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Unit information: Theology in the Twentieth Century in 2021/22

Unit name Theology in the Twentieth Century
Unit code THRSM0135
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Stacey
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores two modern theologians. For example it may include the Roman Catholic, Karl Rahner, and the Protestant, Karl Barth. It begins with looking at the influence of Kant upon both theologians and their differing reactions to modernity. This is followed by an examination of key aspects of their theology, which provides a comparative and analytical approach to these two influential theologians of the twentieth century.


1. To critically examine some theological, philosophical, and social issues related to Christian existence in the modern world;

2. To become familiar with key theologians, their internal developments, and interactions, by means of primary texts - and secondary critical works;

3. To see how central doctrinal issues relate to and are possibly modified in relation to modern questions.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

1.Demonstrate a sophisticated and detailed understanding of some of the core theological issues within the topics discussed in the unit.

2. Demonstrate familiarity with primary and secondary literature on the chosen theologians studied.

3. Analyse and critically appraise theological thought and demonstrate the ability to offer their own critical assessment providing argumentative justification for positions taken in relation to the materials.

4. Demonstrate skills in research, theological writing and argumentation appropriate to M level work.

5. Display high level skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and (where apt) critiquing images and ideas.

6. Apply existing analytical strategies to new evidence with flexibility and creativity

7. Demonstrate the capacity for independent research

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

Summative Assessments;

1x essay of 5000 words (100%) [ILOs 1-7]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THRSM0135).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.