Contemporary Systematic Theologies (DIVI10043)
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Visiting students interested in contemporary Christian theology would benefit from this course. Although this course does not have any pre-requisites, it is designed for students who have studied two full years of Divinity/Religious Studies beforehand. If you have not studied this subject area to that level, it is your responsibility to ensure the course is an appropriate level for you during the first week of teaching, and you must drop this course (before the Course Change Deadline) if you do not have the required background knowledge/skills.
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.
Academic Description: 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. Syllabus/Outline Content: 1. Why should theology be systematic? Why shouldn't theology be systematic? 2. Where do we start? - examining the architecture of theology 3. Working with sources - Bible and tradition 4. Working in context - locating contemporary systematic theologies 5. Speaking of God: trinity and unity in systematic theology 6. Jesus Christ 7. The Holy Spirit 8. Creation and the human creature 9. The church and human community 10. 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.
Written Exam 50%, Coursework 30%, Practical Exam 20%
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