At the core of the third year is the compulsory dissertation. This is your opportunity to do an in-depth piece of work on a topic of your choosing.
Apart from that you have a free choice of modules, allowing you to develop your particular interests within theology and religious studies.
Many year 2 optional theology modules are also available to choose in year 3.
You must pass year 3 which counts approximately two thirds towards your final degree classification.
Intermediate Biblical Greek
This module builds on level 1 Biblical Greek language modules in developing the ability to handle the biblical text in its original languages. The basis of the module is the study and translation of individual texts (which will vary from year to year) with analysis of vocabulary, grammar and style.
Culture and Change: Religion in Twentieth Century Britain
Topics covered are likely to include: the Edwardian age; the birth of ecumenism; the impact of the two World Wars on religion; the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; significant theological trends; the secularisation debate; the growth of multiculturalism from the 1950s; controversies about ordination; the church-state relationship. Attention will be given to the changing fortunes of the established Churches, the Free Churches and Roman Catholicism, and to the patterns of growth of other world faiths in Britain.
What is Darwinism? Is it metaphysics, a philosophy, or ‘merely’ science. Does it entail atheism? Could it even accommodate theism? This module will explore Darwin’s theory of evolution, outlining its historical development up to the present day and considering the various debates that shaped its formation. You’ll explore the theory’s application in terms of Social-Darwinism, Sociobiology, and Evolutionary Psychology and the consequences this might have for our own self-understanding, and for how we interpret the world. The module is taught by Conor Cunningham, whose book Darwin’s Pious Idea and BBC documentary on the topic have ignited much debate. You’ll have two hours of lectures and a one-hour seminar each week for this module.
Identity, Discipleship and Community in Early Christianity
Using a base of five early church documents reflecting a mix of a. large documents/small documents; b. documents with known authors/anonymous or pseudonymous texts; c. canonical/noncanonical texts; and d. formal/informal texts to see the varying patterns that emerged in early churches with regard to a. their identity as followers of Jesus, b. their understanding of the nature of discipleship, and c. their understanding of themselves as a specific community within history. The documents forming the base are: a. Paul, I Thessalonians; b. The Didache; c. The Gospel according to Mark; d. the text known as I Clement; and e. the text known as I Peter.
Islamic Theology and Philosophy
This module examines how Muslims have addressed fundamental theological and philosophical questions relating to their faith. These questions concern the foundations of religious knowledge and authority, God's unity and attributes, God's relationship to the world, divine determinism and human freedom, prophecy, and eschatology. Key figures will include the rationalist Mu'tazili and Ash'ari theologians, the philosophers Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), and the influential medieval intellectuals al-Ghazali, Ibn al-'Arabi, and Ibn Taymiyya. Selections from primary sources will be read in translation, and special attention will be given to the integration of late antique philosophical traditions into Islamic theology.
The Life and Teaching of Jesus
This module provides a historical introduction to the life of Jesus. It will involve a critical evaluation of the relevant sources for Jesus’ life, an overview of developments in the search for the historical Jesus, and a discussion of the perceived tensions between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith.
Modern Jewish Thought
This module will present modern Jewish thought from a theologicophilosophical perspective as an interesting alternative to both Christian and secular models of thinking. Modern Jewish thought emerges from 'the crisis of tradition' (Gershom Scholem) which it tries to resolve in many different ways: either intrinsic to Judaism itself (e.g. Lurianic Kabbalah) or in dialogue with Western philosophy (from Spinoza to Derrida). The module will emphasize the creative impact of Jewish thinkers on the development of modernity by showing the various ways in which these thinkers renegotiate and redefine the most crucial opposition between Athens and Jerusalem, or, in their own rendering, between Yaphet and Shem. Target students: Level 3 Single and Joint Honours Theology and Religious Studies students, exchange and subsidiary students.
Virtue Ethics and Literature
Virtue ethics is an ancient form of moral practice, which has also come back into prominence in recent years. It believes that ethics belongs to the lived experience of a tradition and is therefore narrative in character, offering itself naturally to literary embodiment. We shall study key ancient Greek texts, such as Aristotle's Nichomachaen Ethics and Theophrastus' work on character, as well as Cicero, Aquinas and contemporary reconsturals of the virtue tradition by Alasdair MacIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas. Virtue ethics will then be analysed in literary texts, such as Homer's Iliad, the medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Graham Green's Brighton Rock. Students will also do a short presentation, applying virtue ethics to a particular moral problem or specific form of activity, e.g nursing, war, or teaching.
Women and Warfare in the Hebrew Bible
Explore a range of historical, ethical, and theological issues relating to women and warfare in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel.
You'll start by looking at the Hebrew Bible's portrayals of women and the feminine, including:
- biblical queens
- the role of women in the community.
Next, you'll move on to warfare, considering, for example:
- the relationship between military victory and righteousness in the Bible
- the theological implications of YHWH being a god who fights in battle
- how Judah's greatest ever military defeat became the defining point of its theology."
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.