Programme and Courses
Please be aware that the undergraduate programme and modules are subject to change.
RS4001 Religion & World Religions
To introduce students to the phenomenon of religion, and to the belief systems and foundational texts of the major world religions.To engage students in a critical dialogue with the major world religions from within the perspective of the Christian tradition. The phenomenon of religion seen as a possible answer and challenge to the human search for meaning. The nature of religion, and the critiques levelled at it by authors such as Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. Introduction to some of the major world religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese traditions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The world-views and ideas of each religion, and their foundational texts. Specific practices, and political and sociological implications of different religions. Inter-faith dialogue between Christianity and the major world religions
RS4021 The World of the Bible
To provide students with an insight into the historical background of the Bible, its various books, its literary genres, and its wider theological significance. Introduction to the historical and geographical background of the Biblical writings. Characteristics of the Biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). Survey and outline of the various Biblical books, including study of literary genres in both the Old and New Testaments. The concept of inspiration. The Bible and Divine Revelation. The role of the Bible in theology. The Bible and the Churches. Interpretation and modern exegetical methods. The methodology and hermeneutics used in the recent documents of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
RS4011 Introduction to Systematic Theology
To provide students with an overview of Christian theology and some of its major themes. To engage students in a critical reflection on the nature of the theological disciplines. Introduction to Christian theology: its nature and history, and its various disciplines. The meaning of Divine Revelation. Faith and belief. The Scriptural basis of theology, including the origin and authority of the Bible. The Christian understanding of God as Trinity. Creation and the problem of evil. Grace and Original Sin. The person of Christ and his role in salvation. The Spirit and the Church. Eschatology.
RS4003 Theology of the First Testament
To enable students to gain an appreciation of the Old Testament in its Ancient Near Eastern context. To introduce students to the main themes of the First Testament books and to the tools of Biblical criticism.The historical and geographical background of the Ancient Near East. The origins, formation and transmission of the First Testament. The canon of the Old Testament. Outline of the form and content of the First Testament books in their historical, literary and cultural contexts: the Torah, the Prophets, the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. Contemporary Biblical criticism. Application of exegetical methods to key Old Testament texts for their theological significance.
To introduce students to theological reflection on Jesus of Nazareth.The distinctive character of the teaching of Jesus in its cultural and historical context. The various starting points for Christological study. The miracles and the parables and their role in Jesus’ proclamation of the Reign of God. The significance of the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ. The humanity and divinity of Christ: the development of Christological doctrine and the debate from the Council of Nicea to the present. D ifferent approaches to Christology today. Christ in inter-religious dialogue: the challenge of other religions and ideologies.
RS4013 Theology of the Second Testament
To enable students to gain an appreciation of the New Testament in its historical and social context.To introduce students to the main themes of the Second Testament books and to develop methodological skills.The historical, geographical, and social background of the New Testament books. The origins, formation and transmission of the Second Testament. New Testament writings as rooted in the Old Testament and the Jewish tradition. The canon of the New Testament. The form and content of the First Testament books: the Synoptic Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Johannine Literature, and the Pauline Letters. Biblical methodology, and exegesis of key New Testament texts for their theological significance.
RS4033 Fundamental Moral Theology
To introduce students to the foundations of Christian ethics, and to engage students in a critical reflection on the nature of moral theology. The nature of morality. The relationship between religion and ethics. The history and development of moral theology as a discipline. The sources and methods of moral theology, and its contemporary context. The role of the Bible in Christian ethics. The debate about whether or not there is a specific Christian morality. Human freedom, knowledge, moral responsibility, and the relationship between them. The concept of conscience. The natural law in tradition and today. The notion of sin in Scripture, tradition, and modern theological reflection.
RS4007 Approaches to God
To examine the major themes involving the God-question from a Christian perspective thereby providing students with a solid grounding in some of the key issues in systematic theology. The Christian understanding of God. The origins, development, and the relevance of the doctrine of the Trinity. The problem of evil and theodicy. The atheist critique of faith and belief. The Christian understanding of eschatology. writings of key thinkers from the patristic, medieval and modern eras as illustrating the manifold nature of the Christian understanding of God throughout the tradition.
RS4047 Selected Topics in Biblical Literature
To enable students to gain a better understanding and knowledge of the unity of the Old and New Testaments through analysis of selected Biblical themes. To enable students to develop their methodological and hermeneutical skills. Modern canonical approaches showing the unity of both parts of the Bible. Possible topics to be investigated in the First and Second Testaments using these approaches: Creation, God’s everlasting covenant, sin and forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation, poverty and richness, images of God (mercy, compassion, judge, love etc), annunciation and the coming of the Messiah, faith and hope, poverty and wealth, law and commandments, oppression and liberation, vocations, and the community life of the faithful. The theological relationship between New and Old Testaments: superseding the old model of “promise and fulfilment”. Exegesis of key texts commonly used in catechetical and pedagogical contexts.
RS4027 Ritual and Sacrament
To enable students to gain an appreciation of the role of ritual and worship in Christianity.To provide students with a basic theological and historical knowledge of the Christian sacraments.The concepts of ritual and symbol. Liturgy and worship. The concept of sacramentality. Christ as the primordial sacrament of God, and the Church as a basic sacrament. Outline of the historical development and theology of the sacraments, with special emphasis on Baptism and Eucharist. Ecumenical and contemporary pastoral considerations concerning liturgy and the sacraments. Particular issues (e.g. the liturgical year, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, etc).
To introduce students to the ecclesial dimension of Christianity. The Biblical roots of ecclesial consciousness and the origins of the Christian Church. Survey of the main events in the history and life of the Church: pre-Constantinian Christianity; from Constantine to the East-West schism; the Reformation and the Council of Trent; Vatican I to Vatican II; the ecumenical movement; current and possible future developments. The nature of the Church and its marks. Models as a means of understanding ecclesiology. Salvation outside the Church. Ministries. Issues concerning ecclesial authority and structures. Special questions in ecclesiology.
RS4710 Critical Issues in Modern Religion
To enable students to gain an in-depth knowledge of one or two contemporary important theological problems. The focus varies from year to year. In recent times the lecturer has chosen to focus on christian faith in contemporary culture. The first part of the module clarifies students' understanding of christian faith, especially, what is meant by faith in general, the act and content of christian faith, the universal character of faith and its relationship to beliefs, and the situation of faith today. The second part of the module reflects on contemporary culture and the challenges and opportunities which consumerism, technology, secularisation and secularism present to christian faith. The third part of the module consists of some guest inputs on themes such as ecology, prayer in contemporary culture, God and violence, and martyrdom in contemporary religion.