Reading Romans

Field: New Testament
Unit Code(s): BN3509T (mixed mode): online with tutorials
Unit value: 18 points
Level: Undergraduate (level 3)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face and Online. NOTE: this is a blended learning unit, with lectures viewed online by all students, and class-based tutorials each fortnight for face-to-face students.
Prerequisites: 30 points (two units) of New Testament study, including some study of Pauline texts

This unit provides an in-depth study of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Attention will be given to the historical context, epistolary genre, and rhetorical style as a way to uncover the theological themes and issues emerging from the letter. We will consider how Paul’s theology has shaped and continues to shape the theology of the church.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • analyse and situate the content of the letter within an understanding of Paul’s missionary career and pastoral aims at the time of its composition
  • formulate a convincing account of the likely situation of the community of believers at Rome that prompted Paul to write to them as he did
  • critically interpret passages and themes in the letter in the light of the theological issues that have attached to its interpretation in the Christian tradition
  • appraise the ethical teaching in Romans in light of current issues such as ecumenical and interfaith relationships, environmental issues, peace and conflict, and the relationship of Christians to the world.
Assessment: Face-to-face students:
  • 1,000-word short paper (20%)
  • 2,000-word exegetical essay (40%)
  • 2,000-word thematic essay (40%)

Online students:

  • 1,000-word short paper (20%)
  • 1,000-word exegetical essay (30%)
  • 2,000-word thematic essay (40%)
  • weekly discussion forum, equivalent of 1,000 words (10%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

*NRSV Bible

Byrne, B. Romans. Sacra Pagina. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996.

Dunn, J. D. G. Romans. 2 vols. Dallas: Word, 1988.

Dunn, J. D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. London: T & T Clark, 2003.

Fitzmyer, J. A. Romans. AB 33. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Gaventa, B. R. When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul. Baker Academic, 2016

Grieb, K. A. The Story of Romans: A Narrative Defense of God’s Righteousness. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

Käsemann, E. Commentary on Romans. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980.

Moo, D. J. The Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.

Wedderburn, A. J. M. The Reasons for Romans. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1988.

Wright, N. T. ‘Romans’. In The New Interpreter’s Bible, edited by L. Keck, vol. X, 393-770. Nashville: Abingdon, 2001.