Present and Future Salvation in the Church Fathers

Module titlePresent and Future Salvation in the Church Fathers
Module codeTHE1074
Academic year2019/0
Credits15
Module staff

Professor Emma Loosley (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

50

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This option module will enable you to learn about various understandings of salvation in the early and medieval Syriac Christian tradition, including ideas of how salvation was thought to affect believers' present lives and how it was hoped to be perfected in the life to come. A variety of Syriac and Greek sources will be studied in translation, as well as considering some visual material. Particular attention will be paid to the range of metaphors used by writers and artists to try to explain the attainment of salvation. The course will encourage you to investigate the extent to which the Syrian church developed theories of salvation (soteriology) and the after-life (eschatology).

Module aims - intentions of the module

This option module will enable you to learn about various understandings of salvation in the early and medieval Syrian tradition, including ideas of how salvation was thought to affect believers' present lives and how it was hoped to be perfected in the life to come. A variety of Syrian writers will be studied in translation from Syriac and Greek. Particular attention will be paid to the range of metaphors used by the Church Fathers to try to explain the workings and attainment of salvation. The course will encourage you to investigate the extent to which the Syrian church developed theories of salvation (soteriology) and the after-life (eschatology).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the early Syrian Church gained through the perspective of Syriac literature and visual imagery concentrating on the concept of Salvation.
  • 2. Understand how the attainment of Salvation changed over time as Christian doctrine evolved and theological controversies divided the Church into differing confessional identities.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Begin, with guidance, to demonstrate comprehension of some of the social, textual, intellectual, historical, material and theological expressions of early Christianity.
  • 4. Begin, with guidance, to demonstrate comprehension of early Syrian Christian belief and material culture.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Make use of selected written sources and on-line materials with clear guidance.
  • 6. Undertake directed work within clear guidelines and communicate clearly in a written form.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The Apocryphal Acts of Thomas and his view that absolute poverty and virginity is necessary to attain salvation before tracing the evolution of beliefs about the afterlife through the West Syrian (Syrian Orthodox) tradition in text and visual image.
  • The C13th Last Judgement fresco from the church of Deir Mar Musa al- Habashi near Nebek in Syria where the concept of Salvation is closely tied to doctrinal identity.
  • Over the course of the term we will explore how universal ideas of Salvation in Syrian Christian belief become increasingly linked to confessional identity after the Mariologial and Christological debates of the C5th.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
221280

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1111 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1111 x 1 hour seminars
Guided Independent Study128Private study

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay2000 words1-6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
50500

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502000 words1-6Written
Examination501 hour1-6Written

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-6Referral/Deferral period
ExaminationExamination1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Robert M. Grant Irenaeus of Lyons (Routledge, 1997)
  • J.W. Trigg Origen (Routledge, 1998)
  • Anthony Meredith Gregory of Nyssa (Routledge, 1999)
  • Gillian R. Evans Augustine on Evil (Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • Brian E. Daley The Hope of the Early Church. A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology (Hendrikson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 2003; originally published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=7171

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Church fathers, Patristics, Eschatology

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

4

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

1/9/2007

Last revision date

12/02/2019