Course Description

What is the relationship of scripture and theology? Some answers to this question start with the Bible, while others begin with Christian doctrine, while still others call for a dialectical movement between canon and creed. However it is approached, the question presents a number of challenges.

To illustrate the problem in general, and to outline some possible solutions, this course highlights a variety of current approaches to the Old Testament as the scripture of the Church. Students will encounter work by an array of biblical and theological specialists who transgress the conventional limits of their disciplines. They will study the views of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and those who disavow religious affiliation. Because the Hebrew Bible is Jewish scripture in the first instance, students will consider why some Jews are not interested in biblical theology, and what it means for the Church to adhere to the Scriptures of Israel. Specific doctrines under consideration include: creation, sin, election, incarnation (the body of God), divine impassibility, Christology, Mariology, law and gospel, death and resurrection, and the afterlife.

Download the Syllabus (Summer 2017)

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Required Texts (Summer 2017)*

Gary A. Anderson. Christian Doctrine and the Old Testament: Theology in the Service of Biblical Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017. ISBN 978-0801098253.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
Neil B. MacDonald. Metaphysics and the God of Israel: Systematic Theology of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006. ISBN 978-0801032431.
Order it in Canada or the USA.

Please note that textbook selections for my courses often change with each iteration of the course.

Making Sense
Margot Northey, Bradford A. Anderson, and Joel N. Lohr. Making Sense in Religious Studies: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing. 3rd ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2019.
This title is optional but highly recommended. It includes basic advice on things like reading religious texts, writing essays and book reviews, making oral presentations, and learning languages. It should help you master fundamental tasks in nearly any course in religion or theology.
The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd Edition, is the definitive style manual for biblical studies and related disciplines.
A blog ( and free Student Supplement (PDF) should cover the issues most common to term papers. The AST library copy is in the reference section at PN 147 S26 2014.
Serious students of biblical studies will want a copy of their own. Order one from SBL Press or elsewhere online. ISBN 978-1589839649.
See my resources page for further advice on writing, style, and research.

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