Courses

The Department of Theology offers a wide variety of courses at the graduate level each semester. Our courses are led by prominent scholars who embrace teaching and welcome graduate students into our dynamic community.

For current course information please check insideND.

Fall 2013     Spring 2014     Fall 2014    Spring 2015     Fall 2015

PhD Fall 2015 Courses

THEO 81215 - Section 01: Arabic Reading (CRN 17968) 


Course Description:
Arabic Readings in the Qur'an is for students who have completed at least three semesters (or the equivalent) of Arabic. At our weekly meetings we will read together passages from the Arabic Qur'an and discuss their meaning and possible translations into English. Regular attendance is required. We will meet in 227 Malloy Hall. 

 

THEO 83001 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew (CRN 12755) 


Course Description:
The course is designed to develop the students? ability to read Hebrew texts and increase vocabulary while reviewing grammar. Selections for reading and analysis will be drawn from the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, with some use of Modern Hebrew as well. 

 

THEO 83002 - Section 01: Advanced Hebrew (CRN 17235) 


Course Description:
This course builds on the lessons learned in Intermediate Hebrew. By reading and analyzing passages from the Hebrew Bible and from post-biblical Hebrew texts, students will have the opportunity to increase their reading fluency and to gain an appreciation for the historical development of the language. 

 

THEO 83003 - Section 01: Advanced Greek (CRN 12377) 


Course Description:
This course is designed to assist students to achieve a high level of reading proficiency in Greek texts of the Roman imperial period. Readings generally include material from the LXX and NT, and focus on another ancient Jewish or Christian writer. This year I expect the reading to be from sections of Philo?s On the Cherubim and On the Contemplative Life. There will also be a very small amount of secondary reading. Each class will include a review of vocabulary, syntax and forms. The class counts as the qualifying examination in Greek for Ph. D. students in CJA and HC., but is open to Masters students and advanced undergraduates from Theology and Classics.

 

THEO 83010 - Section 01: Intermediate Akkadian (CRN 19766) 


Course Description:
A review of the basics of Akkadian grammar via an introduction to Akkadian literature as well as to some of the dialects of the language. Students will also be introduced to the Assyriological literature and basic tools of the discipline (sign-lists, dictionaries, grammars, lexical lists, gazetteers,prosopographic studies, bibliographic sources, etc.)Readings will include:(1) The epic of Gilgamesh (paying attention to the development of the epic from its early sources to its later "canonical" versions);(2) Assyrian Letters (NA period; with a focus on those from scholars in the king's circle dealing with textual interpretation);(3) Babylonian and Assyrian historical texts (e.g., Sennacherib's western campaign, concerning, inter alia, Hezekiah and Jerusalem);(4) Selections of magical-medical materials and their commentaries (a must for understanding the millennia-old cuneiform "stream of tradition");(5) Wisdom and other belletristic literature. 

 

THEO 83015 - Section 01: Medieval Latin Reading (CRN 17698) 
Long Title: Medieval Latin Reading, III 


Course Description:
The course aims to give graduate students the opportunity to read in Latin, to translate, and to comment upon primary texts from the medieval Western theological tradition. Each semester the Latin readings for translation reflect a specific genre of theological prose writing. Prerequisite: two semesters of Latin grammar or the equivalent. 

 

THEO 83102 - Section 02: Hebrew Bible Seminar (CRN 15266) 
Long Title: Hebrew Bible Seminar: Exodus 


Course Description:
The seminar will focus on a study of the earliest interpretations of the Exodus story. We will examine the presentation of it in the book of Exodus and in the earliest interpretations of that story in the book of Jubilees and other retellings in literature of the second temple period.

 

THEO 83111 - Section 01: New Testament Seminar (CRN 15816) 
Long Title: New Testament Seminar: Miracles, Magic, and Medicine in the Gospels 


Course Description:
This class is a doctoral level seminar on ancient medicine, miracles, and theories of the body, and their relationship to the New Testament. The course will examine the cultural construction of healing in the ancient world focusing on (a) the professional medicine of the Hippocratics, Galen, and some lesser known writers (b) magical practices and texts (c) popular accounts of miracle-workers (including Christian and Jewish accounts) with a view to understanding miracles in the Gospels and imagery of healing and disease in the New Testament. Our attention will focus on the social history of ancient healing, ancient epistemologies of disease and ancient constructions of the body, gender, race, and ethnicity. As part of the course we will examine the relationship between ?religion?, ?science?, and ?popular belief? in antiquity. 

 

THEO 83133 - Section 01: Elementary Ugaritic (CRN 19767) 


Course Description:
This course will offer students an introduction to Ugaritic language and culture as well as an overview of the discipline of Ugaritology. An important ancillary goal of the class will be to assist those enrolled in appreciating the significance of ancient Ugarit within the historical and cultural landscape of the ancient Near East, as well as the importance of its literary and cultural artifacts for biblical scholars, theologians, and others with an interest in the evolution of ancient Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

THEO 83134 - Section 01: Introduction to Syriac (CRN 19768) 


Course Description:
Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language of first century Palestine, which became the common language of native Semitic Christians throughout the Middle East and Western Asia. The goal of this basic introduction to the Syriac language is to provide students with the necessary skills to access the wealth of early Christian literature preserved in Syriac.

 

THEO 83219 - Section 01: Patristics Seminar (CRN 17238) 
Long Title: Patristics Seminar: Augustine 


Course Description:
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Augustine in Western (Latin) Theology. An introduction to the main themes in Augustine's theology serves not only to introduce students to Augustine, therefore, but also to some of the most important theological concerns and preoccupations of the West. Still, it is to Augustine himself that this course will attend, and primarily to his theology, though the overall goal is to familiarize students with enough of the Augustinian corpus so that they continue to work on their own in whatever field of specialization their interests have taken them. Augustine is usually useful to scholars of other fields only in and through a familiarity with his work precisely as theological. While the course does not formally presuppose previous specialized work in Augustine, students with such familiarity will find it more manageable. 

 

THEO 83230 - Section 01: Wrld Christ:Hist &Theo Persptv (CRN 19769) 
Long Title: World Christianity and Theological Perspectives 


Course Description:
In a review of Martin Marty?s The Christian World: A Global History (2008), Philip Jenkins concluded with this line: ?Let me then offer a modest proposal for the creation of a non-Eurocentric humanities curriculum that is at once global, diverse, polycentric, multicultural and multiracial, one that incidentally tells the story of the wretched of the earth in terms of their deepest aspirations, and in their own voices. Let us study Christianity.? Jenkins? proposal, dripping with irony designed to tweak not a few noses, captures one of the most important historical realities of the past several decades: the enormous growth of Christianity in places outside the global North and West, into the South and East. This course explores the contours and implications of Christianity as a global reality. It will examine some of the rich explosion of scholarship that is now pouring forth on the recent and remarkable world-wide expansion of Christianity, while also putting such growth in a larger historical and theological perspective. The course readings will draw from theology, history, and the social sciences. After sampling major general interpretations (by scholars like Mark Noll, Andrew Walls, and Lamin Sanneh), readings will concentrate on cases in Africa and Asia (perhaps either eastern or southern Asia), which are regions of startling change over the last century as well as places for which scholarship is burgeoning. Some of the course readings come from the standpoint of missionary activity, but more reflect new expressions of indigenous faith. Studies of Protestant, Catholic, and independent movements are included; readings come from a wide variety of Catholic, Protestant, and secular perspectives. Short responses to weekly readings will be expected of participants. In addition, PhD students will prepare a research paper. MTS students in the course can do the same with the instructor?s permission or prepare several smaller papers. 

 

THEO 83252 - Section 01: Calvin: The Institutes (CRN 19770) 
Long Title: The Theology of John Calvin: The Institutes 


Course Description:
This course will examine the theology of John Calvin by means of a close examination of the final edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559), using the English translation in concert with the Latin edition in the Opera Selecta. We will pay special attention to the relationship between the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves, and the distinction between the knowledge of God the Creator and the knowledge of God the Redeemer. We will supplement our reading of the Institutes with other writings of Calvin such as selections from his commentaries and treatises. The goal of the course is to come to a clear and comprehensive understanding of the theology of Calvin, as well as an appreciation for his teaching method and objectives. The seminar presupposes no prior knowledge of the theology of John Calvin. 

 

THEO 83256 - Section 01: The Hesychast Controversy (CRN 19771) 
Long Title: Later Byzantine Theology: The Hesychast Controversy 


Course Description:
This course focuses on later developments in Byzantine theology, particularly as they relate to the tumultuous theological debates over Hesychasm in the fourteenth century. To many Byzantines, at stake in these debates was nothing less than a correct understanding of God and the knowledge of God, a sentiment that has carried through into modern Eastern Orthodoxy. By way of introduction, key theological sources directly preceding the Hesychast Controversy will be examined, including Gregory II of Cyprus, Nikephorus Blemmydes, Gregory of Sinai, and Theoleptus of Philadelphia. From here the historical and theological contours of the Controversy itself will be studied, with an emphasis on the works of Gregory Palamas, Barlaam of Calabria and Gregory Akindynos. Together with analysis of the theology on both sides of the debate, special attention will be paid to the thought of perhaps the most peaceable theologian of the period: Nicholas Cabasilas. The latter part of the course will involve the study of the afterlife of the Heyschast Controversy in Eastern Orthodoxy, and its ramifications for modern theological discourse. 

 

THEO 83401 - Section 01: Early Christian Liturgies (CRN 19772) 


Course Description:
The aim of the seminar is to gain a critical knowledge of the primary sources that are available and of the methods used for the study of Christian worship in the first four centuries, and especially to consider the secondary literature in the field produced in recent years. Among the areas covered will be baptism, eucharist, daily prayer, and the emergence of feasts and seasons, and the course should be of value to any student interested in the development of early church 

 

THEO 83403 - Section 01: Medieval Liturgies (CRN 19773) 


Course Description:
The purpose of this seminar is to examine the various sacramental rites in the Middle Ages, especially the Eucharistic liturgy, and to attempt to reconstruct them within the context of liturgical enactment, architectural space, artistic and musical decoration, etc. The seminar must necessarily deal with liturgical texts, but this is only a first step for understanding the broader dimensions of the liturgy. Architectural, artistic and musical components will be taken into consideration. Numerous commentaries on the liturgy are also an important source for garnering the medieval understanding of the liturgy, especially in its allegorical interpretation. A tangential but key element for the understanding is the devotional and spiritual practices that grew up alongside the official liturgy. Therefore, some attention will be given to these dimensions, including liturgical drama. 

 

THEO 83417 - Section 01: Liturgical Sacramental Theo (CRN 19774) 
Long Title: Liturgical Sacramental Theology 


Course Description:
This course will explore the foundations and direction of liturgical and sacramental theology in the late 20th and early 21st century, especially focusing on the relationship between the sacraments and liturgy on the one hand and religious practices on the other. Themes will include the efficacy of the sacraments, presence and gift, and cosmology.

 

THEO 83624 - Section 01: Reason, Identity, Morality (CRN 19775) 
Long Title: Practical Reason, Personal Identity and the Moral Act 


Course Description:
In this course we will explore recent work on practical reason, character and the moral act, paying special attention to ways in which Kantian and Aristotelian and broadly Thomistic lines of thought have intersected in recent work. 

 

THEO 83654 - Section 01: Evolution, Morality, Anml Ethc (CRN 19776) 
Long Title: Morality, Evolution and Animal Ethics 


Course Description:
Evolutionary ethics is fashionable for those convinced by evolutionary paradigms and equally unsettling for some theological starting points. This course will consider what is at stake morally in navigating human/other animal boundaries, both for human morality and for our obligations to other animals. We will use a range of traditional and contemporary sources in theology, philosophy and science in order to discuss not just animal welfare, but also the case for animal rights and animal morality. 

 

THEO 83705 - Section 01: Lament: A Theo-Political Expl (CRN 19777) 
Long Title: Lament: A Theo Political Exploration from an African Perspective 


Course Description:
In the face of Africa?s turbulent social history and persistent crises of poverty, violence, war, genocide, how does one think about hope? What does hope look like in places like Eastern Congo? What theological, pastoral, spiritual and liturgical resources do Christians have in the face of these challenges, not simply to help them cope, but to try shape non-violent alternatives and a future beyond poverty, violence and war? This seminar explores the notion and practice of lament as the ground and condition of possibility for hope in Africa. An extensive reading course, the seminar will among other things seek to: - Explore a theology of lament by locating it within its biblical matrix and through the Christian tradition. - Examine some cultural dynamics/resources that make lament a more readily available practice/discipline within an African context than in the modern western context. - Undertake a close reading of the recent social history of some select countries in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda) as a way to locate the agency of representative Christian leaders and communities, who respond to the ongoing cycles of violence, poverty and war, through courage and non-violent alternatives. - Confirm that to the extent that Christian social activists and peace practitioners represent a voice of hope in Africa, it is by and through their unique ability to receive the painful gift of lament and engage its discipline. 

 

THEO 83812 - Section 01: Eschatology (CRN 19778) 


Course Description:
This course focuses on the eschata as these have been problematized and interpreted in modern and contemporary theology. Coming in for consideration will not only be various interpretations of the "kingdom of God," both vertical and horizontal, individual and social, but also the relation of eschatology to Christology, on the one hand, and anthropology, on the other. Theological interpretations of the symbol of "resurrection" will come in for special attention, given that it provides the connective tissue between the three different areas. This symbol also seems to bring to the fore not simply issues of theological justification but also imagination. Whether we can imagine or how to imagine "resurrection" will be an issue for the course. Authors that will be discussed include Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Benedict XVI, Paul Fiddes, and Gustavo Gutierrez. At least a third of the course will be devoted to contemporary apocalyptic figuration of eschatology. Obvious ssues here include the question of the definition of apocalyptic and whether biblical apocalyptic is appealed to and if so which biblical texts are prioritized. Authors to be read include Johann Baptist Metz, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Sergei Bulgakov, and Catherine Keller. 

 

THEO 83825 - Section 01: Doing Theology Today (CRN 19779) 


Course Description:
This seminar considers the sources, methods and goals of doing Christian theology, beginning with an historical overview and concluding with a discussion of contemporary issues in theology. Among other points to be considered are the role of Scripture in theology, the place of experience, the ecclesial context of theology, and the importance of history. 

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PhD Spring 2015 Courses

THEO 80001 - Section 01: Theological French (CRN 30448) 

This course is designed to provide graduate students (at the Masters and Ph.D. level) with a thorough grounding in French grammar and syntax in the service of building confidence in working with French theological sources. It will also include a modest introduction to the French phonetic system with the aim of contributing to a sense of professional ease when referring to French authors or quoting French texts. Apart from these oral proficiency exercises, the course will be taught entirely in English and is open both to true beginners as well as to those students with some prior acquaintance with the language who are seeking a review of grammar as well as an opportunity to build their theological vocabulary and broaden their acquaintance with a variety of theological texts. The first half of the term will provide a structural overview and practice in the translation of simple and complex sentence models. For a textbook, we will rely primarily on the grammatical précis of Edward M. Stack, Reading French in Arts and Sciences, but replace his practice readings with texts drawn from Scripture. The second half of the term will consist of readings from a diverse array of theological texts, including, for example, a letter of Chrysostom, a homily by Origen, a selection from Cyril of Jerusalem's catechetical homilies, a passage from Aelred of Rievaulx's "Rule of Life for a Recluse," as well as selections from more recent theologians, such as Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, Simone Weil, Jean Vanier, and Giles Emery. Students will also be invited to propose texts. 

THEO 81215 - Section 01: Arabic Reading (CRN 30297) 

Arabic Readings in the Qur'an is for students who have completed at least three semesters (or the equivalent) of Arabic. At our weekly meetings we will read together passages from the Arabic Qur'an and discuss their meaning and possible translations into English. Regular attendance is required. We will meet in 227 Malloy Hall. 

THEO 83002 - Section 01: Advanced Hebrew (CRN 25740) 

This course builds on the lessons learned in Intermediate Hebrew. By reading and analyzing passages from the Hebrew Bible and from post-biblical Hebrew texts, students will have the opportunity to increase their reading fluency and to gain an appreciation for the historical development of the language. 

THEO 83006 - Section 01: Elementary Aramaic (CRN 30128) 

An introduction to the grammar of one dialect of Standard Literary Aramaic, viz., that represented in the Targum of Onqelos. Toward this goal we will work through the (yet unpublished) grammar by T. Lambdin and J. Huehnergard, An Introduction to the Aramaic of Targum Onqelos (Cambridge, MA 2002). In addition, attention will be paid to the place of Aramaic within the Semitic-language family, especially by way of a(n inductively based) comparisonof the Aramaic material with that found other Semitic languages, especially Hebrew. 

THEO 83009 - Section 01: Elementary Akkadian II (CRN 30129) 

The second in a two-semester sequence, this course completes the introduction to the grammar of Akkadian, specifically the Old Babylonian dialect of that language, using still the grammar by J. Huehnergard, A Grammar of Akkadian, 2nd edition (Eisenbrauns, 2005). Via the grammar and its exercises we will begin to familiarize ourselves with the some of the genres of writings from Mesopotamian civilization, a "stream of tradition" whose legacy can hardly be overestimated for students of later Near Eastern cultures and literatures. Readings will include selections from contracts and other legal/administrative texts, laws, letters, omens, royal inscriptions, prayers, and epics. Finally, we will also pay attention to the place of Akkadian within the Semitic-language family, especially by way of a(n inductively based) comparison of the Aramaic material with that found other Semitic languages, especially Hebrew. 

THEO 83011 - Section 01: Medieval Latin Reading (CRN 27555) 

The course aims to give graduate students the opportunity to read in Latin, to translate, and to comment upon primary texts from the medieval Western theological tradition. Each semester the Latin readings for translation reflect a specific genre of theological prose writing. Prerequisite: two semesters of Latin grammar or the equivalent. 

THEO 83102 - Section 01: Hebrew Bible Seminar (CRN 24443) 
Long Title: Hebrew Bible Seminar: Deuteronomistic History 

This seminar deals with one of the major, but contested, corpora of the Hebrew Bible Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings construed traditionally as the Former Prophets and in modern biblical scholarship as the Deuteronomistic History. Focusing on several critical texts within this corpus and on some related texts within Deuteronomy, the seminar will carefully examine the case for such a unified literary work, as well as recent challenges to it. Among the pressing methodological questions to be dealt with are the relevance, definitions, and application of textual criticism, source criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism. As pertinent, attention will be paid to matters of theology, history, epigraphy, and archaeology. 

THEO 83111 - Section 01: New Testament Seminar (CRN 24445) 
Long Title: New Testament Seminar: Paul 

The seminar will center on the later history of Paul's relationship with the church at Corinth. Attention will be given to the city of Corinth, his correspondence with Christians in that city, his use of co-workers in dealing with the church, and his own trips to Corinth. The focus of the course will be on Paul's so-called "second" letter to the church at Corinth, our Second Corinthians. The two major purposes of the course are (1) to provide an in-depth examination of 2 Corinthians, and (2) to develop skill in the exegesis of Pauline literature. 

THEO 83204 - Section 01: Early Christ.Sem: Cappadocians (CRN 24446) 
Long Title: Early Christianity Seminar: The Cappadocians 

Studies of selected patristic texts and early Christian history. (Offered with varying topic each spring) Spring 2015 topic: The Cappadocians.

THEO 83206 - Section 01: Our Lady of Guadalupe (CRN 29523) 

Our Lady of Guadalupe has been at the heart of Mexican and Mexican American faith and identity for nearly five centuries; within Roman Catholicism she is officially acclaimed as the patroness of the Americas. This seminar explores the origins and development of the Guadalupe tradition; the Nican mophua, which millions of devotees acclaim as the foundational narrative of that tradition; and theological writings about Guadalupe from Miguel Sanchez's Imagen de la Virgen Maria, Madre de Dios de Guadalupe (1648) down to the present day. 

THEO 83226 - Section 01: Grace in Medieval Theo:Aquinas (CRN 29524) 
Long Title: Grace in Medieval Theology: Thomas Aquinas 

Aquinas's discussion of grace in the Summa theologiae is richly textured, and dense in historical and systematic insight. The very placement of the treatiseon grace underscores the centrality of grace for Aquinas. Located at the end ofthe Prima Secundae (qq.109-114), the Summa's treatise on grace brings to completion the general reflections that constitute ST I- II, on the movement ofthe rational creature to God as end, and sets the stage for the more specialized inquiries of the Secunda Secundae. This course examines the Summa's teaching on grace in various contextsas a discrete treatise that is itself carefully designed; in connection with such related topics elsewhere in the Summa as virtue, gifts of the Holy Spirit, providence and predestination, and, the missions, of both Son and Spirit; in comparison with discussions of grace in his other major writings (including the biblical commentaries); and, in dialogue with the principal interlocutors (both Christian and non-Christian, both ancient and more recent) on whom Aquinas drew in presenting his analysis of grace. Close reading will drive the course, supplemented by reports (on adjacent themes, on the key sources) and a final term paper. 

THEO 83229 - Section 01: On being "Interreligious" Relg (CRN 29525) 
Long Title: On Being "Interreligious" Religiously 

The large question that looms most portentiously over all modern projects of interreligious dialogue, and that confers on the "Theology of Religions" its present urgency, is the question of whether or not attentive and respectful engagement with other religions demands of Christians the attenuation, in one way or another, of their own faith. This course will bring to bear on the theological discussion of this question certain extra-theological resources that are not always sufficiently exploited by theologians - viz., the reflections of modern thinkers who work at the intersection of philosophy and the social sciences (e.g., Ernest Gellner, Leszek Kolakowski, Charles Taylor, et al.) and the work of historians of particular religions whose fine-grained familiarity with other religions throws up necessary but also salutary barriers to hasty, albeitbien-pensant, ecumenical conclusions. Our purpose will be to suggest ways through the current impasse between "pluralism" and "triumphalism." Particular attention will be given throughout to the issue of what Christians can/should/must make of Buddhism. 

THEO 83301 - Section 01: Theological Pedagogy (CRN 26107) 

This course designed to offer advanced graduate students an introduction to theological pedagogy. 

THEO 83402 - Section 01: Eastern Liturgies (CRN 29526) 

This seminar begins with an introduction to the Christ East and the phenomenon of its multiple rites. We survey the extant liturgical traditions of the Christian East, their origin, historical evolution and distinctive features. Our aim is to discover the main factors influencing the development of the rites, and to discern aspects of the distinct Christian witness codified in each rite. A close reading and analysis of the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite follows. By studying this liturgy, reviewing the relevant secondary literature, and making comparative observations from other rites where appropriate, our goals are twofold: to gain greater familiarity with the Byzantine Rite; and to engage in a kind of apprenticeship in the structural and comparative study of liturgy. A research project invites deeper insight into specific aspects of one eastern rite and some of the scholarship pertaining to it. 

THEO 83407 - Section 01: Ritual Studies Seminar (CRN 29527) 


Course Description:
Ritual studies incorporates the methods and theories of the social sciences into the study of liturgy. In this course, students will be introduced to ethnographic method and theories of ritual coming from anthropology, sociology, and/or psychology that have been influential in studying and reforming Christian ritual. This includes understanding ritual as meaning-making symbolic behavior, multivalent corporate action, and effective "technologies of the self." Particular attention will be paid to the dynamics of ritual as personally and communally transformative action. 

THEO 83614 - Section 01: Catholic Social Teaching (CRN 29528) 

This course involves close reading of the official documents of Catholic social teaching from Rerum Novarum to Centesimus Annus. Emphasis is on intense seminar discussion. Students do a number of shorter analyses of the documents. 

THEO 83804 - Section 01: Systematics Seminar: God (CRN 30130) 

This seminar focuses on contemporary understandings of the Trinity that operate in terms defined by Rahner's paradigm shift to the economy of salvation. Besides Rahner's classic work, The Trinity, we will read works by LaCugna, Moltmann, Balthasar, Pannenberg, and Milbank. The selection of authors is made with a view to underscoring the variety of emphases that this paradigm shift allows, their varying degrees of hospitality to talk of the immanent Trinity, and in the event of hospitality their different emphases in figuration. Given the economic turn in contemporary discussion of the Trinity a leitmotif in the course is the topic of divine passibility. Does the economic turn make it either necessary or advisable to surrender, or at least to seriously qualify, the Patristic axiom of divine impassibility? 

THEO 83816 - Section 01: African Christian Theologies (CRN 29529) 

This course is a systematic and critical exploration of the origins, content and trends in contemporary African Christian theologies. We will study in some detail the work of some of the more prominent African theologians who are working or who have worked in biblical studies, moral theology, liturgy, systematic theology, Christology and ecclesiology. Our aim would be to see how these various scholars have articulated and furthered the efforts of the African faith communities to come to terms with both their traditional African religious heritages and their Christian faith. Some of the themes to be explored include (but are by no means restricted to) the emergent christologies which constitute the cornerstone of African theologies and the contribution these christologies as well as the challenges they pose to world Christianity; the meaning scope and biblical foundations of inculturation in contemporary African theologies; the dialogue between Christianity and African religion; the challenge of the NRMs to Christian theology and praxis in the main line churches; the moral methodology and concerns of African Christian theology; the intersection of liturgy and spirituality in African theology and ecclesial patterns, etc.

THEO 83833 - Section 01: Feminist Theology & Ethics (CRN 30131) 
Long Title: Feminist Theology and Ethics 

This seminar is a graduate level exploration of selected topics in feminist theology and ethics. The spring 2015 seminar will focus on methodological issues and hermeneutical strategies, the intersection of feminist theology and ethics with feminist theories, critical analysis of key texts in the development of feminist theology and ethics in a global and multicultural context, and recent constructive work in feminist theologies and ethics. The class will operate as a seminar and students will have opportunities to help to determine the final selection of texts for common discussion. 

 

PhD Fall 2014 Courses

THEO 81215 - Section 01: Arabic Reading (CRN 20584) 

Arabic Readings in the Qur'an is for students who have completed at least three semesters (or the equivalent) of Arabic. At our weekly meetings we will read together passages from the Arabic Qur'an and discuss their meaning and possible translations into English. Regular attendance is required. We will meet in 227 Malloy Hall. 

THEO 83001 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew (CRN 12865) 

The course is designed to develop the students? ability to read Hebrew texts and increase vocabulary while reviewing grammar. Selections for reading and analysis will be drawn from the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, with some use of Modern Hebrew as well. 

THEO 83002 - Section 01: Advanced Hebrew (CRN 19683) 

This course builds on the lessons learned in Intermediate Hebrew. By reading and analyzing passages from the Hebrew Bible and from post-biblical Hebrew texts, students will have the opportunity to increase their reading fluency and to gain an appreciation for the historical development of the language. 

THEO 83003 - Section 01: Advanced Greek (CRN 12466) 

This course is designed to assist students to achieve a high level of reading proficiency in Greek texts of the Roman imperial period. Readings generally include material from the LXX and NT, and focus on another ancient Jewish or Christian writer. This year I expect the reading to be from sections of Philo's On the Cherubim and On the Contemplative Life. There will also be a very small amount of secondary reading. Each class will include a review of vocabulary, syntax and forms. The class counts as the qualifying examination in Greek for Ph. D. students in CJA and HC., but is open to Masters students and advanced undergraduates from Theology and Classics. 

THEO 83007 - Section 01: Elementary Akkadian I (CRN 19684) 

A "must" for any student wishing to understand the Biblical text in its ancient Near Eastern context. This is an introduction to the grammar of Akkadian, specifically of classical dialect of Old Babylonian, using the excellent grammar and answer key by J. Huehnergard A Grammar of Akkadian and Key to A Grammar of Akkadian. To the extent possible we will avoid the cumbersome writing system by which the language is expressed, and focus our efforts on the (Semitic) language underlying the cuneiform signs. As such, attention will be paid to the place of Akkadian within the Semitic-language family, especially by way of a(n inductively based) comparison of this language with that found other Semitic languages, especially Hebrew. Readings of actual texts from various literary (and non-literary) genres will present themselves via the exercises. 

THEO 83015 - Section 01: Medieval Latin Reading (CRN 20245) 
Long Title: Medieval Latin Reading, III 

The course aims to give graduate students the opportunity to read in Latin, to translate, and to comment upon primary texts from the medieval Western theological tradition. Each semester the Latin readings for translation reflect a specific genre of theological prose writing. Prerequisite: two semesters of Latin grammar or the equivalent. 

THEO 83017 - Section 01: Theological German (CRN 20585) 

The purpose of this course is to facilitate advanced theological scholarship in German. While grammar will regularly be reviewed, the focus of the course will be on group reading and group translation of primary texts from a variety of theological disciplines. Instead of working toward a final paper, students will progressively work on a translation of a German theological article of their own choosing to be turned in at the course's conclusion. Course prerequisite: two semesters of German (or an intensive summer course). 

THEO 83102 - Section 02: Hebrew Bible Seminar (CRN 15703) 
Long Title: Hebrew Bible Seminar: Tobit and the Joseph Story 

A close reading of the Joseph story (and other selections from Genesis) and the influence they exerted on the construction of the book of Tobit. All the basic issues of the field of Biblical studies will be addressed: source-critical concerns, issues of final literary and canonical form, biblical theology, and the development of early Jewish biblical interpretation. 

THEO 83111 - Section 01: New Testamt. Sem: Paul (CRN 16609) 
Long Title: New Testament Seminar: Paul 

The seminar will center on the later history of Paul's relationship with the church at Corinth. Attention will be given to the city of Corinth, his correspondence with Christians in that city, his use of co-workers in dealing with the church, and his own trips to Corinth. The focus of the course will be on Paul's so-called "second" letter to the church at Corinth, our Second Corinthians. The two major purposes of the course are (1) to provide an in-depth examination of 2 Corinthians, and (2) to develop skill in the exegesis of Pauline literature. 

THEO 83209 - Section 01: Theology of Kierkegaard (CRN 20247) 

This course will examine the development of Kierkegaard's understanding of the genuine Christian life from the time of his first works written after his break-up with Regine Olsen, to his final statement of the ideal of being a Christian just before his final "attack on Christendom." We will focus in particular on those works that discuss his understanding of sin and faith in Christ. The works to be read will include his Journals (edited by Hannay), Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety, Philosophical Fragments, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Works of Love, The Sickness Unto Death, and Practice in Christianity. We will also use the new biography of Kierkegaard written by Hannay. The written requirements may be fulfilled either by a series of six page essays on the different readings for the semester, or a short paper and one longer research paper on a theme or work of Kierkegaard's. 

THEO 83215 - Section 01: Islamic Origins (CRN 19685) 

In 1851 the French scholar Ernest Rénan wrote: ?one can say without exaggeration that the problem of the origins of Islam has definitely now been completely resolved.? In 2012, however, scholars are more divided than ever over the question of Islamic origins. Rénan’s confidence stemmed from the appearance in his day of medieval Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which in their detailed descriptions of the Muslim prophet seemed to offer reliable historical data. Yet they are also late sources. The earliest Islamic biographies date from approximately 150 years after the traditional death date of Muhammad (632).The only earlier sources that scholars have to work with are the Qur’an --a text marked by Biblical allusions and religious exhortation, not historical narratives --and the early Greek, Syriac and Armenian literature (primarily Christian) which alludes to the rise of a new religious movement in the Near East, but not in the manner of later Islamic works. All three sources the Qur’an, early non-Muslim literature, and classical Islamic sources present particular interpretive challenges. In this seminar we will address the question of Islamic origins by appreciating the particular types and functions of these sources. At the same time we will examine the debate over these sources in recent scholarship, with particular attention to the theories of those (esp. Wansbrough, Crone, and Luxenberg) who argue that the origins of Islam are more closely related to the development of Christianity in the Late Antique Near East than is traditionally assumed. In this regard the present seminar is not a foray into Religious Studies as much as a studied examination of a movement (Islam) that is closely connected to Christianity, and of a text (the Qur'an) that itself claims to present the proper exegesis of Biblical narratives. Accordingly students are not assumed to have any special background in Islamic Studies or in Arabic. They will be asked, on the other hand, to apply their knowledge of the History of Christianity (and Judaism) and Biblical Studies to the study of Islamic origins .In Fall 2012 students in the seminar will have the opportunity to participate in the activities of an international Mellon Foundation project on the study of the Qur'an hosted at Notre Dame. 

THEO 83219 - Section 01: Patristics Seminar (CRN 19686) 
Long Title: Patristics Seminar: Early Christian Asceticism 

Asceticism is now rightly understood as being a central theological and social phenomenon in the early church. A sharpened appreciation for this centrality over the past few decades has resulted in a proliferation of theoretical approaches. The aim of this course is to acquaint you with some of these new insights and methodologies, as well as with a representative selection of the broad array of ascetic texts and options within early Christianity. 

THEO 83255 - Section 01: Latin West & Byzntn East (CRN 19687) 
Long Title: Latin West and Byzantine East in the High and Later Middle Ages: A History of the Schism 

The course is based upon reading and informed discussion of source texts referring to the main events and topics in the history of relations between Latins and Byzantines from the 11th to the 15th century: the so-called Schism of 1054; Pope Innocent III and the establishment of the Latin Empire in Constantinople (1204); Councils in Nicaea and Nymphaion (1234); II Council of Lyons (1274); scholastic theologians of the ?classical era and their attitudes towards Byzantine theology and culture; Byzantine humanists and latinophones of the 14th century their appeal for Christian unity; and the document of the Council of Florence (1439) on the union with Greeks. The course will focus on ecclesiological self-understanding of conflicting Churches, and their respective perception of a theological and cultural other. Special emphasis will be placed upon the developments in Latin theology that resulted from or was inspired by the encounter with the Byzantines (ecclesiology, sacramental and moral theology, canon law). An intermediate Latin and Greek is required for the course. 

THEO 83404 - Section 01: Reformation Liturgy Seminar (CRN 19688) 

This research seminar studies the Liturgical Reforms and Liturgical-Sacramental Theology of the major Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century as well as the Council of Trent and the transition from the late medieval Roman Catholic liturgical books to those produced by the Tridentine Reform. Several short seminar papers and a major research paper are required. Of interest also to HC and ST students. Latin and German helpful but not required. 

THEO 83422 - Section 01: Ordo Romanus Primus (CRN 20248) 

The First Roman Ordo, dating from the early 8th century, is the oldest description of how the pope celebrated Mass in Rome, evidently written to instruct Frankish bishops and priests in how to celebrate the Roman rite in their own country. The text varies quite a bit in its many MSS, reflecting several stages of editing as the text was transmitted across Europe, encountered both non-Roman practices and different varieties of Latin and proto-Romance dialects. Thus there are complex interrelationships with many other Roman ordines and liturgical texts. This seminar for students who can read Latin will examine many issues involving textual transmission, early medieval Latinity, the hybridization of the Romano-Frankish liturgy in the Carolingian era, and the survival of imperial and court ceremonial from Greco-Roman antiquity. Since the First Roman Ordo has often been described as Byzantine and contains many Greek terms, students with Greek will be encouraged to undertake comparative, parallel studies Byzantine ceremonial texts like the De Caeremoniis of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos. Roman and non-Roman church buildings from the period will also be studied in detail. 

THEO 83621 - Section 01: Modern Cath Moral Theology (CRN 20249) 
Long Title: Modern Catholic Moral Theology 

This course is a study of some of the important developments in moral theology from the late 18th century to date, the significant questions and trends which characterize the period, and some of the authors whose work have made significant contributions to the development of recent moral theology in the Catholic tradition. 

THEO 83653 - Section 01: Aquinas and Kant (CRN 20250) 

Aquinas and Kant represent two very different social and intellectual worlds, and yet their accounts of the moral life come remarkably close on a number of points. Each one gives a central place to the will and choice in his account of the moral life, each one identifies freedom with rational or law-like deliberation and choice, and each regards the human person as essentially autonomous or self-governing. Their substantive accounts of the moral life are likewise very similar, focusing in each case on norms of non-maleficence and strict obligation. At the same time, they clearly do disagree on other key points, most notably on the moral significance of individual perfection, flourishing, or happiness. 

THEO 83707 - Section 01: Global Catholicism (CRN 20251) 

This will be a doctoral seminar in theology and peace studies. Borrowing from Dale Irvin’s description of the field of world Christianity, we want our course to ?investigate and seek to understand [Catholic] Christian communities, faith, and practice as they are found on six continents, expressed in diverse ecclesial traditions, and informed by the multitude of historical and cultural experiences.? We will explore ?both the diversity of local or indigenous expressions of [Catholic] Christian life and faith throughout the world, and the variety of ways these interact with one another critically and constructively across time and space. We also will be ?particularly concerned with under-represented and marginalized communities of faith, resulting in a greater degree of attention being paid to Asian, African, and Latin American experiences; the experience of marginalized communities within the North Atlantic world; and the experiences of women throughout the world. (Journal of World Christianity I:1, 2008). We will also consider how the Catholic Church interacts with other Christians and other religious bodies. 

THEO 83813 - Section 01: Comparative Theology Seminar (CRN 19689) 

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students of systematic theology to recent developments in the theological dialogue between Christianity and other religions, and to deepen their theological understanding of God, christology, grace, eschatology and religious experience through the encounter with three specific faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. This course presupposes no previous knowledge of other religions; it is designed to provide the student with a solid theological foundation for further scholarly research or for incorporation in the classroom. Required: oral presentation, class discussion, two analytical papers. 

THEO 83818 - Section 01: Mystical Theology (CRN 20252) 

This seminar investigates the origin of mystical theology by a consideration of some classical patristic sources (Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses and the Pseudo-Dionysius’s two treatises on the Divine Names and his Mystical Theology) as well as the medieval reception of their thought in Bonaventure’s Itinerarium. With those sources as background and some additional considerations of tradition of Christian mystical theology drawing on the work of Bernard McGinn by the instructor, students will be encouraged to develop seminar papers pertinent to their own interests in areas where they have particular research interests either by a consideration of particular contemporary theologians (e.g. Von Balthasar, Rahner et al) or particular figures or themes from the history of the Christian tradition. Drafts of those papers will be presented in the seminar with the expectation that final papers being submitted at the end of the term. 

THEO 83832 - Section 01: Creation & Spirit (CRN 20253) 

This course investigates a particular aspect of pneumatology, by putting particular emphasis on the work of the Spirit in creation as such, rather than constricted to human beings. We will explore both ancient and more contemporary authors writing in this intersected field including medieval writers such as Albert the Great, Aquinas and Hildegaard of Bingen, and modern and contemporary writers such as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jurgen Moltmann, Sergii Bulgakov, Hans urs von Balthasar and Elisabeth Johnson. We will examine critically the significance of this discussion through an appreciation of contemporary scientific understanding. 

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Spring 2014 Ph.D. Course Descriptions

THEO 83011 - Section 01: Medieval Latin Reading I (CRN 29946)

The course aims to give graduate students the opportunity to read in Latin, to translate, and to comment upon primary texts from the medieval Western theological tradition. Each semester the Latin readings for translation reflect a specific genre of theological prose writing. Prerequisite: two semesters of Latin grammar or the equivalent.

THEO 83013 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew II (CRN 27498)

This fourth-semester course in biblical Hebrew will continue and build upon THEO 60006/83001. While the latter was devoted to the reading of biblical prose, this installment of Intermediate Hebrew will introduce students to the beauty of biblical Hebrew poetry. Our efforts will be focused on the preparation, oral reading, and translation of selected biblical passages. But time also will be spent continuing to review basic grammar as well as developing an appreciation of syntax and poetic structure (e.g., parallelism) in this powerful medium of prayer, prophetic revelation, and the quest for Wisdom in ancient Israel.

THEO 83102 - Section 01: Hebrew Bible Seminar (CRN 24734)
Long Title: Hebrew Bible Seminar: Isaiah 40-55 (Deutero-Isaiah)

The seminar will consist in study and close reading of this distinctive section of the book of Isaiah. Topics of discussion will include: reading ancient texts; the place of these chapters in the book of Isaiah; their formation, literary character, and place in the biblical canon; textual issues and the ancient versions including Qumran; creation and universalism; the theological politics of the author; the Servant of the LORD?; chapters from the history of interpretation, including the Isaian Servant in the New Testament. Requirements: Physical presence and a reasonable level of active engagement. The production of a substantial research paper, the topic and title to be finalized by the mid-semester after consultation and approval, and the paper to be delivered soon after the last session, no later than a date to be announced. Since selected texts from these chapters will be read in Hebrew in all sessions, a basic competence in that language is presupposed, but exceptions may be negotiated.

THEO 83111 - Section 01: New Testament Seminar (CRN 24736)
Long Title: New Testament Seminar: The Parables of the Historical Jesus

The title of this NT Seminar, The Parables of the Historical Jesus, indicates the two foci of this seminar: 1. An exegetical examination of the narrative parables attributed to Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels; and 2. A historical judgment about whether this or that particular parable can be attributed to the historical Jesus. Hence the seminar seeks to find the proper intersection of two key topics of New Testament research: parable studies and historical Jesus research. The heart of the seminar will involve the writing, presentation, critique, and rewriting of seminar papers on a particular Synoptic parable or on a wider question (i.e., the nature of the parable tradition in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas) by individual students.

THEO 83134 - Section 01: Introduction to Syriac (CRN 29171)

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language of first century Palestine, which became the common language of native Semitic Christians throughout the Middle East and Western Asia. The goal of this basic introduction to the Syriac language is to provide students with the necessary skills to access the wealth of early Christian literature preserved in Syriac.

THEO 83204 - Section 01: Early Christianity Sem: Origen (CRN 24737)
Long Title: Early Christian Seminar: Patristic Ecclesiology

This course is a graduate level introduction to the theology of Origen of Alexandria, through a close reading of two of his major works, On First Principles and Against Celsus, as well as a reading of the smaller works On Prayer, Exhortation to Martyrdom, Dialogue with Heracleides, and selections from his Commentary on John and other examples of his exegesis. Students will also be introduced to the major secondary literature on Origen. The goal is to provide students with sufficient acquaintance with both primary and secondary literature so that they can begin to do scholarly research of significance on their own. Students will be encouraged to finish the course having produced an original piece of research suitable for reading at an academic conference and for eventual publication. Students will also leave the course, hopefully, in a better position to create an undergraduate course on Origen, or a unit in an undergraduate course on Origen, so that they can prepare themselves for eventually teaching in the field.

THEO 83253 - Section 01: Theology of J.H. Newman (CRN 29172)

The course focuses on 3 major contributions made by J. H. Newman to modern religious thought. (1) Newman's contribution to religious epistemology as rendered in A Grammar of Assent and Oxford University Sermons; (2) Newman's notion of the development of doctrine as articulated in his famous Essay on Development; and (3) Newman's theory and practice of biblical interpretation.

THEO 83254 - Section 01: Jewish-Xian Rltns & Crusades (CRN 29903)
Long Title: Between Esau and Jacob: Jewish-Christian Relations in the Time of the Crusades

The High and early Late Middle Ages is not only a normative period for Christian Western Europe and its Roman Catholic church, but also for the Jewish communities of western and northern Europe. Confusingly enough the same period is known as the time of the Crusades, usually depicted as a time of cruelty and conflicts between the Christian majority and the Jewish minority. The seminar tries to challenge this simplistic view. After a general historical introduction concerning Jewish-Christian everyday life and the Christian theological perception of Jews and Judaism in the time of the Crusades (Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter the Venerable, Hildegard of Bingen and others), we will concentrate on the reading and examination of two corpora of Hebrew sources (in an English translation). The first collection of sources (Hebrew chronicles on the first crusade, etc.), deals with the traumatic experience of persecution and death and its impact on the relation to the non-Jewish world as well as to eschatological questions. The second collection of sources focuses more on the question of how Christians and Christianity were generally looked at and perceived among Jewish intellectuals during that period.

THEO 83301 - Section 01: Theological Pedagogy (CRN 27444)

This course designed to offer advanced graduate students an introduction to theological pedagogy.

THEO 83405 - Section 01: Modern Liturgy Seminar (CRN 29173)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the movements, documents, issues, and personalities that gradually coalesced to form what is commonly called (in Europe and North America) "the modern liturgical movement." The period covered stretches from ca.1600 to 2000 C.E., and deals with historical developments in both post-Reformation Europe and North America, and among Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican churches.

THEO 83421 - Section 01: Life, Worship of Syriac Church (CRN 29174)
Long Title: Life and Worship of the Syriac Churches

The violence in Syria and the Middle East, and the subsequent destruction of indigenous traditions throughout the region, demands attention. This seminar is designed as an introduction to Life and Worship in the Syriac family of Churches from their origins to the 21st century. The Syriac Churches belong to the Oriental (i.e. non-Byzantine) branch of Christianity. They represent the unique phenomenon of a Semitic Christian tradition unaffected in their formative period by Greco-Roman influence. The seminar format emphasizes the importance of informed student participation and discussion.

THEO 83622 - Section 01: Theo and Class Social Theory (CRN 29175)
Long Title: Theology and Classical Social Theory

This class examines the work of the classic social theorists and the theologians who rely upon them. We will the work of Marx (and the theologian Gustavo Gutierrez), Weber (and the theologians H. Richard Niebuhr, James Gustafson, and John Yoder). We will also read the work of two more recent theorists of practice, one fundamentally critical of Christianity (Bourdieu) and one who is a confessed Christian (de Certeau).

THEO 83652 - Section 01: Natural Law & Divine Commands (CRN 29176)
Long Title: Historical and Contemporary Comparisons of Natural Law Theories and Divine Commands

This course provides an occasion to scrutinize and compare two major methodological approaches in moral theology: natural law theory and divine command theory. We will first survey the areas of dispute between modern advocates of each theory-type in the contest for methodological supremacy. Then we will turn to the Christian tradition to analyze how figures as diverse as John Duns Scotus, John Calvin, Francisco Suarez, and Samuel Pufendorf each sought to integrate a form of natural law theory and a kind of divine command theory. We will next consider the potential for methodological rapprochement in the recent work on ethical theory by Robert Adams, John Hare, Mark Murphy, and Jean Porter. Lastly, we will pursue the implications of comparative work on natural law and divine command theories for ecumenical and interreligious ethics. By the end of this course, students should be able to make a historically informed and philosophically subtle contribution to the contemporary scholarship on methodological approaches in moral theology.

THEO 83704 - Section 01: Images of God & the Buddha (CRN 29177)
Long Title: Images of the "Invisible God" and the "Formless Buddha"

This course will treat of the powerful but problematic roles played by visual images (principally paintings and sculptures) in Christianity and Buddhism. In both traditions we find deep ambivalence over the question, so to speak, of which organ - the eye or the ear - gives best access to the divine or the ultimately real. Some Christian theologians and some Buddhist thinkers have held fast to the principle of "fides ex auditu," thereby privileging the word, whereas others have advanced theologies and spiritualties of vision. Often at stake in such discourse have been crucial questions about the respective roles of contemplative interiority vs. active engagement, learning vs. experience, intuition vs. dialectic, grace vs. nature, etc. By examining selected examples of visual religious art from both traditions, by considering the tensions between the iconoclastic and the inconophilic strains of both, and by pursuing these topics against the background of contemporary theory about visuality and o/aurality as dimensions of religion and culture in general, we may expect to learn much about both Christianity and Buddhism, and - most important for our purposes - much about the similarities and differences between them.

THEO 83705 - Section 01: Lament: A Theo-Political Expl (CRN 29178)
Long Title: Lament: A Theo Political Exploration from an African Perspective

In the face of Africa’s turbulent social history and persistent crises of poverty, violence, war, genocide, how does one think about hope? What does hope look like in places like Eastern Congo? What theological, pastoral, spiritual and liturgical resources do Christians have in the face of these challenges, not simply to help them cope, but to try shape non-violent alternatives and a future beyond poverty, violence and war? This seminar explores the notion and practice of lament as the ground and condition of possibility for hope in Africa. An extensive reading course, the seminar will among other things seek to: - Explore a theology of lament by locating it within its biblical matrix and through the Christian tradition. - Examine some cultural dynamics/resources that make lament a more readily available practice/discipline within an African context than in the modern western context. - Undertake a close reading of the recent social history of some select countries in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda) as a way to locate the agency of representative Christian leaders and communities, who respond to the ongoing cycles of violence, poverty and war, through courage and non-violent alternatives. - Confirm that to the extent that Christian social activists and peace practitioners represent a voice of hope in Africa, it is by and through their unique ability to receive the painful gift of lament and engage its discipline.

THEO 83706 - Section 01: The Modern Study of Religion (CRN 29728)
Long Title: Methods Seminar: The Modern Study of Religion

This course explores ways of doing theology from the intercultural perspective by taking dialogue as a method or an approach. The course will critically reflect on the nature of theology from a dialogical perspective by making a clear distinction from a dialectical method. The course will engage in a dialogue not only between different cultures but also a dialogue with the divine and the universe in relating human beings to the cosmos and God. The main thrust of this course, however, will be an effort to examine the problem with the dialectical approach in constructing a theology and to discover the significance of dialogical dialogue as a way of doing theology.

THEO 83809 - Section 01: Systematic Sem: Theo Anthroplgy (CRN 29179)
Long Title: Systematic Seminar: Theological Anthropology

After consideration of the twentieth-century nature/grace disputes in the Catholic tradition, this seminar will focus on the contributions of selected Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians to a theological understanding of the mystery of being human. Particular attention will be given to contemporary theological efforts to address the question of what constitutes human personhood and/or to retrieve one or more of the classic anthropological symbols of creation in the image of God, original sin, redemption/divinization, and resurrection of the body. Seminar discussion will include consideration of how authors assess the major challenges that theological anthropology needs to address today and the sources and starting points for their projects as well as their constructive proposals.

THEO 83830 - Section 01: Latino/a Theology (CRN 29182)
Long Title: God of the People: A Latino/a Theology

The course will explore a theology of God through the lens of Latino/experiences and theologies as well as selected Latin American sources. We will look at Biblical exegesis and theology, the philosophical questions of identity, language, and the breadth of reason, mestizaje and its critics, translation theory, intercultural thought, the names of God tradition in Christian mysticism, Latino/a theological aesthetics, and the teología del pueblo in Latin America and in Pope Francis. Doctoral students in ST and WRWC are especially welcome.

THEO 83831 - Section 01: Rahner and Metz (CRN 29729)

Karl Rahner is one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century, and Johann Baptist Metz was prominent among a first generation of remarkable students of Rahner’s who shaped German Catholic theology in the second half of the twentieth century. While deeply indebted to Rahner, Metz took his basic insights in a quite different direction in founding a new political theology. This course will examine the continuities and contrasts between their theologies, with an eye to deepening our understanding of fundamental theology, soteriology (particularly the salvation in and of history), eschatology, and the relationship of spirituality to academic theology.

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Fall 2013 Ph.D. Course Descriptions

THEO 83001 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew (CRN 13058)

Course Description:
The primary focus of this course is on reading the text of the Hebrew Bible, at first prose narratives, then poetic sections and consonantal (unpointed) texts. There will be a review of the grammar of Biblical Hebrew, as well as development of vocabulary and skills in using lexicons and concordances of the Hebrew Bible. The course should speed your reading of Hebrew and help prepare you to teach an Elementary Hebrew course. There will be quizzes, a mid-term, and a final exam. Elementary Hebrew is required. Readings:Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (1st or 2nd ed.).F. Brown, S. Driver, and C. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon.L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.

 

THEO 83003 - Section 01: Advanced Greek (CRN 12619)

Course Description:
This course is designed to assist students to achieve a high level of reading proficiency in Greek texts of the Roman imperial period.. Readings generally include material from the LXX and NT, and focus on another Greek writer of the period, usually an ancient Jewish or Christian writer. This year the principal text will be Philo's Allegory of the Laws II (Philo's interpretation of the creation of the first woman), supplemented with parallel texts. In addition to Greek reading, the course requires a small amount of reading on Philo as exegete, including a selection from T. Tobin's treatment of the creation of man in Philo Each class will include a review of vocabulary, syntax and forms. This class counts as the qualifying examination in Greek for Ph. D. students in CJA and HC., but is open to Masters ss,ptudents and advanced undergraduates from Theology and Classics.

 

THEO 83004 - Section 01: Advanced Hebrew (CRN 13216)
Long Title: Advanced Hebrew: From Late Biblical to Rabbinic Hebrew

Course Description:
This course builds on Elementary and Intermediate Biblical Hebrew. It aims to solidify and advance students' grammatical knowledge and to improve reading fluency. We will also devote considerable attention to the Hebrew of the Second Temple and rabbinic periods.

 

THEO 83010 - Section 01: Intermediate Akkadian (CRN 19934)

Course Description:
A review of the basics of Akkadian grammar via an introduction to Akkadian literature as well as to some of the dialects of the language. Students will also be introduced to the Assyriological literature and basic tools of the discipline (sign-lists, dictionaries, grammars, lexical lists, gazetteers, prosopographic studies, bibliographic sources, etc.)Readings will include:(1) The epic of Gilgamesh (paying attention to the development of the epic from its early sources to its later "canonical" versions);(2) Assyrian Letters (NA period; with a focus on those from scholars in the king's circle dealing with textual interpretation);(3) Babylonian and Assyrian historical texts (e.g., Sennacherib's western campaign, concerning, inter alia, Hezekiah and Jerusalem);(4) Selections of magical-medical materials and their commentaries (a must for understanding the millennia-old cuneiform "stream of tradition");(5) Wisdom and other belletristic literature.

 

THEO 83102 - Section 02: Hebrew Bible Seminar (CRN 16424)
Long Title: Hebrew Bible Seminar: Ritual in Early Rabbinic Literature

Course Description:
Fall 2013 Topic: Rabbis as Readers, Leaders, and Romans: Ritual in Early Rabbinic Literature .? This seminar examines the representation of ritual in the Mishnah, the foundational work of the rabbinic canon, and in related early texts. Through close study of the description of the drinking of the bitter waters (the sotah ritual), capital punishment, the bringing of the first fruits, and other rituals, we witness the rabbis as readers of the biblical text, as successors to the sectarian context of the late Second Temple period, as a religious elite that came to prominence in the same Roman context in which Christianity arose, and as architects of Judaism as we know it today. The course incorporates a general introduction to the use of rabbinic literature for students of Christianity and Judaism in antiquity, and (more briefly) to ritual theory. We will read the Mishnah in its original Hebrew. Interested students without background in Hebrew should consult with the instructor.

 

THEO 83111 - Section 01: New Testamt. Sem: Resurrection (CRN 18916)
Long Title: New Testament Seminar: Resurrection

Course Description:
The seminar will center on the history of Paul's relationship with the church at Corinth. Attention will be given to the city of Corinth, the establishment of the Corinthian church by Paul, his correspondence with Christians in that city, his use of co-workers in dealing with the church, and his own subsequent trips to Corinth. The focus of the course will be on Paul's so-called "first" letter to the church at Corinth, our First Corinthians. The two major purposes of the course are (1) to provide an in-depth examination of 1 Corinthians, and (2) to develop skill in the exegesis of Pauline literature.

 

THEO 83204 - Section 01: Early Christianity Seminar (CRN 18917)
Long Title: Early Christianity Seminar: the Preaching of John Chrysostom

Course Description:
The ancient world lavished attention on the passions. The nature and proper use of anger, grief, greed, and fear were intensely debated long before the rise of Christianity. This seminar will begin by considering classical thought on the passions. We will read primary works by Aristotle and Plutarch, in addition to some recent secondary scholarship on the passions and their therapeutic control. With this background in place, we will then turn to John Chrysostom. The homilies and treatises of John Chrysostom make fascinating reading, not so much for their innovative contribution to theology as for their unswerving focus on moral formation. The role of the preacher, in Chrysostom's mind, was primarily psychological: he was to help his congregation grow in virtue and respond appropriately to personal and social challenges. At the end of the term, you will each prepare a conference length (10-12 page) paper on Chrysostom's engagement with one of the emotions. These papers will be presented before the class, as if at a conference, during our final meetings. Your peers will assist in their evaluation.

 

THEO 83207 - Section 01: Histrcl Theo Sem: Medieval Theo (CRN 18918)
Long Title: Historical Theology Seminar: Medieval Theology

Course Description:
Thomas Aquinas offered sustained reflections on Jesus Christ in a wide variety of his works, and throughout his career Thomas's Christology played a central role in his entire theology, providing a distinctive cast to his understanding of God and the human person. This course examines the thomistic accomplishment in Christology, paying particularly close attention to the different ways in which Thomas organized his various discussions of Christ, and, to the principal developments in his depiction of Christ.

 

THEO 83222 - Section 01: Bartolome de las Casas (CRN 18919)

Course Description:
Bartolome de las Casas was a crucial actor in Latin American colonial history, in the history of Catholic Church in Latin America, and in the history of theology. This course will consider him in his historical context, but also with a view to his theological significance today.

 

THEO 83252 - Section 01: Calvin: The Institutes (CRN 18920)
Long Title: The Theology of John Calvin: The Institutes

Course Description:
This course will examine the theology of John Calvin by means of a close examination of the final edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559), using the English translation in concert with the Latin edition in the Opera Selecta. We will pay special attention to the relationship between the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves, and the distinction between the knowledge of God the Creator and the knowledge of God the Redeemer. We will supplement our reading of the Institutes with other writings of Calvin such as selections from his commentaries and treatises. The goal of the course is to come to a clear and comprehensive understanding of the theology of Calvin, as well as an appreciation for his teaching method and objectives. The seminar presupposes no prior knowledge of the theology of John Calvin.

 

THEO 83403 - Section 01: Medieval Liturgies (CRN 18921)

Course Description:
The purpose of this seminar is to examine the various sacramental rites in the Middle Ages, especially the Eucharistic liturgy, and to attempt to reconstruct them within the context of liturgical enactment, architectural space, artistic and musical decoration, etc. The seminar must necessarily deal with liturgical texts, but this is only a first step for understanding the broader dimensions of the liturgy. Architectural, artistic and musical components will be taken into consideration. Numerous commentaries on the liturgy are also an important source for garnering the medieval understanding of the liturgy, especially in its allegorical interpretation. A tangential but key element for the understanding is the devotional and spiritual practices that grew up alongside the official liturgy. Therefore, some attention will be given to these dimensions, including liturgical drama.

 

THEO 83408 - Section 01: Tpcs in Lutrgcl Stud: Anaphora (CRN 18922)
Long Title: Topics in Liturgical Study: The Anaphora

Course Description:
This course will examine the origins, evolution, variant structures, and theologies of the Anaphora (Prosphora, Canon, or Eucharistic Prayer), the central prayer of the central act of liturgical worship within the Christian community. The primary focus of this course is the study of the classic anaphoral sources of Christian antiquity, although some current official liturgical texts may also be examined critically.

 

THEO 83417 - Section 01: Liturgical Sacramental Theo (CRN 18923)
Long Title: Liturgical Sacramental Theology

Course Description:
This course deals with the sacramental expression of the liturgical life of the Church. The liturgical Mystery is expressed in the mysteries. It will lay down some basic elements of sacramentology, and then focus more specifically on how "the Eucharist makes the Church." Dealing with the Eucharist in this ecclesiological context will mean looking at the theology of real presence, mystical body, transubstantiation, sacrifice, and priesthood as they unfold in the liturgy. We will deliberately employ sources from both Eastern and Western Christianity.

 

THEO 83602 - Section 01: Ethics Seminar: Aquinas (CRN 18924)
Long Title: Ethics Seminar: Aquinas and His Interlocultors on the Natural Law

Course Description:
In this course, we will examine Aquinas' theory of the natural law, as seen in the context of his twelfth and thirteenth century interlocutors. The student will be invited to develop her/his own interpretation of Aquinas' theory of the natural law and to reflect systematically on its significance. This course is meant both to introduce the ethical thought of an important pre-modern Christian theologian, and to develop some of the skills and sensitivities needed for the fruitful use of historical sources in constructive theology. Texts Except for Aquinas' two summae (the Summa theologiae and the Summa contra gentiles), all readings can be found in two class-packs. I am assuming that you will be able to find the summae, but if you can't, let me know. You may use any translation of either, except one labeled "condensed," "abridged," or the like.

 

THEO 83702 - Section 01: Music and Abrahamic Faiths (CRN 18926)

Course Description:
This seminar traces the various meanings and modes of significance associated with music making in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Widely known by attribution to Abraham, the three religious faiths have shared an historic and geographic existence in a relatively small part of the ancient world. Their cultural and literary connections continue to be subject to many studies, as do their traditions of chanting and music. Participants in this seminar will be exposed to studies on, and practices of, what scholars largely identify as music in these faiths. We will look at how the three traditions perceive music in select contexts, and will examine issues relating to the role music making plays in the religious, social, political, and cultural lives of their proponents. Examples will be drawn from specific parts of the world, and there will be a focus on intersections between music, religion, and culture in the contexts studied. While this course does not take a comparative approach, it will deal with convergences, as well as divergences, between the three traditions? respective conceptions of music on the one hand and the practical, intellectual, and artistic translations thereof on the other hand.

 

THEO 83703 - Section 01: Mysticism: East and West (CRN 19629)

Course Description:
Varieties of mystical experience are found in various religious and spiritual traditions. This course explores the significance of the mystical dimension in human religiosity. The course also discusses the implication of the mystic way of thinking and mystic worldview in contrast to the modern scientific worldview to examine the significance of the secular implication of mystical awareness. Diverse religious and spiritual traditions are included in this course for our comparative investigation and cross-cultural analysis.

 

THEO 83812 - Section 01: Eschatology (CRN 18927)

Course Description:
This course focuses on the eschata as these have been problematized and interpreted in modern and contemporary theology. Coming in for consideration will not only be various interpretations of the "kingdom of God," both vertical and horizontal, individual and social, but also the relation of eschatology to Christology, on the one hand, and anthropology, on the other. Theological interpretations of the symbol of "resurrection" will come in for special attention, given that it provides the connective tissue between the three different areas. This symbol also seems to bring to the fore not simply issues of theological justification but also imagination. Whether we can imagine or how to imagine "resurrection" will be an issue for the course. Authors that will be discussed include Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Benedict XVI, Paul Fiddes, and Gustavo Gutierrez. At least a third of the course will be devoted to contemporary apocalyptic figuration of eschatology. Obvious issues here include the question of the definition of apocalyptic and whether biblical apocalyptic is appealed to and if so which biblical texts are prioritized. Authors to be read include Johann Baptist Metz, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Sergei Bulgakov, and Catherine Keller.

 

THEO 88101 - Section 01: CJA & MT Methods Seminar (CRN 18928)
Long Title: CJA and MT Methods Seminar: The Decalogue

Course Description:
A 12-week seminar designed to introduce advanced students to the critical texts, indices, reference works, journals, linguistic tools, systems of abbreviation, searching strategies, textual methods, and electronic resources available for the study of the four fields encompassed by the Christianity and Judaism in antiquity section of the Theology Department. Three weekly sessions will be devoted to each of these four fields: Hebrew Bible, Judaism, New Testament, and early Christianity. Seminar sessions will be run by faculty members with expertise in the area of students represented during that session. This seminar is required of all CJA students.

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