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Christian Theology subject area overview

Christian Theology concerns the history, philosophy, practices and teachings of the Christian faith, and so has close links with biblical studies, history and philosophy. We favour teaching through primary texts – in the first year there is a team-taught survey course (A5) on teachings about Jesus through the history of Christian thought, which addresses such questions as Christianity’s Jewish roots, the Incarnation, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and Jesus in feminist theology and film. Texts which may be studied include Luther, Athanasius, and Julian of Norwich.

In the second year B8, ‘The Study of Theology’ (Professor Janet Soskice) looks in greater depth at five theologians:

  • Augustine
  • Aquinas
  • Luther
  • Schleiermacher
  • Barth

and considers their times and challenges, the way they use scripture, faith and reason and philosophy. Also popular in the second year are B12 and B13. B12, 'Theology and Natural Sciences I' (Dr Andrew Davison), provides is a survey course and covers topics in physics and biology and their bearing upon theology, as well as theological understandings of the value and limits of the natural sciences. B13, 'Religious Themes in Literature' examines moral issues in the literary traditions of Europe from a theological perspective.  

In the final year C5, Study of Theology II (Dr Stephen Plant), is subtitled 'Theologies of Hope'. It explores Christian theology from that perspective, considering in not only eschatology (the doctrine of the 'last things') but also what it means for Christian theological traditions to be 'hopeful' across a wide range of doctrinal topics. C12, 'Theology and Natural Sciences II' (Dr Andrew Davison), looks at the topic of creaturehood from a theological perspective. The paper looks at what theology and the natural sciences have to say about what it means to be a creature, and brings to two approaches into dialogue.

One seminar-based paper is currently available in the final year: