- Make your own study schedule and take advantage of online tutoring hours
- Obtain a certified diploma once you finish the course.
Suitable for: SUITABLE FOR: This course is suitable for all students over the age of 17. Students can study on this course no matter where you are in the World. The course is made up of various units and each build up your knowledge base of the subject. Courses are all delivered in English.
Oxford College are pleased to offer the opportunity to study this Quality Assured Diploma in Religious Studies at Level 3. The course has the following aims:
- To develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for the rigorous study of religion and its relation to the wider world.
- To treat the subject as an academic discipline, providing the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate for specialist study.
- To teach students an enquiring, reflective and critical approach to the study of religion.
- To encourage students to reflect on their own values, beliefs and opinions in the light of their study.
The fully accredited Ascentis Level 3 Diploma course in Religious Studies will look at a whole variety of subject areas covering the Old and the New Testament. The course will be a foundation for further studies, for those who wish to study Religious Studies at higher or further education or those who just have an interest in the subject.
Students will study the following topics in order to complete the Diploma course:
An introduction to the world of the Old Testament
The life of pre-exilic Israel, with reference to the following: a wandering people; a people become a nation; a people amongst other peoples. The following passages will be set for study: Exodus 15-16, 1 Samuel 8-10 and 1 Kings 18: 17-46. The issues of: how far the accounts of the Exodus and conquests are credible as history; slavery and freedom; the meaning of nationhood and the significance of kingship and syncretism and intolerance will be discussed.
Old Testament view of God's relationship with the people
The idea of covenant and its place in the everyday life of Ancient Israel with reference to the following: ideas of covenant in the political life of the Ancient Near East; twentieth century critical views about the making of the covenant and Abraham and the beginning of the covenant relationship; Moses, the relationship formalised through Law and the giving of the Law. The following passages will be set for study: Genesis 17; 22:1-18 and Exodus 19-20. The issues of: the relevance of Old Testament ides of God in the twenty-first century; the significance of the idea of covenant; the impact of critical views on an understanding of the covenant and whether the Law of Moses is relevant in the twenty-first century will be discussed.
The phenomenon of prophecy
The nature of prophets and their function in society with reference to the following: the development of prophecy in the tenth and ninth centuries, with particular focus on Samuel and Elijah; the development of the prophetic experience and the types of prophets. The following passages will be set for study: 1 Samuel 9:1-10:16 and 1 Kings 18:17-19:18; 21. The following issues arising will be discussed: prophets as ordinary or extraordinary people; their credibility in society; the inevitability of conflict between prophets and the authorities of their day in the Old Testament and in other times and the continuing significance of prophetic experience.
Eighth century prophecy - Amos
The continuing significance of Amos' theme of the relationship between religious practice and morality with reference to the following: his teaching on the nature of God, and God's relationship with the people; the ideas of election and responsibility; his criticisms of the social, religious and political life of the people and his views on the future of the people, including his teaching on the 'Day of the Lord'. The passage set for study will be Amos. The issues discussed will be: Amos as a prophet of doom; the relative importance of Amos' social, religious and political criticisms; the extent to which covenant underpinned Amos' teaching; the extent to which Amos may be viewed as a typical prophet; whether Amos was right in his views on God and Israel and his predictions of Israel's future.
How the synoptic gospels came into being
Oral tradition with reference to: the reasons for the synoptic gospels being committed to writing; the relationship between the three synoptic gospels; the priority of Mark; reasons for writers editing material as they wrote the synoptic gospels; reasons for translating the original Greek synoptic texts. The issues whether understanding about how John's gospel came into being assists understanding of the synoptic gospels themselves; the advantages and disadvantages of having three gospels rather than one given the time gap before the gospels were written; uncertainty about their sources and authorship, and whether we can trust them to be accurate or the Word of God.
Aspects of Jesus' teaching and action; parables and healing
With particular reference to the passages listed below, candidates will be expected to know about: the role and the purpose of parables and healings as recorded in the synoptic gospels; scholars' views of the theology and the teaching found in parables and healings. The following passages will be set for study:The Sower(Matthew 13:3-23 and Mark 43-20);The Tenants in the Vineyard(Matthew 21:33-46 and Mark 12:1-12);Centurion's Slave(Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10) andLegion(Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39). The issues to be discussed: in a scientific age, do Jesus' healings have to be rationalised? Is context so important that parables cannot be understood in the twenty-first century? Are scholars necessary to ensure people have a true understanding of the theological messages from the parables and the healings?
The arrest, trial and death of Jesus
Candidates will be expected to know: scholars' views of the theological message and the teaching about the person of Jesus provided by the writers in these accounts and the main similarities and differences between the three accounts: Matthew 26:36-27:61, Mark 14:32-15:47 and Luke 22:40-23:56. The following issues arising will be discussed: is there any satisfactory explanation of why the synoptic accounts of the arrest, trial and death of Jesus are so different from each other? Is it possible to deduce from them the reason why Jesus was crucified? Are the accounts of the arrest, trial and death of Jesus historically reliable? How convincing are the claims made about the person of Jesus and his ministry based on the synoptic accounts of his arrest, trial and death?
The resurrection of Jesus
Candidates will be expected to know: scholars' views of the theological message and the teaching about the person of Jesus provided by the writers in these accounts and the main similarities and differences between the three accounts: Matthew 27:62-28:20, Mark 16:1-20 (noting the variant readings of the text) and Luke 24. The following issues arising will be discussed: are the resurrection accounts symbolic, historical or both symbolic and historical? Is there any satisfactory explanation of why the synoptic accounts of the resurrection are so different from each other? Is the longer ending of Mark's Gospel authentic? How important are the synoptic resurrection narratives for the Christian faith?
The context of John's Gospel
This unit focuses on: the relationship between John and the synoptic gospels; the Christian context, the Early Church and the Greek and Jewish context from which John draws. The following issues arising will be discussed: the debate about the relationship between John and the synoptic gospels; how an understanding of the background to John's gospel helps an understanding of the gospel; how far John's gospel was written in response to the situation and needs of the Early Church and whether John's Gospel be read without knowing about Jewish and Greek thinking and traditions.
The nature, role and purpose of the discourses in John's gospel
The following are examples of discourses, and candidates will be expected to know about these in particular, although they may exemplify their answers from other material in John to support their answers. Much of the role and purpose will focus upon John's portrayal of Jesus and his ministry in the following passages: 'I am the Bread of Life', John 6:30-58; 'I am the Light of the World', John 8:12-19 and 9:1-41; 'I am the Door of the Sheep', and 'I am the Good Shepherd', John 10:1-18; 'I am the Resurrection and the Life', John 11:1-44; 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life', John 14:1-7; 'I am the True Vine', John 15:1-17. These issues arising will be discussed: whether these discourses are John's interpretation of Jesus' teaching; are the issues in the discourses of any relevance to people today; do we really learn very much about the person of Jesus from John's records of the discourses and whether an understanding of the discourses require an understanding of Christian theology.
The nature, role and purpose of signs in John's Gospel
The following are examples of signs, and candidates will be expected to know about these in particular, although they may exemplify their answers from other material in John to support their answers. Much of the role and purpose will focus upon John's portrayal of Jesus and his ministry in the following passages: 'Water to Wine', John 2:1-11; 'Healing of the Officer's Son', John 4:46-54; 'The Crippled Man', John 5:1-18; 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand', John 6:1-15. The following issues will be discussed: if John is correct, why would Jesus use signs rather than direct communication; would people at the time have understood the signs as John does; could the signs really have happened and does this matter to John and whether an understanding of Christian theology is necessary to understand signs.
The nature, role and purpose of the passion and resurrection narratives
Candidates will be expected to know the following passages in particular, although they may exemplify their answers from other material in John to support their answers. Much of the role and purpose will focus upon John's portrayal of Jesus and his ministry: John 18-19Passion narrativeand John 20-21Resurrection narrative. The following issues arising will be discussed: whether there is there any history in John's accounts; is John more interested in the death than in the resurrection; does John see salvation only in these events; are the passion and resurrection narratives really Christian theology.
Ways of Reading and Understanding Scripture
With primary focus on the Christian New Testament, candidates must study:
- The issues of status and translation: the Word of God or a realisation of Ultimate Reality. The status of translated scriptures
- Different types of literature found in the scriptures and the relevance of the differences.
- The issue of status and historicity. An outline of the history of the scriptures from origin to the twenty-first century and the relevance of events in the particular history.
- The use and status of scriptures in the religion. Examples of the use of scriptures in worship and how this shows the religion's attitude towards the status of the scriptures.
- The role of the scriptures in the personal lives of people and in the home.
- Teaching arising from the scriptures. Teaching about God or Ultimate Reality. Teaching about the relationship between God or Ultimate Reality and humankind. Teaching about how and why humans should behave in a particular way in all aspects of their lives. Ideas arising from the scriptures about the future both at a personal level and at the level of mankind as a whole.
- Approaches to the study of the scriptures. The role of scholars in an understanding or an interpretation of the scriptures. Whether there can be criticism of the scriptures from within the religion and the reaction of the religion to those outside the religion who study and may offer criticisms of the scriptures. The status of personal study of the scriptures and how an individual might seek to gain a full and perfect insight into the scriptures.
The relevance of the scriptures for religious people in the twenty-first century. The role of the scriptures in the religion's mission work.