Theology of Necessity

Change, Crisis and Development in Biblical Theology

Spring semester 2017

Biblical texts have often been occasioned by profound theological crises. These in turn have a background in historical events or processes that force different and more appropriate theological constructions. This course analyzes the mechanisms of change in such processes. The purpose is to illustrate how a theology can result from a particular situation, and how texts in such situations often change both in scope and interpretation.

The course covers a number of examples where these mechanisms of change have been particularly transformative in text and theology, such as the exile and the absence of the temple, hellenistic influence, the Roman occupation, Jesus' crucifixion, the so-called delay of the parousia, and the growing gap between early Judaism and the early Christian movement. The course also emphasizes the responsibility of the interpreter in the light of these changes.

Following the course, the student will be expected to 
(master’s level):

  • demonstrate knowledge of the historical crises behind fundamental changes in the theology of biblical texts and their interpretations
  • demonstrate an ability to formulate and discuss issues and tasks that contribute to the understanding of how biblical texts have been shaped
  • demonstrate an ability to speak and write clearly about and account for the relationship between social crises and theological developments of biblical texts
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of research in mechanisms of social change underlying the formation and re-interpretation of religious texts and biblical texts in particular, and demonstrate an ability to present research with both theological and ethical implications.


For application enquiries, please contact the Study Counselor: