BA Philosophy and Religion

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
World Christianities

Course unit fact file
Unit code RELT20301
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course will be an opportunity to engage with a diversity of Christian beliefs, understandings, cultures and practices, in contexts around the world. Students will explore key theological themes with a particular focus on Christianity in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific. Theories about contextualisation will be considered in relation to the cultural and socio-political concerns of these contexts, such as poverty, persecution, racism, colonialism, indigenous rights, and gender justice. We will be particularly attentive to the ways in which the methods and approaches of World Christianities critique and deepen reflection on questions in systematic theology, such as Christology, soteriology, liturgical theology, ecclesiology, and more. Some of the themes that will be covered include: Black power and the Black Messiah; Jesus in the slums of India; Latin American Liberation Theology; Empire and Christianity, and theologies of Pasifika.


  • To introduce students to Christian theologies and theologians from around the world 
  • To provide students with a good knowledge of the diversity of lived expressions of Christianity in the Majority World 
  • To equip students with the interdisciplinary tools to engage in critical theological thinking   

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • Have a good knowledge and understanding of how the Christian religion is lived in a diversity of ways around the world 
  • Demonstrate historical and theological knowledge of the different perspectives on world Christianity 
  • Relate current trends in Christianity as a world religion to major themes in theology and religious studies 


Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • Appreciate and understand a diversity of intellectual approaches to the study of World Christianity and Christian theology 
  • Critically engage with relevant information from primary sources and secondary sources 
  • Strengthen the ability to formulate clear and convincing arguments within essays. 

Practical skills

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • Think critically and respond to different perspectives 
  • Be organised in order to meet deadlines 
  • Present research results in an appropriate manner with supporting evidence 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students should be able to: 

  • Form reasoned arguments in other contexts 
  • Be able to share an understanding of global perspectives  
  • Recognise and critique other arguments or positions 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Write a sound argument in an accessible style for a particular audience
Group/team working
Work and engage productively as part of a group
Oral communication
Listen and learn to and from multiple perspectives

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

Feedback methods

Feedback Method Formative or Summative
Written and verbal feedback on essay draft/plan Formative
Written and verbal feedback on essay and exam Summative
Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment) Formative

Recommended reading

Boesak, Allan Aubrey. Selfless Revolutionaries: Biko, Black Consciousness, Black Theology and a Global Ethic of Solidarity and Resistance (Oregon: Cascade Books, 2022).  


Cummings, George C. L. A Common Journey: Black Theology (USA) and Latin American Liberation Theology (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010) 


Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation (NY: Orbis Books, 1988) 


Havea, Jione. Theologies from the Pacific (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) 


Kim, Sebastian C. H and Kim, Kirsteen. Christianity as a World Religion (London; New York: Continuum, 2008) 


Oduyoye, Mercy Amba. African Women’s Theologies, Spirituality, and Healing (New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2019) 


Robinson, Rowena.  Margins of Faith: Dalit and Tribal Christianity in India (London: Sage Publications, 2010) 


Sanneh, Lamin O. Whose Religion Is Christianity?: the Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cambridge: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003) 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Eve Parker Unit coordinator

Return to course details