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Undergraduate Divinity And Religious Studies 2017-2018

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.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

DR1045: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course explores primary themes in Practical Theology from 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.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

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 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.  Download Course Guide

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 includes attention to the two European world wars and 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.

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 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.

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.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

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 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 include: environmentalism, energy policy, human relations with animals and food, global geopolitics and more.  Download Course Guide

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. We’ll do this in part by reading and debating in tutorials short classic texts in long tradition of Philosophy of Religion. The course presumes no previous philosophical knowledge, only a keen interest in thinking patiently and critically about subject matter.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

DR2074: RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: ASIA

15 credits

Level 2

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.  Download Course Guide

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

DR2549: THE PILGRIM CITY

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

DR2549 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 and also consider marginal groups such as the Cathars and Waldensians, as well as mediaeval Christianity’s relationship with 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.

DR2572: ANCIENT MYSTERY GREEK RELIGIONS

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

15 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?

DR2576: 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.

RS2001: ISLAM

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

The course introduces students to Islam and its many aspects. Beginning with the emergence of Islam as a religion and a Political entity, we will continue to explore diversity within Islam in terms of religious movements and approaches, culture, history and contemporary issues, such as scholarly approaches and contemporary currents.  Download Course Guide

RS2505: BUDDHISM

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course introduces students to the history and anthropology of Buddhism, with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism and Mahayana philosophy. We will touch on ritual, art, doctrine and modern political issues. Students will be expected to make a contribution to the class through a presentation.

RS2511: BUDDHISM

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course introduces students to the history and anthropology of Buddhism, with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism and Mahayana philosophy. We will touch on ritual, art, doctrine and modern political issues. Students will be expected to make a contribution to the class through a presentation.

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

DR302C: ENCOUNTERS WITH GREAT THEOLOGIANS

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Across two millenia, Christian theology has been advanced by contributions of leading theologians who have reflected upon substantive claims of the Christian faith, developed accounts of their interconnections and meaning, and engaged with the intellectual challenges raised in their era.  This course invites students to detailed engagement with the work or onr or more leading theologians from the history of the Christian tradition by way of sustained study of primary texts in the context of lively seminar discussion and debate. Theologians considered may include figures such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Schleiermacher, Barth, von Balthasar, and Torrance.  Download Course Guide

 

DR302N: RELIGIOUS WOMEN IN THE WEST 11TH/16TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 3

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.   Download Course Guide

DR302R: SPIRITUALITY HEALTH AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

An exploration of Christian theology and spirituality as it relates to medicine and health. An exploration of Biblical and theological perspectives on health healing in the Old and New Testaments. An examination of Christian healing today. Critical reflection on healing and disability Critical reflection on contemporary understandings of spirituality without God. Vocational issues around ministry, chaplaincy, medicine and psychiatry. Practical issues around mental health, dementia, cancer, death and dying and the relationship between spirituality and medicine. Download Course Guide

DR303B: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This course will bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with associated methods and skills, based on reading of selected texts from Gospels and Acts. Students will learn how the way we think about biblical interpretation has changed through the modern period and will learn how to implement the critical methods associated with the various theories. Whether or not they agree with these, the knowledge will allow them to understand why other readers of Scripture hold very different beliefs about what is “biblical”.  Download Course Guide

DR305B: ISLAMIC LAW AND ETHICS

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Islamic Law is central to Islam and is the blueprint for every part of life and every field of law – constitutional, international, criminal, civil, commercial and family law, as well as doctrine and worship, ethics, morality and manners.  An understanding of Islamic law provides valuable insight into Muslim culture and communities.  This course will look at the underlying principles of Islamic Law and examine the area of family law and the position of women in particular.  Download Course Guide

DR305C: JUNIOR HONOURS RESEARCH RELATED SUBJECT

30 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 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.  Download Course Guide

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.

DR352D: REFORMATION, REASON AND REVOLT: CHURCH, POLITICS AND THEOLOGY IN THE LONG 16TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The European Reformation was a time of immense ecclesiastical, social, intellectual and political transformation that changed the religious and cultural landscape of the West forever. By way of regular seminars, this course draws students into detailed exploration of critical events, developments, ideas and debates of this tumultous period in history to consider the nature of the transformations which it bequethed to subsequent centuries up to and including our own.

DR352J: THEOLOGY AGAINST THE NAZIS: THE WRITINGS OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

30 credits

Level 3

Second 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.

DR352L: RELIGION, SECULARISM AND PUBLIC LIFE

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

DR352S: RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The goal of this course is to challenge the general belief that Islam is the principal religion in the Middle East. We will examine in depth the history and the condition of minorities living in contemporary Middle East and their inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict in relation to Islam.

DR353C: THE PRACTICE OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This course will bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with the associated methods and skills, based on the reading of selected texts from the Gospels and Acts. Students will learn how the way we think about biblical interpretation has changed through the modern period and will learn how to implement the critical methods associated with the various theories. Whether or not they agree with these, the knowledge will allow them to understand why other readers of Scripture hold very different beliefs about what is “biblical”.

DR355C: JUNIOR HONOURS RESEARCH RELATED SUBJECT

30 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.

RS3021: MYTH

30 credits

Level 3

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.  Download Course Guide

RS3522: QUR'AN

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will discuss the main text of Islam the Qur'an, the divine word. We will learn about the history of the text, its structure and the challenges with which its reader is confronted. We will examine various exegetical approaches to the Qur'an, as well as scholarly approaches, and read and discuss some Qur'anic chapters. We will also familiarise ourselves with the Qur'anic exegesis and other Islamic and scholarly literature that developed around the Qur'an.

RS3523: THE IMAGE OF JESUS IN THE QURAN AND MUSLIM TRADITION

30 credits

Level 3

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.

DR402C: ENCOUNTERS WITH GREAT THEOLOGIANS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Across two millenia, Christian theology has been advanced by contributions of leading theologians who have reflected upon substantive claims of the Christian faith, developed accounts of their interconnections and meaning, and engaged with the intellectual challenges raised in their era.  This course invites students to detailed engagement with the work or onr or more leading theologians from the history of the Christian tradition by way of sustained study of primary texts in the context of lively seminar discussion and debate. Theologians considered may include figures such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Schleiermacher, Barth, von Balthasar, and Torrance.  Download Course Guide

 

DR402N: 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. Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

DR403B: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This question is vitally relevant to anyone working closely with biblical texts, whether in academic study or in the context of faith communities who consider the biblical texts to be their Scriptures. This course will examine bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with the associated methods and skills.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

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.  Download Course Guide

DR4054: 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 questions of the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth. Each theory will be applied to a familiar myth.  Download Course Guide

DR405B: ISLAMIC LAW AND ETHICS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Islamic Law is central to Islam and is the blueprint for every part of life and every field of law – constitutional, international, criminal, civil, commercial and family law, as well as doctrine and worship, ethics, morality and manners.  An understanding of Islamic law provides valuable insight into Muslim culture and communities.  This course will look at the underlying principles of Islamic Law and examine the area of family law and the position of women in particular.  Download Course Guide

DR452D: REFORMATION, REASON AND REVOLT: CHURCH, POLITICS AND THEOLOGY IN THE LONG 16TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The European Reformation was a time of immense ecclesiastical, social, intellectual and political transformation that changed the religious and cultural landscape of the West forever. By way of regular seminars, this course draws students into detailed exploration of critical events, developments, ideas and debates of this tumultous period in history to consider the nature of the transformations which it bequethed to subsequent centuries up to and including our own.

DR452J: THEOLOGY AGAINST THE NAZIS: THE WRITINGS OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

30 credits

Level 4

Second 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.

DR452L: RELIGION, SECULARISM AND PUBLIC LIFE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

DR452S: RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN THE MIDDLE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The goal of this course is to challenge the general belief that Islam is the principal religion in the Middle East. We will examine in depth the history and the condition of minorities living in contemporary Middle East and their inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict in relation to Islam.

DR453C: THE PRACTICE OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This question is vitally relevant to anyone working closely with biblical texts, whether in academic study or in the context of faith communities who consider the biblical texts to be their Scriptures. This course will examine bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with the associated methods and skills. Students will learn how the way we think about biblical interpretation has changed through the modern period and will learn how to implement the critical methods associated with the various theories. As well as acquiring and refining an interpretive skill-set that will immediately benefit their own engagement with the Bible, students will be exposed to theories of interpretation that are radically different to traditional approaches. Whether or not they agree with these, the knowledge will allow them to understand why other readers of Scripture hold very different beliefs about what is “biblical”.

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.

RS4507: QUR'AN

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will discuss the main text of Islam the Qur'an, the divine word. We will learn about the history of the text, its structure and the challenges with which its reader is confronted. We will examine various exegetical approaches to the Qur'an, as well as scholarly approaches, and read and discuss some Qur'anic chapters. We will also familiarise ourselves with the Qur'anic exegesis and other Islamic and scholarly literature that developed around the Qur'an.

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.

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