Back to list of units


Acts: Memory, word and community

This unit is an exploration of Christian memory in relation to Acts of the Apostles’ portrayal of Christian origins, focusing on proclamation, word and identity. Applied work will be undertaken with selected exegesis, historical and contemporary readings of Acts.

Offered: Refer to Timetable
Available in Field B and Field C

Undergraduate: Level 2 and 3
Postgraduate: Level 9 elective unit 

Level 1: BN1/8001S Interpreting the New Testament
Level 2: 54 points in BS (Biblical Studies)

Postgraduate: 24 points in BS (Biblical Studies)

Exclusion: BN2/3/9052S cannot be studied for credit in addition to credit previously gained for CT2/3/9052S and vice versa.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate significant issues in the nature of Christian memory, word, and identity;
2. Demonstrate a capacity to evaluate biblical expressions of memory in relation to Christian proclamation;
3. Formulate and apply critical criteria for evaluating theological uses of The Acts of the Apostles in articulating Christian identity, authority and mission;
4. Articulate several hermeneutical approaches to the theological quest for origins and their methodologies (3rd level).
5. Critically evaluate social consequences in the use of rhetoric in tradition (postgraduate).


Level 2 (undergraduate)
2 x essays of 1000 words 50%
4 x 500 word document studies 50%

Level 3 (undergraduate)
1 x essay of 2,500 words 50%
4 x 500 word document studies 50%

Level 9 (Postgraduate)
1 x 3,000 word essay 50%
4 x 750 word document studies 50%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Dibelius, M. Studies in the Acts of the Apostles, trans. Mary Ling. ed. Heinrich Greeven. London: SCM, 1956.
Dunn, J.D.G. The Acts of the Apostles. London, Epworth Press, 1996.Gadamer, H-G. Truth and Method, 2nd rev. ed. trans. Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. London: Sheed and Ward, 1975/1989.
Hengel, M. Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity. London, SCM, 1979.Johnson, L.T. The Acts of the Apostles, Sacra Pagina Series. Minnesota, Liturgical press, 1992.
Jüngel, E. God as the Mystery of the World: In the Foundation of the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism, trans. Darrell L. Guder. Grad Rapids and Edinburgh: Eerdmans and T&T Clark, 1983.
Kasper, W. The God of Jesus Christ, trans. Matthew J. O’Connell. New York: Crossroad, 2005.
Lüdemann, G. Early Christianity according to the traditions in Acts. London, SCM, 1989.
Moltmann, J. Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of a Christian Eschatology, trans. James W. Leitch. London: SCM, 1967, 2002.
Pannenberg, W. Systematic Theology III, trans. Geoffrey Bromiley. Edinburgh and Grand Rapids Michigan: T&T Clark and Eerdmans, 1998.
* Pelikan, J. Acts. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2005.
Sanders, J.T. Schismatics, Sectarians, Dissidents, Deviants: The First One Hundred Years of Jewish-Christian Relations. London: SCM, 1993.
Soards, M.L. The Speeches in Acts: their content, context, and concerns. Louisville, Kentucky, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994.
Urs von Balthasar, HU. Theology: The New Covenant, trans. Brian McNeil, ed. John Riches (1989) The Glory of the Lord Series, Vol VII. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989.