This unit will introduce and investigate the theology of the apostle Paul and its relationship to his ethical teaching. You will explore the core theological ideas that lead Paul to the articulations of Christian faith and practice that we find in his letters. You will consider the strengths and weaknesses of different accounts of Paul’s theology and will learn how they relate to contemporary theological and ethical issues, including debates about questions of identity, race, gender, and political engagement. By studying Paul’s letters in detail, you will gain a deeper understanding of the development of early Christian theology and its relevance for today.

Unit code: BN9129P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a developed understanding of Paul’s theology and ethics as it comes to expression in the rhetorical situations of his letters


Assess and evaluate the ways that theological ideas and ethical instructions are related to each other through exegesis of a specific text.


Offer informed appraisal of important scholarly debates about the central ideas and overall coherence of Paul’s theology.


Provide an integrated account of the connection between Paul’s theology and ethics and Christian theology and practice today.

Unit sequence

One unit of introductory New Testament study: BN9000P/BN8009P or equivalent.


Lectures for this unit will be provided in the classroom and captured and supplemented by pre-recorded video material accessible to both face to face and online students.

Seminars relating to the interpretation of key texts from the Pauline letters will be held in the classroom and/or through real-time online conference.

Indicative Bibliography

Note: introductory texts relating to the unit content and learning outcomes are listed in the undergraduate version of the unit. The following titles reflect the more advanced treatments, suitable for postgraduate level engagement.

  • Barclay, John M. G. Paul and the Gift. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015.
  • Bertschmann, Dorothea H. Bowing Before Christ—Nodding to the State?: Reading Paul Politically with Oliver O’Donovan and John Howard Yoder. LNTS 502. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
  • Campbell, Douglas A. T*he Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul*. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Cosgrove, Charles H., Herold Weiss, and Khiok-khng Yeo. Cross-Cultural Paul: Journey to Others, Journeys to Ourselves. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
  • Ehrensperger, Kathy. Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement. LNTS 325. London / New York: T & T Clark International, 2007.
  • Fredriksen, Paula. Paul the Pagans’ Apostle. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017.
  • Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. Our Mother Saint Paul. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007.
  • Horrell, David G. Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul's Ethics. London / New York: T & T Clark International, 2005.
  • Stanley, Christopher D., ed. &The Colonized Apostle: Paul through Postcolonial Eyes. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2011.
  • Wright, N. T. Paul and the Faithfulness of God. Christian Origins and the Question of God 4. London: SPCK, 2013.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (3000 words)

0 60.0

Exegesis (3000 words)

0 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 5 Sep, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2019-03-08 14:38:41 +1100