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Theology on the Edge - 20 credits (RT5315)

Module Tutor: Rev Dr Craig Gardiner

Summary of course content

This course offers an introduction to Contemporary theology particularly on its contextual and biographical nature. This is done thematically and through an examination of particularly and influential Theologians. It begins with an analysis of 18th and 19th century western thought and its enduring impact on culture before moving on to liberal theology and the legacy of a (20th) century at war.  Building on foundational themes the course goes on to examine a number of liberation theologies , including, black, feminist and eco-theology, as well as exploring developments in world theologies from Latin America,  Africa and Asia. The course concludes with a consideration of recent developments in Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical and Ecumenical Theology, together with an examination of theology in a post-modern context.   

Credits: 20

Availability of module: Every year


At least one of the following:  

RT5204 Beliefs in the Crucible
RT 7313 Christians Social Ethics Today
RT 5205 Christian Church Today
RT 7107 Introduction to Christian Beliefs

Necessary for: N/A


a) Provide an environment for rigorous discussion of topics relevant to Christian beliefs, particularly their coherence, relevance and validity in the contemporary world.
b) Provide an introduction to methodologies and typical debates in modern Christian Theology
c) Examine significant connections between beliefs concerning God, individuals communities and the world today  

d) Relate modern trends in theology to wider theological enquiry and to church action and praxis in the 21st Century
e) Provide selective studies for focused theological enquiry

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

a) Expound and explain some key significant developments in Christian theology
b) Relate key Christian thinkers or theologies to the modern story of theology today
c) Analyse and evaluate selected modern key Christian thinkers and theologies
d) Compare competing fields for focused theological exploration, research and present findings in an orderly way for discussion.

Teaching methods

The core of the course is lecture input with regular student led enquiry and discussion sessions.  This is supported by a range of printed materials and power point presentations, class reflections on primary text sources, art and video.


a) A portfolio of two (2) written assignments of no more that 1500 words( 50% of the final mark)
b) A one hour examination (50% of final mark)

Suggested book purchases

David Ford / Rachel Muers eds., The Modern Theologians,  3rd Edn, Oxford, Blackwell , 2005
James C Livingston, Modern Christian Thought, 2nd Edn, Vols.  1 and 2 Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2006, esp: Vol 2
Stanley J Grenz and Roger E Olson, 20th Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age, Downers Grove, IVP, 1992)
This is sometimes hard to find but well worth it ...
Kindle version now available @ Amazon

Suggested preparatory reading

Philip Kennedy, A Modern Introduction to Theology, London, I.B. Taurus, 2009.
Gregory C Higgins, Wrestling with the Questions: An Introduction to Contemporary Theologies, Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2009

Primary sources

To be made available