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Undergraduate Divinity And Religious Studies 2019-2020

DR101B: RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT GREECE AND BEYOND

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course will explore religions of Ancient Greece and Rome.

DR101Q: 'ATHEISM AND ATHEISMS’

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course will offer an overview of philosophical and theological approaches of atheism, from ancient times to the present day. It will trace the historical development of atheistic thought, beginning with ancient atheisms and pin-pointing key historical texts and developments in this area of thought. The course will explore divergent modern approaches to unbelief, including New Atheism, ‘temperate’ or ‘soft’ atheisms, and Humanism, as well as the more recent phenomenon of ‘godless religion’ and secular churches. The latter part of the course will trace theological engagement with atheism, examining religious responses to unbelief. The module will end with some discussion of how the discipline of theology might engage with atheism in both contemporary and future discourse.

DR1038: THE 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 a series of lectures on key topics, and tutorial seminars on researching and presenting your work, and on various early Christian texts. The course also requires 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 1

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. 

DR1077: THE 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 a series of lectures on key topics, and tutorial seminars on researching and presenting your work, and on various early Christian texts. The course also requires your own reading and research.

DR1536: HEBREW LANGUAGE 2

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. 

DR1543: INTRODUCING 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.

DR1543: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course contains a survey of the biblical literature of the Hebrew Bible and of the critical methods involved in its study. The course surveys the content, theology, and history of formation of key books within the Hebrew Bible. It also presents and critically evaluates 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.

DR1573: EXPLORING THE NEW TESTAMENT

15 credits

Level 1

Second 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. Download course guide.

DR1575: THEORIES OF RELIGION

30 credits

Level 1

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?

DR201L: THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY

15 credits

Level 2

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 a series of lectures on key topics, and tutorial seminars on researching and presenting your work, and on various early Christian texts. The course also requires your own reading and research.

DR201Y: ATHEISM AND ATHEISMS

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course will offer an overview of philosophical and theological approaches of atheism, from ancient times to the present day. It will trace the historical development of atheistic thought, beginning with ancient atheisms and pin-pointing key historical texts and developments in this area of thought. The course will explore divergent modern approaches to unbelief, including New Atheism, ‘temperate’ or ‘soft’ atheisms, and Humanism, as well as the more recent phenomenon of ‘godless religion’ and secular churches. The latter part of the course will trace theological engagement with atheism, examining religious responses to unbelief. The module will end with some discussion of how the discipline of theology might engage with atheism in both contemporary and future discourse.

DR202U: SCOTTISH CHURCH HISTORY AND THEOLOGY SINCE THE REFORMATION

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course will explore the history and the theology of the church in Scotland from the Reformation to the present day.

DR251J: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

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

DR251N: INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: THINKING THE FAITH

15 credits

Level 2

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.

DR251Q: EXPLORING THE NEW TESTAMENT

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will provide a level 2 (SCQF 8) version of DR1073/1573, “Exploring the New Testament,” differentiated from this by an assessment format appropriate to the SCQF Level. The courses will be delivered together, allowing efficient delivery of content. The character and contribution of the course is that of a survey-type module, of the kind that is standard in the early years of a biblical studies curriculum, and that contributes foundational knowledge for the Divinity (Theology and Religious Studies) programme, as well as being of broader interest to students outside this programme.  

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?

DR2577: GOD, SEX AND DEATH IN OUR TECHNOLOGICAL AGE

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

We live in a world that our ancestors could scarcely have imagined, with the progress of science and technology opening to us the workings of the universe and new ways to live within it as human beings. Rapid technological advancements in computing, robotics, materials, genetics, biological engineering other technical fields hold immense promise for the augmentation and transformation of our humanity, but they pose deeply disorienting questions about just what it means—and what it will mean in the future—to be a human being at all. Can any of the ways of thinking about human being and significance that were held in the past be sustained today, or in the future? The intertwining of three themes of fundamental existential importance—God, sex and death—offer a path of inquiry into these questions and issues.

DR301P: 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

DR302A: JONAH & HIS FISH: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JONAH & ITS AFTERLIVES

30 credits

Level 3

First 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.

DR302D: REFORMATION, REASON & REVOLT: CHURCH, POLITICS & THEOLOGY

30 credits

Level 3

First 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.

DR302N: RELIGIOUS WOMEN IN THE WEST (11TH TO 16TH CENTURIES)

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.  

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.

DR352C: ENCOUNTERS WITH GREAT THEOLOGIANS

30 credits

Level 3

Second 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. 

DR352X: ANIMALS AND MONSTERS IN THE GREEK WORLD AND BEYOND

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will explore the role of animals and monsters in the Ancient Near East, ancient Greek, Roman Worlds.

 

DR353B: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The four canonical gospels and the book of Acts are generally recognized to be our most reliable sources for historical information about Jesus and the movement that he began. Yet, they are clearly also works shaped by the beliefs of their writers or editors and the needs of the communities for which they were composed. Reading such works requires us to reflect upon the character and significance of their theology and on how this is to be related to the historical dimension of the literature, including to the figure of the historical Jesus. This course will engage in detail with the range of approaches that are taken to the historical and theological interpretation of the gospels and Acts and particularly with the ways by which beliefs about the nature of God and salvation are transformed by ‘the Christ event’.      

DR353C: THE PRACTICE OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

30 credits

Level 3

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. 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”.

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”.

DR402A: JONAH & HIS FISH: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JONAH & ITS AFTERLIVES

30 credits

Level 4

First 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.

DR402D: REFORMATION, REASON & REVOLT: CHURCH, POLITICS & THEOLOGY

30 credits

Level 4

First 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.

DR402N: RELIGIOUS WOMEN IN THE WEST (11TH TO 16TH CENTURIES)

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.  

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. 

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.

DR452C: ENCOUNTERS WITH GREAT THEOLOGIANS

30 credits

Level 4

Second 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. 

DR452X: ANIMALS AND MONSTERS IN THE GREEK WORLD AND BEYOND

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will explore the role of animals and monsters in the Ancient Near East, ancient Greek, Roman Worlds.

DR453B: GOD AND SALVATION IN THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The four canonical gospels and the book of Acts are generally recognized to be our most reliable sources for historical information about Jesus and the movement that he began. Yet, they are clearly also works shaped by the beliefs of their writers or editors and the needs of the communities for which they were composed. Reading such works requires us to reflect upon the character and significance of their theology and on how this is to be related to the historical dimension of the literature, including to the figure of the historical Jesus. This course will engage in detail with the range of approaches that are taken to the historical and theological interpretation of the gospels and Acts and particularly with the ways by which beliefs about the nature of God and salvation are transformed by ‘the Christ event’.      

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: 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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