1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of THEO2203, THEO2216 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Tutorial presentation
Topic description
This topic provides foundational skills in the study the letters of the apostle Paul. Different exegetical methods will be employed for analysing and comparing a selection of the letters attributed to Paul (authentic and pseudonymous). The topic will investigate the different contexts in which, and to which, Paul addressed his gospel, and analyse critically how Paul was subsequently interpreted. Key issues related to the expansion of Christianity into new cultures, the struggle to find a stable community identity and existence amidst a hostile environment and the demands of ethnic diversity will be investigated. Implications for contemporary missional practice will be explored.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • provide foundational skills in the analysis and appreciation of the genuine letters of Paul as communications addressing specific concerns of particular communities in the Mediterranean world of late antiquity

  • evaluate exegetical methods in the handling of the text of the New Testament by concentrating on the letters of Paul

  • identify and analyse the cultural influences operating on communities, leaders and text-production in the world of late antiquity

  • examine and critique the tensions and issues of multi-ethnic, environmental and political relationships in the ancient world and their impact upon the development of fledgling Christian communities

  • develop research skills in the discovery, use and application of tools and aids in a variety of media for the critical analysis of Pauline writings

  • promote an appreciation of the contribution of the Pauline corpus to ecclesial and theological formation

  • develop skills in analytical thinking, presentation of argument, communication of ideas, and quality of discussion
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic students will be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing, complex theoretical and theological concepts relating to the Pauline corpus, to a variety of audiences
  • the ability to analyse critically a range of issues and struggles that impacted upon certain early Christian communities
  • exegetical skills in interpreting early Christian texts
  • research skills of identifying, accessing and analysing relevant primary and secondary sources
  • hermeneutical sensitivity to the implications of the study of Paul's letters and the diversity of contemporary interpretations.