Course overview

BA Theology and Religion

BA Philosophy and Theology

Typical intake: 6

As a challenging all-round degree which tests competence in literary, linguistic, historical and conceptual skills, Theology & Religion has a strong tradition at Worcester.

Its former members include well-known contemporary theologians and academics, although our graduates have also pursued careers in teaching, social work, banking, law, personnel management, the media, and the civil service. The range of disciplines that may be encountered on the course makes study vibrant and challenging and means that our graduates are versatile and equipped with a variety of skills.

 

Course structure

Usually, six undergraduates per year are admitted to read Theology and Religion or Philosophy and Theology. Depending on the choice of papers, over half the teaching is provided by the College. First-year students in Theology and Religion study four compulsory papers to be examined at the end of the summer term. These papers prepare them for their second and third years by showcasing the disciplines, methods, sources and debates of three core subject areas:

  1. Introduction to the Study of the Bible
  2. The Figure of Jesus through the Centuries
  3. Religion and Religions

In addition to this, students study one language paper (New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Church Latin, Qu’anic Arabic, Pali, or Sanskrit). First-year students in Philosophy and Theology take Jesus through the Centuries and another Theology paper, alongside two Philosophy papers introducing Philosophy Logic and Moral Philosophy.

For undergraduates in Theology and Religion, second and third years may choose from a wide variety of papers in the following major subject areas:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Systematic Theology and Ethics
  • History of Religions
  • Religion and Religions

Students take four papers in their second year and three papers in their third year, as well as writing a 12,000 word thesis on an individually chosen subject, working under the guidance of a tutor who will advise in the preparation and presentation of a particular research project.

All undergraduates in Philosophy and Theology take eight papers (between three and five in each of Theology and Philosophy) over the course of their second and third years, including a compulsory paper in the Philosophy of Religion. As one of these eight, students may choose to offer a thesis in either discipline. Most paper options are assessed by written examination at the end of the third year although some papers, including the thesis, are examined through submission of written work. A wide variety of teaching methods is used, ranging from tutorials to classes and lectures.

Tutors

Headshot of Laura Quick

Fellow & Tutor in Theology and Religion

Dr Laura Quick

Headshot of Laura Quick

Dr Laura Quick

Fellow & Tutor in Theology and Religion

Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible

Education

BA (Cardiff), MA (Durham), DPhil (Oxford)

I completed my doctorate in Hebrew Bible at the University of Oxford, before taking up an Assistant Professorship in Religion and Judaic Studies at Princeton University in Autumn 2017. In 2019 I returned to Oxford, where I am currently Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible. I am an editor of Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies (Bloomsbury T&T Clark)

Headshot of Afifi al-Akiti

KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies & Lecturer in Theology

Dr Afifi al-Akiti

Headshot of Afifi al-Akiti

Dr Afifi al-Akiti DPCM DPMS PMP

KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies & Lecturer in Theology

Supernumerary & Governing Body Fellow

University of Oxford Muslim Chaplain

Education

BA (Belfast), MSt DPhil (Oxford)

Dr Afifi al-Akiti is a Fellow at Worcester College and as one of the University lecturers on Islam he oversees the teaching provision in the Theology & Religion Faculty. He teaches on all aspects of Islamic Studies.

Headshot of Peter Groves

Senior Research Fellow & College Lecturer in Early and Modern Christian Doctrine

The Revd Canon Dr Peter Groves

Headshot of Peter Groves

The Revd Canon Dr Peter Groves

Senior Research Fellow & College Lecturer in Early and Modern Christian Doctrine

Vicar of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford

Education

MA DPhil (Oxford)

I have been at Worcester for more than ten years and teach papers at all stages of our undergraduate courses in Theology & Religion and Philosophy & Theology. I specialise in modern theology and the history of doctrine, with a particular interest in theology and the arts, particularly poetry, film and music. I am the author of Grace (SCM 2013) and editor, with John Barton, of The New Testament and the Church (Bloomsbury 2015), and I have published articles and chapters on systematic and doctrinal theology, as well as on the Oxford Movement and the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. I am Reviews Editor of the journal New Blackfriars. I am ordained in the Church of England and serve as Associate Archdeacon of Oxford. I am married to Beatrice, who teaches English Literature at Trinity College, and we have two sons. My enthusiasms include wine, poetry, Thomas Aquinas, Jane Austen, Wagner, Wittgenstein and Queens Park Rangers football club.

College Lecturer in Theology

Dr Phillip Lasater

Dr Phillip Lasater

College Lecturer in Theology

Associate Director, Centre for the Study of the Bible

Education

PhD

College Lecturer in Theology

Dr Mary Marshall

Dr Mary Marshall

College Lecturer in Theology

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Outreach, Faculty of Theology & Religion

Education

BA MSt DPhil (Oxford), PGCE

After graduating from Keble College with a BA in Theology in 2004, Mary pursued her MSt and DPhil under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Tuckett, researching the portrayals of the Pharisees in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. Having completed a PGCE in secondary education, Mary worked for a time as a Religious Studies teacher before returning to the University as a Departmental Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religion (2012-2016) and Fellow and Tutor in Theology at St Benet’s Hall (2012-2022). In 2016 Mary took up her current position as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Outreach and is a lecturer at Worcester College.

Joint honours tutors

Hinton Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy

Dr Michail Peramatzis

Dr Michail Peramatzis

Hinton Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy

Clarendon Associate Professor of Philosophy

Education

BA MA (Athens), MA DPhil (Oxford)

Dr Peramatzis’ specialities are ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle’s metaphysics, logic and epistemology and Plato’s metaphysics and epistemology.

David Mitchell Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy

Dr Natalia Waights Hickman

Dr Natalia Waights Hickman

David Mitchell Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Education

MA (Reading), MA DPhil (Oxford)

My work falls mainly within contemporary philosophy of language, epistemology and philosophy of action. Most of my research relates either to linguistic (especially semantic) knowledge or to practical knowledge and skill, and sometimes to connections between these. More broadly, my work engages with theories of normativity in relation to skill, factual knowledge, thought and reasoning, and linguistic communication. I also have a general interest in the work of Gilbert Ryle, especially his relatively neglected work on thinking and improvisation.

Headshot of Janine Guhler

College Lecturer in Philosophy

Dr Janine Gühler

Headshot of Janine Guhler

Dr Janine Gühler

College Lecturer in Philosophy

Education

MA (HU Berlin), PhD (St Andrews)

I studied Philosophy and Computer Science at the Humboldt University in Berlin and then moved to Scotland to pursue a PhD in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. My doctoral studies were supported by PETAF (Perspectival Thoughts and Facts), as part of the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (European Commission Funding). I graduated with a thesis on Aristotle’s Philosophy of Mathematics under the supervision of Sarah Broadie and Katherine Hawley. In 2015, I moved to Oxford to start as a stipendiary lecturer in philosophy at Wadham and St Hilda’s Colleges while also maintaining a part-time position as “Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin” (≅ fixed-term lecturer) at Bonn University, Germany. My research focuses on the nature of mathematical objects in Aristotle and Plato, with a particular interest in how their views tie in with their more general views in epistemology and ontology.

Headshot of Theodor Nenu

College Lecturer in Philosophy

Dr Theodor Nenu

Headshot of Theodor Nenu

Dr Theodor Nenu

College Lecturer in Philosophy

Education

MCompPhil (Oxford), PhD (Bristol)

Teaching

The College offers specialist teaching through the following tutors:

  • Dr Laura Quick organises the overall teaching of Theology and Religion and teaches all aspects of Old Testament literature, language, history, archaeology, and religion.  She is currently researching sex and gender in biblical literature and specialises in a feminist approach to the study of the Bible.
  • Dr Peter Groves is our Lecturer in Theology. He has recently written a book on the Christian concept of grace and has a particular interest in theology and poetry, having published a number of papers on the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, as well as on topics in contemporary theology.
  • Dr Mary Marshall is our Lecturer in New Testament and also teaches for the Faculty of Theology and Religion. She specialises in study of the Gospels, particularly within their Jewish contexts.
  • Dr Afifi al-Akiti is our lecturer in Islam and teaches all aspects of Islamic theology, philosophy and science and Muslim law.
  • Dr Phillip Lasater is our lecturer in Hebrew Bible, and is working on a range of subjects including law, fear, selfhood, and authority in biblical literature.

For Philosophy and Theology, specialist teaching is provided, mainly within College, for the various philosophical elements of the course (see the entry on Philosophy).

 

Applying

We advise coming to a College Open Day if possible, which offers the opportunity to meet tutors and students and learn more about the course.  Candidates are welcome to apply before or after A-level (or equivalent). It is not necessary to have studied the subject previously. Literature and history are useful, but candidates come from a wide variety of additional disciplines. Because the language component is still compulsory for the first three terms, it is an advantage to have demonstrated a real ability in languages, whether at GCSE or A-level (or equivalent).

More on the University website More on the Faculty website