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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Byzantine Theology 451-1672 (ECHS11016)

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 will look at major developments in Byzantine theology from the Council of Chalcedon to the aftermath of the Fall of Constantinople. The course will focus on a representative series of major texts, including conciliar documents, saints' lives, and writings of major theologians such as Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas. Consideration will be given to the reciprocal influence between social and political questions on the one hand, and theological articulations on the other.
Course description Academic Description:
This course will look at major developments in Byzantine theology from the aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon to the Fall of Constantinople and beyond, as far as the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672. The course will focus on a series of major texts, including conciliar documents, saints' lives, and writings of major theologians such as Maximus the Confessor, Gregory Palamas and Cyril Lucaris. Primary consideration will be given to the theological dimensions of these events and writings, but they will also be considered in their social and political contexts.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The consequences of Chalcedon and the rise of non-Chalcedonian theology; Justinian and the theology and politics of Constantinople II; Montheletism and Maximus the Confessor; Monasticism; Iconoclasm and the Empress Irene; the Divine Liturgy; the Council of Florence; Gregory Palamas and Hesychasm; Lucaris, Calvinism and the Synod of Jerusalem.

Student Learning Experience Information:
This course offers those students pursuing Masters-level work in Classics, medieval or Byzantine history, philosophy, biblical studies or historical theology the opportunity to engage closely with the theological thought and practice of Eastern Christianity in its central period. Students will meet with the lecturer weekly for a two-hour seminar, which will focus on in-depth, contextualised discussion of the text or texts for the week, together with the indicated background reading. (Some of these meetings may be shared with advanced undergraduates, but there will also be separate sessions for Masters students only.) All students will be required to post one commentary online, and also to write an essay on a topic relevant to the course as agreed with the course lecturer.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Byzantine Church and Society 451-1672 3/4 (ECHS10015)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis is a graduate-level course. Please confirm subject prerequisites with the Course Manager.
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 extensive knowledge of aspects of the geography, literature, theology, culture and politics of Byzantine Christianity in the period 451-1672.
  2. Analyse and refer in argument to selected texts in English by and about Byzantine Christianity as evidence for its theological self-understanding in the period.
  3. Contribute to group discussion about these texts.
  4. Address at least two disputed scholarly questions regarding a particular aspect of Byzantine Christian history in this period, showing extensive knowledge of scholarly readings of the relevant evidence.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to identify and formulate a significant research question on an aspect of the course, and to construct a suitable bibliography by using appropriate search tools.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Paul Parvis
Tel: (0131 6)50 7906
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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