This unit is a study of Christian reflection on what it means to be human in relation to God and what makes up our humanity. It explores biblical, philosophical and theological foundations in understanding humanity as created in the image of God, human freedom, grace, nature and sin. The dialectic of authentic human living within the intersubjectivity of community and how these are embodied through human arrangements in response to historical, cultural and religious factors such as family, race, identity, the limitations of sickness and disability, ageing and death, and the ecological crisis of our times.

Unit code: CT9019Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Discuss the main features of Christian teaching on the human person


Evaluate the relative contributions of culture and the world to Christian teaching on the human person


Critically assess theological understanding about humanity’s and God’s relationship with the world.


Identify and describe the theological understanding of grace in relation to persons.


Evaluate the shift in the theological tradition from an individualistic concept of person to persons-in-relationship


Articulate a theological understanding of the dynamic tension revealed in nature/grace; body/soul; person/community

Unit sequence

24 points of Foundational CT


Lectures, Seminars, Guided Reading

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brett, Gregory. The Theological Notion of the Human Person: A Conversation between the Theology of Karl Rahner and the Philosophy of John MacMurray. Bern: Peter Lang Publishers, 2013.
  • Copeland, M. Shawn. Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.
  • Duffy, Stephen. The Dynamics of Grace. Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press, 1993.
  • Edwards, Denis. Human Experience of God. New York, NY: Paulist, 1983.
  • Gonzalez, M.A. Created in God’s Image. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2007.
  • Haughton, Rosemary. The Transformation of Man: A Study of Conversion and the Community. 9th ed. Springfield, Il: Templegate, 1980.
  • Johnson, Elizabeth A. Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 2018.
  • McCarthy, Michael. Authenticity as Self-Transcendence: The Enduring Insights of Bernard Lonergan. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press, 2015.
  • McFarland, Ian. Difference and Identity: A Theological Anthropology. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim, 2001.
  • Ross, Susan. Anthropology: Seeking Light and Beauty. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012.
  • Sachs, John R. The Christian Vision of Humanity: Basic Christian Anthropology. Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/ Liturgical Press, 1991
  • Schwarz, Hans. The Human Being: Theological Anthropology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013. Welker, Michael. * The Depth of the Human Person: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014. Williams, Rowan. *Being Human: Bodies, Minds Persons. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018.
  • __________. Christ the Heart of Creation. London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018.
  • Young, Norman, Creator, Creation and Faith. London: Collins, 1976.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

Short Seminar Paper (1,750 words)

1750 25.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Short Seminar Paper (1,750 words)

1750 25.0

Research Essay (4000 words)

4000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 27 Aug, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-08-27 14:49:19 +1000