“Make your chosen people joyful” prays the church gathered. What expectations should Christians have of joy? Is it a present or future promise? What does the incarnation say to our experience? How does joy endure the cross, shame, pain and despair? Drawing from Scripture, tradition, psychology and philosophy, the nature of joy: its relation to the Spirit, place in life and connection to eternity, are explored.

Unit code: CT2569S

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Locate significant terms relating to joy in scripture and tradition


Evaluate the place of joy in liturgy and the theology of the Spirit


Articulate the nature of joy in the life of Jesus and contemporary Christian life


Explore the relationship of joy with other concepts or disciplines

Unit sequence

Requires either a prior CT unit or a unit in Biblical Studies


Assuming some basic knowledge (including, where appropriate, experience) of Christian texts and faith, the unit requires students to explore texts and interrogate traditions through their own exploration, group discovery, attentive observation and presentation of creative artefacts for further reflection. Students engage in reading, group exploration, discussion, presentations, media engagement.

Indicative Bibliography

Alstyne, Frances Jane Van (Fanny Crosby). Selected Hymns. {online}

Augustine of Hippo. De Beata Vita (On the Blessed Life). 386. Various editions {e}

Herbert, George. Selected Poems. {online}

Jennings, Mark A. The Price of Partnership in the Letter of Paul to the Philippians: "Make My Joy Complete". Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019. {e}

Lobel, Diana. Philosophies of Happiness: A Comparative Introduction to the Flourishing Life. Columbia University Press, 2018. {e}

Ortlund, Gavin. Anselm’s Pursuit of Joy: A commentary on the Proslogion. Catholic University of America Press, 2020. {e}

Piper, John. The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God. Multnomah, 1991.

Seligman, Martin E. P. Flourish: a new understanding of happiness and well-being--and how to achieve them. N. Brealey, 2011. {e}

Volf, Miroslav. Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World. Yale UP, 2016. {e}

Wesley, Charles. Selected Hymns. {online}


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Presentation - Video Presentation

Short video, may be shown in class.

750 20.0
Book Review - Book Review 750 15.0
Oral Presentation - Video Presentation

Short video, may be shown in class.

750 20.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper - Written Task 1500 40.0
Reflection - Reflection

Must pass.

500 5.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 22 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-22 13:57:06 +1000