School of Divinity

Undergraduate Courses 2018/19

Undergraduate courses

Biblical Studies

BIST08013 Introducing Biblical Hebrew (Semester 1)
An introduction to Biblical Hebrew for beginners.

BIST08014 Introducing New Testament Greek (Semester 1)
An introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, with selected readings.

BIST08017 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (Full Year)
Consolidation of structured grammar learning; plus a study of the following Biblical Hebrew texts: 1 Samuel 1; Jonah; Deuteronomy 5-6; Amos 3-5.

BIST08018 Intermediate New Testament Greek (Full Year)
Consolidation of grammar and vocabulary of the Greek New Testament and readings in selected passages.

BIST08019 Prophets and Their Oracles (Semester 1)
This course is the partner to Moses and the Torah (level 8), and is aimed at students beginning their academic study of biblical literature. It is an introduction to the prophets of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and their writings in historical, literary, and theological context.

BIST08022 Paul and His Letters (Semester 2)
This course is the partner to Jesus and the Gospels (level 8) and like that course is aimed at students beginning their academic study of biblical literature. It comprises a focused introduction to the life and letters of the apostle Paul, including critical issues pertinent to the whole Pauline corpus, as well as detailed reading of several representative letters (Galatians, 1 Corinthians, and Romans).

BIST10002 Biblical Hebrew Texts B (Semester 2)
Extended selections from the Hebrew Bible: introduction, translation, and textual and exegetical commentary.

BIST10036 Old Testament Texts (Semester 2)
Detailed study of selected passages from the Old Testament in English translation.

BIST10039 Advanced Greek Texts (Semester 1)
A selection of readings from the Greek Old Testament, Greek New Testament, and other Greek writings of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, along with some elements of advanced grammar and vocabulary.

BIST10040 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (Honours) (Full Year)
This honours course aims to consolidate reading of classical Hebrew, to enrich experience of textual criticism and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, and to apply these skills into the wider activities of the study of biblical texts.

BIST10041 Intermediate New Testament Greek (Honours) (Full Year)
This honours course aims to consolidate reading of New Testament Greek, to enrich experience of textual criticism and exegesis of the Greek New Testament, and to apply these skills into the wider activities of the study of biblical texts.

BIST10047 Studies in the Apostle Paul (Semester 2)
A study of one or more of Paul's epistles involving close attention to exegesis, literary criticism, religious/theological themes and historical questions.

BIST10048 The Dead Sea Scrolls (Semester 2)
Detailed study of aspects of the Qumran community, the biblical texts from the eleven caves, and relationship to the beginnings of Christianity.

BIST10050 Women and Gender in the New Testament World (Semester 1)
The aim of this course is to examine the representation of women and gender in the New Testament and other ancient Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Christian texts. The course will involve analysis of historical texts and introduce students to the methodological challenges involved in studying ancient sources on women and gender. Students will be introduced to scholarly debates about the extent to which we are able to reconstruct the lives and experiences of women in the ancient world, and will explore recent work on the construction of masculinity in ancient texts.

BIST10051 Parables in Practice (Semester 1)
An exploration of the parables of Jesus as they have been read, interpreted and informed actions from biblical to contemporary times.

BIST10052 The Dark Lord: Sex, Crime and Violence in the Hebrew Bible (Semester 1)
There are several texts in the Hebrew Bible that trouble the understandings of God and challenge the modern exegete. This God attacks his chosen ones from behind, he demands child sacrifice and genocide, and he lets rape go unpunished - or worse, he himself punishes his wife by exposing her to sexual violence. So, how can we conceive of a God who is macho, cruel, ruthless, and even indulges in ethnic cleansing?


DIVI08001 Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding (Semester 1)
In this course students investigate the relations between religion, violence and building peace. Through consideration of a range of texts and international case studies participants analyse different kinds of theological reflection and practice, which seek to engage with the realities of violence and the practicalities of building peace.

DIVI08003 The Bible in Literature (Semester 2)
This course offers an introduction to the biblical stories and themes which echo throughout literature in English. An exploration of the differences between quotation, allusion and echo, and the notion of reception criticism, will be followed by a thematic survey of key biblical narratives, and examples of their use in literary texts will be discussed. The influence of the King James Version will be assessed, and other translations considered.

DIVI10001 Theology and Religious Studies: Final Dissertation (Full Year)
A supervised study of an approved topic agreed with a member of academic staff and approved by the Head of the School of Divinity as a requirement of the final year in all Honours degree programmes in Divinity (MA Religious Studies, MA Divinity, BD Hons, MA(H) - Philosophy and Systematic Theology), the required and assessed written work a 10,000 word (max) dissertation. The dissertation counts for 40 credits of the required 120 credits in the final year of Honours programmes, and also can count in fulfilment of required credits for the degree 'major' or for the 'tradition' focus on the degree programme. Students are to register an agreed dissertation topic and supervisor with the Divinity Office at the end of the academic year before their final year of study, on the form developed for this purpose. (The course code depends on the School in which the supervisor serves, eg a 'DV' code for all staff members in Divinity, an 'AS' code for staff members in Asian Studies, an 'IM' code for staff members in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies).

History of Christianity

ECHS08002 Popular Religion, Women and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Semester 1)
An examination of key aspects of popular religion, culture and elite control during the early modern period in Europe.

ECHS08004 History of Christianity as a World Religion 1B (Semester 2)
The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive view of the global Christian movement in time and space. It considers the period from the Reformation to the present. (1500 CE to present), including mission and ministry in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America, as well as following changes in Europe

ECHS08005 History of Christianity as a World Religion 1A (Semester 1)
The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive view of the global Christian movement in time and space.

ECHS08010 Christianity in Formation 100-313 (Semester 2)
This course studies the forging of Christian identity, tradition and diversity in the violent but culturally stimulating period between the New Testament and Constantine, against the background of Judaism and the Classical Roman world.

ECHS10004 Church, Conflict and Community in Britain and Ireland 1850-1914 3/4 (Semester 2)
A study of Church, state and society from the first Christian Socialist movement to the First World War. Topics include the growth of religious pluralism, the "Victorian Crisis of Faith", religion and nationalism in Ireland, liberal "Broad Church" theology revivalism and the "social gospel".

ECHS10012 The Making of Christian Orthodoxy 325-451 3/4 (Semester 1)
An examination of the historical and doctrinal forces behind the first four ecumenical councils, Nicaga (325), Constantinople 1 (381), Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451) and their definitions of the nature of God and of Christ.

ECHS10013 Paradise Lost? Christianity in the Pacific 1668-1999 3/4 (Semester 2)
The course will examine the history of Christianity in the Pacific in the context of change and continuity over a period of three hundred years. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the nature, interpretation and significance of the encounter between European Christianity and the religions of the Pacific; the forms of Christianity which have emerged there; and the impact of religious change on Pacific societies.

ECHS10022 Reformations: Britain and Ireland 1475-1600 (Semester 2)
This course enables students to examine the complex series of reformations which occurred in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland over the course of the sixteenth century. It considers especially the relation between intellectual, social, political and religious forces and the ways in which these combined to shape national and confessional identities, to promote cohesion, and to sow the seeds of future conflict and division. It also looks at the impact of all these changes, both positive and negative, on the lives and beliefs of ordinary men and women, examining them as both passive recipients and active shapers of reformation.

ECHS10023 Reformations: Continental Europe 1475-1600 (Semester 1)
A study of central issues at stake in the varieties of Reformation that took root across Continental Europe in the 16th century. The course uses key texts from Luther, Calvin, Anabaptist and Catholic reformers. It sets the documents and their authors in context, historically and theologically. It considers continuities/discontinuities with late medieval thought. It explores the directions reform thought took within the Protestant movement, and in Catholic settings. It analyses the character and consequences of the polemics that divided Europe.

Religious Studies

REST08015 Global Religions A: Judaism, Buddhism, Islam (Semester 1)
An overview of three significant and globally present religions. It begins with a foundational introduction to the study of religions and then moves to a study of Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. The relationships between the historical and contemporary studies of these religions are noted in the lectures.

REST08016 Studying Religions (Semester 1)
This course introduces students to contemporary Religious Studies and invites them to rethink their preconceptions about studying the complex topic of 'religion'.

REST08018 Religion in Modern Britain (Semester 2)
The aim of the course is to introduce students to a range of religious formations as they tackle particular 'issues' arising from modernity in British contexts. This course will provide a 'zoom in' portrayal, in one specific (and local) modern state, which will help to focus and fine-tune representations raised in Global Religions A and B courses. It should also form an attractive outside course.

REST10033 Visual Representations of the Holocaust and Religion (Semester 2)
A survey of visual representations of the Holocaust in art, museums and film. These representations will be analysed with methods in Religious and Cultural Studies. Students will be introduced to artworks beginning with such iconic images as Chagall's crucifixion series. Secondly, students will discuss the representation of the Holocaust in museums, focusing on exhibitions in Britain such as the Imperial War Museum Holocaust Exhibition. Thirdly, students will analyse filmic representations of the Holocaust ranging from documentaries such as Alain Resnais' Night and Fog to more recent productions such as Paul Verhoeven's Black Book and Stefn Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters. An analytic thread through this diverse material will be the identification of religious motifs and inscriptions of Jewishness.

REST10035 Religion and Nationalism in the Contemporary World (Semester 1)
Nations have been called imagined communities (Anderson 1991) that speak to the profound need for both legitimacy and belonging, characteristic of our times. This course will address this idea by focusing on the relationships between religion, geo-politics and the emergence of nationalism. The course will investigate the following questions:

REST10047 Field-Work Approaches for the Study of Religion (Semester 1)
Some understanding of theoretical, ethical and practical aspects of field work is essential for students engaging in research with people. Given that a focus on religion is common to all students in Divinity, and that research in this area faces some very particular issues, this course will enable undergraduate students especially but not only from Religious Studies and Practical Theology to gain the necessary competence and confidence.

REST10048 Theravada Buddhism (Semester 1)
This course explores a major branch of Buddhism from its origins in 5th century BCE North India to its present-day manifestations in South and South-east Asia.

REST10049 Modern Religious and Ethical Debates in Contemporary Literature (Semester 1)
This course will explore the influence of contemporary religious and ethical debates on literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It will consider the differences between texts exploring different religions and none across the field of literatures in English.

REST10052 New Spiritualities: from New Age to Holistic (Semester 2)
This course investigates the content and structure of selected new spiritualities in Europe and North America, with an emphasis on new age and holistic examples. It combines empirical study with insights from a range of social theorists. The course identifies a fluid field of 'spiritual' beliefs and practices which it locates within the modern history of religion.

REST10054 Atheism, Humanism and Non-Religion (Semester 1)
From Ancient Greek 'atheoi' to contemporary 'New Atheists' and religious 'nones', being 'non-religious' has a complex cultural, social, and intellectual history. This course will socially and historically contextualize a variety of positions in interaction with established academic theories of religion, providing a theoretically and methodologically rich critical introduction to a variety of controversial 'religion-related' ideologies, arguments, groups, movements and identifications.

REST10056 Religions in Africa (Semester 2)
This level 10 course studies religious diversity from the perspective of the African continent and in communities with African heritage across the globe. Through comparisons between indigenous religions, Christianity and Islam the course examines both religious traditions and innovations. It analyses the connection between religion, society and politics. It also explores the coexistence, conflict and imbrication of these various traditions and asks how interaction between distinct religious beliefs and practices is understood by religious practitioners to enrich and/or diminish those traditions.

REST10057 Lives of the Buddha: Jataka Stories and Early Buddhism (Semester 2)
This course uses jataka stories - stories of the past lives of the Buddha - as a way to explore key themes and concerns in early Indian Buddhism, including the role of the Buddha, the workings of karma and rebirth, the place of women, and the path to awakening. Through studying this particularly rich and influential genre of early Indian literature, we will come to a better understanding of Buddhist values and attitudes, as well as of the ways in which narrative forms a crucial expression of religious ideas.

Theology and Ethics

THET08010 God in Philosophy: Plato to Hume (Semester 2)
An introduction to philosophical theology and some issues in the philosophy of religion, especially the question of how to inquire into 'God' philosophically. Lectures, seminars and set texts in this course treat a range of philosophers in the Western tradition from Plato to the Enlightenment.

THET08014 Christian Theology: Approaches and Themes (Semester 1)
This 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.

THET08017 Christian Theology: Doctrines and Debates (Semester 1)
A critical and detailed study of selected doctrines of the Christian faith, dealing with such subjects as Scripture, the Trinity, Christology, pnematology, creation and providence. Particular attention is given to the biblical foundations and historical development of each doctrine, to the relation between the various doctrines, and to the contemporary interpretation and application of the doctrines.

THET10010 Science and Christian Theology: Historical and Theological Perspectives 3/4 (Semester 1)
This course explores the reasons for the perceived antagonism between the disciplines of natural science and Christian theology from the time of Galileo, and considers a number of theological responses to this antagonism.

THET10016 Metaphysics and Morality (Semester 2)
This course examines the relationship between metaphysics and morality in German philosophy from Kant to Arendt, including the place of God and religion. It is for 3rd and 4th year students in the School of Divinity, including those also studying Philosophy. The other major figures studied are Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger.

THET10027 Scottish Theology 3/4 (Semester 1)
An analysis of the leading trends, thinkers and texts in Scottish theology (i.e. theology in Scotland) from the middle ages to the twentieth century.

THET10054 Literature of the Islamic World (Semester 2)
This course looks at some of the most significant types of literary and religious output from the Islamic world.

THET10059 Body, Soul and Self: Theological Anthropology (Semester 2)
A course exploring theological accounts of being human: what can we say, theologically, on the human body, the soul, the notion of the imago Dei, or indeed, on the nature of the 'self'?

THET10062 Islamic Law: From Prayer to Politics (Semester 2)
This course offers students an introduction to classical Islamic Law - its theories, methods, modes of argumentation and sources. After building this foundational knowledge, the course critically examines the place and purpose of Islamic Law today with reference to issues such as debates on the nation-state, human rights, gender, liberal democracy and religious minorities.

THET10066 Scottish Literature and the Religious Imagination (Semester 2)
Scottish Literature and the Religious Imagination introduces students to the work of some of the key writers dealing with faith and fiction in Scotland from the Romantic period to the late twentieth century. Students are encouraged to explore the connections between a varied range of Scottish poets, authors, and dramatists in their evolving national, historical, social and theological contexts.

THET10067 Conflicts and Controversies in Islam: Theology, Law and Politics (Semester 1)
Islamic religious and intellectual history has been marked by a series of controversies that have indelibly shaped the foundational aspects of the Islamic tradition: its theology, its law and its conception of political power. This course explores the disparate religious, cultural and political trends that shaped Islamic intellectual history and will do so through a variety of disciplinary approaches towards textual studies, the study of religion and history. The course provides an insight into the way religious argumentation was carried out in the Islamic religious tradition and how different groups within this tradition conceived of the relationship between reason and revelation in a variety of ways as they sought to articulate and develop a coherent account of reality.

THET10068 Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding: The Role of the Arts (Semester 2)
In Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding: The Role of the Arts students are encouraged to analyse in detail a range of works of art, primarily emerging out of the First World War and the Israeli-��Palestinian conflict. Through this analysis and engagement with pertinent secondary literature, students will investigate the ambivalent role of the arts in the complex evolving relationships between religion, conflict and peacebuilding.