After completion of this course, students are able to:
- describe the basics of theology: its sources, disciplines, and methods
- read, understand, and comment on an academic theological text at beginner’s level
- find and refer correctly to academic literature
- write a short text on a theological topic which meets academic standards
- give a short oral presentation on a theological topic which meets academic standards
- explain the importance of (personal) biography for theological reflection.
This course will help you to train basic academic skills which are crucial for your studies at the School. First of all using the library, finding relevant and reliable sources, also online, and refer correctly to these sources. We will train these skills partly by using an online tutorial. Further on we will give you some techniques that can be used when reading and trying to understand theological texts. We will also practice the basis rules of academic writing: the formal tripartite structure of an essay, paying attention to style, arrangement of paragraphs and using signal words. The last skill that will be trained is giving an oral presentation, but also giving feedback to this as peer-reviewer.|
We will train these skills by introducing you to the academic field of theology. What is theology? Why is it relevant? What is its history? What methods does it use and what disciplines does it encompass, and how are these connected? You will have to read a text from one of the disciplines which are also going to be introduced throughout the entire BA: biblical studies, church history, dogmatic theology, moral theology, practical theology, liturgical theology and contextual theology. You will have to check several sources of this text, make a summary of it and present it to the group. You will also have to make your own small encyclopedia of theology, writing a short lemma of technical terms using different reference works.
Lastly, this course also wants to create awareness of the fact that the theologian’s personal background plays an important role in doing theology. Theology is not a natural science, but a hermeneutical science, in which the insider perspective (emic approach) predominates. What is your background; what are your expectations and motivations for studying theology; what expertise and knowledge do you bring to the table? We will discuss this in order to enhance our hermeneutical consciousness (Gadamer). It will also help you to get to know your peers better.