One of the features of the King’s Graduate Diploma in Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) course that I particularly liked was the the freedom to choose which modules to study. Nominally, all the modules are taken from level 6 (the third year of the BA Theology course), but the rules allowed me to choose two modules from the second year (level 5). For anyone who is interested in the modules that are available, here is the link.
I had decided that I wanted to study the two periods that were of most interest to me: the early church and the Reformation. So ‘”what is Christianity” patristic perspectives’ with Allan Brent (author of A Political History of Early Christianity) was a natural choice, while I added ‘Principles of Systematic Theology’ with Susannah Ticciati as my second module in the autumn term. Patristics covered Christianity from the early persecutions under Nero and Domitian up to Christianity becoming the Roman State religion under Constantine, while Systematic Theology ran from Augustine, through Luther, The Council of Trent, Calvin, Wesley, Barth and Bonhoeffer with the emphasis on how each treated ideas like grace and predestination.
At the same time, I have been attending two sets of AKC (Associateship of King’s College) lectures. As a Theology student, I registered for the AKC for TRS students, which had the Medical Humanities as its topic in the autumn term and will cover Climate change in the spring term. I have also attended the AKC for General students, because the autumn term is on biblical interpretation; I will probably dip into the spring term lectures on art in religion, without trying to go to all of them.
For next term, my modules are Religion, Culture and Society in Reformation Europe and The Historical Jesus. Because I wanted to take the English Reformation module next year, the former is strongly recommended. The Historical Jesus, is being taught by Joan Taylor, who directed the enormously successful ‘Jesus and Brian’ conference at King’s earlier this year, so I am sure that it will be fascinating.
My 2500-word essay for Patristics is already submitted, but I will also have an examination on it in the Summer term; for Systematic Theology I have to write a 5000-word essay for early January, so I will be working hard throughout December. The AKC exam is on the last day of the spring term, so I haven’t given that too much thought yet, apart from writing out my lecture notes into a more coherent form.