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

Undergraduate Course: Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (THET08014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide an introduction to the study of theology, which covers key approaches and themes in philosophical theology, Christian doctrine, and practical theology, in some cases, through fieldwork. The topics to be covered include the nature of theology, the doctrine of God, the existence of God, the sources of the knowledge of God, the nature of Christian worship and witness, the relationship of Christianity to other religions, and to science, the challenge of secularism, and the status of women and minorities. The course will also consider the problems posed to Christian belief by evil, suffering, and death.
Course description Academic Description:
The aim of this course is to equip students with an understanding of how to address questions that are preliminary to the study of theology, about the very existence of God, for instance. The course will also assess how to address challenges to the Christian faith that seem to call the whole enterprise of theology into doubt. In these respects, the course will not only introduce students to longstanding debates about how to reckon with these questions or challenges, but also to new, creative, and in some ways more conclusive of doing so. As part of this effort, the course will seek to shed light on the relevance and practical bearing that the study of Christian theology has on both the Christian and the ordinary life today.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
This course will proceed by considering a range of questions, and a range of possible answers to these questions. The questions to be considered include, what is theology? How can we know that God exists? What is Christian worship or witness? Is Christianity in decline? Is Jesus the only way to God? What is the role of the Bible in Christian faith, and what are the other sources of theology and the knowledge of God in general? What is the relationship between Christian faith and science? What is the significance of the doctrine of God as creator? How can a good God allow evil? How should we respond to suffering and death? If God loves all people, then why aren't some branches of the Christian tradition more inclusive towards minorities, homosexuals, women, and the disabled?

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course will be taught through three one-hour lectures and one one-hour tutorial per week. There will be interactive elements in the lectures which will be replaced on a few occasions with field trips and there is a schedule of readings which the students will be required to read before relevant lectures and tutorials. Through participation in lecture and tutorial discussions, as well as through tutorial exercises, an essay, and an exam, students will demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate understanding of the nature, purpose, and foundations of Christian theology, which is necessary to the further study of theology.
  2. Show awareness of ways of understanding the relationship between theology and the practice of religion.
  3. Identify the central challenges to the Christian faith at present and the key ways in which they have been or could be addressed.
  4. Show awareness of the present situation of Christianity with reference to other religions or religious and anti-religious trends.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr James Eglinton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8975
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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