Resurrection, Theology and Hope

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 334 - 8334


The unit introduces the doctrine of the Resurrection and explores its implications for the church’s participation in the missio Dei. The unit begins with a critical examination of popular conceptions concerning death, judgement, hell, heaven and eternal life. The unit highlights different understandings of the doctrine of the Resurrection from several perspectives, including evangelical, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theology.  It formulates a biblically-grounded understanding of heaven, hell and eternal life that will enable students to articulate responses to issues arising from pastoral experience as well as from contemporary culture.  The unit considers the potential of the doctrine of the Resurrection to transform social reality and how a more explicit celebration of Easter could positively impact the church’s witness to the world.


·         To survey and analyse the doctrine of the Resurrection

·         To explore its implications for pastoral ministry and the church’s missional engagement with the contemporary world

·         To formulate a meaningful and empowering gospel message of hope for the transformation of contemporary culture


Category of outcome

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

Knowledge and understanding

·         Articulate a biblically-based understanding of the meaning and significance of the doctrine of the Resurrection

·         Critically evaluate the discrepancies between popular theological notions of ‘soul immortality’ and the biblical teaching concerning bodily resurrection

·         Identify strengths and weaknesses of different teachings on the doctrine of the Resurrection from a variety of historical and confessional perspectives

Intellectual skills

·         Identify appropriate sources for the construction of a biblical understanding of the Resurrection

·         Interpret relevant ‘texts’ from Scripture, tradition, experience and culture with critical insight

·         Articulate a doctrine of Resurrection that connects transformatively with contemporary culture by combining cultural analysis and creative theological reflection

Practical skills

·         Use IT and computer skills to effectively support research

·         Select from a range of sources those most relevant to an investigation in theology at level 6

·         Critique sources and use independent judgement

·         Present rigorous written work to a standard appropriate for level 6

Transferable skills and personal qualities

·         Contribute effectively to small group discussions

·         Relate courteously to opinions and perspectives with which one disagrees

·         Apply the concepts of Christian hope to personal life and (where applicable) to a variety of pastoral and ministerial contexts


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



10 minutes


2000 words





·         334:


·         8334:

Class presentation on topic chosen for essay

An essay



3000 words

2000 words




pass / fail*

·         334:

·         8334:

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


1.    Introduction to the doctrine of the Resurrection and the theology of hope

2.    Soul immortality or bodily resurrection?

3.    Biblical teaching on the doctrine of the Resurrection

4.    The doctrine of the Resurrection in the history of the Church

5.    Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox teachings on Resurrection

6.    Death and hope in contemporary culture

7.    Understanding hell and heaven

8.    Transforming culture through celebrating the Resurrection

9.    The meaning and significance of the Kingdom of God

10.  Resurrection and the mission of the Church: social, economic and environmental justice

11.  Connecting individual salvation and cosmic redemption

Learning and teaching processes

Interactive lectures and seminars


Language of teaching and assessment


Additional e-learning content

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

Feedback students can expect to receive


·         Oral feedback on class presentation

·         Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

·         additional one-to-one feedback by appointment

Proposed start date

September 2015

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated

March 2015

Indicative reading

Alison, James, Living in the End Times: The Last Things Re-imagined (London: SPCK, 1997)

Bauckham, Richard, God Will Be All in All (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999)

Bulgakov, Sergei, The Bride of the Lamb (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002)

Daley, B., The Hope of the Early Church (Cambridge: CUP, 1991)

Fiddes, Paul, The Promised End: Eschatology in Theology and Literature (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000)

Lane, Tony, Exploring Christian Doctrine (London: SPCK, 2013)

McClendon, James, Systematic Theology: Volumes 1-3 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995-2006)

Moltmann, Jürgen, Theology of Hope (London: SCM, 1968)

Moltmann, Jürgen, The Coming of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996)

O’Donovan, Oliver, Resurrection and the Moral Order (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994)

Schwarz, Hans, Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000)

Rollins, Peter, Insurrection: To Believe is Human, To Doubt Divine (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2011)

Searle, Joshua, The Scarlet Woman and the Red Hand: Apocalyptic Belief in the Northern Ireland Troubles (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2014)

Wright, N.T., The Resurrection of the Son of God (London: SPCK, 2003)

Wright, Tom, Surprised by Hope (London: SPCK, 2007)

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Resurrection, Theology and Hope

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 334 - 8334





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Dr Joshua T. Searle

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