Modern Theologians

Modern Theologians

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Field: Systematic Theology OR Church History
Unit Code(s): CT3400T OR CH3400T (Class based) / CT3409T OR CH3409T (online)
Unit value: 15 points
Level: Undergraduate (Level 3)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face or Online
Prerequisites: None
Content: This unit introduces students to a selection of some of the key figures and movements in theological history from the late 1800s to the end of the twentieth century, including: Ernst Troeltsch and the History of Religions School, Karl Barth’s ‘neo-orthodoxy’, liberation theologies, Pentecostalism, and the post-liberalism of George Lindbeck and Robert Jenson. It examines the contexts in which they arose, the intellectual, cultural and theological trends against which they were reacting, and the responses to them by their critics. Students will engage with key texts from each school, movement or figure.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • identify the major historical and theological causes of selected movements in modern theology
  • articulate the key ideas espoused by those movements and their representative figures
  • describe the immediate and longer-term impacts of those various movements on the development of Christian theology
  • evaluate the relative significance of each movement and/or figure to modern Christian thought
  • assess the strengths of the core ideas of each movement for contemporary church life and ministry.
  • Primary source (documentary analysis) exercise of 1,000 words (20%)
  • Reflective essay of 2,000 words: personal reflection on the theological strengths and deficiencies of one of the movements/figures studied (40%)
  • Research essay of 2,000 words: critical examination of a key issue, movement or figure studied and the causes and impacts (40%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

Anderson, Allen. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Barth, Karl. Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century. London: SCM Press, 2010.

Boff, Leonardo. Introducing Liberation Theology. London: Burns & Oates, 1987.

Ford, David F., ed. The Modern Theologians: Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

Guttierez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation.  New York: Orbis, 1988.

Lindbeck, George. The Nature of Doctrine. Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1984.

Loades, Anne, ed. Feminist Theology: A Reader. London: SPCK, 1996.

McGrath, Alister. The Making of Modern German Christology, 1750-1990, Eugene, Wipf & Stock, 2005.

Muers, Rachel & Higton, Mike. Modern Theology: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2012.

Placher, William. The Triune God. An Essay in Postliberal Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.

Rowland, Christopher, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

 Lecturer: The Revd Professor Mark Lindsay
 Timetable: Offered in 2018 as an Intensive, 25-29 June, with tutorials during the semester 2