Western culture has for 1,700 years been greatly influenced by one religion above all: Christianity. It is impossible to understand fully the history, society, politics, and arts of Europe, and its influence on the world, without knowledge of it. In this degree we explore the vibrant and multifaceted dimensions of Western Christianity: its core texts, particularly the Bible, its theologies, the cultures that have shaped it, and its impact on cultural life. We travel from ancient Israel to the early churches, from medieval mystics to Victorian philanthropists, from high art to blockbuster films, exploring issues of faith and belief. You have an option of learning ancient languages (Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek). You can carry out independent research, supervised by one of our team of experts. By taking modules from the wider offerings in the department, you can study philosophy, ethics, social sciences and/or other religions.
The degree follows a journey from foundational to specialised subjects. It is designed to allow you to develop critical thinking and will appeal particularly to those who have an interest not only in theology or religious studies but also in history, material culture, the arts or literature.
Each course has a distinctive core, with a unique pattern of modules – some year-long and some over a single term). You will be required to take certain modules, mostly in the first year, while the range of options increases substantially in the second and third years, to suit your developing individual interests and strengths.
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.
Methods of assessment vary between modules, but typically involve the submission of some coursework (usually an essay) and a written examination, and a few modules are assessed through only one of these methods.
As a capital city, home to a mix of people of hugely diverse backgrounds, London will offer you tremendous opportunities as a student of religion. Numerous religious groups with very different beliefs, rituals and religious art exist nearby. Our central location means we have access to such unrivalled resources as 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. This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules that you select.