Module Catalogue 2016/17

HSS2004 : The Art of Theological Reflection

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Anna Blackman
  • Owning School: Philosophical Studies & Combined Honours
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

This module is particularly suitable for students who have taken introductory theology modules, perhaps at their home institution (e.g. study abroad Loyola students).

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module seeks to understand what theology is and how to do it by learning from five important Christian theologians throughout key turning points in history. Each lecture and seminar will focus on what each thinker has believed and taught about Christianity, but the goal is to discern from each thinker the art of theological reflection itself.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Introduction and Overview of Class
2.       Augustine I
3.       Augustine II
4.       Aquinas I
5.       Aquinas II
6.       Luther
7.       Essay Writing Workshop
8.       Barth I
9.       Barth II
10.       Rahner

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1)       to introduce students to different methods of theological reflection
2)       to guide students in evaluating and interpreting classic theological texts with historical sensitivity and critical rigour
3)       to assist students in identifying theological disagreement
4)       to equip students with the skills to charitably present what is at stake in a given debate
5)       to mentor students in constructing convincing arguments that demonstrate a definite claim about how to best understand the issue from interpretations of primary sources informed by secondary scholarship.

Intended Skill Outcomes

To enhance and develop:
1)       Critical thinking
2)       Precision in expression
3)       Structuring and developing an argument
4)       Interpreting complex texts

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study185:0085:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide background material for assigned texts and guidance for further reading.

Small group teaching allows students to clarify problems and present arguments.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1001500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1M250 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both formative and summative work will measure your skills in three areas:
1.       engaging with primary sources and relevant secondary literature;
2.       offering nuanced interpretations of key passages in your own words;
3.       constructing convincing arguments that demonstrate a definite claim about how to best understand the issue.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 16/17. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.