Undergraduate Course: Modern Theology: From the French Revolution to the First World War (THET10061)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This Level 10 course examines key thinkers and themes in theology and religious life in the nineteenth century in their various contexts, tracing the notable developments and innovations across the period. The course both orients students to the wide landscape of modern theology in this profoundly formative age, and also provides for detailed investigation of central issues.
This course aims to explore the development of theology in the 19th century, the foundational era for modern Christian thought. It examines key thinkers and themes in theology and religious life in their various contexts, tracing the notable developments and innovations across the period. The impact of cultural, social, political, and scientific changes on theology's development, and vice versa, will be considered. The course addresses both larger historical transformations and specific theological issues in order to be critically conversant with theology as it was re-imagined from the Enlightenment and French Revolution to the end of the First World War, and to engage with ongoing debates about the relationship between theology and modernity.
The course begins by considering the nature of theological enquiry at the threshold of the 19th century. After discussing the Enlightenment and French Revolution, it considers the role of Romanticism and Idealism in shaping theological reflection in figures such as Friedrich Schleiermacher, G. W. F. Hegel, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Attention is given to various prominent critiques of the Bible and religion offered by key thinkers in the period, for instance D. F. Strauss, Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche, and the major attempts to construct theological programmes in response. Questions of secularisation and important instances of theological renewal and religious revival are considered together. The course concludes by examining the fate of the notable syntheses characteristic of the 19th century, the relation of theology to modern culture, and the rise of new theological and religious movements in the face of the First World War.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course involves one two-hour seminar per week, which will consist of a combination of lectures and engaged discussion based on readings prepared in advance. Each student will be required to make two short presentations. Through discussions, written assignments, and an examination, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||This Level 10 course examines key thinkers and themes in theology in the nineteenth century in their various contexts, tracing the notable developments and innovations across the period. Visiting students are encouraged to enrol, subject to consultation with and the approval of the course manager.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of key thinkers and themes in theology during the nineteenth century
- Demonstrate the ability to read theological texts critically and with comprehension
- Engage in constructive and critical scholarly debate with peers
- Demonstrate critical understanding of the various approaches to relating cultural, political, social, scientific and other forces with theological enquiry throughout the modern period
- Demonstrate an ability to identify and analyse critical concepts in modern theology
|1. Harris, Ruth. Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age (London, 2009).|
2. Heschel, Susannah. Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (Chicago, 1998).
3. Walker, Pamela J. Pulling the Devil's Kingdom Down: The Salvation Army in Victorian Britain (Berkeley, 2001).
4. Wolfe, Judith, Joel Rasmussen, and Johannes Zachhuber (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought (Oxford, 2016).
5. Massey, Marilyn Chapin. Christ Unmasked (Chapel Hill, NC, 1983).
6. McNutt, Jennifer Powell. Calvin Meets Voltaire (Burlington, VT, 2013).
7. Fergusson, David (ed). The Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth-Century Theology (Oxford, 2010).
8. Burleigh, Michael. Earthly Powers: Religion and Politics in Europe from the French Revolution to the Great War (New York, 2006).
9. Chadwick, Owen. The Secularization of the European Mind in the 19th Century (Cambridge, 1975).
10. Fulop, Timothy E., and Albert J. Raboteau (eds), African-American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture (New York, 1997).
11. Howard, Thomas Albert. God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide (Oxford, 2011).
12. McLeod, Hugh. Secularisation in Western Europe, 1848-1914 (London, 2000).
13. Noll, Mark A. America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (Oxford, 2002).
14. Smith, Helmut Walser. The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town (New York, 2002).
15. Sutton, Matthew Avery. Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America (Cambridge, Mass., 2009).
16. Herz, Deborah. Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin (Syracuse, 2005).
17. Vidler, A. R. The Church in an Age of Revolution: 1789 to the Present Day (New York, 1st edn, 1962, many subsequent editions).
18. Marina, Jacqueline. The Cambridge Companion to Friedrich Schleiermacher (Cambridge, 2005).
19. Barth, Karl. Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History, trans. Brian Cozens and John Bowden (London, 2001).
20. Goethe, J. W. von. The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774).
21. Hegel, G. W. F. Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, ed. P. C. Hodgson, (Oxford, 2006).
22. Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (New York, 1981), ch. 1.
23. Kant, Immanuel. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793).
24. Kierkegaard, Søren. Fear and Trembling (1843).
25. Lessing, G. E. Nathan the Wise (1779).
26. Newman, John Henry. Oxford University Sermons (1843).
27. Nietzsche, Friedrich, The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and Other Writings, trans. Judith Norman, ed. Aaron Ridley and Judith Norman (Cambridge, 2005).
28. Schleiermacher, Friedrich. On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, ed. Richard Crouter (Cambridge, 1996).
29. Strauss, D. F. The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined (1835; 1846), parts.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Ability to read diverse texts critically (primary and secondary sources) and discern material of central and peripheral importance
- Ability to express ideas clearly and coherently in both written and spoken English
- Ability to conduct independent research
- Ability to articulate key theological concepts and perspectives
|Keywords||theology,nineteenth century,modern theology,secularisation,French Revolution,First World War
|Course organiser||Dr Zachary Purvis
Tel: (0131 6)50 8953
|Course secretary||Ms Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900