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Level 4

4AAT1014 How Christians Argue


The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

Credit value: 15
Module tutor: Dr. Susannah Ticciati 
Assessment: one three-hour examination (100%); Students are also expected to complete one formative essay.

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: two-hour weekly classes over ten weeks.
Pre-requisites: none

The course will introduce students to the central themes of Christian theology by way of the close study of texts from the Christian tradition. Texts will be chosen that demonstrate the diversity of voices within the tradition. This will introduce students to different modes of theological argument, enabling them to take up their own positions within the ongoing debates. It will also serve as an introduction to some major figures from the tradition. The course will provide a foundation and context for the thematically focused modules in Christian theology in subsequent years.

The lectures will involve the discussion of excerpts from chosen texts, which students will have read in advance to enable full participation.

NB Students taking this module will need to purchase the course book: Mike Higton, Christian Doctrine (London: SCM, 2008). The book is available from Blackwell online bookshop or from Amazon 

Further information

Module aims
  • To introduce students to the practice of Christian theology by way of debates around a range of doctrinal themes and associated scriptural texts.
  • To introduce students to some significant theologians within the Christian tradition.
  • To show students both what Christians argue about and how they argue.
Learning outcomes

Generic skills

  • engage with primary sources sensitively and critically
  • articulate their own arguments in discussion
  • present arguments and ideas in written form

Module specific skills

  • understand questions concerning the nature of theological claims
  • understand the debates surrounding central theological themes
  • engage in the theological interpretation of texts
  • understand the particular challenges of doing theology in the contemporary context
Past syllabi

Previous syllabus document available to download here for academic year 2015-16.

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

Preliminary reading
  • Mike Higton, Christian Doctrine (London: SCM Press, 2008)
  • Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (2nd edn; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004)
  • Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (trans. Grover Foley; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1963)
  • David Ford, Theology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 1999)
  • David Ford and Rachel Muers (eds.), The Modern Theologians (3rd Edn; Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
  • Colin Gunton (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine (Cambridge: CUP, 1997).
  • Nicholas Lash, Believing Three Ways in One God: A Reading of the Apostles’ Creed (London: SCM, 1992).
  • George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984)
  • Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2001)
  • Kathryn Tanner, God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment? (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988)
  • Rowan Williams, On Christian Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000)
  • Richard A. Norris (ed.), The Christological Controversy (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980)
  • Frances Young, The Making of the Creeds (London: SCM, 1991).
  • Frances Young, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background (London: SCM, 1983).





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