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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO3295 Humanity in Christian Thought: Theological Anthropology

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Alistair McFadyen

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

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:
- engage critically with 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 achieve an advanced understanding of 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 demonstrate advanced understanding of, and be able to evidence advanced analytic and synthetic critical ability in relation to:
- 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
Team Work101.0010.00
Private study hours178.50
Total Contact hours21.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Weekly themed reading accompanying lectures; reading each week for the collaborative literature review; preparation for essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The weekly lectures and initial seminars will afford students some opportunity to check their understanding and receive feedback. The main opportunity for tutor intervention and assessment of progress will be through the collaborative literature review. The tutor will attend two meetings of each group and read drafts of the review. Students will also be required to attend one essay tutorial at an early stage of planning and invited to another. Students may submit an essay plan for feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 words70.00
Literature Review1 x 3,000 words (Group Task)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit by essay as above and an individual literature review

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 14:25:35


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