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Introduction to Theology –

First and second level for undergraduates
Foundational unit for postgraduates

Content: This unit aims to provide a basic introduction to the nature and methodology of theology. Particular attention is given to the task of developing a responsible theological expression of Christian faith in contemporary culture.

Learning outcomes: At the completion of this unit, students will be able:

  1. Explain the nature and scope of Christian theology as a critical discipline, identifying the main fields of Christian thought;
  2. Discuss critically the contribution of the major sources for theology: revelation, scripture, tradition, reason, experience, culture and praxis;
  3. Evaluate and articulate several approaches to theological work and their methodologies;
  4. Apply critical criteria to the task of evaluating theological work;
  5. Discuss, analyse and critically evaluate central elements in the Christian understanding of God as creator and redeemer, and the implication of these elements;
  6. (and for undergraduates) Outline and discuss briefly other central elements in the Christian faith.
  7. (and for postgraduates) Develop basic research skills so as to explore other primary elements within Christian faith.

Faculty: Stephen Curkpatrick

Pre-requisite: there are no pre-requisites for this subject.

Offered: 2019, 1st semester (face-to-face and online)


One 1000 word book review (30%)
Two 500 word document studies (20%)
One 1,750 word essay (50%)
Two 750 word document studies (20%)
One 1,500 word book review (30%)
One 3,000 word essay (50%)

Select Bibliography:
** = recommended for purchase

Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids Michigan: Eerdmans, 1963, 1996.
Roger E. Olsen, God in Dispute: Conversations among great Christian thinkers. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 2009.
Gordon S. Dicker, Faith with Understanding. Melbourne: JBCE, 1989.
John R. Franke, Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth. Nashville TN: Abingdon, 2009.
Bradley C. Hanson, Introduction to Christian Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.
Robert W. Jenson, Systematic Theology Volume I: The Triune God. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Alister E. McGrath, ed. Christian Theology: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.
** Alister E. McGrath, Mere Theology : Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind, London: SPCK Publishing, 2010.
Alister E. McGrath, ed. The Christian Theology Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.
Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, 2nd edn. Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 1991, 2004.
Gerald O’Collins SJ and Edward G. Farrugia SJ, A Concise Dictionary of Theology, revised & expanded. New York / Mahwah N.J.: Paulist Press, 2000.
Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, ed. Carl E. Braaten. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1968.