Systematic Theology

Oriel College

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Systematic Theology

  • Host University

    Oriel College

  • Location

    Oxford, England

  • Area of Study

    Religion, Theology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    Perhaps the most dominant form of expressing and teaching the whole of Christian doctrine in the last two centuries has been a method called systematic theology. Christian theology can be systematic in two ways: (1) Christian theology done systematically, that is, in a manner following a set logical pattern and usually centering around a central philosophical principle, and (2) Christian theology set out in a system, that is, a single work articulating the whole of Christian dogma as a cohesive unit. This course will examine both approaches, as we explore how the systematicity of Christian doctrine and its expression in a system contribute to understanding and articulating the whole of Christian faith. 

    Each day will cover a different topic within Christian doctrine: Revelation, Trinity, Creation, Humanity, Sin, Christ, Salvation, and Ecclesiology. Lectures will sketch the nature of each topic, the relevant challenges and questions for its articulation, and provide an overview of various approaches by drawing on the work of 20th and 21st century systematic theologians. Seminars will then provide the opportunity for students to engage each doctrine, weigh the benefits and shortcomings of various approaches, and learn first-hand how the intersection of doctrines affects the systematic whole of Christian belief. The aim of this course is to expose students to the methods and emphases of systematic theology, to enrich their appreciation of the nuance and difficulty of expressing the coherent whole of Christian faith, and to equip them to become systematic theologians themselves. 

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