Summer Term: intriguing questions from junior faculty

In addition to well-known senior YDS faculty who will teach this year during Summer Term at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, several junior faculty will teach engaging courses in 2010.  Some of the intriguing questions to be addressed include: With whom are we dancing for eternity? Why should Christians listen to and engage with the faiths of their neighbors? What is the problem with charitable giving?  What are the contemporary Christian perspectives on virtue, evolution, sexuality, and the environment?

Online registrations are being accepted on the YDS web site until May 15. Courses are offered over three one-week sessions, June 7-11, 14-18, 21-25.

SimmonsFrederick Simmons, assistant professor of ethics, will teach a course in the third week, afternoons, entitled Current Topics in Christian Ethics.  Simmons’s research and teaching examine the moral implications of Christian theological commitments and the relationships between philosophical and theological ethics.

The course will review fundamental moral concepts, leading normative theories, and the ways that basic Christian claims relate to both.  A special emphasis will be put on contemporary Christian perspectives on virtue, evolution, sexuality, and the environment.

Scott Dolff, lecturer in theology, will teach courses in the second and third weeks.  Dolff’s current work in theology and spirituality centers on issues of mercy and Christian community.

Dolff’s second-week afternoon course is entitled The Problem of Charity.  That course will explore some of the problems associated with charitable giving, such as the power that donors can wield over recipients and other aspects of giving that can lead to unjust situations. 

In the third week, Dolff will teach another afternoon course, A Short History of Sin, in which students will explore anew the history and development of the doctrine of sin.  Students will be asked to formulate an account of sin in the current cultural climate, as well as to consider how concepts of sin influence the shape of communal life.  

Ed Waggoner, a lecturer in theology at Yale Divinity School who teaches and writes in the areas of systematic theology and religion and politics, will teach the course Theology in a Living Church during the first week’s morning session and the course Faith of My Neighbor in the third week, afternoons.

Theology in a Living Church will engage a conversation about ordinary life, in the realization that daily actions and attitudes are both the product and source of our deepest knowings of God.  Faith of My Neighbor will ponder and articulate the theological reasons Christians have for listening to and engaging with the faiths of their neighbors.