Approaches to Biblical Studies (THEM122)

StaffDr Rebekah Welton - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • equip you with the intellectual tools to carry out a sustained and rigorous analysis of a biblical text
  • enable you to engage critically with current interdisciplinary approaches to biblical literature
  • encourage you to pay attention to the social and cultural conditions underlying interpretative strategies, ancient and modern
  • provide you with the opportunity to explore your own areas of interest in Biblical Studies in conjunction with a supervisor

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Engage with recent academic approaches to biblical studies
  • 2. Critically assess, in depth, one biblical text’s features, contexts, or later reception, OR one methodology associated with academic study of the Bible

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Critically evaluate how approaches to the interpretation of religious texts have developed within the academy
  • 4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the interdisciplinary dimensions of contemporary biblical studies

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Develop a project that engages with contemporary scholarship
  • 6. Shape detailed information into a clear written account
  • 7. Show significant originality and rigour in argument
  • 8. Demonstrate independent and critical research skills
  • 9. Convey ideas to your peers through oral and/or written discussion

Syllabus plan

The module will fall into three main parts:

  1. Close reading, analysis and discussion of a selected biblical text
  2. Exploring examples of the afterlives and interpretation of a biblical text and/or its motifs
  3. Directed individual research with a supervisor  

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 15Seminar time
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 3Supervision meeting
Guided Independent Study 282Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Annotated bibliography1000 words1, 4, 8Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Wiki contributions207 x 500 words or equivalent1-4, 6, 8-9Oral and written feedback
Essay806000 words1-8Oral and written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Wiki contributionsWiki contributions1-4, 6, 8-9Refer/Defer period
EssayEssay1-8Refer/Defer period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • David E. Aune, The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley Blackwell, 2010)
  • John Barton, A History of the Bible: A Book and Its Faiths(Allen Lane, 2019)
  • Stephen D. Moore and Yvonne Sherwood, The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto(Fortress Press, 2011)
  • Susan Niditch (ed.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Ancient Israel (Wiley Blackwell, 2016)

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Last revision date


Key words search

Bible, Theology, religion, reception, interpretation, culture