SC 240 - To the Ends of the Earth

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Module Level

8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures: 24 hours Tutorials: 3 hours


Continuous assessment: 50% Final Examination 50%

Module Aims

To explore early Christian theology through the critical study of sections from the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul against their Jewish and Hellenistic backgrounds and within an Imperial Roman context and to develop exegetical skills.

Indicative syllabus:

Paul’s role in the formation of the New Testament

Paul the Pharisee: world view and religious expression

Paul’s Gospel in an Imperial Context

Luke’s portrait of Paul and Paul’s portrait of himself

Reading a Pauline letter: methodological considerations

Exegesis of selected passages in Protopauline letters

Key elements of Pauline theology: covenantal, cruciform, pneumatic, apocalyptic

Pauline ethics

Reception and Reaction: key readings of Paul

Learning Outcomes

  • Situate Paul and his proclamation within Jewish, Hellenistic and Imperial Roman contexts.
  • Compare Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles as sources for the life of Paul.
  • Apply appropriate methods of textual interpretation to selected texts from the Pauline corpus.
  • Explain key concepts in Pauline theology.
  • Relate central aspects of Paul's theology, ethics and spirituality to the present-day context.


  • Michael J. Gorman, Reading Paul, Eugene OR: Cascade Books, 2008.
  • Michael J. Gorman, Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and his Letters, 2nd Ed, Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans, 2016.
  • Mark Allan Powell, Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary and Theological Survey, 2nd Ed, Ada MI: Baker Academic, 2018.