Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module THMN40430: The History and Theology of the Charismatic Movement

Department: Theology and Ministry

THMN40430: The History and Theology of the Charismatic Movement

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to identify and analyse the historical roots, phenomena, spirituality and theologies of the 'charismatic' movements.


  • The module has three main elements.
  • First, a study of the search for an adequate way to theologise about the charismatic experience of the Church in the light of the relevant biblical material. Students will be familiarised with the range of way of theologising about the common phenomena of charismatic experience - including Spirit-baptism, glossolalia, prophecy and miraculous healing - especially in relation to the context of broader ecclesiological and theological frameworks. Consideration will also be given to the anti-charismatic arguments of those who have opposed the movements.
  • Second, an analysis of the internal apologetic claim of modern charismatic movements to historical precedents within the Church going back to the New Testament. This will include discussion of Montanism, Quakerism, the Methodist revival, Holiness movements, the Irvingites and classical twentieth century Pentecostalism. Included will be a discussion of the unity and diversity of the theologising about the relevant phenomena and of restorationist and other paradigms for locating the movements within broader ecclesiologies.
  • Third, a consideration of recent sociological discussion which emphasises the function of charismatic movements as responses to concurrent ecclesial and mundane realities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The course will enable students to:
  • Identify and locate (historically, theologically and sociologically) the 'charismatic' movements in the history of the Church.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Evaluate critically the ideas and contributions of these movements.
  • Re-examine their own pre-suppositions, ideas and pastoral practice concerning charismatic issues.

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

  • 30 hours of lectures and seminars comprising twenty sessions of 90mins. each, spread over the first two terms of the academic year together with some tutorial support.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One formative assessment of a 5,000-word essay. Students may also lead a seminar in preparation for their summative essay. Feedback to students will comprise dialogue in seminars, and written feedback on formative work. Staff will also be available for individual consultation.

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