In this unit students will be introduced to the study of theology by examining the engaged processes in which belief is formed. To believe something particular is not to believe everything in general. Christian doctrinal claims have often emerged out of the refusal to believe some-thing or some-one. This process of discernment is, therefore, at the heart of the ongoing theological task. Through an engagement with critical theological traditions, students will examine the ways in which Christians have practiced their belief and their disbelief as integral to discipleship.

Unit code: CT8029T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Outline the basic concepts and categories of Christian theology.


Analyse the significance of historical context for the formation of theological language drawing upon particular examples.


Describe the development of key creedal affirmations and their relationship to denials.


Critically evaluate the significance of ethical practice for the formation of doctrinal claims using a particular example.


Describe the way theological claims are contingently related to one another.

Unit sequence

Foundational CT unit, serving as a prerequisite for further study in CT.


Lectures, tutorials, online discussion, forum

Indicative Bibliography

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Discipleship. in Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Volume. 4. Trans., Geoffrey B. Kelley and John D. Godsey. Ed., Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss. Mineappolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2003.
  • Shusaku Endo. Silence. Foreword., Martin Scorsese. Trans., William Johnson. New York: Picador, 2016.
  • Stanley Hauerwas and William W. Willimon. Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony. 25th Anniversary Edition. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014.
  • Jennifer McBride. Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2017.
  • Christopher Morse. Not Every Spirit: A Dogmatics of Disbelief. 2nd Ed. London and New York: T&T Clark, 2009. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Howard Thurman. Jesus and the Disinherited. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2012.
  • Graham Ward.Unbelievable: Why We Believe and Why We Don’t. London: I.B. Tauris, 2014.
  • _________. The Politics of Discipleship: Becoming Postmaterial Citizens. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.
  • Natalie K. Watson. Feminist Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Rowan Williams. The Wound of Knowledge. 2nd edition. London: Darton, Longmann and Todd, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 1000 words

1000 15.0

Essay 3500 words

3500 50.0

Essay 1000 words

1000 15.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Tutorial Presentation 500 words

500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-10-15 08:13:18 +1100