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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Theology and Ethics

Postgraduate Course: Systematic Theology: Recent Perspectives (THET11053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course enables students to engage in close study of recent work in systematic theology. Covering a broad range of doctrines, it will explore the output of some of the most influential thinkers over the last twenty years including Pannenberg, Jenson, Williams, Tanner, Welker and Coakley.
Course description A: Academic description

This course enables students to engage in close study of recent work in systematic theology. Covering a broad range of doctrines, it will explore the output of some of the most influential thinkers over the last twenty years including Pannenberg, Jenson, Williams, Tanner, Welker, Coakley, Sonderegger, Webster, Ward and Yong. Consideration will be given to different methodologies, perspectives and styles and also to the agenda of problems with which recent theologians have worked. Although much of the focus is on Lutheran, Anglican, and Reformed theologies, attention will also be devoted to Roman Catholic and Pentecostal thinkers. The ecumenical, religious, academic and socio-political contexts that shape recent systematic theologies will be registered, while the usefulness of the discipline for church and society will also be considered.
B: Syllabus/outline content
The course will follow a traditional list of doctrinal loci beginning with the doctrine of God and proceeding from creation to eschatology. Issues relating to methods, sources and norms will be considered along the way. The principal fault lines in contemporary theology are expected to emerge in this survey of recent approaches. Each week a secondary text will be prescribed which offers an alternative perspective that either complements or contests the primary material. Students are required to read both texts in preparation for each session.

C: Student Learning Experience Information
This Level 11 course follows a programme of one combined lecture and seminar per week. Students¿ close preparatory reading of primary sources will enable discussion of themes and approaches. Seminars will involve student presentations of texts with a view to initiating wider group discussion.

The structure for the course is largely thematic. The readings have been designed to allow for a broad coverage of loci as these appear in the classical catholic creeds and standard textbooks in systematic theologies. Students will be offered formative feedback on their essay outlines.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students interested in contemporary theology would benefit from this course.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and examine contextually key themes in recent systematic theology.
  2. Evaluate theological ideas in relation to Scripture, tradition and modernity.
  3. Identify the leading approaches in systematic theology today.
  4. Assess the main problems facing systematic theology today.
  5. Develop skills in contemporary theological exposition and argumentation.
Reading List
Indicative Bibliography

In addition to the materials prescribed above, the following will be recommended. Additional bibliographical material will be offered each week.

Berkhof, Hendrikus. Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979).
Ford, David F (ed.). The Modern Theologians, 3rd edition (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
Gunton, Colin. Act and Being: Towards a Theology of the Divine Attributes (London: SCM, 2011).
Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. A Constructive Christian Theology for a Pluralistic World, Vols. 1¿5, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013¿17).
McRandal, Janice. Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Difference: A Contribution to Feminist Systematic Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015).
Migliore, Daniel. Faith Seeking Understanding 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004).
Murphy, Francesca, Balazs Mezei, and Kenneth Oakes. Illuminating Faith: Invitation to Theology (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).
Planting Pauuw, Amy. Church in Ordinary Time: A Wisdom Ecclesiology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017).
Plantinga Pauuw, Amy & Serene Jones (eds.). Feminist and Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. God, Christ, Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology (New York: Crossroad, 1986),
Thiselton, Anthony C. Systematic Theology (London: SPCK, 2015).
Webster, John. God Without Measure, Vol. 1 (London: T&T Clark, 2018).
Webster, John, Kathyrn Tanner and Iain R. Torrance (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Van der Kooi, Cornelius and Gijsbert van den Brink. Christian Dogmatics: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017).
Williams, Rowan. Tokens of Trust (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2007).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Critical thinking and reflection (developed through lectures, seminars, and extended essay)
2. Conceptual analysis and critical evaluation (developed through seminars, presentations and extended essay)
3. Oral communication skills (developed through presentations and seminars)
4. Working within a peer group (developed through work in seminars and in sharing presentations).
KeywordsChristian theology,contemporary,doctrine,systematics
Course organiserProf David Fergusson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8912
Course secretaryMs Roisin O'Fee
Tel: (0131 6)50 8921
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