Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module THEO43630: The Bible and Hermeneutics

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO43630: The Bible and Hermeneutics

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce the main issues of contemporary debate about biblical interpretation in relation to contemporary work in hermeneutics;
  • To illustrate the fresh conceptual resources and possibilities for biblical interpretation that have become available through work in hermeneutics;
  • To survey and evaluate interpretations of a selected, paradigmatic biblical text that raises major hermeneutical issues.


  • The module is in three sections, corresponding to the aims of the course. The first situates the approaches to be considered within broader modern and postmodern concerns, the second considers some specific resources for reformulating interpretative possibilities, the third analyzes various readings of a selected biblical text or texts. All three will involve extensive reading and reflection upon relevant literature, with seminar discussions.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should possess technical knowledge of the academic style appropriate to the discipline of Biblical Studies.
  • Students should have critical awareness and appreciation of the range of approaches used in research in the discipline of Biblical Studies.
  • Students should have detailed knowledge of the text or texts selected for study.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to discriminate between and evaluate the appropriateness of a range of interpretative approaches in relation to specific biblical passages.
  • Students should possess advanced ability to comprehend and assess complex debates relating to scholarly issues within Biblical Studies.
Key Skills:
  • Students will have well-developed powers of intellectual discrimination and judgement.
  • Students will be able to communicate clearly, precisely and coherently in written expression.
  • Students will develop their abilities in close reading of texts, both biblical and scholarly, and in critical reflection and comment on them

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 19 weekly 2 hours 38
Preparation and reading 262
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One 5,000 word essay

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University