With just one core module you'll choose subjects that build on material studied in year one or discover new areas.
Year three optional theology modules are also available to choose in year two.
You can develop your knowledge of biblical languages to enable you to read texts in their original form. If you have no existing knowledge of biblical Greek you may be able to take an introductory level module outside your year group. If this interests you please contact us to discuss.
You must pass year two which counts approximately one third towards your final degree classification.
Abraham's Children: Religion, Culture and Identity
This module seeks to facilitate reflection on religion, identity, and culture within and between Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and modern secularity. A lecture sequence will introduce leading theories of religion and approaches to the ‘other’ from the eighteenth century to today, examine how these theories and approaches developed in response to cultural conflicts and historical events, and introduce some of the qualitative and quantitative research methods used to study religion and secularity today. This will enable students to (1) recognise the legacy of classic theories of religion in contemporary theoretical debates across the humanities, (2) analyse and assess the usefulness of the various theories and approaches for engaging traditions and texts, and (3) plan and conduct their own empirical research projects. The theoretical awareness developed through the lecture series will be put to use in a seminar series, which will be devoted to review of selected texts from V81001 Great Religious Texts I and V81002 Great Religious Texts II through group discussions. The methodological awareness developed through the lecture series will be put to use in a series of methodology workshops. Students will also give two individual 10 minute presentations that are formative and unassessed, one focused on theory and one on method. Students will be provided with guidance on how to give presentations and on where to look for resources to research their presentations. Students will also engage in evaluating their own and others' presentations.
Jewish Theology and Philosophy: From Philo to Levinas
The module provides an overview of the most important theological and philosophical ideas, theories and arguments that Jewish thought developed from the Hellenistic period of Philo of Alexandria to the postmodern times of Emmanuel Levinas. The method of instruction will combine historical and speculative approaches, using the perspective of the 'history of ideas'.
The Theology of Paul
Explore the theology of Paul as found in the seven letters that are generally considered to be written by him (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon).
The major themes explored are:
- word of God
- the church
- the ‘last things’.
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.
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 Philosophy of Religion
In this module you’ll explore significant problems in the philosophy of religion, such as the credibility of the existence of God, the relation between religion and science, the relation between religion and morality, the problem of evil, and the possibility of an after-life. There will also be discussion of significant themes, such as the nature of being, of faith, of religious experience, of religious language, and of religious love. This module is taught through four hours of lecture and an hour-long seminar weekly.
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.
Intermediate Biblical Hebrew
This module builds on Level 1 introductory Hebrew language modules in developing the ability to handle the text of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), an edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text with its own invaluable contribution, the critical apparatus. This apparatus has a system of sigla (symbols and abbreviations) that, when learned, enable the Hebrew student to quickly compare variations of the text through the course of written history. The ability to navigate the BHS is key for examining some of the most mysterious and debated concepts in the Hebrew Bible. 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.
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.