The degree focuses on four fundamental areas of study essential to a theology and religious Studies degree in the 21st century: philosophy, ethics, religion, and theology/biblical studies.
The four areas of study provide the basic tools of analysis of the impact of religion in both the contemporary and the ancient and classical world. They provide you with the intellectual skills to understand the impact of religion in the contemporary world. You can tackle issues such as poverty and inequality, social justice, racism, violence, anti-Semitism, feminism and post-colonialism in the context of religion and theology.
They also provide for the intellectual skills for understanding the significance of religion in the ancient and classical world. This enables you to shed light on the origins of religion in its various forms of expression. You will able to explain, for example, the biblical and historical origins of Christianity centred as it is on the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. This means that you will come to understand Christianity as an enduring historical phenomenon in terms of its development out of Judaism from the first century onwards. You will be able to assess the origins and validity of philosophical and ethical concepts of theology and religion.
All will involve a journey that will take you from the study of your chosen sacred texts to the study of history, culture, art, and language itself.
We are the top new university with regards to world-leading research publications in Theology and Religious Studies (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).
You will get the freedom to explore your own interests and the support that you need to complete your studies successfully. You are able to:
- Major in Christian theology (two-thirds of your degree is historical, biblical, theological, ethical, and philosophical);
- Major in religious studies where the focus is the major world religions (two-thirds of your degree includes the philosophy, thought, practice, and culture of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism);
- Study Theology and Religious Studies in equal proportions.
In your first year we provide courses on the core areas of philosophy, ethics, religion, and, theology/biblical studies:
We run modules on ‘Introduction to the Study of Religion’, ‘Classical Philosophy’, ‘Introduction to Christian Theology’, ‘Living Theology 1: Ethics and Personhood’, ‘Introduction to the Bible’, and ‘Judaism: Religion, Culture, and History.’
You also have the opportunity to study the languages in which sacred texts were written or into which they were translated: Hebrew, Greek and Latin.
Second and Third Years
In your second and third years we continue to provide modules on the core areas:
‘Christian Theology: the Essential Questions’, ‘The Historical Jesus’, ‘The Book of Revelation: the End of the World’, ‘Living Theology 2: Social Justice’, ‘Theology, Art, and Culture’, ‘Theologies of the Non-Western World’, ‘The Gospel of John and the Early Church’, ‘Pentecostal Theology in Context’
‘Religion in Dialogue and Conflict’, ‘Islam: Religion, Politics, and History’, ‘Islam and Women’, ‘Myth and Sacred Narrative: Ideologies and Interpretations’, ‘Religion and Human Rights’, ‘Philosophy of Religion’, ‘Indian Philosophy and Religion’, ‘Jewish Philosophy of Religion,’ ‘The Holocaust and the Problem of Evil.’
You have the opportunity to pursue these interests in depth through dissertations and special studies. Field trips to places of religious significance (e.g., Lourdes in France) and work placements are also available as study modules.
Academic Standards and Achievement
We have high expectations for our students and we educate our theology and religious studies students to a high standard. The theology and religious studies degree that we run at Roehampton closely follows the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) national standards for undergraduate study in the subject. The QAA is a national agency which specifies what universities should provide in their degree programmes. The QAA National Guidelines for theology and religious studies can be found here.