Level 1 (Hebrew Language I-II) and to apply it to the translation and interpretation of selected prose texts of the Hebrew Bible.

DR2057: MAJOR CHRISTIAN THINKERS

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

The course introduces students to a series of thinkers in the Christian tradition who have had profound significance for and impact upon the life and teaching of the church. Particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which these theologians, spanning from the early church to the Reformation, address major controversies in church history and develop new trajectories in Christian doctrine. The course will engage with some of the central writings of figures such as: Irenaeus of Lyons, Cyprian of Carthage, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

DR2060: THE MISSION AND MESSAGE OF PAUL: APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

The focus of the course is to develop an historical understanding of the mission, theology and ethics of the apostle Paul. This entails wide reading of Acts and close study of the argument of Galatians. In addition to these primary sources, students can select from a broad range of relevant secondary literature. Guidance is given about preparation for weekly lectures, fortnightly tutorials, and a private study task. In addition to an exam, coursework includes a single essay, with the opportunity to receive formative comment on two preparatory stages: the bibliography and essay outline. Feedback is provided electronically, through Turnitin.

DR2549: THE PILGRIM CITY

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course traces the history of Christianity from its establishment as the religion of the Roman Empire to the period just prior to its arrival in the Americas in the late 15th century. Lectures and seminars examine some of the main strands of Christian theology, spirituality and institutional life in this period. They also consider marginal groups such as the Cathars and Waldensians, as well as mediaeval Christianity’s relationship with the religions of pre-Christian Europe. The course provides useful historical and theological background for students interested in the Reformation period as well as in mediaeval art, literature and history.

DR2555: READING NEW TESTAMENT GREEK (2)

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will further build on the acquisition of New Testament Greek in this Sustained Study programme in Biblical Language, and will offer the opportunity to translate some of the more complex portions of the Greek New Testament, drawing especially on the Pauline letters. Students will also have the opportunity to compare and translate facsimiles of some early New Testament manuscripts, and learn how to interpret the Textual Apparatus of a Greek New Testament, and make judgments about possible reasons for different textual readings.

DR2556: HEBREW LANGUAGE IV

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

The course offers an introduction to the grammar and syntax of Hebrew poetry and to its basic forms, and will involve the translation of selected poetic texts.

DR2558: EXPLORING THE TRADITION OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

How do we know right from wrong? What are our responsibilities towards others? How should we engage with social and political problems and issues? What constitutes a good life? This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the rich tradition of Christian ethical reflection and moral formation. It does so by surveying the various ways in which ethics and morality have been understood and approached by major figures in the Western tradition.

RS2004: ECONOMIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES OF RELIGION

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

A survey of leading theories of religion from the fields of economics and psychology. The main issues to be considered will be: what aspects of religion is each theory trying to explain; what aspects does the theory succeed in explaining; and how does the theory reflect the discipline from which it comes?

RS2007: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD 3 - ABRAHAMIC TRADITIONS

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course develops a Religious Studies perspective on religions. Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions. This course will not seek whether one religion is more advanced, better, or prefarable over another. The  'truth' claims made by those traditions are not the subject of the course. On the contrary, issues such as: what does the term 'Abrahamic' mean? What are the main differences and similarities between those traditions and their respective founders? lie at the core of this course's aims.

RS2503: SOCIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORIES OF RELIGION

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

A survey of six leading theories of religion from the fields of sociology and anthropology. The main issues to be considered will be: what aspects of religion is each theory trying to explain; what aspects does the theory succeed in explaining; and how does the theory reflect the discipline from which it comes?

RS2507: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD 4 - EASTERN TRADITIONS

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course develops a Religious Studies perspective on religions. Major Eastern religious traditions (including but not limited to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism) will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions. The course will deal with major and minor religious traditions of the east employing a syncretistic methodology. The basic principles, concepts, practices, and beliefs of those traditions will be examined from a religious studies perspective.

DR301B: HEAVENS, SEERS AND THE END: APOCALYPTICISM AND THE NEW TESTAMENT

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

''Things can't go on the way they are!' This sentiment along with a deeply rooted hope that God's plan and the heavenly world are going to interact with this world to make things better for the faithful are the basic convictions behind apocalyptic thought. Apocalyptic thought is an important feature of most New Testament writings; apocalyptic motifs occur in almost every New Testament text. This course studies the difference between apocalypticism and the apocalyptic genre as well as specific examples: Jewish and Christian, e.g. 1Enoch, Daniel, 1Thess, 1Cor 15, Mk 13 par, Revelation.

DR301D: THE GOSPEL AND LETTERS OF JOHN

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

'I am the light', 'I am the resurrection and the life' ... Such images from the Gospel of John and its language full of symbols and metaphors have shaped people's idea of Christ for millennia and made their mark on art and literature. This course will study the Johannine Corpus - John's Gospel and the three Epistles. We investigate the origins of the community which produced these texts, examine allegations of anti-Jewishness and Christian sectarianism and study the distinctive ideas of Christ and salvation within the literature.

DR301J: REFORMATION, REASON AND REVOLT

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course examines the history of Christianity during the early modern period (c.1450-c.1700) with a particular focus on 16th century efforts to reform the church and the permanent rifts such efforts ultimately created within western Christianity. Attention is given to developments in Roman Catholic doctrine and practice ensuing from internal and external pressure to reform, and to the origins and early development of national Protestant churches (Reformed, Lutheran and Anglican) as well as more radical Christian parties which often shared uneasy relations with political states and their allied churches.

DR301L: COMPARATIVE SEMITIC LINGUISTICS

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The course offers an introduction to comparative linguistics and a comparative overview of Akkadian; Ugaritic; Hebrew; Aramaic and Arabic.

DR301T: THE THEOLOGY OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) is one of the most prominent voices in modern theology. From the 1960s to the present his work has been at the centre of a number of important theological developments and debates. Moreover, his dramatic involvement in the resistance against Hitler, and consequent execution, has resulted in a widespread interest in his work outside of the academy.  Today, he is among the most widely read theologians in Europe, North America and beyond. This course will focus on Bonhoeffer’s major theological writings.

DR351E: JUSTICE AND RECONCILLIATION

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This explores the tension between the theological concepts of forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice. How does one, or should one, forgive those who have committed unjust and terrible crimes? To what extent must justice be retributive? This analysis of the difficult work of reconciliation gives particular attention to how the churches in Latin America and South Africa have wrestled with this issue in their own social and political contexts. Some attention will be given to the emotional and spiritual tensions that individuals face when confronted with the complexities involved in living through periods of conflict and reconciliation.

DR351G: LUKE - ACTS

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The two-part work called Luke-Acts amounts to more than one quarter of the New Testament, and describes both the ministry of Jesus and the subsequent ministry of the early apostles (especially Peter and Paul) and early spread of the Christian church across the Mediterranean world. This composite has been the subject of much scholarly debate, especially regarding issues of historicity and historiography. The course will explore issues of historical, literary and theological interpretation, in recent contemporary debate and in the history of scholarship, and will make critical comparisons with other ancient texts.

DR351I: READING CLASSIC THEOLOGICAL TEXTS

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Learning to do theology well is in large part a matter of learning to read. This course offers a chance to read in-depth and at length in a single landmark text of the Christian theological tradition. Each year, we will practice the challenging and rewarding art of close reading on a different text. This year, we will be devoting ourselves to some key sections of one of the most important and influential works of western Christianity, Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae.

DR351K: OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The course will examine central theological themes of the Old Testament and will include study of key texts from the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Writings.

DR351O: JEWISH INTERPRETATIONS OF THE HEBREW BIBLE

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The course will help students to study the Hebrew Bible in an informed manner.  It will introduce the students to the Masoretic text and different ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible and discuss what they can tell us about the original text; it will look at different critical methods (source criticism, redaction criticism, form criticism) and how they can help us understand the text better; and it will investigate how texts from the ancient Near East can shed light upon the message of the Hebrew Bible. It will also explore different theories of biblical interpretations.

DR351P: JUNIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

DR351U: CHRISTENDOM DIVIDED: LUTHER, CALVIN AND THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This newly revised course examines the central theological disputes which dominated and shaped European Christianity in the 16th century. It explores the origins and development of Protestantism with particular reference to two of the most influential Reformation theologians: Martin Luther and John Calvin. Particular attention will be given to those aspects of their thought which distinguished them from late-medieval/contemporary Roman Catholic teaching and its authoritative restatement at the Council of Trent, as well as from one another. 

DR359B: THE JEWISH ENVIRONMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course explores a world of unparalleled consequence in Western history: Judaea from ca. 200 BC to AD. 200. After an opening survey of the political history and geography of southern Syria, we consider the most important surviving literature of the period (Philo, Josephus, Dead Sea Scrolls), the main institutions and groups (priests, temple, sacrificial cult, synagogue, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes), and regional politics. Particular attention is given to the sources of conflict that generated catastrophic war between Jews and Roman rulers in 66–74 and 132–135—conflicts of great significance for developing Christian identity.

RS3008: BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY: MAHAYANA THEORY AND APPLICATION

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course falls into two sections. In the first section we study classical Indic Mahāyāna logic, ontology, epistemology and ethics. In the second section we will use this framework to consider questions in contemporary Buddhism, including anthropological method and environmental ethics.

RS3017: GENDER AND QUEER APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF RELIGION

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

In this course we will look at how religions have constructed and regulated genders. From a comparative perspective, this encompasses not only what and who has been defined as male/masculine and female/feminine, but also the development of alternative genders. We shall examine theoretical developments from differentiating between biological sex and socio-cultural gender to the questioning of this distinction. Specifically, the effects of the gender binary within a heteronormative framework and the role of religion within that are scrutinised. Attempts at resisting and challenging heteronormativity will also be discussed.

RS3507: ATHEISM

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Starting with the media phenomenon of so-called New Atheism, including Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion and the slogan of the bus campaign ‘There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’, we will sketch out a history of the atheist present. We will trace both how contemporary discourses build on prior ones and in what ways they differ from them. This is done in line with methodological pluralism and from an interdisciplinary perspective that brings into play sociological, philosophical and [even] theological approaches to inform the academic study of ir/religion and secularity.

RS3512: SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGIONS

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course offers students the opportunity to do fieldwork on topics such as possession, sacred spaces, sectarian identity and syncretism. Students are introduced to designing a project, doing participant observation and interviews, and writing ethnography. By conducting their own projects they put the theoretical and methodological insights to the test of practice.

RS3518: THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

We will discuss the biography of Prophet Muhammad, the main figure in Islam, through whom the Qur’an was revealed. We will look at existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. We will examine various research approaches to this topic and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each. Through a discussion of main episodes in the life of the Prophet we will learn of various ways for understanding these episodes. We will also discuss the status of Muhammad against other prophets in Islam and against the Qur’an.

DR4043: SENIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course allows a student to do in-depth study in a specific area in Divinity or Religious Studies. The specific content of the course may vary, but the focus will include work on enhancing research skills and the completion of a academic research paper. Students interested in pursuing such a course of study need to obtain the permission of a supervisor and of the Head of School.

DR4044: DISSERTATION

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of bibliography and references.

DR406A: THE THEOLOGY OF KARL BARTH

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Karl Barth is considered to be one of the most significant Christian theologians of recent times. His work as a pastor in Switzerland and later as a professor in Germany and Switzerland coincided with many of the defining events of the last century. This course critically explores the theology of Barth, attending to his context and to his person. It proceeds by way of a close critical reading of a series of Barth's writings covering the different periods of his life, and considers his ongoing relevance for theology today.

DR4078: CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND CREATION

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course examines the account of creation in the biblical book of Genesis in order to explore the theological account of human moral action it offers. By exploring different movements of the creation story, the course lays out the basic structure of Christian moral theology. The aim is to develop a theological approach to the fundamentals of Christian ethics, clarifying its relevance for issues of sexuality and procreation, economics, work, governance, health, animals and the environment. The course offers a broad theoretical framework for thinking about the whole scope of ethical questions in contemporary society.

DR4084: SPIRITUALITY HEALTH AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The course aims to explore the connection between spirituality, health and healing within the contemporary practice of health care. The course is multi-disciplinary (including Medicine and Nursing students). It examines issues of health and healing within various contexts, highlighting the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates the spiritual as well as the material aspects of human beings. Areas covered will include: the relationship between the ‘medical’ and the ‘spiritual’ within healing; the practice of Christian healing; psychiatry and religion; and alternative medicine.

DR4089: RELIGIOUS WOMEN IN THE WEST 11TH/16TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The course will give students an insight into the lives of medieval religious women in the context of their communities. We will examine the spiritual issues and practical challenges that confronted religious women in the Middle Ages. Community life and literary production differed widely according to the rules the women followed, the resources they had command of, and their daily experiences. Additionally, the seminar will look into the piety of secular women whose religious aspirations were restricted by household chores and their duties as wives and mothers. 

DR4090: THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTOLOGY

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

How did the Jesus of history become the proclaimed Christ of faith? At the heart of the earliest Christian Christology is the variously expressed association of the pre-Easter Jesus and his message with the post-Easter proclamation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, as testified in the New Testament. This course explores some of the early expressions and trajectories of the early Christian conviction to this effect, how these related to contemporary messianic expectations as well as other relevant Early Jewish and Graeco-Roman concepts and beliefs, and, of course to the focal point of early Christianity: the Christ-event itself.

DR4543: SENIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

SPECIAL SUBJECT - MAKING SACRED LANDSCAPES: The course will begin with a study of environmentality and the use of religion and sacred as categories in UN and donor discourse. We will then look at the neo-colonial creation of people-free national parks and the rise of eco-tourism. Finally we will look at ethnographic accounts of societies creating landscapes through rituals, architecture, land management or other practices in the context of globalisation.

DR4544: DISSERTATION

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of bibliography and references.

DR4581: MAJOR THINKERS IN THEOLOGICAL ETHICS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will introduce students to a number of major thinkers in the area of Theological Ethics. Its focus will be on reading and discussing texts by prominent figures who are of ongoing significance.  Moreover, this course will include figures from different theological and confessional backgrounds (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, non-Conformist, etc.), and explore whether and how their theological commitments connect with practical stances and approaches (i.e. on issues of war and peace, sexual ethics, bioethics, etc.)

DR4583: RECOVERING THE HISTORICAL JESUS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Jesus of Nazareth is arguably the most consequential figure in Western history. But what can we know about him historically, and how can we know it? This course tries to integrate three relevant areas: (a) The culture and society of first-century Galilee, where Jesus lived and taught. (b) The history of scholarship on Jesus, since the European Enlightenment, and its varied approaches to the literary and historical evidence for his life.  (c) Central questions that need addressing in a 'life of Jesus’, and the ancient evidence for them.

DR4589: MODERN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course aims to provide detailed knowledge of key developments in Christian Systematic Theology from the beginning of the modern period through to the start of the 20th century. Through critical consideration of key primary texts, students will acquire an in-depth understanding of the ‘landscape’ of modern Christian thought. The course will investigate particular questions concerning developments in theological method, shifts in the role of Scripture in theological endeavour, the relationship between theology and modern philosophy and the changing understanding of the nature of doctrine itself.

RS4002: MYTH

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

A survey of eight leading theories of myth from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and religious studies. The focus will be on the differing answers the theories give to the common questions of the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth.  Each theory will be applied to a familiar myth.

RS4506: CRITICAL THEORIES OF RELIGION: THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

We will explore what the authors of the so-called Frankfurt School have had to say about religion: Starting with Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno at the centre of the Institute for Social Research, extending to the likes of Walter Benjamin and Erich Fromm and later on – arguably – Jürgen Habermas. We shall ask in what ways critical theory is different from traditional theory, what the socio-cultural contexts were in which this re-definition of intellectual work took place, its re-interpretations of Freud and Marx, and how it can inform the academic study of religion today.

RS450A: THE IMAGE OF JESUS IN THE QURAN AND MUSLIM TRADITION

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

In this course we will discuss the biography and characterisation of Jesus, a major Muslim prophet and the expected mahdi (Islamic messiah). The course will look at the existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. It will examine possible Christian origins of this figure. Through a discussion of the main episodes in the life of the Muslim Jesus we will learn of the various ways for understanding his character. The course will also discuss the status of Jesus compared with other prophets in Islam, especially Muhammad, and against the Qur'an.

Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.