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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO2295 Humanity in Christian Thought: Theological Anthropology

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Alistair McFadyen

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Minimum 20 credits in TRS at Level 1; or PRHS 1000.

This module is mutually exclusive with

THEO3295Humanity in Christian Thought

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores Christian theological thinking about the human. It will afford opportunities to consider the development and use of key concepts, such as person, self, soul, creature and explore their relationship to patterns of modern thought and practice, including such fields as human rights, crime and criminal justice, human dignity, human flourishing, health and well-being.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- explore Christian ways of thinking theologically about the human in Biblical, historical and contemporary theological contexts;
- to enable students to reflect critically on the relationship between theological anthropology and other doctrinal loci and on the way in which standard Christian tropes are modified in different cultural, philosophical and scientific contexts and in relation to different doctrinal loci;
- to enable students to consider the practical consequences of theoretical positions in this area and to relate Christian thought to contemporary secular discourse.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to give a critical account of:
- the various major tropes of Christian theological anthropology, their interrelation and relation to the broader doctrinal ecology of Christian faith;
- the development of patterns of Christian thinking about humanity, sensitive to their relation with secular or non-theological thought;
- key points of contention in Christian theological anthropology, and between theological anthropology and secular thinking about the human;
- the relationship between theoretical accounts of the human and issues of practice relating to, for example, disability, dignity, dehumanisation, human rights, human flourishing, health and well-being.


1. Introduction: Anthropology as a theological theme
2. The human as a theme in contemporary culture: human rights; dignity; freedom
3. Imaging God - theological essentialism?
4. On being a creature: ecology; dependence; gift
5. Psalm 8 and the context of human flourishing
6. Ecce Homo - Christology and anthropology
7. Soul, body, spirit and science
8. Person and relation: imaging the triune God?
9. Dehumanisation and disability - the human and less than fully human?
10. Restoring and fulfilling humanity: salvation and eschatology
11. Particularity, diversity, essentialism

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.50
Total Contact hours21.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Weekly themed reading accompanying lectures; preparatory seminar work; preparation and writing of assessed essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback in seminars including peer-evaluation; compulsory essay tutorial; opportunity to submit an essay plan for feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words80.00
Tutorial PerformanceSeminar performance weekly20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/07/2021 14:21:42


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