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Unit Weighting                       

9 cpts

Type of Unit                



18 cps in Biblical Studies

Academic Staff            

Dr Margaret Beirne, RSC, BA (UNE 1973) MA (Weston 1978) BD (MCD 1984), MEd (UNSW 1986) DTheol (MCD 2000), Senior Lecturer

Curriculum Objectives

This course unit builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the prerequisite Biblical Studies units. It examines the historical context, literary forms and theological content of the New Testament literature associated with Paul.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. describe the various social, cultural and pastoral contexts of each of Paul’s letters
  2. identify the key Pauline theological themes
  3. demonstrate well-developed hermeneutical and exegetical skills in critical essays on
  4. selected passages from the Pauline letters
  5. integrate significant secondary literature into the critical study of Pauline literature
  6. incorporate insights from Pauline literature to a range of life and ministry situations


  1. Paul’s background and conversion
  2. Introduction to the Pauline literature: historical, geographical, social and religious factors
  3. Literary structure, style and purpose of the Pauline letters
  4. Key Pauline theological themes
  5. Exegesis of selected passages from the Pauline literature
  6. The ‘new perspective’ debate in current scholarship

Assessment Profile

  1. Critical book review (800-1,000 words). Value: 20%
  2. Exegetical essay (1,600 words). Value: 40%
  3. Thematic essay (1,600 words). Value: 40%


3hr lecture per week on campus, or via distance education