Tools for Studying Theology

Field: Systematic Theology / Philosophy / Biblical Studies
Unit Code(s): CT1000T or CT1009T (online) / AP1000T or AP1009T (online) / BS1000T or BS1009T (online) 
Unit value: 15 points
Level: Undergraduate (1)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face and Online
Prerequisites: None
Content: This unit offers an introduction to theological study and to the tools and knowledge that undergird the core disciplines of theology. It introduces the basic theological ideas and terms that are used across theological disciplines. It raises the issue of biblical authority and asks what it means to study Scripture and how to engage critically with English texts and translations of the Bible. Through engaging with selected primary texts, it also raises the key question of how we read text and context together, and how experience affects the development of theological and spiritual understanding and the practice of ministry.
Learning Outcomes:

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

  • describe how philosophical ideas shape the study of theology, and what those core ideas are.
  • articulate core theological concepts.
  • explain what is involved in English translation of the Bible and critically assess different modern translations.
  • communicate the different ways biblical inspiration and authority can be understood.
  • engage with the question of how theological texts and ministry practice are developed contextually, by individuals and by the church.
  • 1 x essay of 2,000 words in biblical or theological theory or philosophical theology (45%)
  • 1 x essay of 2,000 words in theology and ministry or theology and experience (40%)
  • Journal (face-to-face) or tutorial reflection (online), equivalent of 1,000 words (15%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

Ackroyd, R. and D. Major, Shaping the Tools: Study Skills in Theology. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1999.

Allen, D. & E.O. Springsted, Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007.

Barth, K., Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985.

Brunn, D., One Bible, Many Versions: Are all Translations Equal? Downers Grover: InterVarsity Press, 2014.

Davies, B., An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Ford, D., Theology. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999.

Grenz, S. and R. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Introduction to the Study of God. Leicester: IVP, 1996.

Langmead, R., The Word Made Flesh. Towards an Incarnational Missiology. Dallas: University Press of America, 2004.

McKim, D.K., The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2014.

* Migliore, D.L., Faith Seeking Understanding, 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014.

O’Collins, G. & E.G. Farrugia, A Concise Dictionary of Theology. New York: Paulist, 2013.

Osmer, R.R., Practical Theology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.

Parratt, J., A Guide to Doing Theology. London: SPCK, 1996.

Pickard, S., Theological Foundations for Collaborative Ministry. Surrey: Ashgate, 2009.

 Lecturer: The Revd Professor Mark Lindsay & The Revd Professor Dorothy Lee
 Timetable: Offered each year in Semester 1 only.