This course is discontinued

CONT4404 – Postcolonial readings of the New Testament

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course explores the significant challenges posed by postcolonial criticism to biblical studies. The course will focus on the broader and highly complex relationship between the bible, its origin and interpretations within various empires. We will look at the representation of minority cultures and authority structures in the New Testament texts, and discuss the differences stances towards empire in the New Testament. Finally we will sample some of the work done in postcolonial biblical studies and see how it relates to contemporary global politics.

Learning outcome

Through this course, students will have obtained critical insight in the political contexts of the biblical texts as well as the hermeneutical possibilities of postcolonial biblical criticism. The students will have gained good knowledge about the use of the bible in colonial contexts and have thought through some of the problems with this use of the bible. Finally they will have developed skills towards recognising and negotiating oppressive texts and the theological problems and social challenges they pose for churches and faith communities.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Completed Bachelor degree in theology or religion, admission to the Master program in Intercontextual Theology or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

TEOL2200 – Hellenistisk gresk og Det nye testamente (discontinued) or equivalent.


Compulsory activities:

Each student must give two oral curriculum presentations.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The student’sportfolio consists of two curriculum presentations (each of 1500 words) and of one essay based on the examination requirements (ca. 3000 words).

In the evaluation, the curriculum presentations weight 25% (each) and the essay weights 50%.

The portfolio will be evaluated with a single grade.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring 2013

Autumn 2010


Spring 2013

Autumn 2010

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)