Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module THMN42730: Scripture and Hermeneutics: The Role of the Bible in Ministry

Department: Theology and Ministry

THMN42730: Scripture and Hermeneutics: The Role of the Bible in Ministry

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To integrate critical theological reflection on the doctrine of scripture with inter-disciplinary hermeneutical reflection on the interpretation of the Bible, in order to explore the role of the Bible as Christian scripture in ministry.


  • The module will have three main sections:
  • I - Introduction to Hermeneutics - Topics may include: hermeneutics; authors; texts; readers; meaning; theological and ethical perspectives
  • II - Doctrine of Scripture - Topics may include revelation; inspiration and authority; clarity and sufficiency; canon
  • III - Biblical Interpretation in Doctrinal & Hermeneutical Perspective - Topics may include textual criticism; historical criticism; biblical theology; canonical approaches; reception history; theological interpretation; literary readings; feminist interpretation; postcolonial interpretation; evangelical interpretation; postmodern interpretation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will gain an in-depth understanding of:
  • Hermeneutics with perspectives from theology and ethics
  • The contemporary hermeneutical debate
  • Biblical interpretation in Doctrinal and Hermeneutical Perspective
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to state and critique constructively both traditional and contemporary articulations of a doctrine of scripture
  • have analysed some of the many conflicting voices in contemporary hermeneutical debate
  • be able to utilise contemporary hermeneutical reflection in their intepretation of the Bible
  • have experience of exploring what difference hermeneutics makes in using the Bible by way of 'case studies' of interpretation of one key biblical passage (currently Genesis 1-3)
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to identify and articulate possible areas of research
  • develop their ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively both orally and in written format
  • develop research based skills

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

  • The contact hours outline in the grid below give an indication of the split between lectures and seminars. This may vary depending on the size of the cohort.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 16 Weekly for 2 terms 1 hour 45 mins 28
Seminars 8 1 hour 8
Preparation & Reading 264
Total 300

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

One 2500 word essay (normally a book critique); as well as seminar leading on a topic which will (normally) contribute to the summative essay. Feedback will be given on student presentations and seminar involvement, as well as written feedback on formative and summative essays.

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