ST 312 - Christian Anthropology and Spirituality

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Module Level

Level 8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures: 24 hours Tutorials: 3 hours Assignment: 12 hours Private study: 40 hours


Continuous assessment: 15% (attendance, participation & written reflection paper on assigned reading) Essay, 1,500 word essay: 25%. End of semester examination: 60%

Module Aims

To introduce students to the Christian understanding of the doctrines of creation, original sin, grace, the theology of the spiritual life and eschatology by considering their:

  • Fundamental meaning
  • Scriptural and Patristic foundations
  • Development in the course of history
  • Interconnection with other aspects of Christian theology
  • Interpretation in the light of modern thought

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, the student will: • be aware of the significance of these doctrines within general Christian theology • will have a basic knowledge of recurrent issues in their interpretation • will be attuned to specifically modern difficulties in their interpretation • Relate the basic tenets of Christian theology to Christian life, i.e. appreciate the “why” of Christianity
  • Indicative Syllabus: Creation: • The content of the doctrine of creation • Notion of creation in the Bible, and the development of the doctrine in the early church • Creation and God’s relation to the world; the interconnection between creation and other aspects of the Christian faith • How the doctrine of creation differentiates Christianity from other religions and world-views Original Sin: • The problem of evil • Original sin or dualism? • The ‘fall’ and human history • History of the doctrine of original sin • The Enlightenment and original sin • New ideas on evil in the modern period • Original sin and evolution • Original sin and divine justice Grace: • The nature/grace distinction in Christian tradition • Emergence of the doctrine of grace in the Bible • Development of the doctrine in the early church with special reference to St Augustine • Reformation controversy on grace and justification • Challenges to the Christian view of grace in modern times Theology of the Spiritual Life: • To explore the rationale behind Christian prayer and the riches of the Catholic spirituality. • To synthesize the doctrinal with the spiritual elements of the Catholic tradition. • To appreciate the contemplation of God as the summit of all theology Eschatology: • The content of the doctrine of eschatology • Notion of eschatology in the Bible • Changing perspectives on eschatology • Eschatology and creation • Eschatology and history