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Study information

Introducing Christian Theologies

Module titleIntroducing Christian Theologies
Module codeTHE1103
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Brandon Gallaher (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces some primary concepts associated with the study of Christian theology as expressed in both the Eastern and Western Christian traditions. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module seeks to provide a basic introduction to the broad and diverse but ultimately unified discipline of Christian theology as expressed in both Eastern and Western Christian traditions and aims to cultivate a critical interest in, and engagement with, major elements of its doctrinal landscape. The module will ask questions about the nature and the purpose of Christian theology and its relation to the modern world. You will be introduced to thinking theologically and what this means, and to different forms and approaches to doing theology across the broad spectrum of Christian thought, Western and Eastern. In this context, the module will introduce major themes and topics within ‘dogmatic theology’ itself, also referred to as ‘systematic’ or ‘constructive’ theology. It will explore the origin and the character of what we think of as ‘doctrine’ in the Christian faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour, and it will explore key doctrinal ideas relating to the person of Christ, revelation, creation, salvation, theodicy and being human. These topics will be considered as interwoven features of the project of Christian theology as a whole, and thus as elements of the continuing articulation of Christian faith and identity. The module will encourage you to reflect on Christian doctrines in a critical manner, and to think about how they relate to issues of Christian practice and Christian worship, and to contemporary concerns such as climate change, global relations and social justice. Above all, this module seeks to encourage a lively and reflective interest in theological questions, issues and inquiry. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic terminology and concepts associated with Eastern and Western Christian theology and the ability to work with it critically and show knowledge of diverse understandings of the nature and purpose of Christian theology.
  • 2. Show appreciation of what it might mean to think theologically and of different approaches to doing theology.
  • 3. Exhibit critical knowledge of, and engagement with, major elements of Christian doctrine and the ability to navigate different perspectives, debates and disputes, regarding key Christian beliefs.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Demonstrate awareness of how and in what ways fundamental Christian beliefs relate to the practice and worship of Christianities and thus, broader issues within the spectrum of Christian theology.
  • 5. Show discernment of how Christian theology and its development relates to historical and cultural context.
  • 6. Exhibit ability to formulate clearly researched and coherently expressed positions in the construction of theological arguments.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Show independent and group research skills; information gathering using a variety of media, printed and digital; IT skills through research and the production and editing of work; and presentation skills and time management and organisation

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:

  • nature of theology
  • Jesus Christ.
  • Christian understanding of the human being
  • the ways of doing theology: apophatic and kataphatic theology
  • key historical, social and cultural contexts of theology
  • the Bible and Christian theology: scripture and tradition, scripture or tradition, scripture in tradition.
  • the Trinity and revelation
  • creation and salvation.
  • evil
  • spirituality
  • Christian doctrine in the modern world.

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Tutorial and feedback session
cheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
cheduled Learning and Teaching11Seminars (11 x 1 hr)
Guided Independent Study116Private study and preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Abstract for essay450 words on chosen essay topic1-7Oral
Group oral reflection on assigned theme10-15 minutes1-7Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1501250 words1-7Written feedback
Essay 2501250 words1-7Mark and written comments

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay1-7Referral/Deferral period
Essay 2Essay1-7Referral/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%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bevans, Stephen B. and Katalina Tahaafe-Williams (eds.), Contextual Theology for the Twenty-First Century (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2011) 

  • Fiorenza, Francis Schüssler and John P. Gavin, eds.,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯2nd edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011). 

  • Ford, David F. and Rachel Muers (eds.), The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology since 1918, 3rd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 


  • Jones, Serene and Paul Lakeland (eds.), Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Approach to Classical Themes (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 2005) 

  • Lossky, Vladimir.,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯trans./ed. Peter Hammond, A. M. Allchin, Evgeny Lampert (New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1991). 

  • McIntosh,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯Mark A.,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯Divine Teaching: An Introduction to Christian TheologyÃ?¢ï¿½Ã?¯(Malden MA/Oxford: Blackwell, 2008). 

  • Migliore, Daniel.,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014) 

  • Tanner, Kathryn.,Ã?¢ï¿½Ã?¯Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001) 

  • Towey, Anthony (2013), An Introduction to Christian Theology: Biblical, Classical, Contemporary (London: Bloomsbury, 2013) 

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date