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Undergraduate Divinity And Religious Studies 2016-2017

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.

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.

DR1071: SACRED RITES AND WORSHIP

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

Sacred rituals help human beings structure their contact with the deity. At the same time they provide a social bond among those who participate in them. The course examines the content and function of a range of rituals - mainly Christian, but also Jewish and of other religions - from a variety of perspectives. It is a core course for all degrees in Theology and Religious Studies.

DR1072: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: THE ANCIENT WORLD

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.

DR1073: EXPLORING 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.

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

DR1540 explores theological responses to human tragedy and cultural shock. It examines popular reactions to the terrorist attacks on the USA in 2001, and explores the two European world wars and the Holocaust, the Tsunami in South-East Asia, Hurricane Katrina, and the Japanese response to historical disasters. 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.

DR1550: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: THE NEAR EAST

15 credits

Level 1

Second 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 preferable 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.

DR2574: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: ASIA

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course develops a Religious Study perspective on religious traditions of Asia, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Hinduism. Religions of Asia will be explored in their historical, systematic, and practical/ritual dimensions.

HC1501: KEY WORKS FOR EUROPEAN CIVILISATION

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course offers an introductory survey of foundational works of European culture. Lectures will introduce students to the content, occasion, and influence of texts of exemplary historical importance and contemporary interest. The texts surveyed may vary each year, but will be suggestive of the thematic and formal range of classical thought. Students normally may expect to read selections of classical literary, historical, and philosophical works from such figures as Homer, Virgil, Polybius, Josephus, Plato, and Aristotle. Special attention will be paid to the reception of these figures and their works have informed the western intellectual tradition.

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. It provides an overview of the history and religions of Ancient Israel and Judah, as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, as illustrated by archaeological findings, and as understood within their larger Ancient Near Eastern context. It further teaches the students how to evaluate critically these portrayals and, as a result, how to reach independent and informed interpretations of the Biblical text.

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.

DR2065: FILM AS A PUBLIC ETHICAL ARENA

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course will engage students as active citizens through the viewing and discussion of films engaging contemporary moral issues. Feature length films, most often documentaries, will be screened during the class session and will be followed by student-led classroom debates about the issues raised. Each session will end with a lecture on the topic raised by the film. Assessment will be by way of short student papers explaining how the debates have led students to change their views on the discussed topics. Possible topics may include: environmentalism, energy policy, human relations with animals and food, global geopolitics and more.

DR2066: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course investigates basic questions about the nature and rationality of religious beliefs and practices. We’ll think together about such topics as arguments for the existence of God, the concept and attributes of God, the nature of religious language, the problem of evil, the question of miracles, and the challenges of religious pluralism, etc. We’ll do this in part by reading and debating in tutorials short classic texts in the long tradition of Philosophy of Religion. The course presumes no previous philosophical knowledge, only a keen interest in thinking patiently and critically about the subject matter.

DR2067: THEOLOGY FROM JESUS TO CALVIN: THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

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.

DR252E: JESUS IN HISTORY AND CULTURE

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This module will examine the representations of Jesus that are found in the four canonical gospels as well as in a selection of non-canonical (apocryphal) gospels. By evaluating the evidence of such witnesses and reading this against the social and cultural backdrop of first century Palestine, the module will consider the question of what "the Historical Jesus" was really like and how this figure relates both to the theological traditions of the church and to popular reworkings of the gospel stories through the centuries. It will be of interest both to Theology and Religion students.

 

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.

DR2565: VIRTUE AND FREEDOM: EXPLORING THE TRADITION OF WESTERN 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 Western 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.

DR2572: ANCIENT GREEK MYSTERY RELIGION

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

If you are interested in Classics then this is the course for you. Here we will explore the Ancient Greek world looking at how ancient mystery religions not only shaped antiquity but also world religions today. This course will explore a range of core materials, from archaeological, philosophical, historical and literary mediums.

DR2575: THEORIES OF RELIGION

30 credits

Level 2

Second 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?

RS2501: ISLAM

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

DR301P: JUNIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

STUDENTS SHOULD NOT ENROL ON THIS COURSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

 

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 an academic research paper. 

Flexible Delivery; further information can be obtained through the Course Guide.  This is coordinated by Dr Sam Newington

DR302R: SPIRITUALITY HEALTH AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 3

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.

DR351P: JUNIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

STUDENTS SHOULD NOT ENROL ON THIS COURSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

 

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.

DR352A: JONAH & HIS FISH: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JONAH & ITS AFTERLIVES

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The book of Jonah is a most unusual biblical book. It tells the story of the reluctant prophet Jonah who refuses to go to Nineveh and instead gets swallowed up by a huge fish. This course will read this book from many angles. It will discuss the purpose of the book: why was it written and for whom? It will look at its theological message. It will also explore its afterlife in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as its depictions in art, literature, and film.

 

DR352B: MAJOR THEMES IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Christian theology involves close reflection upon the substantive claims of the Christian faith, their interconnections and their historical development. This course invites students to detailed exploration of one or more major themes in Christian doctrine by engaging primary texts in the context of lively seminar discussion and debate.

DR352G: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE LETTERS OF PAUL

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The writings of the apostle Paul have exercised more influence over the development of Christian theology than almost any other writings, but much scholarship would question whether they have been interpreted correctly. Since the end of the Second World War, there have been significant developments in our understanding of the Judaism of Paul's day and of the socio-cultural realities of the wider Mediterranean world; these have led to the emergence of new readings of the apostle's theology and have demanded fresh accounts of Christian origins. This module will involve some exploration and critique of these new approaches to Paul's theology.

DR352K: JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION

30 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.

DR352P: DEMONS AND SPIRITUAL BEINGS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Demons and spiritual beings have been part of religions and human life throughout history and continue to be part of our contemporary culture in various forms (from cinema to Halloween). In this course we will explore the theme of demons, demonology, and spiritual beings in various contexts within Religion and beyond. We shall also explore its continuous appeal for people of different historical times, places, and cultures.

DR352Q: THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course discusses the portrayal of prophet Muḥammad in Islamic sources.
It will examine the existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. After an overview of Muhammad's traditional biography, students will have the opportunity to conduct a guided, hands-on research project, examining their choice of a specific episode in Muhammad's life. Students will gain tools for independent research into primary sources, as well as knowledge of the biography of the Prophet; and will become aware of ways for discussing and understanding the Muslim narrative of the Prophet Muhammad's life.

DR402R: 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

DR4043: SENIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

STUDENTS SHOULD NOT ENROL ON THIS COURSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

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.

DR452A: JONAH & HIS FISH: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JONAH & ITS AFTERLIVES

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The book of Jonah is a most unusual biblical book. It tells the story of the reluctant prophet Jonah who refuses to go to Nineveh and instead gets swallowed up by a huge fish. This course will read this book from many angles. It will discuss the purpose of the book: why was it written and for whom? It will look at its theological message. It will also explore its afterlife in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as its depictions in art, literature, and film.

DR452B: MAJOR THEMES IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Christian theology involves close reflection upon the substantive claims of the Christian faith, their interconnections and their historical development. This course invites students to detailed exploration of one or more major themes in Christian doctrine by engaging primary texts in the context of lively seminar discussion and debate.

DR452G: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE LETTERS OF PAUL

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The writings of the apostle Paul have exercised more influence over the development of Christian theology than almost any other writings​​, but much scholarship would question whether they have been interpreted correctly. Since the end of the Second World War, there have been significant developments in our understanding of the Judaism of Paul's day and of the socio-cultural realities of the wider Mediterranean world; these have led to the emergence of new readings of the apostle's theology and have demanded fresh accounts of Christian origins. This module will involve some exploration and critique of these new approaches to Paul's theology, but always in relation to the content of the letters themselves. Central to Paul's far-reaching and radical theology and ethics is his particular identification of Jesus, which shapes his distinctive way of speaking about God and salvation and, from this, about the church.   ​

DR452K: JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION

30 credits

Level 4

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.

DR452P: DEMONS AND SPIRITUAL BEINGS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Demons and spiritual beings have been part of religions and human life throughout history and continue to be part of our contemporary culture in various forms (from cinema to Halloween). In this course we will explore the theme of demons, demonology, and spiritual beings in various contexts within Religion and beyond. We shall also explore its continuous appeal for people of different historical times, places, and cultures.

DR452Q: THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course discusses the portrayal of prophet Muḥammad in the Islamic sources.
It will examine existing sources for this biography and the problems that they present to modern scholars. After an overview of Muhammad's traditional biography, students will have the opportunity to conduct a guided, hands-on research project, examining their choice of a specific episode in Muhammad's life. Students will gain tools for independent research into primary sources, as well as knowledge of the biography of the Prophet; and will become aware of ways for discussing and understanding the Muslim narrative of the Prophet Muhammad's life.

DR4543: SENIOR HONOURS SPECIAL SUBJECT

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

STUDENTS SHOULD NOT ENROL ON THIS COURSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME COORDINATOR

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.

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.

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