StudyQA — Master: Biblical Studies — Heythrop College

Biblical Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 6.04k / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 15.5k / Academic year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:4120 Duration:12 months

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In the light of some of the most recent developments in biblical interpretation, you will consider such questions as:

What can we know about the historical context of ancient Israel, and the composition of the Pentateuch?

How have prophetic and wisdom texts, such as Isaiah and the Song of Songs, been variously interpreted by Jewish and Christian interpreters throughout history?

What has been the impact of the rich imagery used to portray God in the Psalms?

What do we know about the historical culture of Jesus, or the social settings of Pauls letters?

What do the gospels teach us about the relationship between Jesus and God, and between Jesus and humankind?

To what extent does each gospel have a unique Christology?

What does the Bible teach us about human relationships?

How do NT texts relate to Jewish writings of the Second Temple era?

You start with two core modules on Critical Aspects of Biblical Interpretation, one focused on the Old Testament and the other on the New. Both deal with the history of interpretation - through patristic, medieval, modern and post-modern eyes and with methodologies used in reading and interpreting biblical texts.

Your other two modules can be chosen from a range of options which focus on detailed study of specific biblical texts of different types, and the issues - both thematic and interpretative which they raise. Not all options are available in every year, and to some extent availability depends on demand from enough students to present a useful study group. Essentially, you will choose one Old Testament module and one New Testament module. You could replace one of these with a language module in Biblical Hebrew or New Testament Greek or, by agreement, with a module from another one of the College MA programmes.

The dissertation is an opportunity to pursue in depth a topic of your own choice, approved by your supervisor and often building on one or more of your options.

The degree is likely to be of interest to teachers and to those involved in church-related ministries, as well as those who have a particular interest in the textual study of biblical literature. It can form a valuable part of ongoing education for ministers.

The course consists of four modules and a dissertation.

BIB411 Critical Aspects of Biblical Interpretation I (OT)- Core Module

Both core modules will focus on the history of interpretation. This will be done with particular attention a wide range of methodologies. This first module will concentrate on a choice of Old Testament texts in an attempt to examine critical ways in which these texts have been, and are being, read through patristic, medieval, modern and post-modern eyes. Texts will also be read through a variety of Christian and Jewish interpretative approaches.

BIB412 Critical Aspects of Biblical Interpretation II (NT)- Core Module

This module will focus on both the history of interpretation and the methodologies (old and new) of the New Testament. The module will cover interpretations from the earliest times in the Patristic period and will look at medieval, modern and postmodern times

One option from:

BIB505 Women in the Old Testament & the Intertestamental Era

This module will introduce students to the hermeneutical and exegetical issues associated with the study of Old Testament and Intertestamental texts concerning women, and texts which have affected womens lives. We will consider a range of selected texts in their literary, historical, social and anthropological contexts and examine a variety of interpretations of these texts.

BIB506 Second Temple Judaism: Texts & Traditions

In this module, you will study a variety of texts from Second Temple Jewish literature (early second century BCE to 135 CE). You will examine the historical and philosophical context of the creative interaction between Judaism and Hellenism through study of the continuity and plurality of ideas between the Old Testament and the New Testament and beyond, focusing on concepts ranging from messianism to ideas about death, immortality and resurrection.

BIB511 The Bible in the Life of the Church

This module examines the Bible as the central religious, spiritual, intellectual and cultural source of communities of faith: Judaism and Christianity in its various denominations. Exegetical analysis of selected Biblical texts will be reflected against the backdrop of their theological, liturgical, artistic and musical reception. Communities of faith will be seen both as the hermeneutical framework for the interpretation of canonical texts as well as inspired and fostered by them. According to specific interests of students, the module will also give an opportunity to improve practical skills regarding the ministry of the Word.

One option from:

BIB507 A Critical Reading of Marks Gospel

In this module, we shall bring the tools of modern biblical criticism to bear on a narrative text, probably the earliest of the canonical gospels. Different critical methodologies highlight different aspects of this important work, but all will, in some way, focus on, and illuminate, the enigmatic figure of Marks Jesus, perhaps the most challenging character of the gospel tradition.

BIB504 Reading 1 Corinthians

The city of Corinth was well known in the ancient world as a centre of trade and culture. Two letters of Paul addressed to the church at Corinth have been preserved and these give us insight into the types of problems Paul encountered with his church communities. This module focuses on Pauls first letter to the Corinthians. Written in the early 50s CE, the letter deals with such topics as divisions in the church; improper behaviour; the married and the single; food offered to idols; whether or not women should cover their heads during worship; the Lords supper; spiritual gifts; and the resurrection. We will examine these issues through an analysis of the text of the letter along with an appreciation of the letters wider context and place in the development of Pauls thought.

You may replace one option with an Introduction to Biblical Hebrew or to New Testament Greek.

The dissertation is an opportunity to pursue in depth a topic of your own choice, approved by your supervisor and often building on one or more of your options.

The weekly two-hour sessions for each module include input from lecturers to introduce or draw together key issues and themes, with group discussion and work on the texts. The directed reading and other tasks guide your preparation and follow up from the classes, and your independent learning. Additionally, you will have regular tutorials, normally on a one-to-one basis, to discuss work completed or in progress, and meetings with a supervisor in relation to the dissertation.There is a weekly two-hour session for each module. As a part-time student, this means you need to attend on one evening a week, and as a full-time student you attend on two evenings a week. There are more class hours for language modules, so you would need to attend the College more frequently, and possibly in the daytime. Preparation for classes should take around six hours a week, and you will spend a similar time preparing for your coursework and essays some of this outside term-time. You will also need to attend at more flexible and negotiable times - for tutorials on work in progress.Each module is assessed by a combination of coursework tasks completed during or shortly after the period of module teaching, and an end-of-year essay.
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