This unit engages students with the discipline of biblical theology, which integrates the contents and theological themes of the Old and New Testaments as the essential foundation for Christian faith, life, and ministry. It provides an opportunity for students to listen to the text in fresh ways—not just its harmonies, but also its creative dissonances. Students will be challenged and nurtured to think theologically and pastorally about these themes (and others), and to reflect critically on the claims of Christian faith regarding the contemporary world and an educational context. The unit proceeds by identifying and expounding five broad and interrelated themes: our relational God, our suffering God and the atonement, our troubling God, eschatology, and God and human sexuality.

Unit code: BS9020L

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Australian Lutheran College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the unity-in-diversity of significant theological themes and patterns discerned in the biblical text of both testaments and in Christian tradition


Undertake critical analysis of selected biblical themes


Use a range of hermeneutical approaches when identifying and applying insights about the broad and interrelated themes of this unit for an educational context


Engage in the processes of theological reflection on the contemporary relevance of biblical themes


Demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication

Unit sequence

Course relationship: A level 9 unit in postgraduate theology, ministry or education courses

Prerequisites: None


This unit is underpinned by teaching practices and strategies (e.g. engagement with online learning materials, audio/video, tasks, forums, and asynchronous discussion) which encourage student engagement and participation in a variety of learning tasks and opportunities which foster deep learning.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Cheryl. Ancient laws and contemporary controversies: the need for inclusive interpretation. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Braaten, Carl E. The last things: biblical and theological perspectives on eschatology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B Eerdmans, 2002.
  • Burrell, David B. Deconstructing theodicy: why Job has nothing to say to the puzzled [i.e. puzzle of] suffering. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2008.
  • Copan, Paul. Is God a moral monster? Making sense of the Old Testament God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011
  • Cornwall, Susannah. Intersex, theology, and the Bible: troubling bodies in church, text, and society. New York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2015
  • Fretheim, Terence E. Creation untamed: the Bible, God, and natural disasters. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010.
  • ———. God and world in the Old Testament: a relational theology of creation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2005.
  • Kirby, Michael D. et al. Five uneasy pieces: essays on scripture and sexuality. Adelaide, SA: ATF Press, 2011.
  • Lewis, Scott M. What are they saying about New Testament apocalyptic? New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2004.
  • Loader, William. The New Testament on sexuality. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012.
  • Seibert, Eric A. The violence of scripture: overcoming the Old Testament’s troubling legacy. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Annotated Bibliography

Annotated record of academic reading

2000 25.0
Critical Review

Critical analysis of resources relating to the major essay.

2400 30.0

Major essay on a unit topic.

3600 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 3 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-03 16:11:04 +1000