Bible, Doctrine and Freedom of Interpretation TRS5103

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This masters course traces the development of Post-Reformation into Enlightenment thought, starting with a number of important, yet controversial doctrines including Trinity and Atonement, and the nature of biblical writings and their interpretation. Included in the humanist (Renaissance) 'moment' is the retrieval of classical and Christian classic sources. The rise of rational and empirical science, the place of Pietism and anti-creedal movement leading to and beyond Schleiermacher in a 'hermeneutical theology' is also addressed.


4 x 5hr sessions made up of lectures, seminars or workshops.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





■ 3,500-word reflective essay (70%)

■ 1,500 notes or 'case' prepared for class debate (30%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Compare Christian theology and biblical interpretation beyond the Reformation within its cultural context;

■ Assess and evaluate the claims of the respective sides in debates of this time;

■ Assess the extent of overlap between theology and other forms of knowledge;

■ Appraise the notions of Heresy and Orthodoxy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Construct an unbroken account of the sequence of the rise of modern theology;

■ Assess the hermeneutical and exegetical contribution to theological disputes;

■ Evaluate the difference and similarities between the theological situation of the 17th-19th centuries and that of the present;

■ Evaluate the theological and historical diversity in the Christian tradition and demonstrate the ability to judge with empathy;

■ Construct scholarly informed arguments and debate these with clarity and purpose.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.