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Unit information: The History of Christianity: Core Texts in 2016/17

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Unit name The History of Christianity: Core Texts
Unit code THRSM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Balserak
Open unit status Open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to introduce students to particular texts which will deepen ones understanding of Christian history and biblical reception. The unit requires the study of several different primary sources which highlights the way the bible has been used throughout history. The breadth of material covered provides a chronological consideration of biblical reception, and allows for an analysis of significant primary texts. Upon this foundation of key biblical sources and a familiarity with key theological sources, the unit prepares students to undertake further and more profound research in optional units on offer in Teaching Block 2.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, the student will have:

  • acquire knowledge and skill to discuss some of the major texts associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • acquire knowledge and skill to discuss the academic study of the Bible.
  • acquire knowledge and skill to discuss the academic study of Christian theology.
  • acquire knowledge and skill to discuss the historical development of Christian theology from the early days of the Christian church to the present.
  • acquire knowledge and skill to discuss the influence that the Bible and Christian theology have had upon culture.

Teaching Information


Assessment Information

This Unit will be assessed by ONE essay of 5,000 words which must be chosen from one of those listed above, and it is recommended that students should consult the relevant member of staff to discuss their essays well in advance of the deadline. For guidance on essay writing and for deadlines for all assessment, see the Graduate School website.

Reading and References

  • Saint Augustine, Teaching Christianity; De Doctrina Christiana (New York: New York City Press, 1996), 101-168.
  • Robert W. Bernard, “The Rhetoric of God in the Figurative Exegesis of Augustine” in Biblical Hermeneutics in Historical Perspective, eds Mark S. Burrows & Paul Rorem (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 88-99.
  • Karla Pollmann, “Hermeneutical Presuppositions” in Augustine Through the Ages, eds John Cavadini, et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 426-429.
  • Julian, of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love: (short text and long text). Translated by Elizabeth Spearing ; with an introduction and notes by A.C. Spearing ( London : Penguin, 1998), Short Text, pp. 3-38 On order. If not in library, CM will supply text for students.
  • Samuel Fanous and Vincent Gillespie, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011). Read Chapter 7, pp. 133-62. Please note that this book is available in electronic form via the Arts and Social Science Library Electronic Catalogue.
  • Kevin Magill, Julian of Norwich:mystic or visionary? Routledge studies in medieval religion and culture 4 (London: Routledge, 2005). (Chapter 4), pp.98-129.BV5095.J84 MAG