Phronesis or applied wisdom is a specifically Christian quality, yet is not exclusive to Christian tradition and engagement. What then, is specifically Christian about wisdom and how does this contribute to human flourishing? Phronesis is articulated with specific stylistics, such as situational decision-making or customary interaction, within human existence. This unit will draw on theological and philosophical perspectives generated from an interface of phronesis and contemporary life—volition, responsibility, freedom and common sense. Exploration of these perspectives will be used to articulate the character of phronesis and its expression within human flourishing. Phronesis will be evaluated in terms of epistemological and hermeneutical challenges for its specifically Christian expression.

Unit code: CT3099S

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Identify and evaluate the nature of Christian wisdom by reference to scriptural and theological sources relating to phronesis, volition, responsibility, ethics and freedom


Develop criteria for evaluating adequate framing and expression of Christian wisdom in relation to phronesis, volition, responsibility, ethics and freedom within human existence


Demonstrate an understanding of epistemological and hermeneutical issues arising in the interface between Christian faith and wisdom


Demonstrate competence in interpreting variegated theological resources for understanding and articulating Christian wisdom in relation to human flourishing


Intensive: rotation of lecture input, group discussion, class plenary and further response input Online: textual, with animated visual material, graphics and audio designed for interactive community online.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, trans, David Ross, rev. intro. & notes Lesley Brown, Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press, 1980, 2009.
  • Brooks, D. The Road to Character, UK: Penguin, 2015.
  • Eagleton, T. After Theory, London et al.: Penguin, 2004.
  • Hegel, G.W.F. Outlines of the Philosophy of Right, trans. T.M. Knox, rev. ed. & intro. Stephen Houlgate, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Jüngel, E. God as the Mystery of the World: In the Foundation of the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism, trans. Darrell L. Guder. Grand Rapids and Edinburgh: Eerdmans and T&T Clark, 1983.
  • Marion, J-L Prolegomena to Charity, trans. S. Lewis, New York: Fordham UP, 2002.
  • Nagel, T The Last Word, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Pippin, R.B. Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Russell, D.C. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Taylor, C. A Secular Age. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007.
  • Taylor, C. Hegel and Modern Society, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979, 2015.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 2000 words

2000 50.0
Critical Review

Critical review 1000 words

1000 20.0
Document Study

Document study 500 words

500 10.0
Document Study

Document study 500 words

500 10.0
Document Study

Document study 500 words

500 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Carolyn Alsen on 2 Jul, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000