This degree is designed to stimulate critical thinking about and exploration of the cultural and intellectual riches of the Christian tradition. Students explore the roots of that tradition through close interpretation of its texts and by studying the immense and diverse impact it has had on both the history of this country and the wider world.
The study of theology, which is central to the degree, gives students a systematic grasp of Christian thought and exposes them to the ways in which it has inspired philosophers, thinkers, artists and social movements from across the centuries and down to the recent present, as well as elicited fierce criticism.
This degree provides students with precise skills, such as the opportunity to master biblical languages and explore texts, while also challenging them to make connections between and across diverse fields of study. It produces graduates with the critical skills and intellectual flexibility required to shine in a wide range of careers.
We strongly believe that teaching and research should be closely related. All teaching members of staff are therefore research-active, many enjoying international reputations as leaders in their fields. Our commitment to original research means that we can introduce students to new discoveries in areas as diverse as priesthood and cult in ancient Israel; mysticism; political Islam and the state; the relationship between philosophy and literature, and between moral and aesthetic value; and religion and politics, in particular nationalism, ethnicity and global networks.
STRUCTURE OF PROGRAMMES & ASSESSMENT
Each programme has a distinctive core, defined through a unique pattern of modules (some year-long modules, some over a single term). Some modules are compulsory, mostly in the first year when they are introductory. The scope for choice increases substantially in the second and third years, to suit developing individual interests and strengths. Module options may change from year to year; we strive constantly to enhance the variety of modules on offer. Methods of assessment vary from one module to another, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and an unseen written examination in the summer. A few modules involve either coursework or a summer examination.
As befits a capital city that is home to a mix of people of hugely diverse backgrounds, London offers tremendous opportunities for the student of religion. Numerous religious groups with their very different beliefs and rituals, as well as artistic traditions exhibited in places of worship, exist on the department’s doorstep. Unrivalled resources enabling us to put those facets into context are close at hand: looking beyond the College, we can turn to the National Archives, the British Library, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Lambeth Palace Library, to name only a few.