All Christians do theology (in one way or another) but rarely are they given the chance to explore the inner coherence that gives Christian thought its unique character.
The aim of this course is to open up the study of Christian theology to those who want to know what they believe, why they believe it, and whether they should keep on believing it.
It begins with an overview of the different ways in which Christians do their theological thinking: with the Bible, moving through time to the formulation of creeds and the resistance to what were deemed to be heresies, in worship and prayer, and with some examples of influential theologians. When the creeds finally reached a view of the one God existing in three persons, it was the creator God about whom they were talking. Humankind owes its existence to that one God, and reflects his image, but that image has been damaged, and that itself poses a theological challenge. The first term, and indeed all three terms, will be completed by a study of how theology has been expressed in art and architecture.
How has Christ changed the human situation, and what has to be true of him if he is to do so? The second term of study will explore a raft of questions that surround such a concern, which has always been a major preoccupation of Christian theology – not only how he came to be understood in times gone by but also who and what he may mean for us today. Inevitably the meaning of the cross, and the kaleidoscopic variety of interpretations it has attracted will be very much on the agenda. Since Christian thought cannot isolate itself from the world of faiths in which it has presently to live and thrive, some global issues need to be, and will be, addressed.
By long-established Christian conviction ‘God in presence and in power’ is the Holy Spirit – forming, reforming when necessary, shaping and guiding the Christian community, and enabling ethical principles to be discerned and effected. The community itself, living in the light of Christ, lives in the world, and is vulnerable to the weaknesses of its human members. Sometimes it dares to identify the Spirit with its life; sometimes the Spirit seems to resist such an identification as insufficiently self-critical. So the nature of the Church as a living and developing organism, and not just a structured organization, merits careful thought, and that will be the preoccupation of the course in the third part of its three-fold exploration devoted to ‘Spirit and Church’
So as well as discovering and exploring the rich heritage of Christian theology the course will shed light on how Christians can use theology to wrestle with important contemporary concerns and live wisely in a challenging world.
How to Book
The three TQQ terms break down into ten individual sessions, and you would be welcome to register for the year, or for a term, or simply to come for specific sessions that particularly interest you.
The cost is £10 per session, £60 per term (£75 per term for those who write essays, details here) or £150 for the full three term year (£195 with essays).
You do not need to register in advance, just come along on the evening! If, however, you would like to register beforehand or to obtain further information, please contact Alison Ogden on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 424826.