Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Fall 2010 Course Load

Following John's lead -- especially as the pre-semester blogger's block has hit in full force -- I thought I'd share about the courses I'm taking this fall. I'm planning on returning by the end of the week with reflections on two years of blogging; hopefully the words will start flowing by then.

Theologies of Religious Pluralism (Jenny McBride)

This was the two-week short course I mentioned in August, which is already done and only awaiting a final paper. The class was split into two parts: one week devoted to various Christian theologies of religion (inclusivism, exclusivism, universalism, etc.), and one week devoted to Jewish-Christian relations. The class culminated in the last day of class, in which Jewish colleagues and students were invited to come share the time with us in the practice of Scriptural Reasoning together (which, by the way, was a phenomenal experience).

Jews and Christians: People of God, edited by Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson
Abraham's Promise: Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations, by Michael Wyschogrod
The Bonhoeffer Legacy: Post-Holocaust Perspectives, by Stephen R. Haynes

The Theology of Karl Barth (Andrea White)

This course is exactly what its title announces, and will be centered on Barth's doctrines of God and of the human person in conversation with each other, though we will be beginning with Romans. (Note: Out of the 20+ persons in the class, the range of familiarity extends from some who had only heard Barth's name secondhand prior to the course -- and then still unsure about the pronunciation! -- to others who read German fluently or who have already read much of the Dogmatics. Should be interesting.)

The Epistle to the Romans (6th ed.)
Church Dogmatics II/1: The Doctrine of God
Church Dogmatics III/2: The Doctrine of Creation
The Humanity of God

Sex, Sin, and Salvation (Ian McFarland)

This is a course in McFarland's specialty, theological anthropology, which will be a perfect set-up for his new book coming out in November, In Adam's Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin. The class will especially be focusing on the relation of gender, sexuality, and the body to a doctrine of the human person and the reality of sin. (Much of the reading will be selections from church history, beginning with Irenaeus all the way up to the present, which isn't reflected in the books listed below.)

Christ the Key, by Kathryn Tanner
Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way Into the Triune God, by Eugene F. Rogers, Jr.
Bound to Sin: Abuse, Holocaust and the Christian Doctrine of Sin, by Alistair McFadyen
Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire, edited by Catherine Keller, Michael Nausner, and Mayra Rivera

New Testament Ethics (Luke Timothy Johnson)

Unfortunately, this will be my first time to have Johnson for a class in my time at Candler, so I will be making the most of it. Fortunately, I have already read Hays' volume, so it will be enjoyable to be able to read it again without the anxiety of a first time through. The course is what it sounds like: an exploration of how the New Testament informs and is able to direct Christian morality, including diverse proposals for methodology.

The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics, by Richard B. Hays
Scripture and Discernment: Decision Making in the Church, by Luke Timothy Johnson
Scripture and Ethics: Twentieth Century Portraits, by Jeffrey Siker
The Origins of Christian Morality: The First Two Century, by Wayne A. Meeks
The Ethics of the New Testament, by Wolfgang Schrage

Cosmopolitanism and Theology (Felix Asiedu)

This is a 1-hour directed study, which will more or less entirely be devoted to reading and discussion with few assignments. I'm joining Dr. Asiedu and my friend Leonard (with whom I did City of God and De Trinitate in the spring) to explore Isaiah Berlin and Charles Taylor in dialogue with each other -- a subject, and authors, outside my field of expertise, which is exactly why I am doing it.

The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays, by Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin: A Life, by Michael Ignatieff
Charles Taylor, by Ruth Abbey
Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, by Kwame Anthony Appiah
A Secular Age, by Charles Taylor
A Catholic Modernity?, by Charles Taylor
Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, by Charles Taylor
Philosophy in an Age of Pluralism: The Philosophy of Charles Taylor in Question, edited by James Tully

Thesis Research: Yoder and Jenson

Since May I have been documenting my ongoing thesis research, so there's no need for me to repeat myself here. This week I am finishing Jenson' Canon and Creed, The Triune Identity, and The Futurist Option, as well as Yoder's He Came Preaching Peace. After those are done, all I will have for each author is listed below, which according to plan will be done by the end of October. After that I will have supplementary reading by Nation, McClendon, Lohfink, and Jones, to be finished by Christmas.

Yoder: The Christian Witness to the State; Nevertheless; Nonviolence; To Hear the Word; When War is Unjust; The War of the Lamb; Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution

Jenson: Lutheranism; A Religion Against Itself; Christian Dogmatics; America's Theologian; The Knowledge of Things Hoped For; Visible Words; Alpha and Omega; God After God

Other: John Howard Yoder by Mark Thiessen Nation; Doctrine: Systematic Theology Volume 2 by James McClendon; Witness: Systematic Theology Volume 3 by James McClendon; Does God Need the Church? by Gerhard Lohfink; A Grammar of Christian Faith: Volumes I and II by Joe R. Jones

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