Papers Offered

Papers Offered 2016-11-17T10:27:38+00:00

Below is a list of the different papers offered for the BTh. Please note that not all papers are offered each year.

Aims
This paper will cover principles of Hebrew grammar and syntax, translation from Hebrew into English and textual criticism as exemplified in a set text prescribed by the Faculty Board.

Objectives
On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Identify Hebrew words and use standard lexicons, commentaries and theological wordbooks
  2. Understand the basic grammatical rules of Biblical Hebrew
  3. Understand the principles of Hebrew syntax
  4. Translate straightforward Biblical Hebrew prose
  5. Apply Hebrew thought forms in the exegesis of Biblical texts
  6. Critically compare published translations of OT texts
  7. Have a basic understanding of and be able to use the textual apparatus in their Hebrew Bible
Aims
The paper will contain passages for translation from one or more portions of the Gospels which the Board shall from time to time prescribe, together with questions on the grammar of Hellenistic Greek.

Objectives
On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Read and translate the Greek of the Set Text
  2. Understand the grammar and syntax of the Set Text
  3. Use knowledge acquired in reading the Set Text, in translating other New Testament texts
  4. Discriminate between different English translations of the Set Text
  5. Relate issues of grammar and syntax to idiomatic translation
  6. Develop some fluency in reading New Testament Greek
Aims
This paper aims to introduce some critical and theological perspectives on the Christian Bible, both Old and New Testaments. There will be a combination of surveys of significant sections of the Bible and a more detailed look at selected primary texts. The challenge of interpreting the Bible in its historical, canonical and contemporary context will be explored.

Objectives
On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an outline knowledge of the Christian Bible
  2. Show an awareness of the challenge of reading the Biblical texts in their historical and canonical context
  3. Evaluate a range of interpretations of selected biblical texts
  4. Begin to articulate how it is possible to read the Bible from a Christian point of view
Aims
The paper is designed to help students consider theological questions through exploration of the concept of God. In particular the paper aims to:

  1. understand some of the intellectual contours of secular critiques of faith that permeate the context of contemporary Christian ministry.
  2. give students confidence in approaching classical theological texts and questions
  3. introduce different genres of theological texts: e.g. scriptural, devotional, hagiographical, academic
  4. help students understand and evaluate critically current scholarship on these texts
  5. show the interlocking nature of different doctrinal loci in Christian theology
  6. introduce students to reflection upon the nature of theological method
  7. show students how theologians engage with objections to traditional Christian claims raised both inside and outside the church

Objectives
As a result of taking this course, students should attain knowledge of:

  1. the distinction between apophatic and cataphatic theology
  2. objections to knowledge of God raised by F. Nietzsche, S. Freud, and D. Hampson
  3. F. Schleiermacher’s and K. Barth’s accounts of knowledge of God
  4. the doctrine of creation from nothing
  5. the doctrine of providence, including theories of divine action in the world
  6. the relationship between the doctrines of creation and incarnation
  7. the compatibility of creation from nothing with contemporary scientific cosmology
  8. the compatibility of creation from nothing with contemporary evolutionary biology
  9. understand the implications of the dialogue between Christianity and Science for contemporary apologetics.
  10. theological objections to creation from nothing raised by process thought
  11. the so-called Epicurean trilemma
  12. the understanding of evil as privatio boni and theodicy in the Augustinian tradition
  13. theodicy in process theology
  14. debates over the appropriateness of theodical attempts to ‘justify the ways of God’
  15. understand the pastoral implications of theodicy in Christian ministry.
Aims
This module aims to introduce students to the study of the Church in historical context. Students will be familiarised with the practices, methods, and modes of Church history through the examination of specified historical period or periods. This module seeks to equip the student with a firm grasp of the historical experience of the Church as a foundation for further study in Church history, doctrine, liturgy, and pastoral practice.

The module will require students to engage with the historical experience of the Church in a specified period or periods. As appropriate to the specified time-frame, particular attention will be paid to the historical context of the formation of Christian doctrine, the nature of the Church’s self-understanding and self-expression, her relations with, and her interaction with other religious and philosophical traditions. Due attention must also be paid to the variety of Christian experience in the specified periods.

Objectives
On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the history of the Church in its context during the specified period(s) and relate that understanding to the contemporary Christian experience
  2. Identify the chief issues and themes of the specified period(s) with relation to the formation of Christian identity, doctrine and mission
  3. Show an informed understanding of the Church’s engagement with other religious and philosophical traditions evident in the specified period(s)
  4. Make appropriate and informed use of primary materials
  5. demonstrate an awareness of contemporary and broad (rather than simply confessional) historiographical approaches to the Christian past
  6. compare the recent experience of different church traditions
  7. appreciate the extent to which Christianity has been, and remains in controversial dialogue with its cultural and political context
  8. evaluate recent trends in Christian mission and social thought against an historical background
Aims
The paper offers students an introduction to the theology, history, and practice of Christian movements outside the Euro-Atlantic world, with a particular focus on Africa, Asia and Latin America. It engages with issues of culture and power within Christianity worldwide and demonstrates the variety of Christian expression. It introduces students to theological, sociological, and historical approaches to the study of religious movements.

Objectives
On successful completion of this Paper students will have:

  1. A broad knowledge of a variety of local appropriations of Christianity.
  2. An understanding of Christianity’s meanings and social and political significance in different eras and settings.
  3. An ability to draw constructively on the insights of a range of disciplines such as history, theology, social anthropology, sociology and political science.
Aims
The overall aims will be to introduce students to the language, syntax, exegesis and theology of the Set Texts on the basis of the Hebrew text. Students will acquire not only a more advanced knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and the basic skills of exegesis, but will also relate these to the identification and interpretation of key historical and theological issues in one or more of the set texts.

Objectives
The study of the texts from Deuteronomy, Judges, and Jonah is designed (apart from their intrinsic interest) to lead students on to a fuller appreciation of the syntax of prose texts (including the significance of word order and the less common uses of the tenses of the verb). Throughout the course lectures and private study are expected to be supplemented by fortnightly supervision work on translation from English into Hebrew, which will be tested in the examination. The lectures will focus mainly on linguistic aspects of the texts, but their theological and literary aspects will explored in two or three essays which students will write in the course of the year. By the end of the year students are expected (a) to have developed their understanding of Hebrew to an intermediate level, involving familiarity with the varied syntactical structures of prose texts; (b) to have acquired a knowledge of some major aspects of the content of at least two of the set texts.

Aims
The paper will contain passages for translation and comment from one or more portions of New Testament text which the Board shall from time to time prescribe.

Objectives
The overall objective will be to introduce students to the language, syntax, exegesis and theology of the Set Texts on the basis of the Greek text. Students will acquire not only a more advanced knowledge of New Testament Greek and the basic skills of exegesis, but will also relate these to the identification and interpretation of key historical and theological issues in a gospel and an epistle.

Aims
The paper will introduce students to the exilic age and the critical examination of texts associated with this period.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Show a detailed knowledge of the Old Testament material studied.
  2. Engage with scholarly enquiry into the material’s original context and meaning
  3. Understand the theological perspectives of the material and its author(s)
  4. Relate the material to Christian ministry and life
Aims
This paper will provide for close study of text from one or more books of the New Testament, as prescribed by the Faculty Board and studied through attendance at Tripos Lectures for B4 (The Letters of Paul). It will be concerned with the background, content, theology, and interpretation of the material; and with questions arising from the use of the material in Christian faith and practice.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Show detailed knowledge of the New Testament material studied
  2. Engage with scholarly enquiry into the material’s original context and meaning
  3. Understand the theological perspectives of the material and its author(s)
  4. Relate the material to their own situations in ministry and living
Aims
This paper will provide for the close study of one or more Old Testament texts or themes from a selection prescribed by the Faculty Board. It will be concerned with the background, content, theology and interpretation of the relevant Old Testament material, and with questions regarding the use of the material in Christian faith and practice.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Show detailed knowledge of the content of the prescribed Old Testament material.
  2. Critically discuss the material’s origins and development and meaning
  3. Understand the theological perspective of the material and its author(s)
  4. Comment on points of difficulty within the prescribed material
  5. Show awareness of the hermeneutical possibilities of the prescribed material
  6. Relate the prescribed material to Christian faith and practice
Aims
This paper will provide for close study of text from one or more books of the New Testament, or of one, as prescribed by the Faculty Board. It will be concerned with the background, content, theology, and interpretation of the material; and with questions arising from the use of the material in Christian faith and practice.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Show detailed knowledge of the content of the prescribed New Testament material.
  2. Critically discuss the material’s origins, development and meaning.
  3. Understand the theological perspectives of the material and its author(s)
  4. Comment on points of difficulty within the prescribed material.
  5. Show awareness of the hermeneutical possibilities of the prescribed material.
  6. Relate the prescribed material to Christian faith and practice.
Aims
To explore, in dialogue with key contemporary interpreters, a number of pivotal theological themes as they are discernible in Scripture, and as they relate to the doctrines and practices of the Church.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Assess the importance of biblical narrative, in particular the Bible’s witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to recent Christology and trinitarian theology.
  2. Critically explore the significance to the contemporary church of key moments in the narratives of the gospels and Acts.
  3. Demonstrate the ways in which readings of Scripture are related to the church’s subsequent formulation of later, post-biblical doctrine.
  4. Discern, clarify and explicate some of the theological themes that give the Scriptural canon its shape and coherence.
Aims
This paper will examine theologically the relationship between the gospel and Western culture. It examines the intellectual, social and religious trends in both modernity and postmodernity that help to shape people’s thinking in the 21st century, and explores their impact on contemporary church life and practice. The module will combine a theoretical knowledge of cultural developments with the necessary skills for engaging with Western culture from a Christian perspective. It will engage with wider ecumenical and inter-faith perspectives, as well as to develop appropriate and theologically coherent strategies for missionary engagement and involvement in contemporary society.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Articulate an understanding of the major cultural trends within contemporary society and how the gospel might be contextualised in a society characterised by religious and cultural pluralism
  2. Articulate a coherent understanding of the theological grounds on which Christian faith might engage with contemporary culture
  3. Apply lessons learnt from the analysis of cultural trends to the mission of the church in contemporary society
  4. Develop an understanding of appropriate models of witness for churches situated within multi-faith and multi-cultural communities
Aims

  1. To introduce theological concepts shaping and shaped by Christian worship. To relate the study of worship to the study of doctrine and history, helping students to understand how worship has evolved in a variety of historical contexts and enabling them to relate this to developments in contemporary worship, drawing on a variety of traditions, especially those represented within the Cambridge Theological Federation.
  2. To introduce features of contemporary culture and pastoral concerns which affect the ways in which Christian worship is understood and performed. To introduce the phenomenology of word and story, symbol and ritual and explore the potential of this understanding for planning and interpreting worship. The focus includes eucharistic and initiation rites and services of the word.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Give an account of biblical and doctrinal foundations of Trinitarian worship
  2. Appreciate the historical development of eucharistic and baptismal worship and apply  historical insight critically to revisions and developments in contemporary worship.
  3. Apply insights relating to the phenomenology of word, symbol and ritual in worship to interpretation and planning of worship.
  4. Begin to relate pastoral concerns to the effective interpretation and use of pastoral offices.
Prescribed Topic (C): Anglicanism

Outline Content

The course will deal with the major issues of Anglican identity including Anglican approaches to scripture, authority, inclusiveness, the parish system, liturgy, inculturation and the management of diversity.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. sketch the historical development of the ecclesia Anglicana from early British Christianity to global communion
  2. outline the major themes of Anglican identity
  3. describe and critique the principles of Anglican ecclesiology
  4. summarise the key liturgical and doctrinal sources in Anglicanism
  5. assess the significance and impact of current developments in the Anglican Communion.
Aims
Individually negotiated through the Faculty Board. See also Supplementary Regulations.

Objectives
As approved by the Faculty Board.

Aims
This paper aims to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of philosophical theology and metaphysics through exposure to the some of the most influential thinkers in the Western intellectual tradition and to enable students to be skilled interpreters of the theological tradition in relation to contemporary intellectual challenges.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Reflect critically on primary issues in philosophical theology, namely God’s nature and relationship to the world.
  2. Sensitively interpret the relation between issues in fundamental or philosophical theology and issues of contemporary concern such as the problem of evil.
  3. Demonstrate a subtle understanding of the interplay between the philosophical tradition and theology. 
Aims

  1. To explain the origins and historical development of Christianity in and from modern Africa by reference to a range of religious and social factors.
  2. To identify and evaluate the range of Christian beliefs and practices present on the continent.
  3. To scrutinize the history and theology of African Christianity by close study of primary materials.
  4. To introduce themes of relevance to the wider field of World Christianity, through attention to sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. To reflect on the significance of the growth of African Christianity for Christian ministry in the twenty-first century.

Objectives

As a result of taking this course, students should gain:

Knowledge of:

  1. The movements, personages, institutions, places and events significant in African Christianity.
  2. In-depth case studies from Africa and its diaspora which will enable students to draw wide-ranging comparative conclusions.
  3. The scholarship that presently influences the field of World Christianity.

The ability to:

  1. Apply knowledge gained from the course to interpret a broad range of religious and social phenomena particularly pertinent to World Christianity.
  2. Critically assess the evidence offered by primary materials, demonstrating awareness of the challenges of collecting and analysing historical sources.
  3. Form reasoned arguments, making use of specific and theoretical literature.
  4. Reflect on how the history and development of World Christianity shapes the life of the church today.
Aims
This module seeks to explore Judaism, Islam and Christianity and the relationships between them in order to engage the worldview of the student with the worldview of these faith communities. This will be achieved by encountering and experiencing diversity which lies at the heart of interfaith engagement. It provides an initial orientation of facts and beliefs pertinent to Judaism and Islam; students will then reflect on issues of identity and diversity in multi-faith Britain and focus on thematic and contextual issues around which communities are formed, such as sources of authority in faith communities and relationships to the divine.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Articulate an understanding of the life and practice of Judaism and Islam
  2. Reflect critically on the complex issues of faith, culture and identity in multifaith Britain
  3. Demonstrate evidence of creative engagement and encounter with those communities and how such engagement affects the students’ world view
  4. Develop practical skills in communicating those engagements within the Christian community
Aims
The module aims to develop in students mature and well-informed habits in moral thinking, appreciation and judgment appropriate to a Christian teaching and pastoral ministry, and to Christian living.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Understand the variety of ethical views and approaches within the Christian Church
  2. Develop a range and depth of knowledge in a particular area of ethics
  3. Critically evaluate the various sources on which Christians draw in their moral thinking
  4. Articulate a sensitive, coherent and engaged position on ethical issues
Aims
This paper will introduce students to current debates in feminist interpretations of the Bible.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Identify key issues in feminist interpretation of the Bible
  2. Apply a feminist hermeneutic to specific biblical passages
  3. Evaluate feminist contributions to a Christian understanding and appropriation of the Bible as the word of God
  4. Articulate a personal response to feminist perspectives on biblical interpretation
  5. Apply insights from feminist perspectives to the pastoral use of the Bible
Aims
Individually negotiated through the Faculty Board.

Objectives
As approved by the Faculty Board

Aims
The Pastoral Portfolio is the most distinctive feature of the BTh degree. It is designed to test your development as a practical theologian within the context of a vocational award which seeks to relate academic learning to pastoral practice, contexts and growth in self-awareness. Pastoral papers are compulsory in both the first (BTh 51) and second (BTh 52) examination years. BTh 51 is a half paper. BTh 52 is the equivalent to 1.5 papers.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate development as a Christian who reflects theologically on their own engagement with the church and the world
  2. Engage with the discipline of pastoral theology, its literature and sources
  3. Integrate previous experience with their vocational development in dialogue with other parts of the BTh degree and life within the Cambridge Theological Federation
  4. Show how their own background, assumptions and perceptions influence their theology
Aims
The Pastoral Portfolio is the most distinctive feature of the BTh degree. It is designed to test your development as a practical theologian in the context of a vocational award which seeks to relate academic learning to ministerial practice, contexts and growth in self-awareness. BTh52 is designed to build upon and develop the pastoral theology undertaken in Paper BTh51 in the 1st Exam Year. Paper BTh52 is a compulsory paper equivalent to 1.5 papers. It is also compulsory to pass BTh52 in order to be awarded the BTh Degree.

It is envisaged that throughout your whole degree course you will be involved in placements of various kinds and in reflective practice groups that enable you to think theologically and practically about issues facing contemporary society and the church. You should plan these placements and opportunities for reflection together with your Director of Pastoral Studies. These should include at least one social context placement, usually chosen from a menu offered by the CTF, and at least one placement in a church, either in this country or abroad. The portfolio is an opportunity to demonstrate your development as a Christian who reflects theologically on your own engagement with the church and the world.

Objectives

On successful completion of this Paper students will be able to:

  • Evidence of engagement with practical contexts: Work should clearly arise from your placements and life experience and demonstrate wrestling with issues that are relevant to others in these contexts as well as to yourself.
  • Awareness of your own views and roles: The portfolio should demonstrate an understanding that the knowledge you have gained through study and experience is situated and from a particular perspective. The examiners will be keen to see how your views have developed and changed through study and practical engagement with places and other people.
  • Engagement with relevant literature and appropriate use of texts, referencing, bibliography etc.: Pastoral and practical theology is a discipline with a literature. You will be expected to have read some key pastoral and practical theology texts and to have an understanding of appropriate methodology in the work you present. Your work should show evidence of reading and be referenced in the same way as other academic writing.
  • Theological engagement suitable to degree level study: The examiners are looking for evidence that you are able to draw rigorously and in some depth on appropriate areas of theological study to think about the key issues raised in your portfolio. You will be expected to demonstrate the same sophistication in the use of biblical and theological texts as you do in your other papers of the BTh Degree.