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BS3/9029S

Biblical Spirituality

Elective unit for postgraduates

Content: This unit will focus on understanding the significance and transformative role of the Bible for Christian spiritual growth. Key themes in the faith of ancient Israel and the early Christian communities will be explored through examining particular Biblical stories and bringing these into critical engagement with contemporary experiences of God. Such themes include: the experience of God in prayer; calling; grace, sin and forgiveness; suffering; hospitality and strangers; prophecy and power; reconciliation and the reign of God; conversion and transformation; community and hope.

Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this unit, students taking the unit as a Biblical studies (BS) unit will be able to:

reflect critically on a range of theological themes within the Bible
critically exegete specific texts
demonstrate awareness of major scholarly writing on the chosen themes
relate critical reflection on biblical texts to their own life experience and spiritual development.
(and at postgraduate level) develop a specific topic of research in a critically rigorous, and self-directed manner.
students taking the unit as a spirituality (DS) unit will be able to:

reflect critically on a range of Biblical themes for their relevance to Christian Spirituality;
employ appropriate hermeneutical tools for interpreting Biblical texts in the light of today’s socio-cultural context;
demonstrate and evaluate various interpretative approaches to Scripture and religious experience
relate critical reflection on biblical texts to their own life experience and spiritual development.
(and at postgraduate level) develop a specific topic of research in a critically rigorous, and self-directed manner.

Pre-requisites:

Undergraduate – 45 points in Field B
Postgraduate -15 points in foundational studies in Field D (preferably in Spirituality) and 15 points in foundational studies in Field B.

Teaching Methods: Seminar format

Contact Hours: Three hours per week over twelve weeks.

Assessment:

Undergraduate
Two 750 word Biblical reflections 25%
One 1500 word seminar paper 25%
One 3000 word essay 50%

Postgraduate
Two 1000 word Biblical reflections 30%
One 4000 word essay 70%

Offered: First semester 2016

Faculty: Tim McCowan and Merryl Blair

Recommended reading:

Barton, S. C. The Spirituality of the Gospels. London: SPCK, 1992.
Bowe, B. E. Biblical Foundations of Spirituality. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.
Brueggemann, W. Peace. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 2001.
L’Heureux, C. E. Life Journey and the Old Testament. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1986.
Schneiders, S. M. The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1991.
Williams, R. The Wound of Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross. 2nd rev. ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publ., 1991.
* Young, F. Brokenness and Blessing: Towards a Biblical Spirituality. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007.