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Master of Studies in Philosophical Theology

Candidates shall be required:

  • (a) to present themselves for a written examination in two of the papers prescribed below;

  • (b) to present a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words on a topic in philosophical theology to be approved by the Joint Standing Committee for Graduate Studies in Philosophical Theology;

  • (c) to present themselves for a viva voce examination unless individually dispensed by the examiners (no candidate will be failed without a viva).

The dissertation must be uploaded to the University approved online assessment platform by the Friday of the eighth week of Trinity Term of the year in which the examinations are taken. Each submission will require the candidate to make a declaration stating that this is their own work. The candidate’s name should not appear on the dissertation.

  • 1. Philosophy of Religion

    The examination will contain questions on arguments for and against the existence of God, problems related to various supposed divine attributes and perhaps problems of religious language, on other standard issues in the philosophy of religion, and occasionally on some Christian doctrines.

  • 2. History of Philosophical Theology

    The paper will contain questions on philosophical influences on theology during the patristic period, the early medieval period, and the period 1760-1860. Candidates are required to show knowledge of two of the three periods and, within each of those two periods, of some of the principal relevant writings, viz. for the patristic period of works of Origen and Augustine, for the early medieval period of works of Anselm and Aquinas, and for the period 1760-1860 of works of Kant, Kierkegaard, and Schleiermacher. Study of texts in the original languages will not be required. Lectures, tutorials etc.: as for Paper 3 of the M.Phil. in Philosophical Theology.

  • 3. Either The Development of Christian Doctrine to AD 787 

  • Or Theology in Western Europe from Gabriel Biel to Jacob Arminius

    Candidates will be expected to write essays on different topics, showing knowledge of the main lines of development of Christian Doctrine or Theology in Western Europe from Gabriel Biel to Arminius, and discussing particular developments in relation to the historical conditions which influenced them.