Capstone Unit Unit value 15 points                                 (Min. No. 8)
2nd semester Tuesday evening

CONTENT

This unit reflects in depth on the basic components of Christian belief, with the Church’s affirmation of faith as found in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds providing the framework. Consideration is given to how the various components of these articulations of faith arise from the biblical witness and are shaped by the experience of Christian communities. Conclusions will be drawn about how our believing informs responsible living in the present and hope for the future.

PREREQUISITES

At least 75 points of elective units (i.e.5 units)

CURRICULUM OBJECTIVE

This capstone unit provides an opportunity for a student to integrate the knowledge and skills in the various disciplines of theology acquired during their course of study, and to apply these through a seminar based study of a selected theme or area. The student will be expected to demonstrate advanced skills in exegesis, historical and theological methodologies as appropriate to the topic, and skilled use of electronic databases, journals and other scholarly literature. As the capstone of a master’s programme, the student’s work will display a critical awareness of issues pertaining to the study of theology as an academic discipline.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. describe the biblical foundations of the creedal affirmations
  2. evaluate how issues in the early church influenced these beliefs
  3. explore the ongoing significance of at least two creedal articles
  4. integrate the biblical, historical and theological sources in understanding and articulating faith
  5. evaluate the implications for Christian life of one creedal article.

ASSESSMENT

2000 word minor essay (30%); 4000 word major essay (70%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ashwin-Siejkowski, Piotr. Early Christian Doctrine and the Creeds. London: SCM, 2010.

Gunton, Colin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Johnson, Luke T. The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters. London: DL&T, 2003.

Kelly, Anthony. The Creed by Heart, Relearning the Nicene Creed. Blackburn, VIC: Harper Collins, 1996.

Kelly J.N.D. Early Christian Creeds. 3rd ed. New York: Continuum, 2004.

Kung, Hans. Credo: the Apostles’ Creed for Today. London: SCM, 1993.

Quash, Ben and Michael Ward, eds. Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe. London: SPCK, 2007.

Young, Frances. The Making of the Creeds. London: SCM, 2002.

Lecturer: ROSS FISHBURN