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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 we have an introductory survey course (Paper A5) on God, creation, and evil. Texts  can be from include Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Walter Rauschenbush, Karl Barth, Kathryn Tanner, and Karen Kilby, among others.

In the second year, Paper B8, ‘The Study of Theology’ looks in greater depth at six theologians: Augustine of Hippo, Gregory of Nazianzus, Julian of Norwich, Martin Luther, Karl Barth, and Catherine Keller. A second paper, B13 – 'Religious Themes in Literature' – examines theological and ethical issues in novels from the literary traditions of Europe and America shaped by Judaism and Christianity 

In the final year, C5, a paper on Charity, paper explores the central role of love in the Christian tradition, particularly in relation responses to need and poverty, not least in the work of Charities / Faith-Based Non-Governmental Organisations. C6 is 'Disputed Questions in the Christian Tradition', which addresses theological problems arising within 'classical' Christian theology in the context of the doctrines of God and the Trinity, Christology, soteriology and sanctification, and faith and rationality. C12, 'Theology and Natural Sciences: God and Creatures, looks at creaturehood from a theological perspective: 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. D1d, 'The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience' is examined by two long essays. It pays particular attention to the relation between the Holy Spirit and the experiences and practices of Christians, for instance in relationship to affect, embodiment, and materiality.

The Christian Theology Senior Seminar meets fortnightly during term, to hear and discuss papers from experts in Christian theology, from Cambridge, the UK, and further afield. Papers from other seminars are often also of direct relevance to work in our field, for instance the D Society (in philosophy of religion).

The MPhil contains several modules in Christian Theology, and the subject attracts a large number of PhD students.

[Note that provision of papers can change from year to year on account, for instance, of staff leave.]