Sacramental Theology THL314

Sacramental Theology THL314

Sacramental Theology THL314 (Bachelor of Theology) is being taught at United Theological College in 2018 Session 2 by John Frauefelder.

This subject traces the origins of sacramental theology from its Jewish antecedents through to the New Testament texts and early church. It then considers the rise of sacramental theology proper in the patristic period. Later developments are pursued through historical and liturgical sources, from the medieval Western church and Reformation to the divergent traditions and practices in contemporary churches. The subject addresses challenges brought to sacramental theology by the ecumenical movement and by liberation, feminist and ecological theology.

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2018 UTC Education Prospectus – Downloadable PDF (2MB)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of key historical developments in sacramental theology
  • be able to discern the sacramental theology expressed in liturgical texts
  • be able to discuss and evaluate contemporary sacramental theologies
  • be able to give an account of the meaning and practice of baptism and eucharist in various ecclesial traditions
  • show knowledge of the critical and constructive contributions of recent theological developments on sacramental theology
  • demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills


The subject will cover the following topics:

  • the concept of sacrament and its relation to sign, word and sacramentality
  • biblical and patristic foundations of sacramental theology
  • the development of sacramental theology in the Western church during the Medieval and Reformation periods
  • the sacraments in the English Reformation and the Anglican Prayer Books
  • changes in Catholic sacramental theology from the Council of Trent to Vatican II
  • sacramental theology in the Uniting Church tradition
  • the impact of the ecumenical movement on denominational sacramental theology
  • challenges of feminist, liberation and ecological theologies to sacramental theology