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Undergraduate Divinity 2020-2021

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. 

DR103C: THE PILGRIM CITY

15 credits

Level 1

First 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 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.

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. 

DR1089: EXPLORING THE TRADITION OF WESTERN ETHICS

15 credits

Level 1

First 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

DR1091: HISTORY AND RELIGION OF ANCIENT ISRAEL

15 credits

Level 1

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

DR109E: JESUS IN HISTORY AND CULTURE

15 credits

Level 1

First 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 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 to Theology and Religion students

DR151E: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE DEAD!

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course will explore ancient Greek attitudes towards death and dying and explore the various ways in which it meant to be dead in Ancient Greece. This course will be interdisciplinary in approach, looking at: performative texts (ancient Greek plays and epics), visual culture (monuments, sacred sites), philosophy and science (Presocratic, Plato and Epicurus).

 

The course will take a firm thematic approach exploring: poetic death and the heroic, locales of the departed and cosmic death and the promise of revival.

DR151W: GOD, SEXUALITIES AND IDENTITY

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course considers the questions of gender, sexuality and identity are discussed and considered in relation to religion or the concept of God. The course will be delivered by a range of lecturers who will offer historical, philosophical, ethical and theological reflection on questions of identity as they relate to sexuality, CIS and non-CIS identity, genders and non-binary identity and associated issues at the heart of today’s world.

DR152A: ANCIENT EMPIRES: RELIGION, POWER AND POLITICS

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course will explore the rise and fall of Empires from the ancient world and beyond; examining to what extent religion, power struggles, conflict and politics impacted the shaping of an ancient Empire and the world today.

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. 

DR1599: THEOLOGY FROM JESUS TO CALVIN: THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

15 credits

Level 1

Second 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.

 

DR202E: JESUS IN HISTORY AND CULTURE

15 credits

Level 2

First 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

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. 

DR2049: THE PILGRIM CITY

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

DR2586 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 Cathars and Waldensians, as well as mediaeval Christianity’s relationship with religions of pre-Christian Europe. The course provides useful historical and theological background students interested in the Reformation period as well as in mediaeval art, literature and history. 

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. 

DR2076: GOD, SEX AND DEATH IN OUR TECHNOLOGICAL AGE

15 credits

Level 2

First 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.

DR2089: EXPLORING THE TRADITION OF WESTERN ETHICS

15 credits

Level 2

First 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. 

DR250A: ANCIENT EMPIRES: RELIGION, POWER AND POLITICS

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will explore the rise and fall of Empires from the ancient world and beyond; examining to what extent religion, power struggles, conflict and politics impacted the shaping of an ancient Empire and the world today.

DR251E: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE DEAD!

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will explore ancient Greek attitudes towards death and dying and explore the various ways in which it meant to be dead in Ancient Greece. This course will be interdisciplinary in approach, looking at: performative texts (ancient Greek plays and epics), visual culture (monuments, sacred sites), philosophy and science (Presocratic, Plato and Epicurus).

 

The course will take a firm thematic approach exploring: poetic death and the heroic, locales of the departed and cosmic death and the promise of revival.

DR251W: GOD, SEXUALITIES AND IDENTITY

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course considers the questions of gender, sexuality and identity are discussed and considered in relation to religion or the concept of God. The course will be delivered by a range of lecturers who will offer historical, philosophical, ethical and theological reflection on questions of identity as they relate to sexuality, CIS and non-CIS identity, genders and non-binary identity and associated issues at the heart of today’s world.

DR2566: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

The Philosophy of Religion investigates fundamental and longstanding questions about the nature and rationality of religious beliefs and practices. Key topics include 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. In this course we will explore such questions through close attention to classic texts within the mainstream 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.

DR2599: THEOLOGY FROM JESUS TO CALVIN: THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

15 credits

Level 2

Second 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.

DR301Y: CREATION AND COSMOS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course will explore the ancient Greek, Roman and Near attitudes towards creation, cosmology and world view.

DR302F: CHRISTIANITY IN SCOTLAND: HISTORY & THEOLOGY OF THE CHURCH IN SCOTLAND

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

What was the situation of the Church in medieval Scotland? What changes did the Reformation of 1560 bring? Who were the main players in the Scottish Reformation and beyond? Who were the covenanters and which policies and theologies did they represent? What changes did the 19th and 20th centuries have in store for the Kirk? This course introduces students to the landmarks of Scottish Church history with reference to relevant primary sources. Assessment is based on two essays.

DR305A: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE HEBREW BIBLE

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The courses involves study of a range of issues in the study of the literature and theology of the Hebrew Bible.

DR305J: PASTORAL THEOLOGY: TRAUMA, SUFFERING AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course looks at the universal reality of suffering. First suffering will be looked at from different perspectives, especially from pastoral theology and trauma studies. The lived experience of suffering is central, for example because of oppression, marginalisation, or illness. Various ways of responding to suffering will be explored, from a religious (mainly Christian) point of view. Responses from specific faith groups and theological approaches will be studied, for example black theology, feminism, and disability studies. Finally, the possibility of healing and reconciliation will be considered. Throughout the course students learn to develop their own (pastoral-theological) response to suffering and trauma.

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.

DR355D: SCOTTISH REVIVALS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will examine the manifestations of religious revivals in Scotland from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries within their economic, political, religious and social historical contexts. Firstly, it will explore the various traditions of revival that have emerged during the course of the previous 300 years. Secondly, it will review the historiography of revival studies and will consider the theories that surround religious movements. Thirdly, it will consider the timing and manner of these demonstrations of religious enthusiasm. Fourthly, it will analyse the people who were affected by revivals. Fifthly, it will investigate the effects of religious movements within the lives of the communities where they have been experienced. Finally, the course will appraise the significance of revival within the wider tradition of the Christian church in Scotland in modern times.

RS3521: MYTH

30 credits

Level 3

Second 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. 

DR401Y: CREATION AND COSMOS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course will explore the ancient Greek, Roman and Near attitudes towards creation, cosmology and world view.

DR402F: CHRISTIANITY IN SCOTLAND: HISTORY & THEOLOGY OF THE CHURCH IN SCOTLAND

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

What was the situation of the Church in medieval Scotland? What changes did the Reformation of 1560 bring? Who were the main players in the Scottish Reformation and beyond? Who were the covenanters and which policies and theologies did they represent? What changes did the 19th and 20th centuries have in store for the Kirk? This course introduces students to the landmarks of Scottish Church history with reference to relevant primary sources. Assessment is based on two essays.

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. 

DR4053: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE STUDY OF THE HEBREW BIBLE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The courses involves study of a range of issues in the study of the literature and theology of the Hebrew Bible.

DR405J: PASTORAL THEOLOGY: TRAUMA, SUFFERING AND HEALING

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course looks at the universal reality of suffering. First suffering will be looked at from different perspectives, especially from pastoral theology and trauma studies. The lived experience of suffering is central, for example because of oppression, marginalisation, or illness. Various ways of responding to suffering will be explored, from a religious (mainly Christian) point of view. Responses from specific faith groups and theological approaches will be studied, for example black theology, feminism, and disability studies. Finally, the possibility of healing and reconciliation will be considered. Throughout the course students learn to develop their own (pastoral-theological) response to suffering and trauma.

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.  

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. 

DR4554: MYTH

30 credits

Level 4

Second 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. 

DR455D: SCOTTISH REVIVALS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will examine the manifestations of religious revivals in Scotland from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries within their economic, political, religious and social historical contexts. Firstly, it will explore the various traditions of revival that have emerged during the course of the previous 300 years. Secondly, it will review the historiography of revival studies and will consider the theories that surround religious movements. Thirdly, it will consider the timing and manner of these demonstrations of religious enthusiasm. Fourthly, it will analyse the people who were affected by revivals. Fifthly, it will investigate the effects of religious movements within the lives of the communities where they have been experienced. Finally, the course will appraise the significance of revival within the wider tradition of the Christian church in Scotland in modern times.

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