Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Systematic Theologies (DIVI10043)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course takes a close look at recent and current Christian systematic theologies - accounts of Christian belief as a coherent whole. We will engage with a range of late-20th- and 21st-century Christian systematic theologies, focusing on the doctrines of God, Christology, the Holy Spirit, creation, theological anthropology, and the church. We will explore what it means for theology to be 'systematic', critiques and defences of the project of systematic theology, and questions about the agenda and methods of systematic theology.
This course takes a close look at recent and current Christian systematic theologies - accounts of Christian belief as a coherent whole. We will engage with a range of (mostly) 21st-century Christian systematic theologies, focusing on the doctrines of God, Christology, the Holy Spirit, creation, theological anthropology, and the church. We will explore what it means for Christian theology to be 'systematic', critiques of the enterprise of systematic theology, and questions about the agenda and methods of systematic theology.
An indicative list of theologians whose work will be studied: Amos Yong, Kathryn Tanner, Katherine Sonderegger, Graham Ward, James H Evans Jr, Sarah Coakley, Veli-Matti Karkkainen.
- Why should theology be systematic? Why shouldn't theology be systematic?
- Where do we start? - examining the architecture of theology
- Working with sources - Bible and tradition
- Working in context - locating contemporary systematic theologies
- Speaking of God: trinity and unity in systematic theology
- Jesus Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- Creation and the human creature
- The church and human community
- Where do we end? - eschatology and the future
Student Learning Experience Information
The course comprises a one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar each week. Students are required to read a prescribed text each week and to prepare notes on this for class discussion. Each member of the class will be required to give a short presentation to introduce the seminar discussion once during the course (LO 1, 2), and to chair the seminar once during the course; all members of the class will be expected to contribute to group discussion.
The essay will require students to engage in depth with at least one theologian's account of one doctrine and to set it in the context of their wider theological project - commenting on questions of method and approach, as well as the substantive treatment of the doctrine and the issues it raises. A list of suggested theologians and doctrines will be provided; others may be selected by agreement with the course organiser.
The unseen exam will require students to write one essay (from a choice of at least four) on the nature, agenda and methods of contemporary systematic theology; and to comment on two short passages (from a choice of at least six) from contemporary systematic theologies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|Prohibited Combinations|| Students MUST NOT also be taking
Contemporary Systematic Theologies (THET10071)
||Other requirements|| Students who have previously taken the following course MUST NOT enroll: Contemporary Systematic Theologies (THET10071)
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students interested in contemporary Christian theology would benefit from this course.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||20% - Seminar presentation (1000 words) and participation
30% - Essay (2000 words)
50% - Exam
||There will be structured opportunities for feedback and advice from the course organiser on essay plans, and on plans for presentations.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify and examine contextually key themes in recent systematic theology.
- Evaluate theological ideas in relation to Scripture, tradition and modernity.
- Identify the leading approaches in systematic theology today.
- Assess the main problems facing systematic theology today.
- Develop awareness of the inter-relatedness of doctrines.
|Evans, James H., Jr. We Have Been Believers: An African American Systematic Theology, 2nd edition (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012).|
Ford, David F, with Rachel Muers (eds.). The Modern Theologians, 3rd edition (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
Gunton, Colin. Act and Being: Towards a Theology of the Divine Attributes (London: SCM, 2011).
Higton, Mike. Christian Doctrine (London: SCM, 2008).
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).
Plantinga Pauuw, Amy & Serene Jones (eds.). Feminist and Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
Scott, Peter, and Michael Northcott (eds.) Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2014).
Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. God, Christ, Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology (New York: Crossroad, 1986),
Tanner, Kathryn. Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001).
Thiselton, Anthony C. Systematic Theology (London: SPCK, 2015).
Van der Kooi, Cornelius and Gijsbert van den Brink. Christian Dogmatics: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017).
Webster, John, Kathyrn Tanner and Iain R. Torrance (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Williams, A.N. The Architecture of Theology: Structure, System and Ratio (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Yong, Amos. Renewing Christian Theology: Systematics for a Global Christianity. (Waco, TX: Baylor, 2014).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Critical thinking and reflection (through lectures, seminars, essay and exam)
- Close reading skills (through seminars and essay)
- Oral communication skills (through presentations and seminars)
- Working within a peer group (through work in seminars and in sharing presentations)
|Course organiser||Prof Rachel Muers
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227