The Historical Jesus TRS4073

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will offer students the opportunity to study Jesus as a historical figure of the first century. The teaching and learning will draw on a tradition of modern scholarship on Jesus which has been shaped by the intellectual, religious and political conditions of that history.


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

TRS4033 The Historical Jesus




Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

Presentation of 10 minutes - 10%

Examination (90 minutes duration) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ engage critically with the primary sources (whether in Greek or English translation) typically employed by scholars in their historical reconstructions of Jesus of Nazareth;

■ read and evaluate seminal contributions to the historical study of Jesus;

■ develop and exercise skills in critical thinking, textual analysis, information and communications technology, collegiality and public speaking.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ make historically informed and reasoned judgments about the value of ancient testimony about Jesus, from canonical and non-canonical sources;

■ identify influential figures in modern historical scholarship on Jesus, and be able to explain and evaluate their contributions to the field;

■ analyze the intellectual, religious and socio-political preoccupations which have influenced both the production and reception of historical Jesus scholarship;

■ work collaboratively with students on intellectually intensive work;

■ engage critically with the views of professionals and peers in public discussion and through structured academic prose;

■ present complex arguments in written and oral form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.