Religion, Culture and Society 1

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 180 - 8180


The unit provides an outline of the development of western religion, culture and society,

in order to equip students with a framework in which to situate their studies. Primary

attention will be given to key periods of change and transformation. Consideration is

given to the interrelationship between religious, cultural and social developments.

Western culture will be situated in its wider global context. Students are introduced to

the relevance of these historical developments for contemporary issues facing the

Christian faith, theology, church and mission today.


To engage knowledgeably and critically with the main developments in (primarily)

western religion, culture and society, from the early church to the present day.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·         Assess critical stages in the development of western culture

·         Compare developments in western culture to those in other global centres

Intellectual skills

·         Analyse the relationship of Christian faith to wider cultural developments

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·         Explain how historical issues relate and apply to contemporary debates

·         Use footnotes and a bibliography in an appropriate way


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



250 words


1500 words





·         180:


·         8180:

An essay plan and bibliography for the summative assignment

An essay



2000 words

2000 words





·         180:

·         8180:

An essay

An essay

and a learning journal*

* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


Sessions will normally cover:

1.    Late Antiquity

2.    Mediaeval Transformations

3.    Non-Western Developments

4.    Renaissance Recoveries

5.    Reformation Challenges

6.    Enlightenment Progressions

7.    Romantic Reactions

8.    Capitalist Expansions

9.    Imperialist Dominations

10.  Revolutionary Changes

11.  Multipolar Modernisms

Teaching method

180: Interactive lectures

8180: Distance learning

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015


Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (ed.), Twentieth-Century Global Christianity. A People’s History

of Christianity, 7 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008)

Cowen, Noel, Global History. A Short Overview (Cambridge: Polity, 2001)

Goudzwaard, Bob, Capitalism and Progress. A Diagnosis of Western Society (Toronto:

Wedge/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979)

Hinson, E. Glenn, The Early Church. Origins to the Dawn of the Middle Ages (Nashville,

TN: Abingdon, 1996)

Jenkins, Philip, The Lost History of Christianity. The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the

Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia - and How it Died (Oxford: Lion, 2009)

Kay, Peter, The Enlightenment. The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York: Norton, 1966)

MacCulloch, Diarmaid, A History of Christianity. The First Three Thousand Years (London:

Allen Lane/Penguin, 2009)

Stanley, Brian, The Bible and the Flag. Protestant Missions and British Imperialism in the

Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Leicester: Apollos, 1990)

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Religion, Culture and Society 1

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 180 - 8180





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Dr. Joshua T. Searle

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