Course Descriptions

Spring 2015 Term

 

THEO-200-A: The Christian Tradition: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 8:00AM - 8:50AM (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a research project/debate, and five online threaded discussion questions.

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THEO-200-B: The Christian Tradition: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 9:00AM - 9:50AM (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a research project/debate, and five online threaded discussion questions.

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THEO-200-C:   The Christian Tradition – and What Christianity is Not, MWF 10:30AM - 11:20AM (Prof. Mark Bartusch) 
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become familiar with what Christianity is by learning about certain of the historical, social, religious, and cultural contexts out of which Christian theology arose and developed; appreciate the major developments in the Christian tradition; and gain knowledge of central expressions and characteristics of the Christian faith. We will conclude by considering – for our own context what Christianity is not: it is not a culture religion; is is not a religion of the book; it is not doctrine; it is not a system of morality; is not not the church; it is not the 'truth.' It is expected that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course. 
Students can expect to complete approximately 18-20 pages of written work, and write 2 exams (including a final exam).
Required Texts: The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.] New York: HarperCollins, 2006. NOTE: This print edition of the Bible is required. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants already own this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course. [ISBN-13: 978-0061228407] Hall, Douglas John. What Christianity is Not: An Exercise in Negative Theology. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013. [ISBN-13: 978-1610976718]Other required readings will be made available on Blackboard. 

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THEO-200-D: The Christian Tradition – and What Christianity is Not, MWF 11:30 - 12:20 (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become familiar with what Christianity is by learning about certain of the historical, social, religious, and cultural contexts out of which Christian theology arose and developed; appreciate the major developments in the Christian tradition; and gain knowledge of central expressions and characteristics of the Christian faith. We will conclude by considering – for our own context – what Christianity is not: it is not a culture religion; is is not a religion of the book; it is not doctrine; it is not a system of morality; is not not the church; it is not the 'truth.' It is expected that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course.
Students can expect to complete approximately 18-20 pages of written work, and write 2 exams (including a final exam). Required Texts: The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.] New York: Harper Collins, 2006. NOTE: This print edition of the Bible is required. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants already own this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course. [ISBN-13: 978-0061228407]Hall, Douglas John. What Christianity is Not: An Exercise in Negative Theology. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013. [ISBN-13: 978-1610976718]  Other required readings will be made available on Blackboard.

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THEO-200-EVA: The Christian Tradition with American Emphases, MW 6:30PM - 7:45PM (Prof. James Albers)
After introducing students to the biblical foundations of the Christian Tradition, the next unit provided a rapid overview of Christian development from the first century to the present by focusing on 13 major turning points, including the rise of “global Christianity,”;  the last unit looks at the complexity of religion in America, especially recent trends, and a closer look at selected groups.  Several off-campus learning experiences balance the theoretical features of the course. In-class activities include a variety of learning modes.
Required texts:   **The Bible. HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), same edition used in Core.  **Mark A Noll. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity.  3rd Ed. ISBN: 976-0-8010-3996-6. Pbk.  ** Peter Williams, America’s Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-first Century. 3rd Ed. ISBN-13: 978-0252075513.  Pbk.

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THEO-200-EVB: Understanding the Bible, TR 6:30PM - 7:45PM (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
This introduction to the Christian Tradition will be shaped by the ways in which the people of God have understood their identity (who they are) and their theology (who God is) in various periods of history. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred texts and will learn something of the shape and contents of the Christian Bible; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues.

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THEO–200–F: The Christian Tradition: Global Christianities, MWF 1:30PM - 2:20PM (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course introduces and examines the theological diversity and geographical spread of contemporary Christian traditions (such as Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, including Pentecostals/Charismatics). After an overview of the foundation of Christianity, the course will follow the growth of Christianity around the world, specifically in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course will include several topics of concern: the encounter between western missionaries and indigenous populations, politics (e.g. nationalism, immigration, persecution), the media (e.g. televangelism), women, and religious identity. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the processes through which Christianity has been communicated, received, interpreted, and reinvented. They will also be able to answer the questions: How does Christian change and stay the same as it crosses cultures? How does Christianity shape the culture and worldviews of those who encounter it, and how do cultures and worldviews shape Christianity? Evaluations include presentations, tests, and papers.
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THEO–200–G: The Christian Tradition: Global Christianities, MWF 2:30PM - 3:20PM (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course introduces and examines the theological diversity and geographical spread of contemporary Christian traditions (such as Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, including Pentecostals/Charismatics). After an overview of the foundation of Christianity, the course will follow the growth of Christianity around the world, specifically in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course will include several topics of concern: the encounter between western missionaries and indigenous populations, politics (e.g. nationalism, immigration, persecution), the media (e.g. televangelism), women, and religious identity. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the processes through which Christianity has been communicated, received, interpreted, and reinvented. They will also be able to answer the questions: How does Christian change and stay the same as it crosses cultures? How does Christianity shape the culture and worldviews of those who encounter it, and how do cultures and worldviews shape Christianity? Evaluations include presentations, tests, and papers.  

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THEO-200-J: The Christian Tradition, TR 12:00PM - 1:15PM (Prof. James Moore) 
Course Description: A study of the historical foundations of Christian thought and its development in the life of the church.  This course will explore the basic ideas of Christianity through the lens of a vision central to the teaching of Jesus: that God intends to bring peace and justice to the nations.  We will think about the key notions of Christianity and how they can be seen differently if this central theme is taken seriously.
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THEO-200-K: The Christian Tradition, TR 1:30PM - 2:45PM (Prof. James Moore)  
Course Description: A study of the historical foundations of Christian thought and its development in the life of the church.  This course will explore the basic ideas of Christianity through the lens of a vision central to the teaching of Jesus: that God intends to bring peace and justice to the nations.  We will think about the key notions of Christianity and how they can be seen differently if this central theme is taken seriously. 

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THEO-200-L: Understanding the Bible, TR 3:00PM - 4:15PM (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
This introduction to the Christian Tradition will be shaped by the ways in which the people of God have understood their identity (who they are) and their theology (who God is) in various periods of history. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred texts and will learn something of the shape and contents of the Christian Bible; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues.

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THEO-311-A:  Understanding the Old Testament, TR 10:30AM - 11:45AM (Prof. George C. Heider)
Back in the second century of our era, the Christian church rejected the attempt of Marcion to delete the Old Testament from the Christian Scriptures, along with what he thought was the OT's "God of Wrath," whom he contrasted with a "God of Love" in Jesus and the New Testament. Yet, even though Marcionism was declared a heresy, it is alive and well in much of the Christian church today.  This course will take an inside look at the Old Testament, using both Jewish and Christian lenses (and occasionally Muslim, as well).  Students will be offered an alternative view (to Marcion's) of the Old Testament as essential Scripture for Christians that the New Testament claims to be interpreting, not replacing.  Class assignments will include two tests and two papers, one on a methodology for the study of the Old Testament and the other an interpretive essay on a selected passage.

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THEO-319-AX: Women and the Bible, TR 1:30PM - 2:45PM (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
A critical academic study of the Bible, with special focus on stories and laws concerning women, as well as texts which have had major impacts on the lives of women in communities of faith. Students will become acquainted with the content of the Bible as it relates to and impacts women, along with a variety of critical methods and resources, as well as to consider some ways of applying the Bible’s theology to contemporary issues.

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THEO 329AX:  Christians in Nazi Germany, MWF 10:30AM - 11:20AM, (Prof. Matthew Becker)  
More than sixty years after its destruction, Nazi Germany continues to be a topic of interest to both historians and the public at large. Of particular concern are the actions of Christians in Germany during the so-called Third Reich. This course examines those actions. Participants will explore pre-1914 Germany, the role of anti-Semitism in German society, World War I and the experience of defeat, church/state controversies during the Weimar Republic, the German Christian movement, the Confessing Church movement, congregations and state churches in the Nazi state, and the Holocaust. Significant attention will be given to several representative German Lutheran theologians and their actions and writings before, during, and shortly after the Nazi period. We will also examine the actions of Roman Catholic priests and popes during this period, as well as the actions of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose movement. We will watch and discuss several films and read two books. Course requirements include two exams and one ten-page essay on a topic related to the course.

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THEO-329-BX: Reformation Europe, MWF 11:30AM - 12:20PM (Prof. Ron Rittgers)
Sixteenth-century Europe witnessed a series of religious revolutions that altered the lives of its inhabitants in profound ways. The Protestant and Catholic Reformations permanently changed the religious, political, social, and economic landscape of early modern Europe, and have significantly shaped the course of western civilization. The task of this course is to examine both the causes and the nature of these Reformations in an effort to understand better their impact on early modern Europe and western civilization as a whole. Attention will be given both to ideas and institutions, significant persons and long-term trends. 

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THEO-333-A: Black Theology & Black Church, MWF 1:30PM - 2:20PM (Prof. Gregory Jones)
This course seeks to integrate the basic underlining principles of Black theology and its impact on the development of the African American Religious experience. The focus of study will be the institutions created by that experience and the people who are a part of those communities.This course will also provide a basic understanding of the origin, history and development of African American religious and ethical thought. The student is expected to develop a working knowledge of these influences of social, cultural, religious, economic and political contextual environments to enhance their understanding of the impact persons of color have on post- modern Christian faithand culture. 

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THEO-344-A: Theology and The Scientific World, TR 3:00PM - 4:15PM (Prof. James Moore) 
This course is designed to study not only the controversy between religion and science but also the potential benefit of an ongoing dialogue between theologians and scientists. Thus, the course aims for a positive perspective on both of these academic disciplines.  The course will cover many of the topics of concern in this dialogue for both theologians and scientists: Creation and evolution; Cosmology and Theology; Genetics and Human Uniqueness; Origins both scientific and religious; truth and morality; etc.  In so doing, the student will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and faith that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues. Readings and discussion will be aimed to assist the student in this task.

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THEO-345-A: The Church in the World, MWF 2:30PM - 3:20PM (Prof. Gregory Jones)
The church in the world is a theological study of the life and mission of the church, with special emphasis on the movements for renewal, reform and reunion within the Christian global community. Topics will include violence, poverty, environment and reform movements within institutions of the  global community.
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THEO-346/THEO-358/558-AX/CC 300-X: Health, Healing, and Salvation – Religious implications in the quest for health., TR 3:00PM - 4:15PM

This class offers a critical examination not only of the intricate interdependencies of health, healing, and salvation, but also of the health- and wellness idolatry of affluent societies in order to allow for a genuine appreciation of human life within the limits set by the human condition as a conscious entity or system being fully aware of decay and death yet striving to overcome it. The first section of this course exposes students to the broad variety of answers given by various religions to the challenge of disease in general and to the Hellenistic healing cults of Asclepius and Serapis in particular. The second section focuses on healing in the Old Testament and the New Testament 
with special emphasis on the healing ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. This will be followed by a look into the history of the nascent Church and the importance healing had for early Christianity. The teachings of the Church-Fathers are replete with references to Christ as the true physician and philanthropist often times likening the pastoral ministry to that of a physician who has to inflict pain by cutting and burning (recognition of guilt, penitence) in order to clear the way for applying the healing remedy (forgiveness of sin, promise of a new life). The third unit looks at the practice of the healing ministry of the Church today, not only in America, but all over the globe in the ecumenical fellowship of churches notably in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A systematic theological analysis of the phenomena realized in the quest for health will be attempted in a final section. Students will write brief written assignments on a regular basis and submit a final paper of 12 -15 pages on a given topic. 

Literature: Besides a copy of the Bible (NRSV HarperCollins Study Bible, Harper San Francisco 1993 or later) other required literature will be given to registered students before the beginning of classes.

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Christoffer H. Grundmann, John R. Eckrich University Professor in Religion and the Healing Arts

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THEO–360-A: Themes in the History of Religion: Religions of the World, MWF 9:00AM - 9:50AM (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course is an introductory survey of the five major religious traditions around the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will pay special attention to how we study these traditions, focusing on myth, ritual, community, and religious authority. Over the course of the semester, we will gain religious literacy about the world’s largest religious traditions and an appreciation of the complexities of studying religion. As religion is a lived experience, students are required to attend two different services or events outside their own faith tradition and write papers on these experiences. Evaluations include quizzes, tests, and papers.

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THEO-361-A: Indian Religions and Cultures, TR 8:30AM - 9:45AM (Prof. George Pati)
This course discusses religious traditions that have emerged in India including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and one that have found a home in India, Christianity. The emphasis remains to understand basic tenants and concepts of salvation, divinities, rituals, and sacred texts. Students will gain an overview of these traditions in India from historical and comparative perspectives and a good understanding of layers of cultural variations in contemporary time period. Readings, Bollywood movies, and visits to places of worship of the various traditions under consideration are the highlight of this course.

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Theo 367: Topics in South Asian Religions: Pragmatics of Love in Indian Religion and Literature, TR 10:30AM - 11:45AM (Prof. George Pati)
This course discusses the concept of love from ancient to contemporarytime period through various genres, including sacred texts and secularnovels. The emphasis remains to understand the pragmatic efficacy of love in the Indian context as expressed through various literary sources over various periods in history and to connect it to contemporary understandings. Students will closely read some of thetexts under consideration and gain understanding of love as a means ofachieving greater goal, salvation and freedom, in spiritual and socialspheres.
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THEO-368: Topics in Abrahamic Religions: A Concubine, Covenant, Cross, and Crescent, MWF 11:30AM - 12:20PM (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course will provide a historical overview of the encounter between Jews, Christians and Muslims from the 7th¬–21st centuries. We will begin by examining the historical and theological foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. After examining their shared Abrahamic legacy, we will focus on four historical moments that are perceived as having a particular impact in shaping the relationship between these monotheistic religions: the Golden Age of Islam in Spain, the Crusades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and contemporary attempts at inter-faith dialogue. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify trends in the history of Jewish–Christian–Muslim relations and consider ways to promote peaceful, productive relations in the future. Evaluations include blogs, tests, and papers.

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Theo-640/690-EVAX: SEMINAR IN RELIGION: Culture and Value: Human Rights and Global Violence. (LS 440/450/640/650) Tuesday 6:30 - 9:15PM (Prof. James Moore)
A recent conference was entitled The Century of Genocide marking one of the most obvious features of the Twentieth century. In truth, however, the last century was characterized by both a series of horrendous wars and genocidal activities as well as a development of unprecedented recognition of the rights of all humans and the guarantee of those rights for more and more people.  Thus, our recent experience has been this parallel experience of opposites that show the human potential for both great evil and great good.  This course will explore the reasons and effects of both the violence and the progress toward human cooperation and the greater respect for human rights by focusing attention on the Holocaust, its causes and aftermath, as a case study and as a way to see how the future can point toward either more instability and violence or greater prospects for peace and justice.  The course will involve weekly discussions around readings and a student developed research project that can be shaped in whatever way the student determines is most beneficial for her/his academic program or personal intellectual interests.  
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THEO-640-EVBX: RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY: The systemstheoretical approach toward religion of Niklas Luhmann. (LS 620-EVCX / LS 650–EVBX, LS 691-EVX, THEO 640-EVX) Thursday 6:30PM - 9:15 PM (Prof. Christoffer Grundmann)
Religion has shaped society profoundly from its very beginnings. It has exercised a hold so strong that the French sociologist E. Durkheim (1858-1917) could sum up his field studies of native societies in Australia in the phrase ‘Religion is society perceiving itself.’ (The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, 1915) He realized that it was religion with its sets of rules regarded as ultimately binding, as ‘absolute’, ‘holy’ for the behavior and conduct of the individual as well as the community, which safeguards (by means of taboos/command¬ments)—and thus guarantees—the continuance of life in future. In modern contemporary societies however, especially in the West, religion appears just to be a matter of personal choice and preference only geared toward individual satisfaction and competing with other offers for personal enhancement and wellbeing. But is this religion still? Can churches stay content with talking to likeminded people or engaging in fund raising and church growth? To better come to terms with the challenges faced by any religion/church and any genuine believer in today’s society it is of prime importance to precisely identify the factual place and role of religion in contemporary society which in turn requires some under¬standing of what ‘society’ is and how it works. Society functions by the constant and highly complex interactions of various macro-elements, which have been analyzed and termed ‘systems’ by sociologists who have developed a respective social theory, called ‘systemstheory’ powerfully heralded by Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998). His approach promises to be of great help for the issues posed here in so far as it does not require any agreed upon common conviction or definition of 'religion' which will be difficult to arrive at in a pluralistic society anyhow. Systemstheory, instead, allows for a very pragmatic analysis of the factual state of affairs thereby opening up entirely new avenues for the articulation of genuine religious concerns.The course consists of in-depth studies of seminal texts by German philosopher disguised as sociologist Niklas Luhmann. Students will get acquainted with his highly abstract reflections and will work toward an adequate understand¬ing of his texts as well as of religion as one system among many others in complex modern society. At the same time students will gain a genuine perspective of their own position on the topic, a perspective, which might be of tremendous help in understanding ‘religion
Instructor: Prof. Dr. Christoffer H. Grundmann, John R. Eckrich University Professor in Religion and the Healing Arts
Literature: 1) Niklas Luhmann, Social Systems, Stanford University Press, Stanford 1995,
                2) Niklas Luhmann, Observations on Modernity, Stanford University Press, Stanford 1998                 
                3)  Niklas Luhmann, Theories of Distinction – Redescribing the descriptions of modernity, Stanford University Press 2002

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Summer 2015 Term

THEO-200: The Christian Tradition: Conflict and Consensus (Prof. Matt Becker)

This six-week online course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be six quizzes, weekly threaded discussions, and one term paper.

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THEO-328: Topics in Christian Theology: Art and Faith from Rome to Munich (Prof. Matt Becker)

Theology 328 (Art and Faith from Rome to Munich) is a hybrid course. Part of the course is conducted online (via Blackboard) and part of the course is a two-week study trip from Rome to Munich. The focus of the course is on Christian art and faith from the earliest period of Christianity through the Reformation. Participants will explore the interrelationship between Christian faith and its expression in certain key visual artworks. Approximately one month prior to the trip, students will read several online readings and complete three online quizzes. The readings and quizzes will cover such issues as the history of Christian art through the Reformation, various Christian attitudes toward visual art, basic terms and concepts in Christian theology and art, and basic information about key Christian artists (e.g., Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Duerer, et al.) and centers of art (e.g., Florence, Venice, Ravenna, and Nueremberg/Munich), which we will visit/experience on the trip itself. During the two-week study-abroad trip, students will fulfill several individual assignments relating to the art we see and discuss. After the trip, students will write a five-page reflection paper on the course and trip. This paper must be submitted to Dr. Becker within three weeks of returning from Europe.

In order to participate in this course, students must register for the trip by no later than December 15, 2014. For further information, please contact Dr. Becker

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THEO-333: Black Theology and the Black Church Theology: An African American Religious Experience (Prof. Gregory Jones)

This course seeks to integrate the foundational underlining principles of Black Theology and its impact on the development of the African American Religious experience. The focus of study will be the institutions created by that experience; as well as the people and organizations that are involved in the evolution of that experience.  

Major Course Objectives:
•To examine the origins of African American Religious experience
•To provide a basic understanding of African American ethical thought 
•To develop a theological understanding of the primary institutions within this experience
•To examine the impact African Americans have on post- modern religious/theological constructs in American culture

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THEO-348: Creation (Prof. Matt Becker)

This six-week online course examines the Christian teaching that God is the Creator and that the universe is God’s creation. After an introduction to the nature and purpose of Christian systematic theology, participants will study the biblical texts that refer to God as Creator and the universe as creation, compare and contrast these texts with other ancient stories of origin, explore key insights into the doctrine of creation in the history of Christian thought, and investigate contemporary attempts to relate Christian and scientific understandings of reality. Along the way students will evaluate differing approaches to the Christian doctrine of creation and seek to develop their own position on God as Creator and reality as creation. Students will take six weekly quizzes, participate in weekly threaded discussions, and submit a short paper at the end of the course.

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Fall 2014 Term

THEO 200-B: The Christian Tradition – and What Christianity is Not, MWF 9:00AM-9:50AM  (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become familiar with what Christianity is by encountering the central concepts of the Christian faith as they find expression in the beliefs and practices of the church. We will begin with an introduction to the biblical tradition, move into the developments of the formative centuries of the church’s life, read around in other parts of the Christian tradition, and conclude by considering – for our own context – what Christianity is not. It is expected that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course.

Required Texts: The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.] New York: HarperCollins, 2006. NOTE: This print edition of the Bible is required. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants already own this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course. [ISBN-13: 978-0061228407]
Hall, Douglas John. What Christianity is Not: An Exercise in Negative Theology. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013. [ISBN-13: 978-1610976718]
Other required readings will be made available on Blackboard.

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THEO 200-C: The Christian Tradition – and What Christianity is Not, MWF  10:30AM-11:20AM. (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become familiar with what Christianity is by encountering the central concepts of the Christian faith as they find expression in the beliefs and practices of the church. We will begin with an introduction to the biblical tradition, move into the developments of the formative centuries of the church’s life, read around in other parts of the Christian tradition, and conclude by considering – for our own context – what Christianity is not. It is expected that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course.
Required Texts: The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.] New York: HarperCollins, 2006. NOTE: This print edition of the Bible is required. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants alreadyown this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course. [ISBN-13: 978-0061228407]
Hall, Douglas John. What Christianity is Not: An Exercise in Negative Theology. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013. [ISBN-13: 978-1610976718]
Other required readings will be made available on Blackboard.

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THEO-200-F: Global Christianities, MWF 1:30-2:20 (Prof. Melanie Trexler) 
This course introduces and examines the theological diversity and geographical spread of contemporary Christian traditions (such as Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism, including Pentecostals/Charismatics). After an overview of the foundation of Christianity, the course will follow the growth of Christianity around the world, specifically in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course will include several topics of concern: the encounter between western missionaries and indigenous populations, politics (e.g. nationalism, immigration, persecution), the media (e.g. televangelism), biblical interpretation, and religious identity. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify theprocesses through which Christianity has been communicated, received, interpreted, and reinvented.
Requirements will include one site visit, two exams, five blog posts, and two papers.

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Theo 200 I: The Christian Tradition:The Biblical Foundation, T&R 8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
Will be shaped by the ways in which the people of God have understood their identity (who they are) and their theology (who God is) in various periods of history. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred texts and will learn something of the shape and contents of the Christian Bible; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues.

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Theo 200 J: The Christian Tradition: The Biblical Foundation,  T&R 10:30 a.m. -11:45 a.m. (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
Will be shaped by the ways in which the people of God have understood their identity (who they are) and their theology (who God is) in various periods of history. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred texts and will learn something of the shape and contents of the Christian Bible; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues.

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THEOLOGY 200 K: The Christian Tradition: Belief and Thought, T&R 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. (Prof. James Moore)
A study of the historical foundations of Christian thought and its development in the life of the church.  This course will explore the basic ideas of Christianity through the lens of a vision central to the teaching of Jesus: that God intends to bring peace and justice to the nations.  We will think about the key notions of Christianity and how they can be seen differently if this central theme is taken seriously.

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THEOLOGY 200 L: The Christian Tradition: Belief and Thought, T&R 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (Prof. James Moore)
A study of the historical foundations of Christian thought and its development in the life of the church.  This course will explore the basic ideas of Christianity through the lens of a vision central to the teaching of Jesus: that God intends to bring peace and justice to the nations.  We will think about the key notions of Christianity and how they can be seen differently if this central theme is taken seriously.

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Theology 200-M: The Christian Tradition with American Emphases, TR 3:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m. (Prof. James Albers)
After introducing students to the biblical foundations of the Christian Tradition, the next unit provided a rapid overview of Christian development from the first century to the present by focusing on 13 major turning points, including the rise of “global Christianity,”;  the last unit looks at the complexity of religion in America, especially recent trends, and a closer look at selected groups.  Several off-campus learning experiences balance the theoretical features of the course. In-class activities include variety of learning modes.
Required texts:   **The Bible. HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), same edition used in Core.  **Mark A Noll. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity.  3rd Ed. ISBN: 976-0-8010-3996-6. Pbk.  ** Peter Williams, America’s Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-first Century. 3rd Ed. ISBN-13: 978-0252075513.  Pbk.

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Theology 200-EV: The Christian Tradition with American Emphases,  TR 6:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m. (Prof. James Albers)
After introducing students to the biblical foundations of the Christian Tradition, the next unit provided a rapid overview of Christian development from the first century to the present by focusing on 13 major turning points, including the rise of “global Christianity,”;  the last unit looks at the complexity of religion in America, especially recent trends, and a closer look at selected groups.  Several off-campus learning experiences balance the theoretical features of the course. In-class activities include a variety of learning modes.
Required texts:   **The Bible. HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), same edition used in Core.  **Mark A Noll. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity.  3rd Ed. ISBN: 976-0-8010-3996-6. Pbk.  ** Peter Williams, America’s Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-first Century. 3rd Ed. ISBN-13: 978-0252075513.  Pbk.

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THEO-319-AX/HIST-390-AX/CLC-290-AX:Topics in Biblical Studies:  Ancient Near Eastern Civilization, TR 10:30-11:45 a.m. (Prof. George Heider)
Biblical Israel emerged in a world of already-ancient civilizations.  While it was never a major force among nations, it lay at the intersection of three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa), making its territory a major intersection of trade, cultural exchange, and political and military activity.  This course will focus on the history, literature, and religious ideas that shaped the context out of which the Bible (especially the Old Testament) emerged.  Participants may well be surprised to discover the degree to which their own world has been influenced by peoples who seem so distant and different.  Among the course activities will be a class visit to the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago.  Students will prepare a major written project on a thesis of interest to them and present their findings to the class; outstanding papers will be invited for presentation in such venues as the National Conference for Undergraduate Research and the Midwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature. 

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Theo 319 B:  Psalms and Biblical Poetry, T&R 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
Will examine the poetry of the Bible; the literary artistry and techniques that characterize it; and the historical, social, and cultural contexts that produced it. Students will explore the ways in which these poetic texts have been appropriated and adapted by the arts over the centuries. The course will have a strong experiential component, with students not just learning about biblical poetry, but actively engaging and interacting with the texts, with an opportunity to try their own artistic interpretations.

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THEO 321 Medieval Christianity: East and West, MWF 9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. (Prof. Lisa Driver)
Travel by texts and images from West to the East to sample Christian variety from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries.  Beginning in the Middle East, we will examine the expansion of Christianity around the Mediterranean Sea, to Europe, Africa, India and China.  In each region, Christianity interacted with many cultures and with religions, such as Buddhism and Islam.  Students will engage the theological and cultural distinctiveness of Christianity in these global settings as well as consider the nature of interfaith encounters.  Lectures, close readings of primary sources and discussion, often in small groups, are the typical class activities.  Evaluation includes tests, essays and in-class participation.

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THEOLOGY 343: Marraige and Sexuality, T&R 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. (Prof. James Moore)
This course is an open discussion of the many issues stemming from contemporary views of sexuality, gender and marriage.  There is, perhaps, no area of human living that has undergone more significant change or creates more controversy than does human sexual behavior.  Surely religion has played a central role in shaping attitudes about sexuality in our culture and in so doing has set patterns of living and standards for judgment that even those who are not religious must pay attention to.  This course aims to take a hard look at both the religious standards, particularly those shaped by Christianity, and the current state of flux in sexual attitudes, behavior and gender roles and patterns.  This study will then help us understand as well the changing shape of marriage and family in our culture.  Our aim, though, is to begin the process of shaping a reconstructed Christian sexual ethic that will be adequate for those living into the twenty-first century. This task will be a challenge since there is hardly any consensus even among Christians about what kind of ethic is adequate so our efforts will need to account for and yet challenge the wide ranging plurality of views represented by various Christian groups in our culture.  Finally, the course will challenge the student to shape her/his own view of sexuality and standards for thinking and acting.

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THEO 349-A: Søren Kierkegaard: The Secret to Human Happiness, T&R 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (Prof. David Webber)
Bouncing between therapies to overcome his unhappiness, Tubby Passmore’s life is unexpectedly changed by an accidental encounter with the books of the melancholic Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Tubby finds the experience of reading Kierkegaard to be like “flying through a heavy cloud (where) every now and again there’s a break and you get a brief, brilliantly lit view of the ground, and then you’re back in the swirling grey mist again with not a …. clue where you are,” but reads on because titles like Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety and Sickness Unto Death, lead Tubby to exclaim, “Oh yes, this guy has my number alright.” Because Kierkegaard understood that “the most depressing things about depression…is when you can give absolutely no reason why you’re depressed” Tubby just “cannot stop grinning.” If you are up to tackling the complicated question of anxiety by reading the complex thinking of Kierkegaard, this class is for you.
Texts: David Lodge. Therapy.  Penguin Books. ISBN 0140249001.
·          Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death. Walter Lowrie (Translator), Gordon Marino (Introduction). Princeton P; Cmb Rei edition. ISBN  0691158312
·         The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary. Liveright Press. Trans. Alastair Hannay. ISBN 0871407191
·         The Essential Kierkegaard. Princeton UP. Eds. Howard & Edna Hong  ISBN 0691019401

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THEO-353-A: Christian Response to Social Victims, MWF 12:30 p.m. - 1:20 p.m. (Prof. Gregory Jones)

This is an upper level course addressing the issues of Christian ethics as it is applied to people who are broken in the course of daily living. The course seeks to provide a theological framework of reflectiveaction to address these concerns. Students will be challenged Dialogue and think critically about these issues in the theological context of acting to address human brokenness experienced within the social and global milieu.Students will be expected to read materials, present respond and present solutions to questions presented with regards to class, race, and gender, as it impacts the Christian faith tradition. Students will beexpected to evaluate and dialogue regarding the issues through readings written responses and on the issues presented throughout the duration of the course.

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THEO 362-A: Islamic Religion and Culture, MWF 10:30-11:20 (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course will introduce students to the historical origins, foundational sources, beliefs, and practices of Islam. The first part of the course traces the development of Islam from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the emergence of Islamic institutions, including the caliphate, the Qur’an, the hadith, and shariah. The second part of the course considers challenges to Muslim communities during the medieval, modern, and contemporary periods, as well as Muslim responses to these challenges. The course concludes with an examination of special topics such as women/gender issues, jihad, Islam in the United States, and Muslim-Christian relations. Throughout the course, special attention is given to the diversity within the Islamic tradition. Requirements will include one site visit, two exams, a book review, and two paper. 

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THEO 362-B: Islamic Religion and Culture, MWF 11:30-12:20 (Prof. Melanie Trexler)
This course will introduce students to the historical origins, foundational sources, beliefs, and practices of Islam. The first part of the course traces the development of Islam from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the emergence of Islamic institutions, including the caliphate, the Qur’an, the hadith, and shariah. The second part of the course considers challenges to Muslim communities during the medieval, modern, andcontemporary periods, as well as Muslim responses to these challenges. The course concludes with an examination of special topics such as women/genderissues, jihad, Islam in the United States, and Muslim-Christian relations. Throughout the course, special attention is given to the diversitywithin the Islamic tradition.
Requirements will include one site visit, two exams, a book review, and two papers.  

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THEO-363-A: Religions of China and Japan, China Study Abroad (Prof. George Pati)
This survey course aims to introduce characteristic forms and keyconcepts of religions of China and Japan through lecture anddiscussion.  It seeks to engage students in a critical understandingof the history, philosophy, and practices of the different traditionsincluding Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and JapaneseBuddhism. In particular, this course will trace both conceptual andhistorical continuities and examine the development of the variousreligious traditions exploring issues of divinity, ritual practices,festivals, and concepts of salvation through different time periodsand engage in fieldwork in China.

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THEO-364-A: Native American Religion, MWF 1:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. (Prof.  Gregory Jones)
This course seeks to provide a basic understanding of the foundation of first people’s perspectives of spirituality within the context of pre-contact and post- contact European experiences. The course is designed to focus on the foundational indigenous perspectives and is not pursued as a traditional comparative religions course. students will be expected to study toward basic competency  toward the evolution of spiritual  formation of indigenous conceptual perspectives. Students will also examine the relationship of humankind to environment as understood by first people indigenous communities. Class lectures and discussion will be presented as standard pedagogy. Requirements will include but are not limited to class attendance, examinations, quiz, and recommended research regarding subject matter.

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LS450/650EVBX/430/630EVX;THEOLOGY644EVX: Religion in the Age of Science (Prof. James Moore)
This course is designed to study not only the controversy between religion and science but also the potential benefit of an ongoing dialogue between religion and scientists.  Thus, the course aims for a positive perspective on both of these academic disciplines.  The course will cover many of the topics of concern in this dialogue for both religious people and scientists (who are also often believers): Creation and evolution; Cosmologyand Theology; Genetics and Human Uniqueness; Origins, both scientific and religious; truth and morality; etc.  In so doing, the student will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and its relation to faith matters that is adequate for their own treatment of various issues. Readings and discussion will be aimed to assist the student in this task.

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 THEO 451/551: Theology of Diaconal Ministry, On-line course. (Prof. E. Louise Williams)
A study of the historical and theological foundations of diaconal ministry. Attention is given to the role of the diaconate in the church, the development of diaconal community, and the nurture of a spirituality of service. Designed principally for diaconal and church work students. Others must have the consent of the instructor. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

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THEO 456/MUS 473: Liturgical Theology and Church Music, T&R 10:30 - 11:45 (Prof. Lorraine Brugh)
This course is cross-listed in the music and theology course, and can be taken for credit in either dept.  It is a required course for church music majors, but is also open to other majors, and does not require advanced music study.  Requirements of the course differently for theology and music majors, so that both can successfully complete the course.  The course benefits from a variety of majors, and from those intending vocations in various aspects of church ministry.
The content explores primary and secondary liturgical theology, especially through the lens of the chapel's Morning Prayer, Topics include the history of hymnody, global and contemporary hymns and songs, practical application's in church music, and denominational eccelsiology.  Students will become conversant in theological and musical language useful for worship planning and leading. 

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Theo 480  Practicum in Ministry, T 4:30-5:20 (Staff)
Cr. 1-2.  Supervised field experience in various local agencies or churches; readings, speakers and reports help students to reflect on the experience as ministry. This course may not be used to fulfill the theology component of the General Education Requirement. The course may be taken for one or two credits, and may be repeated for two semesters. A maximum of three credit hours may be applied to the theology major. The course is offered only on S/U basis. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

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HIST 492 BX/CC 300/THEO 328: Topics in Lutheran History and Theology: Martin Luther, T&R 1:30-2:45 (Prof. Ronald Rittgers)
This seminar will examine Luther’s famous debate with Erasmus on the theological status of the human will. The debate turned on the question of whether the human will has any role to play in salvation. Is the human will in some measure free and thus able to turn to God with the help of divine grace, or is it completely bound by sin and thus unable to cooperate with such grace, requiring instead a more radical divine rescue in which God is the sole actor? Behind this question lay even weightier issues regarding the character of God, the problem of evil, the nature of human personhood, and the proper exegesis of Scripture; in other words, this debate involved the central issues of the Reformation movement itself. This seminar will first examine the historical context of the Luther-Erasmus debate, turn to the debate itself, and finally touch on its implications for the subsequent shape of the Reformation movement, which were profound. Students should have completed a course on the Christian Tradition (THEO 200/ CC 215).

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THEO-493-A:  Theology Seminar, MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m. (Prof. George Heider)
This seminar is the capstone course for majors in Theology or Theology and Ministry, resulting in the production of a major thesis paper.  Students should have prepared for the course by intensifying one of their previous 300-level Theology courses with a fourth credit hour devoted to selection of a topic of interest to them and development of a working bibliography (please see advisor for details).  The seminar will have two main components:  the collective reading and discussion of a work of theology on a topic of current interest, selected by the instructor, and the preparation of the thesis.  The course will conclude with the formal presentation of the thesis to fellow-majors and the faculty of the department. Outstanding theses will be candidates for the department's James and Joanne Albers Theology Paper Prize, awarded at commencement in May 2015.  Students who are not both seniors and majors in either Theology or Theology and Ministry require the permission of the department chair to enroll in the course.

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Theo 640 – EVX / LS – 650 – EVX / LS – 691– EVX: Creation, Genetics and the Human Being, Thursday 6:30 – 9:15 pm, (Prof. Christoffer H. Grundmann)

Since its inception genetic engineering has challenged the conventional way how people understand creation. This is due to genetic engineering’s deliberate alteration of genes in order to bring about species with “better” or “improved” attributes, and sometimes also with attributes species do not possess naturally. While many religious people perceive this as being a principal interference with the work of the Creator by scientists, those involved in the respective research charge religiously motivated opponents of upholding outdated convictions hampering potential progress which promises to bring about much good to humankind and the overall environment (medicine; agriculture; environmental sciences).

This course will analyze in-depth both sides of the argument in their peculiar socio-cultural, philosophical, and historical settings, paying special reference to human genetics and its implica¬tions for the very understanding of what the human being is all about. The class will expose students to genetics proper, with special emphasis on medical genetics besides working with biblical texts of creation, esp. the opening chapters of Genesis (1-3), and other important Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources related to the topic. The goal is to bring about a well-informed critical competence in order to engage intelli¬gently in the public discourse on the topic.
This demanding course is for graduate students only.


Literature:
James D. Watson, A Passion for DNA, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 2001 (ISBN 0-87969-609-5)

Eberhard Passarge, Color Atlas of Genetics, Thieme New York, Stuttgart and New York 2012, 4th revised & updated edition (ISBN 1-58890-336-2)

Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell, Colin Tudge, The Second Creation – Dolly and the age of biological control, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2001 (ISBN 0-674-00586-4)
                 
The Harper Collins Study Bible – New Revised Standard Version, revised & updated HarperCollins Publishers, San Francisco / London 2006 (ISBN 0-06-065527-5)

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Spring 2014 Term

THEO 200-A  Christian Tradition: Understanding the Bible, MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m.    (Prof. Fred Niedner)
This course introduces and examines the Christian tradition primarily through the lens of the Bible. After an overview of how religions function in human life and culture and how the discipline of Christian theology arises as an attempt to describe and to know God, the course becomes a journey through the Hebrew and Christian scriptures (Old and New Testaments) with particular attention to key texts that illustrate how and why theology develops over time and how narratives like those in the Bible create a world for believers to inhabit.

Students will write one paper and three exams. The only required textbook purchase is the NRSV HarperCollins Study Bible (the edition used also in the Valpo Core program). Other readings will appear on Blackboard.

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Theology 200-B: The Christian Tradition: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 9-9:50am; ASB 237 (Prof. Matthew L. Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a research project/debate, and five online threaded discussion questions.

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Theology 200-C: The Christian Tradition: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 10:30-11:20am; ASB 237 (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a research project/debate, and five online threaded discussion questions.

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THEO 200-D: The Christian Tradition, MWF 11:30am-12:20pm (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
Course Description: The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become aware of the historical, social, religious, and cultural contexts out of which Christian theology arose and developed; appreciate the major developments in the Christian tradition; and have knowledge of central expressions of the Christian faith. It is expected that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their 
second theology course.

Requirements: Approximately 18-20 pages of writing is required, and participants can also expect to complete 3 exams.

Required Texts: The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.] New York: HarperCollins, 2006. NOTE: This print edition of the Bible is required. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants already own this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course.[ISBN-13: 978-0061228407]
Plantinga, Richard J., Thomas R. Thompson and Matthew D. Lundberg. An Introduction to Christian Theology. Cambridge University Press, 2010. [ISBN-13: 978-0521690379]
Rossing, Barbara. The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation. New York: Basic,2005 [2004]. [ISBN-13: 978-0813343143]

 

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Theo 200-G: The Christian Tradition: Conversion MWF 2:30-3:20

"This course offers an introduction to Christian theology by investigating the meaning of a crucial event in Christian life: conversion. What does it mean to “convert” to Christianity? Does one convert only once, or is it an ongoing process? What about “conversion” between different expressions of Christianity, or “conversion” from Christianity to another religion or to atheism? Can the Protestant Reformation itself be understood as a corporate act of conversion? By focusing on narratives of conversion, near conversion, and even reversion, in texts including the Bible, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Simone Weil, as well as new multi-stage paradigms for conversion developed by contemporary missiologists, students will (1) gain a sense of how personal and corporate conversion are related to Church membership and participation and (2) develop their ability to discuss religious experience and church teaching, including the phenomenon of conversion, in light of classical and modern Christian texts."

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THEO 200: Understanding the Bible (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
Students will learn the story of the Bible: what is in it, how it developed, how it was shaped by communities of faith, and how it has shaped and continues to shape those communities of faith. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will have an opportunity to compare Christianity to some non-Christian religious traditions; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues.

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THEO 200: The Christian Tradition: Understanding the Bible (Prof. Richard DeMaris)
A study of selected biblical writings and how they are interpreted in an academic setting. Some attention will also go to the cultural setting of the biblical world and to ancient Israelite society and early Christian (Jesus movement) communities, out of which the Bible arose.

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THEO 200-x: THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION, The Pursuit of Wisdom (Prof. Ian Clausen)
In this course students explore the Christian tradition from an understanding of religion as a self-involving pursuit.  The Nicene Creed does not open with a set of doctrines, after all, but begins with the simple phrase: ‘We believe’.  As important as the content of Christian belief is, it is by looking at the diverse forms of its practice and embodiment – how Christians both past and present pursued the divine wisdom – that the spirit of Christianity begins to reveal itself.   In this course, students are invited to reflect on Christianity as more than just a summary of established beliefs.  By engaging with the biblical authors and key figures of this tradition – Justin Martyr, Augustine, Boethius, Julian of Norwich, C.S. Lewis, Simone Weil, and Rowan Williams – students explore the wisdom of Christian teaching as embodied in the lives of those who pursued it.  This involves raising important questions to the tradition itself, examining some alternative accounts of the Christian faith, and applying some basic theological concepts to a range of contemporary questions and challenges we all face.  

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THEO 311-A/511-A Understanding the Old Testament, MWF 9:00AM-9:50am (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
Description of Course: A Study of the history and theology of the Old Testament with attention to its role in Christian faith. Participants will read widely in the Christian Old Testament (also known as the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh) in English translation, becoming familiar with the historical, social/cultural, and religious setting; message; purpose; and other relevant “introductory” information of each document. 
This course will also consider the continuing significance of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible for contemporary faith communities and for society in general.

Requirements: Approximately 20 pages of writing is required, and participants can also expect to complete 3 exams. (Students enrolled in this course for graduate credit as THEO 511-A, and Theology majors intensifying this course as part of their major requirements, will complete an additional writing project of approximately 6-10 pages.)

Required Texts (tentative): The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Fully Revised and Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge [Wayne A. Meeks.]  New York: HarperCollins, 2006. No substitutions. It is assumed that participants already own this edition of the Bible (Core 110-115) and will not need to purchase it specifically for this course. You must have a hard-copy of this title; a digital/electronic edition of the 
Bible is not acceptable. ISBN: 9780061228407.
Brueggemann, Walter, and Tod Linafelt. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Second Edition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2012. ISBN: 9780664234584.
Carvalho, Corrine L. Primer on Biblical Methods. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2009. ISBN: 97815998201256.
McDermott, John J. What Are They Saying About the Formation of Israel? New York: Paulist,  1998. ISBN: 9780809138388.

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THEO 312-A Understanding the New Testament (Prof. Richard DeMaris)
A study of the history and theology of the New Testament with attention to its rootage in the Old Testament.  The course begins with an introduction to the New Testament and scholarly approaches to it. After that, the course has these emphases:  biblical traditions and their reuse in the New Testament, the social context of the New Testament, and interpretations of Jesus in contemporary biblical scholarship, art, and film.

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THEO 318-A Jesus & the Gospels, MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m. (Prof. Fred Neidner)
This comparative study of the New Testament gospels focuses on the uniqueness of each presentation of the story about Jesus. The course consists of lectures, discussions, and readings that assist students in understanding the content, message, and structure of each gospel in light of its unique audience, historical context, and evangelical purpose.
In addition to the canonical gospels and other biblical materials, students will read Mark A. Powell’s Introduction to the Gospels (ISBN 0-8006-3075-0). There is one major writing assignment, either  a) text study, book review, or small research project on a gospels-related topic;  or  b) an analysis of two works of art that depict Jesus’s life, including films, dramas, or other contemporary artistic “gospels.” Students will also write three examinations, including the final examination.

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THEO 319/519-A  Topic: The Bible and Modern Media (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
Will explore the way the Bible has been presented in various forms of modern media, such as movies, novels, comics, Veggie Tales, TV documentaries, cartoons, and video games. Students will compare media versions to the biblical text; consider techniques which have been used to enhance effectiveness in media presentations; and explore the ideologies and agendas which lead a media-maker to shape the message in particular ways. 

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THEO 320 Early Christianity (Prof. Lisa Driver)
 Follow after the apostles into the ordinary and extraordinary world of early Christians.  How did early Christians live?  What were their struggles?  What did they believe and why?  How did they pray and worship?    How did they express their faith through art and music?  Explore these and other questions about Christians and their world (second to fifth centuries.)
Students will engage texts written by early Christians through lecture and discussion.  Assessment will be based upon participation, short essays and one research paper (ca. 10 pages) in an area chosen by each student.

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THEO 329/HIST 429: Skepticism, Certainty, and Faith in Early Modern Europe The Protestant Reformation created a “truth crisis” in early modern Europe (ca. 1500-ca. 1800).  (Prof. Ron Rittgers)
Christian theologians made multiple competing and contradictory claims about God and the divine will for human life, leaving at least some people uncertain about where truth lay in matters of ultimate importance. How could one be sure of one’s religious beliefs and practices now that there were several versions of Christianity on the scene that disagreed sharply with one another over important doctrinal matters? Ironically, the movement that began as an attempt to reform religion wound up raising large questions about the possibility of religious knowledge. This course will examine three important responses to the Reformation truth crisis: the revival of ancient skepticism, the development of a new kind of rational certainty, and the attempt to defend traditional Christian faith in the new intellectual context. The course will undertake this analysis through a careful study of three pivotal European intellectuals: Michel de Montaigne, René Descartes, and Blaise Pascal. Students will not only learn about 
historical responses to the early modern truth crisis, but also be invited to evaluate these responses for themselves. 

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CC300DX/Theology 329: Christians in Nazi Germany, MWF 2:30-3:20pm (Prof. Matthew Becker)
More than sixty years after its destruction, Nazi Germany continues to be a topic of interest to both historians and the public at large. Of particular concern are the actions of Christians in Germany during the so-called Third Reich. This course examines those actions. Participants will explore pre-1914 Germany, the role of anti-Semitism in German society, World War I and the experience of defeat, church/state controversies during the Weimar Republic, the German Christian movement, the Confessing Church movement, congregations and state churches in the Nazi state, and the Holocaust. Significant attention will be given to several representative German Lutheran theologians and their actions and writings before, during, and shortly after the Nazi period. We will also examine the actions of Roman Catholic priests and popes during this period, as well as the actions of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose movement. We will watch and discuss several films and read two books. Course requirements include two exams and one ten-page essay on a topic related to the course.

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Theology 331: Christian Theology in the 20th Century, MWF 8-8:50am; ASB 237 (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course will examine the principal developments in 20th-Century Christian theology. The course will thus analyze the
most important ideas of such seminal figures as Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, H. Richard Niebuhr, and John Paul II, and also the most important theological movements of the past century, including feminist theology, eco-theologies, liberation theologies, Black theology, process theology, and American evangelical theology. Students will give one in-class presentation on a theologian, write two exams (midterm and final), and write a short (6-8 pages) paper on a topic of their choice.

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THEO 333 Black Theology and the Black church: The African American Religious experience (Dr.  Gregory Augustus Jones)
Course Description
This course seeks to integrate the basic underlining principles of Black theology and its impact on the development of the African American Religious experience. The focus of study will be the institutions created by that experience and the people who are a part of those communities. Special focus will be given to the critical theological developmental phases within that experience.

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THEO 334 Holocaust Theology, TR - 10:30-11:45 p.m., (Prof. James Moore)

 This course is a systematic study of the many issues stemming from the events of the Nazi Holocaust and how those events emerged and continue to influence our current situation.  The course is challenging, course materials will, at times, shock our sensibilities because they confront us with the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides; yet the process of growth and understanding is worth the struggle. The objective of the course is not only to acquaint students with the facts but also to engage students in a process of shaping a possible view of the meaning and the centrality of human rights and religion in a new context of a sense of global justice.

This course intends to expand the horizons of students so that students will be more adequately equipped to identify the importance of the Holocaust as an event of radical proportions; be more fully sensitive to the feelings, outlook and questions of many (if not most) contemporary Jews; and be more completely understanding of the necessity for adequate human responses to genocide.   In so far as those objectives are met, students will see in the study of human rights in the context of reflection on genocidal violence a valuable case example of the interaction between culture, religion and the shaping of values.  Thus, the course provides a fascinating model for understanding how culture and religion are closely intertwined, particularly in the area of moral values.

 

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THEO 345 The Church in the World (Dr.  Gregory Augustus Jones)
The church in the world is a theological study of the life and mission of the church, with special emphasis on the movements for renewal, reform and reunion within the Christian global community.  Theological critical reflection and emphasis will be focused on nonviolence, ecological stewardship and the unification of Christian faith community.

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THEO 349-B Taking Life  TR 1:30-2:45 (Prof. Gilbert Meilaender)
In this course we will examine the moral issues that surround the taking of life in two quite different contexts--warfare, and medical care at the end of life.  Although the contexts are quite different, certain issues are common to both and standard moral theories are commonly applied to both.

Readings will come from both theological and philosophical sources.  Class time will be divided between lecture and discussion.  Students will write several exams and several short, critical papers.

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THEO 349-EV The Reproduction Revolution  M 6:30-9:15 (Prof. Gilbert Meilaender)
Over the last few decades an increasing number of techniques for assisted reproduction have been developed and put into use.  In this course we examine some of the ethical questions and problems that accompany assisted reproduction.  Assigned readings will come from a time when these techniques were just being developed and from more recent moral and legal analyses.  Reading assignments will be lengthy, especially for the first weeks of the semester.

The course will be conducted primarily as a seminar, with a premium placed on discussion of weekly 
assigned reading.  Students will be expected to write a number of short, critical papers.

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THEO 368 Topics in Abrahamic Religions:  Encounters in the Holy Land   (Prof. George C. Heider, instructor)
This short-term study-abroad course will run during Spring Break, from 6 to 16 March 2014.  Students will travel to Israel and Palestine and will visit significant biblical sites, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth.  More importantly, course participants will meet the people of the Holy Land, including an Israeli settler, a Palestinian refugee, and leaders of the three great faith communities there (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Pre-trip work includes reading and discussion of The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan; students will prepare a reflection paper on the course experience.  Enrollment is limited, and registration and deposit payment well before Spring 2014 registration is required.  Course credit may count for upper-level Theology in General Education, cultural diversity in General Education, or Theology major or minor.  See course brochure at https://valpo-sa.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=13674 or contact instructor for further information.

 

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Theo 453/553  Clinical Education for Ministry (Instructors are Deaconess Diane Marten AND Chaplain Jim Stoel.) 
Cr. 3.  A carefully supervised practicum in ministry to the physically ill and the elderly.  Designed principally for diaconal ministry and church work students, this course in practical theology engages students in disciplined reflection on pastoral care.  Others must have the consent of the instructor.  Usually S/U basis.  Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. 

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Theo 480  Practicum in Ministry (Instructor is Deaconess Diane Marten)

Cr. 2.  Supervised field experience in various local agencies or churches; readings, speakers and reports help students to reflect on the experience as ministry.  This course may not be used to fulfill the theology component of the General Education Requirement.  The course may be taken for one or two credits, and may be repeated for two semesters.  A maximum of three credit hours may be applied to the theology major. The course is offered only on S/U basis.  Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

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THEO 490-X  – Living Word: Prospects for (Biblical) Theology MWF 10:30 – 11:20 a.m. (Prof. Fred Neidner)
This course will examine a number of biblical texts that have perplexed and fascinated readers, interpreters and believers for as long as they have appeared in the Jewish and Christian canons. Texts will include, among others, the tower of Babel, the “binding” of Isaac, Israel’s golden calves, stories surrounding women in David’s household, Jonah’s maritime sabbatical, Jesus’ cursing of a hapless fig tree, and the fate of Judas, the traitor. Secondary texts will include midrashic literature both ancient and
modern, scholarly commentaries, and literary and film treatments of the chosen texts.

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THEO 640 Ethics and Professional Responsibility – II (Prof. James Moore)
The goal of this course is to equip professionals in various careers—business, politics, law, medicine, the arts, engineering, IT, media, ministry—as well as anyone else troubled by the discrepan¬cies between moral claims and practical reality and worried about the humane future of society to critically discern the actual issues at hand while at the same time realizing, that to act ethically as a human being means to take perso¬nal responsibility for one’s own deciding even at the risk of being faulted. Students will be exposed to classical model situations as they have occurred in the different professions, that is, to such situations in which the actual decision for behaving humanely—which means: appearing to be unquestionably morally appropriate—depen¬ded critically not upon intellectual reasoning how things are to be done “right” according to the book as demanded by professional standards and applied ethics, but upon the courage of individuals to override professional directives for the sake of “doing the right thing.” 
The course will make students aware of the limits of any rules of professional conduct without undermi¬ning the importance of abiding by established good practice standards of the moral codes of the various trades which are part and parcel of professional behavior anyhow. Yet, while legally binding these codes do not—because they never can—exhaust the potential of human action. The task, therefore, is to critically reflect upon and carefully work through the issues for the sake of arriving at an ethically well-informed, authentic decision valued by all affected.The subject matter of every section will be introduced by carefully selected texts, audio-visual media, and, if available, by compe¬tent representatives of the various professions. At the con-clusion of each segment students will be exposed to respective open-ended sample situations in order to arrive at a decision and will have to defend it during class session in group discussions moderated by their instructors. In carefully working through tough issues this way, students will acquire a critical competence for their professional work, a com¬pe¬tence so important for defying any kind of ideology and collec¬tive incapaci¬tation by professional standards. Thus sensitized those graduating from this course will certainly make an impact for the better at their place of work by keeping the non-formal ethical dis¬course alive, a discourse which is so important for society as a whole to be engaged in for the sake of keeping it truly humane. 

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Theo 640-EVBX / LS 660 – EVBX / LS – 691 – EVAX:  Hermeneutics of the Body
Instructor: Prof. Dr. Christoffer H. Grundmann, John R. Eckrich University Professor in Religion and the Healing Arts, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN (http://faculty.valpo.edu/cgrundma)

Place: TBA Time: Thursdays, 06:30-09:15 

Course description: The more recent epistemological tradition of Western culture, i.e. in post Cartesian times suggests that human beings are composed of material bodies and non-material minds or of body, mind, and soul / spirit respectively. This led to a radical divide between the two (or three) spheres of life: the bodily and the mental or the corporeal, the rational, and the emotional or spiritual. While such divide freed the investi¬gative mind from (nearly) every restraint, thereby initiating the age of discovery with its unprecedented practical benefits for all aspects of life, medicine in particular, it at the same time reduced the human being to just a conglomerate of various compartment¬alizable elements. However, any lived body is not just something purely material. Bodies are the very being of life itself, because life is always corporeal. Humans don’t “have a body,” humans are bodies. This holds good for pure material things like stones or atoms and molecules as well. There is no life without material body.This insight has manifold repercussions on the entire perception of reality in general and on every kind of practical dealings with humans in particular, be it pedagogy, psychiatry, medi¬cine, counseling, theology etc. Hermeneutics of the body challenges well established concepts and theories to the core by studying corporeal life in general, in particular the corporeality of human beings.The course is of an exploratory nature leaving ample space for unconventional inquiry. It invites participants to get actively involved in open, spirited discussion and writing. The three main sections addressed are: (1) philosophical aspects of body perception and an¬thro¬¬pology up to Rene Descartes 
(1596 – 1650), (2) medical and socio-political aspects and implications resulting from the Cartesian definition of the “body as machine”, and (3) biblical-theological aspects regarding the corporeality of life in general and the human being in particular.At the conclusion of the course students will be able (1) to understand anthropological discourses; (2) to contribute meaningfully to public discourses on medical ethics and social-political decision making; (3) to articulate core aspects of Christian anthropology.


Literature:1) Daniel Garber, Descartes Embodied, Cambridge University Press, 20012) The Incorporated Self – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Embodiment, ed. by Michael 
O’Donovan-Anderson, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham et al, 19963) Drew Leder, The Absent Body, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London 1990
Christoffer H. Grundmann (Contact: Christoffer.Grundmann@valpo.edu; Tel.: 219-464-5172; Office: ASB 232)      

 

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Fall 2013 Term

 

THEO-200-A: The Christian Tradition, MWF 8:00-8:50 (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become aware of the historical, social, religious, and cultural contexts out of which Christian theology arose and developed; appreciate the major developments in the Christian tradition; and have knowledge of central expressions of the Christian faith. It is hoped that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course.  

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THEO-200-B: The Christian Tradition, MWF 9:00-9:50 (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Christian Tradition is a course that introduces students to the study of the origin and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. In this section of THEO 200, students will become aware of the historical, social, religious, and cultural contexts out of which Christian theology arose and developed; appreciate the major developments in the Christian tradition; and have knowledge of central expressions of the Christian faith. It is hoped that through engagement in the study of theology, students will develop the liberal skills of critical reading and listening, careful writing, and respectful discussion of important questions, as well as an interest in continued engagement with theological issues. Students will also be prepared for further work in their second theology course.  

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THEO-200-C: Understanding the Bible, MWF 10:30-11:20 (Prof. Fred Niedner)
This is an "Understanding the Bible" section of THEO 200.  The course introduces the Christian tradition primarily through its official canon of sacred writings, the Bible.  The course aims to make students familiar with the lengthy historical narrative the Bible presents, the workings and interpretation of the individual stories that make up that longer narrative, the story of how these particular works came to be included in the canon of scripture, and how the Bible functions in the life of various communities today. 
Three exams and one 1,500-word paper are required. The only print text students will purchase is the Harper Collins Study Bible.  Other texts will include films, internet materials, and articles available on Blackboard. NOTE: A print copy of the Bible is required. Relying on a phone or iPad Bible app is not acceptable. 

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THEO-200-D: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 11:30-12:20 (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in thehistory of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a midterm exam, a research project/debate, and a final exam.

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THEO-200-E: Understanding the Bible, MWF 12:30-1:20 (Prof. Richard DeMaris)
A study of selected biblical writings and how they are interpreted in an academic setting. Some attention will also go to the cultural setting of the biblical world and to ancient Israelite society and early Christian (Jesus movement) communities, out of which the Bible arose.

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THEO-200-EVA: The Christian Life, MW  6:30-7:45 (Prof. David Weber)
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THEO-200-EVB: American Christianity, TR 6:30-9:00 (Prof. James Albers)
This course has several special features.  First, it meets during the last half of the semester (10/18- 12/6), beginning one week prior to mid-term.  Second, after an introduction to the biblical origins of Christianity and its creedal and initial political developments, the course focuses on Christianity in the United States. This last part couples a brief historical survey of Christianity in North America, with a survey of major denominations and clusters of Christian groups in the United States.  It will include contemporary patterns, practices, and trends.  Major groups and clusters include  Evangelicals ( sub-groups—Baptist, charismatic, non-denominational mega-churches, fundamentalists, some Lutheran), contemporary mainline groups (Episcopalian, Presbyterians, Lutheran, Methodists);  major “eccentric” groups (CJCLDS [Mormons], Jehovah’s Witnesses, others), African American churches, Roman Catholic,  and the Orthodox churches. Time permitting the course may also look, albeit very briefly, at  non-Christian  neighbors in what has been termed  the  “new religious America” (Diana Eck). 

There is an experiential dimension that balances with the theoretical features of the course. There are several off-campus assignments; in-class activity will involve a variety of  instructional modes.

 The syllabus will be posted on Blackboard and should be accessible to registered students by the beginning of the semester in August.  There will be an optional preliminary meeting of registered students to allow those who wish to work ahead on certain assignments to do so.  For more information, contact jim.albers@valpo.edu.  (464-5316). 

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THEO-200-F: Understanding the Bible, MWF 1:30-2:20 (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
This introduction to the Christian Tradition will be shaped by the ways in which the people of God have understood their identity (who they are) and their theology (who God is) in various periods of history. Students will learn about how communities choose and use sacred texts and will learn something of the shape and contents of the Christian Bible; will learn about some of the major developments in the Christian church, with an awareness of their historical and cultural contexts; will discover the place of their own tradition on the religious “landscape”; and will explore the ways in which communities of faith engage social issues. 

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THEO-200-G: Conflict and Consensus, MWF 2:30-3:20 (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course leads students to study the origins and development of Christian thought as it forms communities and engages the world. Special attention will be given to the nature, purpose, and content of Christian theology and to key areas of conflict and consensus in the history of Christian thought. There will be ten online quizzes, a midterm exam, a research project/debate, and a final exam. 

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THEO-200-H: The Christian Life, TR 8:30-9:45 (Prof. David Weber)
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THEO-200-I: The Way from the Bible to the Present, TR 10:30-11:45 (Prof. George Heider)
This section of The Christian Tradition course will provide students with an overview of the topic in three parts:  the foundational story of the faith from the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible; key “turning points” in the history of Christianity; and the current, rapid changes in the shape of Christianity, particularly given its rapid growth in the “Global South.”  There will be two tests and one paper, a reflection on the student’s choice of one of three modern novels in the light of the Christian tradition. 

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THEO-200-J: Christian Belief and Thought, TR 12:00-1:15 (Prof. James Moore)
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THEO-200-K: The Way from the Bible to the Present, TR 1:30-2:45 (Prof. George Heider)
This section of The Christian Tradition course will provide students with an overview of the topic in three parts:  the foundational story of the faith from the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible; key “turning points” in the history of Christianity; and the current, rapid changes in the shape of Christianity, particularly given its rapid growthin the “Global South.”  There will be two tests and one paper, a reflection on the student’s choice of one of three modern novels in the light of the Christian tradition. 

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THEO-200-L: Christian Belief and Thought, T&R 3:00-4:15 (Prof. James Moore)
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THEO-200-M: Topic: Devotional Poetry, T&R 12:00-1:15 (Prof. George Pati)
This course aims to engage in an in-depth examination of poetry from within the Hindu bhakti or devotional traditions, focusing on three specific geographic/cultural regions within the Indian subcontinent: the Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam-speaking South, the Hindi-speaking North, and the Bengali-speaking East of India. Keeping in mind both historical continuities and differences in the devotional traditions of these three distinct cultural areas, we will examine a variety of devotional poetry in English translation and consider the enduring significance and use of that deeply emotional poetry in the lives of Hindus today. In addition, the course will enable students to understand the symbols, tenents, and ritualized temple practices within the devotional traditions and how elements of devotion are expressed aesthetically. 

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THEO-314-A: The Pentateuch, MWF 11:30-12:20 (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
The Pentateuch is a study of the first five books of the Bible with emphasis on ancient Israel's understanding of these major themes: beginning (“creation and ‘fall’”), the history of the ancestors, the sojourn in Egypt and the exodus, covenant, the wilderness wanderings, and the preparation for entering and settling the promised land. Students can expect to read carefully the Pentateuch in multiple passes, and special effort will be made to assist students in better understanding the biblical text in its original setting. Students will become acquainted with a variety of methods for studying the Bible, as well as such topics as the history of the study of the Pentateuch, and the questions of origins and authorship. 
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THEO-317-A: The World of the New Testament, MWF 10:30-11:20 (Prof. Richard DeMaris)
A study of the societies and culture in which Christian communities arose with a view to understanding the New Testament better and determining its contemporary significance more accurately.
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THEO-318-A: Jesus and the Gospels, MWF 9:00-9:50 (Prof. Fred Niedner)
This course involves a close reading of all four New Testament gospels with the goal of understanding the literary and theological uniqueness of each.  The course treats each of the gospels as a telling of Jesus' story for a particular audience in the early decades of Christianity.  In each gospel, therefore, students will encounter not only a partly unique depiction of Jesus, but a narrator and a specific collection of readers as well. Three exams and one 1,500-word paper are required. Required texts include:  - The Bible- Mark A. Powell, Fortress Introduction to the Gospels-K. Aland, Synopsis of the Four Gospels

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THEO-319-AX Topic: St. Paul and His Legacy, MWF 10:30-11:20 (Prof. Julien Smith)
Fulfills upper level theology requirement. Who was the Apostle Paul? Disciple of Jesus or inventor of a new religion? Misogynist or advocate for women? Faithful Jew or zealous convert? Persecutor of the church or its most effective missionary? A man of bewildering paradoxes, Paul of Tarsus has been alternately lionized and demonized both within and without the church. His letters of instruction and encouragement, sent to fledgling Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean basin, were eventually collected and circulated, expanding the apostle's influence throughout the early church. Although written to address specific historical crises, these letters' attempts to grasp the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection have proven to be of enduring theological significance. Theologians no less noteworthy than Augustine, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth have been profoundly influenced by Paul's theology. Even secular contemporary philosophers have taken a serious interest in Paul as of late. This course aims to give students a grasp both of Paul's life and message and his enduring legacy within the past nearly two millennia of the Christian tradition. 

Readings will include Paul's letters as well as a variety of ancient and modern Pauline interpreters. Approximately 20-25 pages of writing will be required.

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THEO-319-B Topic: Women in the Bible, MWF 12:30-1:20 (Prof. Carolyn Leeb)
A critical academic study of the Bible, with special focus on stories and laws concerning women, as well as texts which have had major impacts on the lives of women in communities of faith. Students will become acquainted with the content of the Bible as it relates to and impacts women, along with a variety of critical methods and resources, as well as to consider some ways of applying the Bible’s theology to contemporary issues.

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THEO-322-A: Early Christian Social Thought, TR 8:30-9:45 (Prof. Lisa Driver)
Poverty, injustice, illness, unemployment, family strife:  no generation lacks these.

When early Christians experienced these, they, like others around them, struggled to understand and combat these evils.  They asked:  Why are human beings so cruel to each other? Is wealth bad?  Do misfortunes only happen to the wicked?  Is education important?  What's the point of marriage? 

Early Christians generated a variety of cultural critiques as well as constructive ideas, structures and actions to foster individuals and communities.  How, they asked, might we create a society that reflects humanity's creation in the Image of God in a world still wounded by sin-sickness?  Students will directly engage early Christian social thought through lecture, discussion, presentations and written analyses. 

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THEO-329-X Topic: American Utopias, MWF 11:30-12:20 (Prof. Heath Carter)
This course will explore the utopian dimensions of American reform.  Using historical case studies to probe the motivations and practices of various radical and communitarian experiments, we will pay close attention to what they reveal about America's past as well as to their implications for us today.  Indeed, at the heart of this course lies a serious moral and ethical question - one of deep interest to historians - about how human beings can best live together in the world.  This course will include two trips to historic utopian sites.  

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THEO-330-A: Christian Theo. in 18th & 19th Cents., MWF 10:30-11:20 (Prof. Matthew Becker)
This course will examine the principal developments in Christian theology between 1700 and 1914. The course will thus analyze the most important ideas of such seminal figures as Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Ritschl. There will be ten quizzes, a midterm exam, a final exam, and a research paper (6-8 pages).

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THEO-333-A: African American Religious experience; Black Theology and Black Church, MWF 2:30-3:20 (Prof. Gregory Jones)
This course surveys the development of African American religious thought from pre contact Africa to the present. Particular emphasis will be place on the issues of spiritual formation within the context of Western European cultural and social milieu. Our focus will be toward the theological currency developed by organizations, institutions and individuals within the African and African American community to Survive, resist and ultimately be liberated from the oppressive environments created within the cultural and social milieu. Students will leave with critical knowledge of the process and development of both the African American religious experience and the development of the African American Church. Class lectures and discussion will be presented as standard pedagogy. Requirements will include but are not limited to class attendance, examinations, quiz, and recommended research regarding subject matter.

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THEO-335-X: Philosophy of Religion, TR 10:30-11:45 (Prof. James Moore)
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THEO-343-A: Theo. of Marriage and Sexuality, TR 1:30 2:45 (Prof. David Weber)
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Theo-346 / CC 300 – HX Studies: Medical Missions, TR 3:00-4:15 (Prof. Christoffer Grundmann)
Medical missions, both secular and religious, are held in high esteem. They are looked at as something unquestionably benevolent and thus exert a notable fascination. They stimulate commitment to dedicated service in response to urgent health-care needs of mainly poor people at home or abroad. While such service is a demonstration of genuine humanitarian concern and solidarity to the common public, medical missions to Christians is a kind of tangible witness for God’s loving and caring presence amidst all suffering. However, Christian medical missions’ personnel were among the first who realized that such ministry cannot stay content with relief work and emergency services only. Prevention of diseases caused by lack of safe drinking water supply, by malnutrition, leprosy and/or by AIDS especially among poor and disadvan-taged populations has also to be addressed. Consequently, community based health-care programs and related political advocacy became part and parcel of all contemporary Christian medical missions’ activities, too, conceiving sustainable health-care provision for all as genuine witness to the Gospel. This course will unravel in its first section the fascinating history of the emergence of medical missions from modest beginnings in the 16th and 17th centuries until its hey-days in early 20th century, its global expansion and its contribution to the development of the Primary Health-Care concept (PHC) becoming  the adopted official public health-care policy by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1978.

In the second part the course addresses the philanthropic as well as the theological rationale of medical missions, the various arguments advanced for its support, and the controversies such concern for the well being of people created among mission boards and churches placing special emphasis on the theological arguments implicit in these disputes like the valuation or devaluation of the human body and its needs as God’s creation (and the subsequent repercussions on the meaning of the incarnation). The final section looks into the problems entailed by any medical missions’ initiative (clash of cultures; danger of dependency; medical missions as subtle justification for other vested interests etc.) as well as at the enduring legacy of the ethos of medical missions.Students will come to see that medical missions provide a powerful critique in action of conventional perceptions not only of faith, Christian theology, and the life of the Church; medical missions also question the established practice of medicine and of the provision of health-care. Coming to understand this will enable students to argue the cause of medical missions competently and to formulate a personally authenticated answer to the challenge. 

Literature: 1) Christoffer H. Grundmann (2005), Sent to Heal! – Emergence and development of Medical Missions, 
Lanham/Boulder/New York, University Press of America 2)

Heralds of Health - The Saga of Christian Medical Initiatives. Foreword by Rt. Hon. The Lord Porrit, Stanley G. Browne, Frank T. Davey, and W. A. R. Thomson, eds. (London, Christian Medical Fellowship 1985)3)

McGilvray, James C., ed. (1979), The Quest for Health and Wholeness, German Institute for Medical Missions, Tübingen: 1982

Additional papers and materials used in this course will be handed out and made availa-ble during the course of the class!
NB: Since the literature for this course consists partly in hard to get publications arrange¬ments have been made to offer the complete set for a subsidized price of only US $ 50.00 at office 215 (hours: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM). 

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THEO-361-A: Indian Religions and Cultures, TR 10:30-11:45 (Prof. George Pati)
This survey course aims to introduce characteristic forms and key concepts of major world religions that have emerged in India through lecture and discussion.  It seeks to engage students in a critical understanding of the history,philosophy, and practices of the different traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Christianity.  In particular, this course will trace both conceptual and historical continuities and examine the development of the various religious traditions exploring issues of divinity, ritual practices, festivals,and concepts of salvation through different time periods. 
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THEO-363-A: Religions of China and Japan, TR 8:30 9:45 (Prof. George Pati)
This survey course aims to introduce characteristic forms and key concepts of religions of China and Japan through lecture and discussion.  It seeks to engage students in a critical understanding of the history, philosophy, and practices of the different traditions including Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and Japanese Buddhism. In particular, this course will trace both conceptual and historical continuities and examine the development of the various religious traditions exploring issues of divinity, ritual practices, festivals, and concepts of salvation through different time periods.
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THEO-364-A: Native American Religion, MWF 1:30-2:20 (Prof. Gregory Jones)
This course  seeks to provide a basic understanding of the foundation of first people’s perspectives of spirituality within the context of pre-contact and post- contact European experiences. The course is designed to focus on the foundational indigenous perspectives and is not pursued as a traditional comparative religions course. students will be expected to study toward basic competency  toward the evolution of spiritual  formation of indigenous conceptual perspectives. Students will also examine the relationship of humankind to environment as understood by first people indigenous communities. Class lectures and discussion will be presented as standard pedagogy. Requirements will include but are not limited to class attendance, examinations, quiz, and recommended research regarding subject matter.

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THEO-399-EV: Church Vocations Symposium,  T 6:00-7:30 (Prof. David Weber)

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THEO-451-OL: Theology of Diaconal Ministry (Deaconess E. Louise Williams)
Taught on-line.  A study of the historical and theological foundations of diaconal ministry.  Attention is given to the role of the diaconate in the church, the development of diaconal community, and the nurture of a spirituality of service.  Designed principally for diaconal and church work students.  Others must have the consent of the instructor.  Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.
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THEO-480-A: Practicum in Ministry, T 4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m. (Deaconess Diane Marten)
Supervised field experience in various local agencies or churches; readings, speakers and reports help students to reflect on the experience as ministry.  This course may not be used to fulfill the theology component of the General Education Requirement.  A maximum of three credit hours may be applied to the theology major.  It may be repeated for a maximum of four credits, and is offered only on S/U basis. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

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THEO-481-A: Basic Homily Preparation, W 8:00-8:50 (Prof. Fred Niedner)

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THEO-490-X Topic: Theo. of Lost & Found in Fiction, MW 3:30-4:45 (Prof. Fred Niedner)
Some of humanity’s most enduring tales tell of lost souls being found—or not—usually in a surprising way. Think, for example, of the Bible’s lost lad Joseph, who turns up in an astonishing place. Jesus described God as the original searcher, never resting ‘til every lost sheep is found. Students in this course will examine eight to ten pieces of relatively modern fiction that take readers on journeys through the world’s—and God’s—Lost and Found.
THIS COURSE IS READING INTENSIVE. In addition to reading an average of about 160 pages per week throughout the semester, students will serve on small teams that rotate as class discussion provocateurs. Students will write occasional, brief, reflective pieces about texts under discussion. They will write one mid-length, formal paper on a topic of their own development. The only exam will be the final examination. 
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THEO-493-A: Theology Seminar, MWF 11:30 12:20 (Prof.Carolyn Leeb)

Graduate Offerings in THEO:

THEO-514-A: The Pentateuch, MWF 11:30-12:20 (Prof. Mark Bartusch)
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THEO-518-A: Jesus and the Gospels, MWF 9:00-9:50 (Prof. Fred Niedner)
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Theo-546 – Studies: Medical Missions, TR 3:00-4:15 (Prof. Christoffer Grundmann)
Medical missions, both secular and religious, are held in high esteem. They are looked at as something unquestionably benevolent and thus exert a notable fascination. They stimulate commitment to dedicated service in response to urgent health-care needs of mainly poor people at home or abroad. While such service is a demonstration of genuine humanitarian concern and solidarity to the common public, medical missions to Christians is a kind of tangible witness for God’s loving and caring presence amidst all suffering. However, Christian medical missions’ personnel were among the first who realized that such ministry cannot stay content with relief work and emergency services only. Prevention of diseases caused by lack of safe drinking water supply, by malnutrition, leprosy and/or by AIDS especially among poor and disadvan-taged populations has also to be addressed. Consequently, community based health-care programs and related political advocacy became part and parcel of all contemporary Christian medical missions’ activities, too, conceiving sustainable health-care provision for all as genuine witness to the Gospel. This course will unravel in its first section the fascinating history of the emergence of medical missions from modest beginnings in the 16th and 17th centuries until its hey-days in early 20th century, its global expansion and its contribution to the development of the Primary Health-Care concept (PHC) becoming  the adopted official public health-care policy by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1978.

In the second part the course addresses the philanthropic as well as the theological rationale of medical missions, the various arguments advanced for its support, and the controversies such concern for the well being of people created among mission boards and churches placing special emphasis on the theological arguments implicit in these disputes like the valuation or devaluation of the human body and its needs as God’s creation (and the subsequent repercussions on the meaning of the incarnation). The final section looks into the problems entailed by any medical missions’ initiative (clash of cultures; danger of dependency; medical missions as subtle justification for other vested interests etc.) as well as at the enduring legacy of the ethos of medical missions.Students will come to see that medical missions provide a powerful critique in action of conventional perceptions not only of faith, Christian theology, and the life of the Church; medical missions also question the established practice of medicine and of the provision of health-care. Coming to understand this will enable students to argue the cause of medical missions competently and to formulate a personally authenticated answer to the challenge. 

Literature: 1) Christoffer H. Grundmann (2005), Sent to Heal! – Emergence and development of Medical Missions, 
Lanham/Boulder/New York, University Press of America 2)

Heralds of Health - The Saga of Christian Medical Initiatives. Foreword by Rt. Hon. The Lord Porrit, Stanley G. Browne, Frank T. Davey, and W. A. R. Thomson, eds. (London, Christian Medical Fellowship 1985)3)

McGilvray, James C., ed. (1979), The Quest for Health and Wholeness, German Institute for Medical Missions, Tübingen: 1982

Additional papers and materials used in this course will be handed out and made availa-ble during the course of the class!
NB: Since the literature for this course consists partly in hard to get publications arrange¬ments have been made to offer the complete set for a subsidized price of only US $ 50.00 at office 215 (hours: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM). 

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THEO-551-OL: Theology of Diaconal Ministry (Prof. E. Louise Williams)
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THEO-561-A: Indian Religions and Cultures, TR 10:30-11:45 (Prof. George Pati)
This survey course aims to introduce characteristic forms and key concepts of major world religions that have emerged in India through lecture and discussion.  It seeks to engage students in a critical understanding of the history, philosophy, and practices of the different traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Christianity.  In particular, this course will trace both conceptual and historical continuities and examine the development of the various religious traditions exploring issues of divinity, ritual practices, festivals,and concepts of salvation through different time periods. 
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THEO-563-A: Religions of China and Japan, TR 8:30 9:45 (Prof. George Pati)
This survey course aims to introduce characteristic forms and key concepts of religions of China and Japan through lecture and discussion.  It seeks to engage students in a critical understanding of the history, philosophy, and practices of the different traditions including Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and Japanese Buddhism. In particular, this course will trace both conceptual and historical continuities and examine the development of the various religious traditions exploring issues of divinity, ritual practices, festivals, and concepts of salvation through different time periods.

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THEO-567-A Topic: Devotional Poetry, TR 12:00-1:15 (Prof. George Pati)
This course aims to engage in an in-depth examination of poetry from within the Hindu bhakti or devotional traditions, focusing on three specific geographic/cultural regions within the Indian subcontinent: the Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam-speaking South, the Hindi-speaking North, and the Bengali-speaking East of India. Keeping in mind both historical continuities and differences in the devotional traditions of these three distinct cultural areas, we will examine a variety of devotional poetry in English translation and consider the enduring significance and use of that deeply emotional poetry in the lives of Hindus today. In addition, the course will enable students to understand the symbols, tenents, and ritualized temple practices within the devotional traditions and how elements of devotion are expressed aesthetically.

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THEO-640-EV: Ethics & Professional Responsibility, T 6:30-9:00 (Prof. C. Grundmann & Prof. J. Moore)

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THEO-681-A: Basic Homily Preparation, W 8:00-8:50 (Prof. Fred Niedner)