This unit will introduce the content and tasks of Christian theology by engaging a range of representations of Christianity in contemporary intellectual and popular cultures, especially but not exclusively in Australia. These will include objections to Christianity, non-Christian explorations of Christianity, assessments of Christianity by other religions, and secular appropriations of the Christian legacy. Engagement with these different sources will provide an opportunity to assess the particular challenges currently posed to Christian belief and therefore to explore the role of theology in responding to those challenges. This will contextualise the introduction to the tasks and disciplines of Christian theology but it will also draw historical links with the birth of Christian theology in the religiously and philosophically diverse world of antiquity.

Unit code: CT8010P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe various contemporary discussions of Christianity


Assess key developments in the emergence of Christian theology


Evaluate the strengths and weakness of one major, contemporary non-Christian representation of Christianity


Explain the role of theology in responding to contemporary representations and/or appropriations of Christianity


Articulate the broad range of key ideas which make up the Christian intellectual vision


Lectures, Seminars; Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity. Melbourne: Penguin, 2011.
  • Caroll, John. The Existential Jesus. Melbourne: Scribe, 2007.
  • Caroll, John. The Western Dreaming. Pymble: Harper Collins, 2001.
  • De Botton, Alain. Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. New York: Vintage, 2012.
  • Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. London: Bantam, 2006.
  • Ford, David. The Future of Christian Theology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L., and Zaida Maldonado Perez. An Introduction to Christian Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.
  • Higton, Mike. Christian Doctrine. London: SCM, 2006.
  • Jenson, Peter. The Future of Jesus. Sydney: ABC Books, 2005.
  • Maddox, Marion. God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2005.
  • McGrath, Alister E. Theology: The Basics. 3rd edn. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
  • Russell, Bertrand. Why I am Not a Christian. London: Routledge, 2004.
  • Tacey, David. The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality. Sydney: Harper Collins, 2003.
  • Woodhead, Linda. Christianity: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3000 word essay on a theological engagement with contemporary representations and/or appropriations of Christianity

0 50.0

1200 word essay on the origins and tasks of Christian theology

0 20.0
Book Review

1800 book review of a key non-Christian account of Christianity

0 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2014

Unit record last updated: 2020-11-04 14:09:20 +1100