The Quest and the Questions

All Christians do theology (in one way or another) but rarely are they given the chance to explore the inner coherence that gives Christian thought its unique character. The aim of this course is to open up the study of Christian theology to those who want to know what they believe, why they believe it, and whether they should keep on believing it.

It begins with an overview of the different ways in which Christians do their theological thinking: with the Bible, in worship and prayer, with theologians, with creeds and with art. Upon this foundation students will explore the content of Christian belief. covering the major topics that have generated dispute and debate, captured the imagination of some of the most creative thinkers, and energised ordinary Christian people in their daily lives.

As well as discovering and exploring the rich heritage of Christian theology the course will shed light on how Christians can use theology to wrestle with importan contemporary concerns and live wisely ina challenging world. 

Just imagine how different the history of humankind would have been without the influence of a
charismatic ex-artisan turned prophet, Jesus from Nazareth in Palestine. Just consider how easily
his movement might have run itself into the sand without the tireless dedication of a man called
Paul, whose feet were firmly planted in two worlds, the Jewish and the Greco-Roman. Just recall
the immense enrichment that the Christian Gospels have brought to many generations over
well-nigh two millennia. You learn something new every time you study them.
Those Gospels are strikingly sophisticated and purposeful documents. They allow us access
to that world-changing figure, Jesus of Nazareth, but do a good deal more than that. They offer a
window through which to view the communities that believed in him, and celebrated all he
meant to them. As far as they were concerned, he was more than a figure of the past: he
belonged to and shaped their present. But, we may ask, how?
Jesus has been the subject of countless attempts to reconstruct what he was about, what his
priorities were, how he lived, and why he died. TQQ students are not daunted by those earlier
attempts, nor deterred from revisiting the exercise of piecing together what may be known
about him.
And Paul – what can or should be said about this highly controversial figure, without whom
the Christian Church might well not exist? He continues to speak and deserves to be heard,
even if not uncritically, and so do his critics, both ancient and modern. But, we may ask, why?
There are not many courses that are able to offer this sort of extended and rigorous
coverage of the Gospels, Jesus and Paul, but such is the opportunity and the purpose of TQQ.