Skip to main content

Study information

Approaches to Biblical Studies

Module titleApproaches to Biblical Studies
Module codeTHEM122
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor David Horrell (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will first introduce the range of approaches to biblical studies used within work taking place in Exeter. These include a variety of methodologies, including historical-critical readings, ecological hermeneutics, modes of interpretation concerned with disability, and modern reception studies. As the module progresses you will be expected to develop their own in-depth project that explores one approach to biblical studies. This work will be supervised one-on-one and will demand sustained critical engagement with questions of how contemporary academia should engage with the Bible.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to:

  • provide a sense of the range of approaches to biblical studies currently practised
  • provide the opportunity to produce an in-depth study associated with one methodology presently employed
  • recognise the diversity of interpretive methods within biblical studies
  • allow you to explore your own areas of interest in conjunction with the research currently being developed in Exeter

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. engage with recent academic approaches to biblical studies
  • 2. critically assess, in depth, one biblical passage's history, textual features or reception, OR one methodology associated with academic study of the bible

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. critically evaluate how approaches to the interpretation of sacred texts have developed within the academy
  • 4. demonstrate a critical awareness of the interdisciplinary dimensions of contemporary biblical studies

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. develop a project that engages with contemporary scholarship
  • 6. shape detailed information into a clear written account
  • 7. show significant originality and rigour in argument
  • 8. demonstrate independent and critical research skills
  • 9. convey ideas to your peers through oral presentation

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:

  • introduction
  • research specialisms at Exeter
  • discussion of project proposals
  • oral presentation of project focus
  • directed research with supervisor

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 teaching activities5Seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Oral presentations
Scheduled leraning and teaching activities3Supervision meeting
Guided independent study 291Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Annotated bibliography1000 words1, 4, 8Oral feedback

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
Oral presentation1015 minutes1-5, 7-9Written feedback
Essay906000 words1-8Oral and written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral presentationOral presentation1-5. 7-9Refer/Defer period
EssayEssay1-8Refer/Defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • David Horrell, Becoming Christian: Essays on 1 Peter and the Making of Christian Identity (T & T Clark, 2013)
  • Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Land of Our Fathers: The Roles of Ancestor Veneration in Biblical Land Claims (T & T Clark, 2010)
  • Louise Lawrence, Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • David Horrell, The Bible and the Environment: Toward a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology (Acumen, 2010)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE –

Key words search

Theology, religion, ethics, public issues

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date