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Theology and Religious Studies reading list

Student reading in the Library

Information for TRS applicants

We advise you to read the Theology and Religious Studies page thoroughly. For reading and preparation advice you should find the following sections particularly useful:

Information for TRS offer-holders

The following booklist is by no means compulsory, nor is it exhaustive. It may be useful though in helping you think about possible choices for your Part I papers, and once you have made your choice, it will certainly be useful in terms of preparatory reading. Bear in mind that, in addition to paper 1, you must choose at least one of paper 2 and 3; you can then choose any three other papers you like. Final decisions about most of these papers can be made when you arrive in October. I would make an exception however for paper 1. You do need to decide which language you are going to study before you arrive, and to have got as far as you can working through the text book. Please email the Director of Studies, Dr Jeremy Morris (jnm20@cam.ac.uk), when you are ready to start thinking about your language choice.

Faculty information

Papers and set texts for 2013-14

Paper 1: Languages

Hebrew (Paper 1A)

  • Weingreen, J. A, A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew (2nd Edition, 1959)
  • Harrison, R. K., Teach Yourself Hebrew (1995). (Omit pp 26-45 to begin with, and then refer back to them when required.)

Greek (Paper 1B)

  • Duff, J. Elements of New Testament Greek (3rd edition) (2005)

Sanskrit (Paper 1C)

  • Coulson, M., Teach Yourself Sanskrit (2nd edn.,1992)

Arabic (Paper 1D)

  • Hayward, J. A. & Nahmad, H. M. A., New Grammar of the Written Arabic Language (1990)

General Books on Biblical Interpretation

  • Grant, R. M. & Tracy, D. A., Short History of the Interpretation of Scripture (1984)
  • Hayes, J. H. & Holladay, C. R., Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook (1983)
  • Alter, R. & Kermode, F., The Literary Guide to the Bible (1987)
  • Morgan, R., & Barton, J., Biblical Interpretation (1988)
  • Rogerson, J.W., Introduction to the Bible (1999)

Old Testament : One God? (Paper 2)

  • Anderson, B. W., The Living World of the Old Testament (3rd ed., 1978)
  • McConville, G., Teach Yourself the Old Testament (1996)
  • Coggins, R. J., Introducing the Old Testament (1990)
  • Friedman, R. E. Who Wrote the Bible?  (1988)
  • Rogerson, J. W. & Davies, P., The Old Testament World (1989)
  • Rogerson, J. W. (ed.), Beginning Old Testament Study (1983)
  • Nititch, S., Ancient Israelite Religion (1997)

New Testament: The Birth of Christianity (Paper 3)

  • Johnson, L. T., The Writings of the New Testament (1999)
  • Freed, E. D., The Stories of Jesus' Birth (2001)
  • Court, J. & K., The New Testament World (1990)
  • Brown, S., The Origins of Christianity (1984)
  • Tuckett, C., Reading the New Testament (1987)
  • Barrett, C. K., The New Testament Background: Selected Documents (1956)
  • Moule, C. F. D., The Birth of the New Testament (3rd ed., 1981)

History: Christianity and the Transformation of Culture (Paper 4)

  • Hastings, A (ed.), A World History of Christianity (1999) [a general overview of the whole field of Christianity]
  • MacCulloch, D., A History of Christianity (2009) [ditto - and a great read]

Specifically for the paper:

  • Bebbington, D.W., Evangelicalism in Modern Britain (1989)
  • Cragg, G.R., The Church and the Age of Reason 1648-1789 (1960; repr. many times)
  • Knight, F., The Chruch in the Nineteenth Century (2008)
  • Grass, T., Modern Church History (2008) [1648-present, but thin in places]
  • Morris, J., The Church in the Modern Age (2007) [C20th only]
  • Stanley, B., The Bible and the Flag (1990)
  • Vidler, A., The Church in an Age of Revolution (1961; repr. many times)

The Making of Modern Theology (Paper 5)

  • Ford, D. F., A Very Short Introduction to Theology (1999)
  • Migliore, D. L., Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (1991)
  • Brown, D., Invitation to Theology (1989)
  • McGrath, A.E., Christian Theology: An Introduction (1994)
  • Young, F., The Making of the Creeds (1991)

Understanding Contemporary Religion (Paper 6)

  • Aldridge, A., Religion in the Contemporary World (2000)
  • Barker, E., The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice (1984)
  • Bruce, S., Religion in the Modern World (1996)
  • Davie, G., Religion in Britain since 1945 (1994)
  • Davie, G., Europe: The Exceptional Case (2002)
  • Hamilton, M. B., The Sociology of Religion (2nd Edition, 2001)

World Religions (Paper 7)

  • Neusner, J. & Sonn, T., Comparing Religions Through Law: Judaism and Islam (1999)
  • McCutcheon, R. T., The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion: A Reader (1999)
  • de Lange, N.R.M., An Introduction to Judaism (2000)
  • Waines, D., An Introduction to Islam (1997)
  • Lipner, J. J., Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (1994)

Philosophy and Ethics (Paper 8)

  • Turner, D., The Darkness of God (1998)
  • Burrell, D., Knowing the Unknowble God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides and Aquinas (1986)
  • Sokolowski, R., The God of Faith and Reason (1995)
  • Louth, A., The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: from Plato to Denys (1981)
  • Priest, G., Beyond the Limits of Thought (1995)
  • Macintyre, A., After Virtue (1981)
  • Mahoney, J. D., The Making of Moral Theology (1989)


  • Dixon, T.M., How to Get a First (2004)

For more information, please consult the Divinity Faculty website.

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