This unit surveys the variety of methodologies of biblical interpretation and hermeneutical perspectives by which contemporary meaning is made from ancient scripture. Current approaches to scripture will be evaluated critically, and students will explore their own hermeneutic strategies. The unit will include:

  1. An overview of historical developments in biblical interpretation up to the mid 20th century
  2. A detailed examination of the developments and changes in biblical hermeneutics since the mid 20th century
  3. A series of workshops and discussions on a range of contemporary biblical interpretation
  4. Opportunities to apply different approaches to the biblical text and to explore the intersection between hermeneutics and a variety of contemporary contexts.

Unit code: XP3740Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Capstone

Unit discipline: Capstone Other P

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Critically discuss the history of biblical interpretation, taking into account historical, philosophical and theological developments, and analyse the shifts in methodologies and perspectives that have taken place


Analyse the hermeneutical strategies used by selected prominent homileticians of the past and evaluate the use and limitations of these strategies for contemporary mission and ministry contexts


Analyse the hermeneutical challenges of selected contemporary issues and communicate a nuanced and sophisticated response to these issues, drawing on diverse biblical traditions

Unit sequence

A capstone unit in undergraduate theology and ministry awards BA1741Z Interpreting the Old Testament or equivalent and BN1741Z Interpreting the New Testament or equivalent and at least one level 2 or level 3 BA, BN or BS unit


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices to identify the original meanings of the text in their contexts and to interpret them hermeneutically.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bauckham, R. The Bible in the contemporary world: hermeneutical ventures, 2nd ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015.
  • Crossley, James G. Reading the New Testament: Contemporary Approaches, London & New York, Routledge, 2010.
  • Hauser, A. J. and Watson, D. F. (eds.) A History of Biblical Interpretation: The Ancient Period (vol. 1).* Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. A History of Biblical Interpretation: The Medieval through the reformation Periods (vol. 2). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009. Horrell, D.G., Hunt, C., Southgate C. & Stavrakopoulou, F., eds. Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives. T & T Clark , 2010.
  • Jensen, Alexander. Theological Hermeneutics. London: SCM, 2007.
  • Keane, Niall, C. Lawn, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Hermeneutics, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2016.
  • Liew, Tat-siong Benny. What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007.
  • Soulen, R. Sacred Scripture: A Short History of Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009.
  • Thiselton, Anthony C. Hermeneutics: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Source Analysis

Guided responses analysing hermeneutical approaches

750 10.0

Evaluate a sermon

1500 30.0

application of hermeneutical approaches to a contemporary issue

2750 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 26 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:41:41 +1100