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Last modified: 26 Feb 2018 18:08

Course Overview

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

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Rev David Emerton

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • DR2057 Major Christian Thinkers (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will introduce students to the rich history of Christian thought by considering a number of representative theological thinkers. Students will be introduced to important developments in Christian thought and to formative theological controversies by close consideration of significant figures from the tradition. In previous years, theologians such as Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin have featured on the course.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • Bachelor of Divinity (with Honours)

Contact Teaching Time

27 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt

  • 1250-word gobbet exegesis of historical text (25%)
  • 1250-word mid-term essay (25%)
  • 2500-word final course essay (50%)
  • One 3000-word essay (100%)

Formative Assessment



Interaction with tutorial leaders and peers in tutorials will provide valuable opportunities for students to test their understanding of course materials throughout the half-session. The mid-term assignment will also provide timely written feedback prior to completion of other course assessment.

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