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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (DIVI08023)

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 Christian theology, how and why it is done, the different forms it takes, the sources it uses, how it relates to other forms of knowledge, and what it has to do with everyday life. We will look at philosophical, ethical and scientific challenges to Christian theology; at the diversity of Christian theology across time and space; and at some of the key ongoing arguments that shape Christian theology. By the end of this course, you will have had the opportunity both to do theology and to reflect critically on how theology is done.
Course description Academic Description:
The aim of this course is to give students a critical understanding of the diverse methods, sources and norms of Christian theology; of ongoing challenges to, and debates about, the project of Christian theology; and of contemporary trends and issues in Christian theology. The primary focus will be on recent and contemporary theology, but the course will also draw on historical examples, to equip students to understand how approaches to theology have varied across time and space and to enable critical reflection on the nature and authority of tradition.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course is divided into two broad sections, and indicative questions and topics for each section are as follows. METHODS, SOURCES AND NORMS: Who does Christian theology? What's the relationship between Christian theology and Christian practice? How should the Bible be used and interpreted? What is 'tradition' and why does it matter? Does better theology make the world a better place, and if not what is the point? CHALLENGES FOR THEOLOGY: How can people speak about God if God is unknowable? What is the relationship between Christian theology and the sciences? How big a problem is the problem of evil? Is Christian theology inherently patriarchal? How should Christian theology relate to Jewish thought, or Muslim thought?

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course will be taught through three one-hour classes and one one-hour tutorial per week. 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. Tutorial readings and key texts are available in digital format via
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (THET08014)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  65
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, 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 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 15% - Coursework: three short tutorial exercises, each of 400 words

25% - Essay (2000 words)

60% - Final Written Exam (in person)
Feedback Informal oral feedback will be given in class and tutorial discussions. Written feedback on tutorial exercises and the mid-semester essay will be provided via Learn according to the School's usual schedules and processes.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
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
This will be available via Learn.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems
- Writing skills, including clear expression and citing relevant evidence
- Presentation skills, both oral and written, supported by appropriate technologies
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Rachel Muers
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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