Systematic theology

Introduction to Systematic theology

Course Code ST151

Students will form a foundational understanding of the basics of the Orthodox doctrine as they become acquainted with the various dogmas of the Church from a Biblical and patristic perspective. Theological terminology is introduced.

English for theology

Course Code ST250

The course introduces students to over a hundred definitions that will enable them to read theological/patristic passages in English with ease. Passages on various theological topics are analysed in class, highlighting use of language and writing styles of the fathers. The unit involves little research work, but there is a substantial amount of reading assignments that are set to be read and prepared for class discussions. Students are required to write a number of papers demonstrating their acquired knowledge towards the end of the semester.

(pre-requisites – ST151, PS151)  

On the economy of Salvation

Course Code ST300

Soteriological themes will be dealt with here, exploring from creation onwards, in a chronological fashion. Different patristic views on the doctrine will be juxtaposed such as the conflict between the Greek theory of universalism which began with Justin Martyr and the Latin tradition. Incongruous models of atonement such as Christus Victor and penal substitution are examined in parallel. Recapitulation, purification, Kenosis, ascesis (Vita Antonii) and anthropology are examples of some key ideas that will also be studied. Theological views that are not consensual amongst the fathers are explored for the sake of patristic awareness but the core of this syllabus is based on Alexandrian theology.

(pre-requisites – ST151)  

The mystery of the Trinity

Course Code ST333

This unit breaks down the theology pertaining to the conceptualisation of the Triune God (the Holy Trinity), discussing the historical development and formulation of this doctrine with regards to the ecumenical councils (especially the Nicene creed). The different angles and dimensions of this dogma are explored through a comparative study of the Church fathers’ writings. The works of the Holy Trinity will be explored, highlighting key themes such theologia, oikonomia and knowledge of God when speaking about creation and redemption.

(pre-requisites – ST151, ST300)  

Pre-chalcedonian Christology

Course Code ST350

A specialised course that deals with the issue of Christology exclusively, beginning by returning back to the philosophical origins of the terminology, and ending at the split at Chalcedon. The origins of the Christological controversaries are examined by contrasting the exegetical approaches and theological views of the two schools of Alexandria and Antioch. The ecumenical councils are closely examined, in addition to some key passages belonging to St.Athanasius and St.Cyril.

(pre-requisites – ST151)  

Christ, Church and Salvation

Course Code ST375

This unit explores the various dimensions of “Ecclesiology”. It begins by defining the Church as a unique entity and organization through a number of parameters. Its theology and divine institution by Christ are explored, drawing on Christological themes studied in the course’s pre-requisites, demonstrating the lifegiving Salvific works of the Word in connection to the formation of the Church and its Christocentric paradigm. Moreover, the Church’s function as a new Ark of Noah is explored through a patristic study of Eschatology. A number of themes which compliment these dogmas such as an overview of tradition, clerical hierarchy (the Church ranks will be explored) and the role of believers (laity) are addressed. Reference to the Book of Acts and Revelations is made to understand the Biblical roots of concepts. Another key area explored is ecumenical work, ecumenism/theological dialogue and the relevance of our theology in contemporary times. The final issue dealt with is Canon law as a means of preserving Orthodox tradition and managing pastoral needs or problems.

(pre-requisites – ST151, ST300)