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Areas and Courses of Study

The courses listed on the following pages are expected to be offered by Yale Divinity School in 2013–2014. The letter “a” following the course number denotes the fall term, and the letter “b” following the course number denotes the spring term. Normally, courses numbered in the 500s carry Area I credit, with those in the 600s carrying Area II credit, those in the 700s carrying Area III credit, those in the 800s carrying Area IV credit, and those in the 900s carrying Area V credit. Courses with a four-digit number are generally eligible for elective credit only. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for three hours of credit each term. Courses with the designation REL are offered by YDS. Those with an RLST designation are offered by the Department of Religious Studies of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to the curricular offerings specified below, students may arrange special reading courses with individual faculty members (see Reading Courses in chapter on Other Curricular Considerations). Courses on special topics of interest to a group of students may also be planned and approved for credit, to run for a period of weeks or for an entire term. Students are encouraged by the faculty to take courses in other schools and departments of the University. (See also Interdepartmental Studies in chapter on Other Curricular Considerations.) In each case, prior consent must be received from the instructor. For a complete listing of the offerings, consult the bulletins of the Graduate School and the professional schools and Yale College Programs of Study.

Courses with numbers lower than 500 are undergraduate courses. Additional work is normally required in undergraduate courses presented for YDS credit. For credit toward a Divinity degree, the student must secure the permission of the instructor and have the instructor communicate to the Divinity academic dean the graduate-level evaluative measures to which the student will be held. Normally, graduate-level parameters would involve an enhanced research component and/or a term paper significantly longer than the paper required of the undergraduates enrolled in the class.

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Area I: Biblical Studies

This area is concerned with the interpretation of the Christian Scriptures in the broadest sense, including the study of the classical biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), the content of the Old and New Testaments, critical methods of interpretation, biblical history, cultural and historical milieu of the Bible, and the theological and pastoral implications of the text.

  • 1. Introductory courses are offered in the critical study of the Old and New Testaments; except for the language courses, all courses in Area I have these foundation courses (or their equivalent) as prerequisites.
  • 2. Language courses are offered at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.
  • 3. Three types of exegesis courses are offered: those based on the English text; those based on the original text and requiring a working knowledge of the biblical language; and advanced exegesis seminars that require at least an intermediate knowledge of the biblical language. Exegesis courses of each type are offered each term on selected books or topics from the Old and New Testaments. It is possible, therefore, during the course of one’s program, to engage in detailed exegesis of representative sections of the biblical text.
  • 4. Thematic courses are offered on a wide range of theological and historical issues raised by the Scriptures. These include courses on the cultural and historical milieu of the Bible.
  • 5. Advanced seminars are designed for YDS students with the requisite background and qualifications, and for doctoral students. Permission to enroll in these seminars must be received from the individual instructor.
  • 6. Area I is also concerned with examining the implications of the Scriptures for the contemporary church. In addition to doing this in courses offered specifically in Area I, members of the faculty in Area I join with other faculty members in offering courses dealing with the use of the Bible in Christian ministry.

YDS offers intensive courses in elementary Biblical Hebrew and elementary New Testament Greek for six weeks during the summer. Such work earns six hours of academic credit and prepares the student for the course in exegesis. Summer work will satisfy most denominational language requirements.

Critical Introductions

REL 500a, Old Testament Interpretation An introduction to the contents of the Old Testament (Pentateuch and Historical Books in the first term; Prophets and Writings in the second) and to the methods of its interpretation. The course focuses on the development of Israelite biblical literature and religion in its historical and cultural context as well as on the theological appropriation of the Old Testament for contemporary communities of faith. Robert R. Wilson

REL 500b, Old Testament Interpretation A continuation of REL 500a. An introduction to the contents of the Old Testament, with a focus on the Prophets and Writings. Robert R. Wilson

REL 501a, New Testament Interpretation The first term of a two-term lecture course that introduces students to the critical study of the New Testament through extensive readings, training in exegesis, and seminar discussions. The fall term is devoted to a study of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The course is recommended for those without previous training in New Testament studies. Harold W. Attridge

REL 501b, New Testament Interpretation A continuation of REL 501a. The spring term is devoted to a study of the Pauline letters, other epistolary and homiletic literature of the New Testament, and the Book of Revelation. Harold W. Attridge

Biblical Languages

REL 3604a and b, Elementary Biblical Hebrew A rigorous two-term course designed to familiarize students with the basic principles of Biblical Hebrew grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. The primary goals are to read biblical prose texts with confidence, use a standard academic dictionary, and develop a deep appreciation for the stylistic features unique to the Hebrew text. Eric D. Reymond

REL 3605a and b, Elementary New Testament Greek A two-term introduction to the language of the New Testament intended for those with little or no knowledge of Koiné Greek. Concentration in the first term is on elementary grammar and syntax, and a basic working vocabulary. The second term is devoted primarily to rapid reading of the Johannine literature and to developing a working knowledge of the critical apparatus and indexes of the Greek New Testament for use in exegesis and interpretation. Sonja Anderson

REL 518a, Intermediate Koine Greek This course focuses on translation, syntax, vocabulary-building, and introduction to Greek exegesis. Students are exposed to a variety of styles and genres in the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Assignments consist of preparing translations for recitation and discussion, readings on New Testament Greek syntax, consultation of reference tools (Greek lexica, advanced grammars, exegetical dictionaries), and memorization of vocabulary. Essential preparation for Greek exegesis courses. Judith M. Gundry

REL 574a and b, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew This two-term course focuses on the reading of biblical texts but also offers a review of the elementary grammar of Biblical Hebrew and the introduction of more complicated grammatical concerns. The first term focuses on prose texts and reviews the morphology of verbs and nouns as well as basic components of Hebrew syntax; the second introduces the student to Biblical Hebrew poetry while continuing the study and review of Hebrew morphology and syntax. In addition, the form and function of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) is introduced. Eric D. Reymond

REL 577b, Advanced Biblical Hebrew The course explores the language of Biblical Hebrew writings, primarily through a close study of text specimens written in vocalized and unvocalized Hebrew. We study both prose and poetic texts with an aim of understanding their grammar. The course focuses on the grammar of the language, exploring in great detail matters of orthography, phonology, morphology, and syntax. It builds on the students’ familiarity with grammar as studied at the intermediate level. Throughout the term we read unvocalized texts with the aim of learning the language and its subtleties. In particular, we compare the language of the texts we are reading with that of standard Biblical Hebrew. By the end of the term, students should be comfortable reading unvocalized Hebrew texts. Eric D. Reymond

REL 597b, Daniel and Related Literature Exegesis of the Hebrew and Aramaic text of Daniel, and of related Aramaic texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This course requires reading knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic. John J. Collins

Exegesis of the English Bible

REL 533a, English Exegesis: Luke–Acts The third evangelist is unique among the evangelists of the New Testament in several ways. The third evangelist is the only evangelist who wrote a second related scroll, Acts. Together these two works tell the story of early Christianity from John the Baptist through Paul and from Jerusalem to Rome. The third evangelist deliberately situated this movement within the context of the Greco-Roman world, a contextualization that altered the self-understanding of Christianity. This course explores the self-definition of Christianity in Luke–Acts and offers pedagogical training in historical and literary critical approaches that lend themselves to understanding the theological message of the texts. Gregory E. Sterling

Exegesis Based on the Original Language

REL 558a, Hebrew Exegesis: Joshua This exegetically focused course explores literary, theological, and hermeneutical issues involved in interpreting the book of Joshua. Paying close attention to the Hebrew text, we consider the diction, themes, literary artistry, and rhetorical power of a variety of narratives in Joshua. Particular attention is paid to constructions of belonging and Otherness in the rhetoric of Joshua. We also consider the significance of narratological and paraenetic modes of instruction for identity formation of the implied audience(s) of the book of Joshua. Carolyn J. Sharp

REL 584a, Greek Exegesis: Gospel of John This course is a seminar dealing with the interpretation of the Gospel According to John. The seminar engages students in a close reading of the Gospel, with attention to the variety of critical perspectives currently used in interpreting the text. The overall goal is to gain a detailed knowledge of the text and a familiarity with contemporary interpretive options. Harold W. Attridge

REL 587b, Greek Exegesis: Ephesians and the Pauline Tradition There is a diverse body of material that extends Paul’s career beyond his own lifetime: This course explores the Greek text of Ephesians as a rewriting of earlier letters in the Pauline tradition. Looking back on Paul’s career and letters, the author of Ephesians viewed Paul as the catalyst of the movement that shaped the church as the author knew it at the end of the first century. The letter situates Paul’s lifetime accomplishment (the rapprochement between Jews and Gentiles) and thought (salvation by grace through faith) into a new framework, “the eternal purpose of God.” Paul and his message are no longer for a specific community or group of communities, but for all of the churches. The Apostle to the Gentiles has become the Apostle of the Church. Gregory E. Sterling

Graduate Seminars in Biblical and Cognate Studies

REL 562b, What Are Biblical Values? This course examines, first, whether it is possible to speak of biblical values at all. It then proceeds to examine the bases for biblical values in creation, covenant, and eschatology, and discuss biblical attitudes to family values, ecology, gender and sexuality, social justice, purity, and other issues. John J. Collins

REL 593b, Ph.D. Seminar: Philo of Alexandria Required for doctoral students in New Testament, Ancient Christianity, and Ancient Judaism, this seminar focuses on the Jewish philosophical exegete, Philo. A member of the Jewish elite of Alexandria in the early Roman period, Philo explored the meaning of Torah within the context of established and emerging Second Temple interpretation and tradition and a distinctively Hellenistic framework. In doing so he provided a framework and a collection of hermeneutical tools that would prove invaluable to Christian theologians of the patristic period and, to a lesser extent, Rabbinic Jews. Philo’s interpretations, interpretive strategies, and philosophical explanations provide us with a glimpse into the work of Second Temple Judaism and in particular the Jewish community of Alexandria in the first century C.E. The seminar explores Philo’s reading of scripture, its philosophical framework, and its impact on later interpreters. Harold W. Attridge, Hindy Najman

REL 598a, History and Methods II: Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures in Late Modernity and Beyond This course explores significant developments in late modern and postmodern methods of biblical interpretation. The course is designed to foster learning along three interrelated axes of inquiry having to do with historical analysis, literary representation, and the role of the reader. Of particular interest is exploration of notions of authorship and constructions of ideology and reader agency in feminist interpretation, queer readings, masculinity studies, and postcolonial criticism. Throughout the term, we focus on the book of Amos as a textual site for our engagement of methodological questions and their implications for meaning making. Carolyn J. Sharp

RLST 801a, Hebrew Bible Seminar: Problems in the History of Israelite Religion An intensive study of important features of ancient Israelite religion, including the origins of monotheism, the priesthood, worship, prophecy, and apocalypse. Prerequisites: two years of Biblical Hebrew and previous work in biblical interpretation. Robert R. Wilson

RLST 820b, Prophecy in Context The course traces the nature of biblical prophecy in its original social setting and its afterlife in later Christian and Jewish interpretive traditions. Prerequisite: knowledge of Hebrew and Greek in order to read the primary sources in the original languages. Robert R. Wilson, Hindy Najman

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Area II: Theological Studies

The work of this area includes analysis of the development, thought, and institutional life of the Christian community in various periods and contexts, and training in the substance and forms of theological positions and argumentation.

  • 1. The comprehensive purpose of the courses designated Theological Studies is to foster an understanding of the classical theological tradition of Christianity, acquaint the students with contemporary theological thought, and develop the skills necessary to engage effectively in critical analysis and constructive argument.
  • 2. Christian Ethics as a discipline gives attention to the moral strand within Christian belief by offering opportunities for systematic study of foundational aspects of the moral life, formulation of constructive proposals regarding ethical issues, and rigorous thinking regarding action guidance.
  • 3. Liturgical Studies is intended to foster a serious and scholarly engagement with the origins and historical evolution of inherited patterns of worship, and to prepare the students to lead the worship of contemporary Christian communities with competence and sensitivity.
  • 4. The Denominational Courses are offered primarily, although not exclusively, for the constituencies of particular denominations. Distributional credit in Area II will be granted for only one denominational course.

Theological Studies

REL 616b, Introduction to East Asian Christianity This course introduces students to some of the key thinkers and themes in twentieth-century theology in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. It surveys different theological movements within these countries (such as “homeland theology,” Minjung theology, etc.) and encourages the development of a critical response to the challenges that these theologies raise for both non-Asians and Asians. The course considers contextualization, and inculturation debates in each of these societies are covered, as well as regional responses to Christianity. Primary texts are read in English, with background reading for context, and students are encouraged to develop their own responses to the authors and their thought. Chloë F. Starr

REL 619a, Anglican Theology and History II: ECUSA and the Anglican Communion As a sequel to REL 618a, Anglican History and Theology I, this course is focused on the theology, history, and polity of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the development of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Particular attention is paid to recent developments in the Communion and their theological implications for Anglican ecclesiology. Joseph H. Britton

REL 621b, Medieval Theology Survey A survey of major theological movements and figures in the period from Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries to Nicholas of Cusa in the fifteenth. Broadly, the major figures fall into three categories: those in the monastic traditions, those in the scholastic or university traditions, and those from a wide diversity of backgrounds, lay and clerical, male and female, who write in their vernaculars, often poetically. Denys A. Turner

REL 626a, Systematic Theology I The purpose of the course is to explore the nature and the systematic interconnections between issues and doctrines that are central to the Christian faith and life. Miroslav Volf, Linn Marie Tonstad

REL 626b, Systematic Theology II A continuation of REL 626a. Christology, Christian life, ecclesiology, and eschatology are the major topics covered during the spring term. Miroslav Volf, Linn Marie Tonstad

REL 628a, Introduction to Medieval Latin An introduction to Latin syntax and grammar, with special emphasis on classical forms as the point of departure for later Latin syntax. The entire system of Latin grammar is covered during the term. No previous knowledge of Latin is necessary. Junius Johnson

REL 643a, Music and Theology in the Sixteenth Century: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and the Council of Trent The Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century was a “media event.” The invention of letterpress printing, the partisanship of famous artists like Dürer and Cranach, and—not least—the support by many musicians and composers were responsible for the spreading of the thoughts of Reformation. But while Luther gave an important place to music, Zwingli and Calvin were much more skeptical. Music—especially sacred music—was not only a chance for Reformation, it was also a problem, because it was tightly connected with Catholic liturgical and aesthetic traditions. Reformers had to think about the place music could have in worship and about the function of music in secular life. But first of all, a theological authorization had to be found, because the authorization of music by any kind of tradition was no longer possible. The course shows how music was viewed by the reformers and which theological decisions formed the basis for their view. But we also look at the effect of these theological matters on musical practice: on liturgical singing and on composers and their compositions. Markus Rathey

REL 645a, Asian American Theologies This course examines the development of Asian American theologies and some of their key themes: migration, intercultural theology, autobiographical narratives, and political activism. We look at marginality and inter-generational conflicts, at Asian American biblical hermeneutics, and at questions such as why the American Roman Catholic church is trying to foster more Anglo-Saxon-Teutonic religious practices among U.S. Filipinos, or why Korean Buddhists might attend church when in America. All students undertake a fieldwork project of their own choosing on an aspect of Asian American Christianity. This course is not just for students of Asian heritage: the topics and methodologies are relevant to anyone studying theology in contemporary society. Chloë F. Starr

REL 652b, The Cosmic Christ: Philosophical Theology of St. Bonaventure An examination of key themes and concepts in the thought of St. Bonaventure (1221–1274), with special emphasis on Trinitarian theology, Christology, and the notion of the return of the creature to God. Junius Johnson

REL 658a, The Doctrine of the Trinity from Boethius to Aquinas The philosophical explication of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Middle Ages may be broadly classed into two stages, with the first culminating in Aquinas and the second beginning with his successors. This course focuses on the first of these two stages. In order to orient ourselves to this debate, we begin with its precursors in the philosophy of Aristotle and Porphyry before turning to theologians proper. Junius Johnson

REL 665b, Martin Luther: Life and Work The fundamental objective of this course is to gain an acquaintance with Luther, the person and the theologian, within his historical context. The course probes Luther’s continuing influence and relevance for twenty-first-century Christianity with its global and ecumenical dimensions. In the process, the student acquires a knowledge of Luther as a Christian and theologian, Luther’s contribution to the theology of his day, the strength and weaknesses of Luther’s thought and actions, and Luther’s continuing influence in theology and the ecumenical movement. William G. Rusch

REL 667b, Survey of Medieval Latin Literature An examination of medieval Latin syntax through primary texts. The course is designed to provide an introduction to the major genres of medieval Latin writing and to build the skills necessary to carry out independent research on primary texts. Junius Johnson

REL 680b, Churches of the East The Eastern Christian traditions trace their roots to the very beginnings of Christianity, have grown in the cradle of Christianity, have suffered persecution, and are still living Churches. However, if not unknown, Eastern Christianity is usually seen as a cultural curiosity of the East, an ossified remnant from the past, and as totally irrelevant to Western Christianity. In seeking to explore the place of the Eastern Churches in modern Christianity, this course focuses on the Syrian Orthodox Churches by exploring their Christological differences and their liturgical traditions. Bryan D. Spinks

REL 687a, English Reformation Liturgical Traditions and the Evolution of the Books of Common Prayer This course falls into two sections. The first covers the period 1500–1789 and is concerned with the development and theologies of the Reformation liturgical traditions in England and Scotland. The second is concerned with the specifically Anglican tradition, with the impact of the Tractarian and Liturgical Movements to the present. It compares the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and Enriching Our Worship with the 2006 Book of Common Worship of the Church of South India, and the Divine Liturgy of the Mar Thoma Church, which is in communion with the Anglican Church. Bryan D. Spinks

Christian Ethics

REL 615a, Introduction to Christian Ethics I: Perennial Positions This course is the first of two that together are intended to establish a foundation for the academic study of Christian ethics. It investigates classical Christian conceptions of the possibility, theory, and purposes of Christian ethics. Authors include Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard, Adams, Barth, Butler, Macquarrie, Yoder, Augustine, Thomas, Luther, Calvin, and Gustafson. The class aims to examine enduring Christian understandings of the relationship of religion to ethics, the nature of moral obligation, and the goals that constitute the good life. The class also seeks to present and cultivate facility with fundamental ethical concepts, and thereby to provide a systematic framework to aid analysis of and contribution to Christian ethical thought. Frederick V. Simmons

REL 615b, Introduction to Christian Ethics II: Contemporary Trajectories This course is the second of two that together are intended to establish a foundation for the academic study of Christian ethics. It explores prominent contemporary Christian approaches to society and human emancipation before examining three areas of notable creativity in current Christian ethics—virtue theory, evangelical ethics, and engagements with the modern life sciences. Authors include Rauschenbusch, Pope Leo XIII, the Second Vatican Council, the World Synod of Catholic Bishops, Reinhold Niebuhr, Hauerwas, Harrison, Moreno, Cone, Cannon, Kotva, Sider, and Pope. Frederick V. Simmons

REL 642a, Virtue and Christian Ethics Virtue ethics today is an important site for reflection on intention and human acts, exemplarity and tradition, emotion and reason, flourishing and happiness. Within theological ethics, the retrieval of virtue has led to an emphasis on the formation of Christian character in relation to scripture, worship, and other practices, the exemplarity of Christ and the saints, and tradition more broadly. Yet many questions remain. Is virtue ethics inherently conservative? Do we really have reliable dispositions? Did Christian ethics succeed in “baptizing” pagan virtue? Authors include Thomas Aquinas, Julia Annas, Jean Porter, Robert M. Adams, Rosalind Hursthouse, Alasdair MacIntyre, Stanley Hauerwas, and others. Jennifer A. Herdt

REL 647a, Contemporary Cosmology and Christian Ethics This seminar examines changing conceptions of the place and purpose of human beings in the cosmos, and explores what these changes may mean for Christian ethics. Beginning with nineteenth-century German appraisals of the theological significance of the Copernican revolution, we turn to twentieth-century American Reformed thinkers’ retrievals, rejections, and revisions of Christian ethics in light of the new cosmology and biology. We then examine a recent venture in Christian evolutionary theology and environmental ethics, and conclude by considering competing Christian ecofeminist treatments of these themes. Authors include Schleiermacher, Troeltsch, H. Richard Niebuhr, James Gustafson, Edward Farley, Christopher Southgate, Sallie McFague, Rosemary Ruether, and Lisa Sideris. Frederick V. Simmons

REL 671b, The Ethics of Saint Augustine This course investigates central facets of Augustine’s ethical thought, examining both the theological framework that grounds and guides it, and the Christian normative commitments that suffuse it. The seminar is organized thematically, relies exclusively upon Augustine’s writings, and ranges extensively throughout his corpus. Frederick V. Simmons

REL 681b, Imago Dei, Dignity, and Human Rights An examination of contemporary arguments over human rights and human dignity in political theory and bioethics, against the backdrop of traditional understandings of the imago dei in terms of the structure of the human person, right relationship with God, or as task confronting human agency. Contemporary authors include Ronald Dworkin, Stanley Grenz, David Kelsey, Timothy Jackson, Gilbert Meilaender, Joan Lockwood O’Donovan, Michael Perry, Richard Rorty, Jeremy Waldron, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Jennifer A. Herdt

Liturgical Studies

REL 604a, Ritual Theory for Liturgical Studies This course is an introduction to the study of ritual as a universal phenomenon and a critical element of Christian worship and celebration. We read foundational thinkers in ritual theory (including Victor Turner, Ronald Grimes, and Catherine Bell) with an eye toward pastoral application and practice. Students engage in site visits in order to analyze ritual components of faith communities as well as learn to examine the practices of their own congregations. Melanie C. Ross

REL 669b, Women in the Byzantine Liturgical Tradition This course is dedicated to the place of women within the Byzantine liturgical tradition. It addresses liturgical issues that particularly affect the lives of women, such as ritual purity, birth, and the churching of mother and child, and purification prayers for miscarriage/abortion. It also examines the existence but disappearance of the female diaconate, in addition to other liturgical roles of women in the past and today. Particular emphasis is placed on critically analyzing liturgical texts and situating them within their historical context and contemporary Orthodox theological reflection. Nina Glibeti´c

REL 675a, Baptism and Eucharist in Ecumenical Dialogue This course engages students in recent conversations around the theology and practice of baptism and eucharist. Beginning with the 1982 World Council of Churches document Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, we read texts that have emerged from ecumenical sacramental dialogues in the past three decades and discuss major issues such as mutual recognition of baptism, patterns of Christian initiation, who may administer the sacraments, and open communion. Melanie C. Ross

REL 682a, Foundations of Christian Worship The core course in Liturgical Studies. The course focuses on theological and historical approaches to the study of Christian worship, while also giving appropriate attention to pastoral, cultural, and contemporary issues. The first part of the course seeks to familiarize students with the basic elements of communal, public prayer in the Christian tradition (such as its roots in Hebrew Scripture, its Trinitarian basis and direction, its ways of figuring time and space, its use of language, scripture, music, the arts, etc.). The second part of the course provides an outline of historical developments, from biblical roots to the present. In addition, select class sessions focus on important questions such as the relationship between gendered lives and liturgical celebration, and between liturgy and ethical commitments such as earthcare. This gateway course to the Program in Liturgical Studies should be taken prior to other liturgy courses offered at Yale. The course is especially recommended for all students preparing for ordination and/or other responsibilities in worship leadership; it is also an essential course for all students interested in graduate work in liturgical studies. Teresa Berger, Bryan D. Spinks

REL 690a, Liturgical Theology This seminar proposes for scholarly inquiry key texts and themes in theological reflections on Christian worship. Such reflections on worship are as old as the Scriptures—e.g., John 4:24, Rom 8:26f—and even older, in that theological reflections are embedded in liturgical practices themselves, some of which lie behind the formation of the biblical texts. This seminar does not, however, span two thousand years of theological reflections on Christian worship, but focuses instead on twentieth-century texts and themes as these coalesce into a subfield in liturgical studies, often termed “liturgical theology.” Teresa Berger

Denominational Courses

REL 3792a, REL 3793a, and REL 3794b, Colloquium on Ministry Formation/Anglican This yearlong colloquium series focuses on the theme of leadership formation. In the fall term, first-year students examine the complex array of skills and intelligences required to develop “the pastoral imagination,” and third-year students engage in a workshop on liturgical celebration (second-year students do not take a colloquium in the fall). In the spring term, all three classes meet together for a revolving series on the theory and practice of leadership; organizational behavior; and leading change. These one-half credit colloquia are required of all Berkeley Divinity School students wishing to qualify for the Diploma in Anglican Studies. Joseph H. Britton

REL 3795, Colloquium on Ministry Formation/Lutheran The one-half credit Lutheran Colloquium is offered each fall and spring term. The fall colloquium is intended for Lutheran students entering Yale Divinity School. It focuses on issues relating to call, vocation, ministry, and ordination. It is intended to help incoming students discern the sort of ministry to which they might be called. In the spring the colloquium focuses on the practice of ministry in the Lutheran tradition. Topics vary from year to year, reflecting the interests and expertise of the visiting professor leading the colloquium. Its primary focus is on students considering ordination in the ELCA, but it is open to all.

REL 608b, Reformed Worship This course introduces students to the history, theology, and liturgical practices of Reformed worship. Through readings, lectures, class discussions, and actual practice designing and leading worship, students gain familiarity with the ethos and characteristics of Reformed worship; Reformed theologies of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; the historical development, ordering, and function of elements within the Lord’s Day service; weddings, funerals, and other occasional services; and some of the contemporary debates regarding Reformed worship practice. This course has been especially designed for students who are in the Reformed Studies Certificate Program or who are considering ordination in one of the Reformed denominations (Presbyterian, DOC, UCC). Other students may take it with permission of the instructors. Melanie C. Ross, Leonora Tubbs Tisdale

REL 625a, Theological Themes in the Reformed Creeds and Confessions This seminar is a study of representative creeds and confessions produced by churches in the Reformed tradition in a broad range of historical and cultural periods from the 1520s to the 1960s. David H. Kelsey

REL 691, Ecclesiology, Ministry, and Polity Lectures on comparative ecclesiology, doctrines of the ministry, and patterns of church polity in Western Christianity. Sections are arranged to enable students to study the history, doctrine, worship, and polity of their own denominations: Baptist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist. (Sections on A.M.E. Zion, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United Methodist polities are offered in alternate years.)

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Area III: Historical Studies

The intent of Historical Studies is to foster and demand serious consideration by students of the essential historical substance of Christian faith and tradition. Two aspects of inquiry merge in this area of the curriculum: (1) the development of analytic capacities for the understanding of religious thought and practice in their cultural context, and (2) special studies in the cultural context itself that are deemed essential to competent ministry. Work in this area includes social and cultural analysis often focusing on issues that arise at the intersection of established disciplines. Area III thus includes subjects falling outside the domain of explicitly Christian thought.

REL 700a, Transitional Moments in Western Christian History I This course introduces students to the historical study of Christianity by focusing on key moments from the emergence of the first churches to the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Themes include the formation of the canon, martyrdom, early Christian society, monasticism, the crusades, heresy, Luther’s protest, religious wars, and Catholic renewal. In lectures and sections, students examine a range of written and visual materials to discern patterns and diversities of religious experience.

REL 700b, Transitional Moments in Western Christian History II: American Religious History This course introduces students to the historical study of religion in the United States by examining key topics and episodes from the colonial period to the present. Offered as the second half of a two-part series in the history of Western Christianity, the course focuses on the United States as the context in which most Yale Divinity School students will do their work. The moments addressed in the course do not represent an exhaustive history of religion (or even of Christianity) in America, but they do provide a meaningful introduction to significant issues in that history and to the historical methods used to interpret them. Tisa J. Wenger

REL 704b, Religion “Beyond the Veil”: Approaches to the Study of Black Religion in the United States This course explores how scholars have constructed and pursued the modern study of black religion in the United States from its inception in the early decades of the twentieth century, through its institutionalization in the academy after the civil rights movement, and its continued evolution in contemporary times. The course focuses especially on pioneers in the field (e.g., W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Carter Woodson) and considers the rise of competing methodologies for the study of black religious cultures, which range from the historical to the sociological while including at various moments the theological, anthropological, and literary. Special attention is given to the ways in which racial and religious identities have shaped and confounded scholarly efforts to interpret black religious subjects and practices even as these identities have also provided a platform for interrogating the meaning of race, nation, and political commitment in America. Clarence E. Hardy III

REL 705b, Race and Religion in American History This course identifies race as a central problematic in the religious history of the Americas, placing the United States in comparative hemispheric perspective in order to explore the changing and intersecting formations of racial and religious identities. We also explore the ways other categories of analysis—especially class, gender, and nation—both illumine and complicate the relationship of race and religion. Tisa J. Wenger

REL 717b, Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe and America This seminar examines witchcraft and witch-hunting in Europe and America from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century through reading and discussion of primary documents and classic and recent studies in the field including social, cultural, and intellectual history, gender and women’s studies, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and town and environmental studies. Kenneth P. Minkema

REL 719a, Finding Spirituality in Modern America This course explores how the evolution of religious identity, expression, and practice in American Christianity during the twentieth century reflected modern attempts for self-actualization within and just beyond institutional forms of religion. We consider whether and in what ways spirituality can serve as a meaningful category in the study of modern U.S. religious cultures while examining how the language of spirituality has coincided with efforts to define religious experience and reconfigure the character of religious community in modern America. Clarence E. Hardy III

REL 734b, Reformation Europe This course covers European Christianity in a traumatic age. Moving from the fall of Constantinople (1453) to the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1648), it focuses on a series of religious revolutions that shattered the unity of the Church. In lectures and sections, the course explores the causes and nature of the reformations that changed the religious, political, and social landscapes of early modern Europe and shaped the emergence of the modern world. Students read primary sources to consider core questions of theology, popular religion, churches and political authority, persecution, visual and print culture, and the rise of skepticism and toleration. Bruce Gordon

REL 738a, Jonathan Edwards and American Puritanism This course is designed to offer students an opportunity for intensive reading in, and reflection upon, some of the writings of the American Puritans, or those in the Puritan tradition, as represented primarily by Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards. Harry S. Stout, Kenneth P. Minkema

REL 740b, Martin King, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement With special emphasis on the speeches and public work of Martin King, this course considers how black religious culture, practices, and institutions helped to shape the black freedom movement of the 1950s and ’60s. We explore other figures, including Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, and consider how they shaped and challenged the role of Afro-Protestant culture in determining the moral language and political strategies associated with the civil rights movement. Throughout the course we also consider how the civil rights movement has been interpreted and how artists, activists, historians, and theologians have made use of this past in service of their own political, religious, and ideological aims. Clarence E. Hardy III

REL 741a, James Baldwin as Religious Writer and Social Critic James Baldwin’s exile from his country and his Pentecostal heritage granted him a perspective that shaped and animated his social criticism and his literary art. We consider the nature of this twin exile, Baldwin’s exploration of African American life, and how these elements shaped his understanding of religion, sex, country, and world. Clarence E. Hardy III

REL 763a, Primary Readings in American Christianity, 1870–1940 The United States changed dramatically in the decades between the Civil War and the Second World War. Reconstruction, unprecedented levels of immigration, westward expansion, Manifest Destiny and the age of imperialism, Progressive-era social reform, the growth of scientific and popular racism, World War I, the Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression all left indelible marks on American cultural and religious life. What role did Christianity play in these historical developments, and how were Christian traditions transformed in the process? This seminar addresses these questions with a focus on selected primary sources, written by men and women representing a wide range of Christian traditions, regions, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Tisa J. Wenger

HIST 387a, West African Islam Lamin Sanneh

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Area IV: Ministerial Studies

The biblical and theological heritage of Christianity finds focus in engagement with persons and structures of the church and culture. The revelations of the Bible and theology, by their very nature, require ever-renewed lodging and expression in the ongoing life of both the church and the world. The church and the world, by their natures, require ever-renewed rooting and direction in the Christian heritage. It is a lifetime vocation to learn to discern and guide the processes of this reciprocal engagement. Area IV aspires to find guidelines and impetus for this vocation. All courses in Area IV presuppose some personal experience with the occasions of ministry. Although some Area IV courses have no prerequisites and are appropriate for entering students, students normally will wait until their second year to begin their preaching courses.

Pastoral Theology and Care

REL 807a, Introduction to Pastoral Theology and Care This course is designed to introduce the student to foundational theories and strategies of pastoral care. We explore theological, psychological, and ethical resources that together can act as a particular kind of “lens” to help pastoral caregivers discern the issues at hand in the pastor encounter. Particular attention is also paid to cultural and communal contexts and consequent strategies of care. The student develops skills in the art of pastoral care through a rigorous method of practice in the form of role-play and reflection enhanced by the foundational theories mentioned above. We spend significant time exploring specific issues and strategies commonly faced by pastors. The course presupposes that the task of pastoral care is primarily a theological one. Further, the focus of this course locates the primary context of pastoral care in the parish but not exclusively as the task of ordained clergy. M. Jan Holton

REL 807b, Introduction to Pastoral Theology and Care This course familiarizes students with the pastoral-theological literature that advances a “communal contextual” model of care. This model stresses the importance of becoming aware of sociocultural contexts of care, especially as related to race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and disability. This model also stresses caring for and with people in congregations and communities. The course is designed to foster skilled listening, communicating, caring, and teaching in diverse communities of care. Participants are introduced to the joy and privilege of pastoral caregiving and taught to develop a practice of theological reflection, self-care, and ethical accountability. Teaching methods include lectures, discussion, film, case studies, student-led teaching events, small-group work, and role-plays. Mary Clark Moschella

REL 821b, Planning and Presiding at Worship Following on from Foundations I, this second part of Foundations of Christian Worship explores practical ways to write, compile, perform, and engage in liturgical practice. It includes the following areas: use of the worship space; how to use published resources; connecting liturgical practice with pastoral theology; use of the voice and body language in liturgical performance; incorporating visuals and music into the liturgical year and occasional services; understanding denominational liturgical needs; planning, writing, and executing contemporary liturgy. Bryan D. Spinks

REL 824a, Ministry and the Disinherited There is a serious and vigorous public debate about the influence of religious values upon us as a society and our social responsibilities, particularly to those who are most vulnerable and in need of support. The aim of this course is for each student to theologically reflect and discern, from an interdisciplinary approach, who are the disinherited. It explores aspects of the Christian religious dimensions in social and political reform movements, faith-based social services and the influence of religious values on individual behavior, and ideas about the role of the church and government in meeting human needs. Students are expected to demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to the study of their topic and articulate a theological understanding of ministry and the disinherited and what might constitute a ministry that addresses the needs of these groups. Topics the course has addressed in the past, through the interests and research of the students, include poverty, privilege, HIV and AIDS, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and racial discrimination and health disparities, hunger, immigration, homelessness, public education, and the welfare of children. Frederick J. Streets

REL 826b, Pastoral Practice and Care in Response to Addiction This course explores the theological and psychological roots of addiction and recovery in the context of pastoral care. It examines strategies for pastors and communities of faith as they care for addicts, their partners/spouses, and families. Specifically, this course focuses on the disease model of addiction while also grappling with the theological questions of sin and grace. It also explores the twelve-step treatment model. Participants examine the theological and/or psychological themes of shame, guilt, and forgiveness experienced in the process of addiction and recovery while also tending to the cultural and systemic factors that contribute to the process of addiction. M. Jan Holton

REL 829b, Pastoral Leadership and Church Administration The course explores the intersection of leadership/management and the pastoral role, with a focus on the practical aspects of ministry as shaped by denominational and congregational characteristics. Based on their own theological reflection, students explore approaches to various tasks of leadership and administration: planning and visioning, boards and committees, budgets, buildings and property, stewardship, time management, legal issues, church conflict, personnel management. Drawing on a variety of resources, including readings, case studies, personal experiences, and shared discussion, the course is intended to help students develop or refine their own concepts of leadership and administration to be applied in their future parishes. Martha C. Highsmith

REL 876b, Psychopathology and Pastoral Care This course brings together current medical expertise in psychopathology and substance abuse with pastoral theology and care practices. The basics of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) are introduced, including the history, etiology, epidemiology, symptoms, and treatments for the major psychiatric illnesses. Films and memoirs are studied to convey an experiential understanding of the symptoms and suffering involved. We engage in pastoral theological reflection and learn practices of care for persons and families afflicted with these conditions. Mary Clark Moschella, Robin Masheb

REL 877a, Body and Soul: Ministry for Sexuality and Justice The course provides a solid foundation in sexuality-related issues and ministry skills for clergy and religious professionals. The course begins with an assessment of personal sexual history and values as a baseline for addressing a broad range of sexuality issues as they arise in the context of ministry, including understandings of sexuality and scripture, church history, and denominational policies that serve as sources for Christian sexual ethics and teachings. The pedagogy of the course offers opportunities for the development of skills to provide sexuality-related education, counseling, preaching, and witnessing on justice issues in one’s faith community. Kate M. Ott

REL 881b, Pastoral Theology and Practice in Communities of Displacement This course investigates the role of pastoral theology and care in the national and global context of displacement. How we understand notions of home, displacement (the loss of, the fleeing or forced removal from, a place called “home”), and the deep wounds that are a part of the social, political, and physical realities of losing home frame the contents of this course. On a global level we explore displacement through war, immigration, and human trafficking. Closer to home we investigate homelessness and natural disaster. Through the use of case studies this course moves through the larger framework for understanding displacement to the personal voices of those who suffer in its grip. In doing so, we examine the psychosocial themes that often parallel the circumstances of displacement—including trauma, poverty, communal grief, and shame—while also strategizing about effective pastoral care practices. Throughout this course we work toward a theology of home and explore the obligation of the community of faith to respond with a particular form of radical hospitality. M. Jan Holton

REL 883a, Death, Dying, and Bereavement This course is intended to equip those who plan to enter pastoral ministry—including pastors, chaplains, and pastoral counselors (but will benefit those in a variety of vocations)—with an understanding of the theological and psychological responses to death, dying, loss, and grief. In particular we explore the physical process of dying; human response to various types of loss; the grief process; and pastoral care strategies for care with the bereaved (including ministry to the dying, visitation, elements of grief care, and rituals surrounding death). This course examines pastoral care that embraces ways of living creatively in response to death and grief; locates the sacred in the journey of death and grief; and embraces the concept of hope, particularly the transition of hope. The course includes lectures, student presentations, and discussion of assigned readings. M. Jan Holton

Preaching Ministry

REL 812a, Principles and Practice of Preaching This is the required introductory course in the theology, history, and practice of preaching. It is a prerequisite for upper-level homiletics courses. Special attention is given to biblical exposition, the congregational context, the appropriate use of experience, the development of a homiletical imagination, and engaging all the preacher’s gifts for communication. The course includes plenary presentations and small group preaching sections for which students prepare and deliver sermons. Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Thomas H. Troeger

REL 827b, Multicultural Perspectives on Preaching This course is designed to acquaint students with a diversity of multicultural perspectives on preaching. By looking at preaching through a variety of cultural lenses, students are challenged to: (a) acknowledge and name their own cultural perspectives and biases in preaching, (b) compare and contrast their assumptions about preaching with those of scholars and preachers from other cultural contexts, (c) rethink possibilities for expanding and stretching their own preaching horizons in dialogue with the homiletical theory and preaching practices of other cultures, and (d) consider how they might more effectively preach in a multicultural and pluralistic society and world. Leonora Tubbs Tisdale

Educational Ministry

REL 811a, Models and Methods of College and University Chaplaincy This course explores various approaches to college and university chaplaincy found in the United States in the twenty-first century. Drawing on a historical framework for the role of chaplaincy in the college setting from the middle of the twentieth century—when secularism became a heavier influence—and exploring the issues that confront the vocation in a pluralistic twenty-first century, the course provides an overview of strategies needed to offer a creative, current, and engaging chaplaincy in higher education. Through a series of lectures, open discussions, site visits, short chaplaincy narratives, and guest speakers, the class encounters numerous perspectives and approaches to ministry in higher education. Sharon M. K. Kugler

REL 814b, Teaching the Bible in the Congregation This course is designed to explore various resources, teaching approaches, and practical applications that will equip persons to teach the Bible in the local church. Attention is given to the task of teaching, preparing to teach through analysis and interpretation of the biblical text, engaging teaching and learning styles in the classroom, teaching the Bible to various age levels, evaluating and selecting Bible study programs and curriculum resources, using creative approaches to teaching the Bible, and equipping church members to engage the text in a way that is meaningful and transformative in their lives. Yolanda Smith

REL 848b, Leadership Ministry in Schools This course seeks to prepare students of all denominations for leadership positions in schools: school heads, administrators, chaplains, teachers of religion, and counselors. It begins with a consideration of “where young people are” today. Teaching about religion in secular schools—public and private—is briefly considered. Then the course turns its attention to schools with some sort of religious orientation. After studying the heritage and tradition of such schools, we consider the issues involved in leading them today. The roles of school head, chaplain (lay or ordained), and the religion teacher are considered. The difficulties and delights of educational ministry and leadership are identified and discussed. Many aspects of school life are explored, including the pedagogical, pastoral, and liturgical. Naturally, issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality are raised by readings, case studies, role-plays, simulations, and visiting practitioners. Through required field trips, the course considers the problems and opportunities involved in inner-city schools and parish day schools. F. Washington Jarvis

REL 875a, Advanced Topics in Leadership Ministry in Schools and Colleges Yale is the first divinity school to offer courses in school and college ministries at the master’s level. The academic field is, in many ways, an “emerging” one. This seminar is designed to allow students to pursue—in depth—themes raised in the introductory courses. Topics considered depend to some degree on student interest but normally include most of the following: the history of religious study and formation in schools; analysis of “where students are” today; the variety of religious schools (i.e., schools with some religious affiliation or orientation) with a variety of purposes; built-in institutional problems in religious schools; inner-city religious schools; the varieties of worship in religious schools; religious curriculum in schools; the varieties and models of college and university ministries. Issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality normally arise in connection with most of these topics and with the case studies undertaken. F. Washington Jarvis

Spirituality and Ministry

REL 835a, Meditation: East and West The seminar, just as easily named “Christian Contemplative Practice,” explores in a practical and theoretical manner the Christian tradition’s rich heritage of prayer complemented by selected meditation practices from Eastern religions. A unit on Buddhism within its own worldview is also included. The purpose of the course is to provide an understanding of classical and contemporary treatments of Christian prayer, as well as guided experiments with a variety of prayer modes for those who wish to enrich their own prayer lives or who are engaged in teaching prayer or facilitating the prayer of others in ministry. Janet K. Ruffing

REL 837a, Discernment of Spirits through Selected Mystics This course explores the Western Christian tradition of discernment of spirits through reading key historical texts. It includes an overview of the scriptural texts on discernment and primarily focuses on texts from the fourteenth century through the sixteenth century. The figures studied are the anonymous writer of The Cloud of Unknowing, Catherine of Siena, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and Jonathan Edwards. Janet K. Ruffing

REL 840b, Contemporary Christian Spirituality This course critically reflects on developments in Christian spirituality in the past forty-five years: the vocations and role of laity, feminism, the development of the social teaching of the churches, the new cosmology, the rise of postmodernism, new understandings of spiritual practices, and multiculturalism. It provides a theoretical framework for developing one’s own spirituality in the light of these developments and an understanding of practices that support spiritual growth. Topics include definitions of spirituality, asceticism, vocational choices and commitments (including lifestyle, ministry, and work), Christian discipleship, prayer/meditation, compassion and solidarity, and sexuality and spirituality. Janet K. Ruffing

REL 847b, Ignatius of Loyola and His Spiritual Exercises This course explores the life and times of Ignatius, the major influences on his spiritual life, and accounts of his personal experience that grounded his development of the Spiritual Exercises—a very powerful set of practices or “experiments” with various forms of prayer that enable the person making them to experience the Trinitarian God as a God desiring to offer each person abundant graces in the context of an intimate relationship with God in a life of service. The prayer processes focus on praying with texts from the Scriptures related to the themes of the various movements in the Spiritual Exercises. In the course of the term, students learn a variety of reflective practices and make two four-week “retreats” based on Michael Hanson’s The First Spiritual Exercises, a retrieval of Ignatius’s work with people seeking to grow in their spiritual lives while continuing to be immersed in their normal daily activities. Janet K. Ruffing

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Area V: Comparative and Cultural Studies

Courses in this area are grouped as follows: Comparative Studies: The exploration of non-Christian traditions with special emphasis upon comparative religious questions. Philosophy of Religion: The study of conceptual issues that bear upon method in theology and ethics, the philosophical clarification of religious concepts and categories, and the examination of philosophical worldviews that are alternatives to traditional Christian perspectives. Religion and the Arts: Studies concerning the nature of human imagination in visual, literary, and musical forms that have shaped the religious life and its cultural expression, both within and outside the Christian church. The inquiry is normally undertaken within the context of ministry. Study of Society: The employment of normative and social-scientific tools to comprehend and bring under ethical and theological scrutiny societal institutions (including religious ones) and ideational patterns.

Comparative Studies

REL 903b, Religion, Ecology, and Cosmology This course involves an exploration of several of the world’s religions within the horizon of interdependent life and the cosmos. In particular, it investigates the symbolic and lived expressions of this interconnection in diverse religious texts, ethics, and practices arising from relations of humans with the universe and the Earth community. The course also draws on the narratives of science for an understanding of the dynamic processes of the universe, Earth, life, and ecosystems. John A. Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker

REL 914a, Christian-Muslim Dialogue and Understanding Lamin Sanneh

REL 918a, American Indian Religions and Ecology This course studies selected Native American religions drawing on several approaches, namely, environmental history, religion and ecology, anthropology, geography, and religious studies. We open with critical inquiry about the use of such terms as religion, ritual, symbol, and sacred, and the use of such referents as American Indian and Native American. Course texts are used to guide an examination of prominent Native American peoples and such rituals as the Plains Sun Dance, the Columbia River Plateau Winter Dance, and rituals of the Southwest Pueblos and Dineh Peoples. The course investigates relationships evident in these complex ceremonials between identity and place, self and society, (religious) ecology and cosmology, narrative and therapy. Throughout the course we explore regional historical questions drawing on native scholarly perspectives, where available, regarding American Indian religions and the impact of the West. We examine the historical ramifications on American Indian religions through the periods of: (1) contact and encounter, (2) population decline, (3) resistance and assimilation, and (4) reinvention and recovery. We conclude with considerations of decolonization efforts as contemporary native practitioners recover and reconstruct traditions. John A. Grim

REL 940b, Chinese Christian Theologians This course examines select readings from mainland Chinese church and academic theologians (including post-1997 Hong Kong writers) to explore the nature of Chinese Christian thought. The readings come from four eras: late imperial Roman Catholic writers, early Republican Protestant thinkers, high communist-era church theologians, and contemporary Sino-Christian academic theologians. We read primary materials in English, supplemented by background studies and lecture material to help make sense of the theological constructions that emerge. The course encourages reflection on the challenges for Christian mission in a communist context, on the tensions between church and state in the production of theologies, and on the challenges that Chinese Christianity poses for global Christian thought. Chloë F. Starr

REL 957a, South East Asian Christianities In this course we study a range of texts from across South and Southeast Asia, from Burma to Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan. The course is thematic and deliberately presents a range of methodologies and approaches, from anthropological to sociological and theological. Through individual case studies we zoom in on particular aspects of lived Christian life in different countries and people groups in Asia—such as inter-religious tension, tribal conversion, feminist or Dalit voices—and use these to ask wider questions of global Christian experience and theology. Chloë F. Starr

Philosophy of Religion

REL 929a, Theology of Plato and Aristotle This course reads the most important theological texts of Plato and Aristotle. For those able to read Greek, a Greek reading section is available. John E. Hare

REL 988a, Religion, Power, and the Self Political resistance and practices of freedom are recurrent themes in contemporary discussions on the nature of the human person. How are selves formed in relation to, or as products of, power relations? If the self can be meaningfully thought of as an “effect” of power, how are we to imagine human agency and forms of political resistance? Religion exemplifies this paradox; it often plays a significant role as a site in which alternative ways of life, in relation to a dominant political order, may be envisioned, but religion also serves as a site of subjugation in its regulation of the self’s possibilities. This seminar critically explores these questions through a sustained engagement with the work of Michel Foucault, which is subsequently put in conversation with other thinkers and historical examples. In addition to Foucault, readings include texts from Pierre Hadot, Arnold Davidson, Simone Weil, Frantz Fanon, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Saba Mahmood. Daniel Joseph Schultz

Religion and the Arts

REL 901a, Critical Moments in the History of Christian Art This course examines art associated with, or related to, Christianity from its origins to the twenty-first century. Analyzing major artistic monuments and movements in a variety of regions, the course pays particular attention to how art shapes and is shaped by the social and historical circumstances of the period and culture. The course aims to familiarize students with key monuments of Christian architecture, sculpture, painting, and related arts, examining each within its own particular sociocultural perspective. Vasileios Marinis

REL 920a, Writing About Religion A course in the history and practice of journalism and other popular nonfiction about religion. We read articles and books that have appeared for a nonspecialized, often secular audience, and consider how they succeed or fail. Sources include The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other mainstream magazines. The course aims to give students a perspective on how the popular press has created the secular encounter with religion, and to prepare religious professionals to (a) think critically about their own faiths’ presentations in the written media, and (b) write well for an irreligious audience—that is, to explain themselves to people who may be skeptics. Mark Oppenheimer

REL 933a, Poetry and Faith This course is designed to look at issues of faith through the lens of poetry. With some notable exceptions, we concentrate on modern poetry—that is, poetry written between 1850 and 2013. Inevitably we also look at poetry through the lens of faith, but a working assumption of the course is that a poem is, for a reader (it’s more complicated for a writer), art first and faith second. You may want to challenge this assumption. The entire course may end up being a challenge to this assumption. “Faith” in this course generally means Christianity, and that is the primary context for reading the poems. But we also engage with poems from other faith traditions, as well as with poems that are wholly secular and even adamantly antireligious. Christian Wiman

REL 935b, Religious Lyric in Britain Survey of the religious lyric in Britain from the seventeenth century to Michael Symmons Roberts (b. 1963). Others poets include Donne, Herbert, Vaughan, Hopkins, Hardy, Larkin, Stevie Smith, Wilfred Owen, David Gascoyne, and R. S. Thomas. Working within a British framework, and moving chronologically, we trace a literary tradition that has a certain cultural and religious (i.e., Christian) coherence. By choosing lyric poetry we look at short, nonnarrative, often emotive work (Wordsworth, “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”) that stresses the speaker’s personal thoughts or feelings. Whereas secular lyric typically concentrates on human love, with all its ebb and flow, the religious lyric is concerned with the divine-human relationship—its presence and/or its absence. Our study mixes close textual analysis with attention to larger theological issues. Peter S. Hawkins

REL 944a, Religious Themes in Contemporary Short Fiction Readings in the contemporary short story from Flannery O’Connor to the present, with an interest both in the genre and in the various ways in which theological concerns of Christians and Jews are represented. Some of the authors included are Updike, Cheever, Tobias Wolff, Raymond Carver, Allegra Goodman, Nathan Englander, Erin McGraw, Kristin Valdez Quaid, and Jeffrey Eugenides. Peter S. Hawkins

REL 952a, Christian Pilgrimage: Narratives, Materialities, Rituals This interdisciplinary seminar explores the phenomenon of Christian pilgrimage in the Late Antique and Medieval periods. We focus on three key aspects: travel narratives recorded by pilgrims during or after their journey; rituals, whether prescribed by the church authorities who controlled the sacred sites or those pertaining to private, individual devotions; and the material contexts of pilgrimage, such as art and architecture, at once permanent (in the case of buildings) and ephemeral (e.g., pilgrims’ tokens). Two field trips, to Ground Zero in Manhattan and to the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C., are an integral part of this course. Vasileios Marinis

REL 954b, Mary in the Middle Ages During the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, Mary, mother of Christ, acquired several powerful, multifaceted identities: protector, intercessor, mediator, Theotokos (“God-bearer”), Queen of Heaven, unsurpassed model for both mothers and virgins. Throughout Europe the cult of Mary inspired a torrent of liturgical feasts, songs and motets, buildings and artifacts. The course explores the intimate interconnections among the music, texts, and materialities of the Virgin’s cult in Byzantine and Western Christianity. In a dialogue between music history and art history, students have the opportunity to study the cultural artifacts of their own discipline and to understand them in the context of their religious and cultural environment. Markus Rathey, Vasileios Marinis

REL 968b, The Passion of Christ in Literature and Visual Art The course surveys the Passion of Christ as it has been told in text, art, drama, and film. It is organized chronologically but develops certain recurring themes and issues, e.g., the mystery of Christ’s person, the blame for his death, the place of suffering in the Christian story, and the many ways the Passion has been imagined, exploited and appropriated. Peter S. Hawkins, Vasileios Marinis

Study of Society

REL 905a, Resources for the Study of Religion Designed to help the student develop skills for identifying, retrieving, and evaluating the literature or information required for research in religious studies and/or the practice of ministry. Information about the form, function, content, and organization of specific bibliographic and reference sources in religious studies and related disciplines (with an emphasis on the Christian tradition) is set in the broader context of the history of scholarship, publishing, and libraries. Suzanne Estelle-Holmer, Paul F. Stuehrenberg

REL 943a, Religion, Empowerment, and the Role of Women in Nationalist Movements in the Middle East and North Africa Nationalism forms the basis of the oldest and most popular narrative used to analyze the relationship between gender, modernization, and the state in the Middle East over time. The course examines and analyzes the intersections of gender, power, and religion in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, and other countries through a comparative approach that considers each in its own cultural, religious, and sociopolitical context. The course explores as well the current nationalist uprising in the Middle East region and the role of gender in the call of political reforms. Analysis of the conceptualization of “feminism in Islam” can elaborate the differences between the concepts and objectives involved in the nationalist liberation women’s movements in Middle East societies and the feminist movements of the West. Sallama Shaker

REL 974a, What is “Good” about “The Good News”? Theories and Practices of Evangelism This course provides a roundtable exploration of practices and outcomes of evangelism across a range of cultural contexts and ecclesiastical orientations, with special attention to contemporary Christian perceptions of the what, the why, the how, the whether, and the so what of evangelism. J. Nelson Jennings

REL 984a, Religion, Middle East Politics, Conflict Resolution The course is designed to acquaint students with the nuances of the Middle East and North Africa and how Islam plays an overarching role in the region. While teaching the skills of conflict resolution, the course, which is designed as a seminar, focuses on the relationship between the changes in the political systems in the Middle East region and Maghreb countries and the origin of popular support for Islamic movements in some of these countries. It explores the complex nature of many political problems in the region by examining case studies such as the Sunni-Shiite strife, in which religion, struggle over land, and political communal differences have caused human tragedies and inflicted wars. Case studies such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iranian nuclear case, and the Syrian case and the power struggle between Islamists and liberals are explored to envision possible resolutions. Sallama Shaker

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Additional Courses Offered

Area I

  • Advanced Hebrew Poetry: Job
  • Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions
  • Apocalypticism: Ancient and Modern
  • Approaches to Old Testament Ethics
  • Biblical Theology: Walter Brueggemann and His Critics
  • The Book of Ben Sira
  • Character and Community in the Biblical Short Story: Jonah, Ruth, Esther
  • The Composition of the Pentateuch
  • Corinthian Correspondence
  • Crafting Early Christian Identities
  • English Exegesis: Amos and Hosea
  • English Exegesis: Philippians
  • English Exegesis: Revelation
  • English Exegesis: Romans
  • English Exegesis of Matthew
  • Feminist Interpretation: A Narratological Approach to 1 and 2 Samuel
  • Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures
  • Gender in Early Christianity
  • Gender, Sex, and Power in the Books of Ruth and Esther
  • Gospel of John and Parting of Ways
  • Greek Exegesis: Acts of the Apostles
  • Greek Exegesis: Galatians
  • Greek Exegesis: Luke
  • Greek Exegesis: Mark
  • Greek Exegesis: Matthew
  • Greek Exegesis: Romans
  • Greek Exegesis: 2nd Peter and Jude
  • Hebrew Bible Seminar: Problems in the Book of Deuteronomy
  • Hebrew Bible Seminar: Problems in the Book of Isaiah
  • Hebrew Bible Seminar: Problems in the Book of Kings
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Book of Judges
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Genesis
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Jeremiah
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Korahite Psalms
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Leviticus
  • Hebrew Exegesis: Psalms
  • Hebrew Exegesis: The Book of Micah
  • Hebrew Exegesis, Genesis: Women
  • Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews
  • Hellenistic Jewish Literature
  • Historical Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
  • Historical Jesus
  • History and Methods of Old Testament Scholarship I
  • History and Methods of the Discipline of New Testament Studies
  • History of Biblical Interpretation
  • History of First-Century Palestine
  • Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible
  • Jesus’ Death as a Saving Event
  • Judaism in the Persian Period
  • Literary Criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures
  • Living with Difficult Texts
  • Martyrs and Martyrdom
  • The Messiah: The Development of a Biblical Idea
  • New Testament Apocrypha
  • Patristic Greek
  • Paul and the Spirit
  • Prophecy in a Time of Crisis
  • Readings in Hellenistic Judaism
  • The Rise of Monotheism in Ancient Israel
  • Scripture and Social Ethics
  • The Sectarian Movement of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Tradition and Ideology in the Book of Jeremiah

Area II

  • African American Moral and Social Thought
  • African American Religious Strategies
  • Anglican Theology and History I: Great Britain
  • Augustine
  • Black Religion in the Public Square
  • Bonhoeffer and King
  • Catholic Liturgy: Between Dogma and Devotion
  • Christian Ethics and Social Problems
  • Christian Marriage
  • Christian Theology of “Other Religions”
  • Christianity and Social Power
  • Contemporary German Theology
  • Contemporary Theological Anthropology
  • The Conversational Theology of Rowan Williams
  • Credo: Faith Prayed and Sung
  • Cuthbert, Bede, and Their Theological, Musical, and Liturgical Legacy
  • Daily Prayer
  • Desire and the Formation of Faith
  • Environmental Theologies
  • Ethics and Human Nature
  • Eucharistic Prayers and Theology
  • Foundational Texts in African American Theology
  • Gender and Liturgical History
  • God in Modern Thought
  • History of Christian Theology to 451
  • In the Face of Death: Worship, Music, Art
  • Love and Justice
  • Lutheran Ethics in a Comparative Context
  • Medieval Christology and Atonement Theory
  • Metaphors of Evil
  • Music in Medieval Britain
  • Natural Law and Christian Ethics
  • Patristic Christology
  • Patristic Trinitarian Theology
  • Political Theology
  • Practicing Jesus: Christology and the Christian Life
  • Praying What We Believe: Theology and Worship
  • Process Thought
  • Readings in Schleiermacher
  • Reel Presence: Liturgy and Film
  • Seminar in the Theology of Paul Tillich
  • Social Justice: Christian Ethics and Community Engagement
  • Theological Ethics
  • Theology and Ecology
  • Theology of Athanasius
  • Theology of the Lutheran Confessions
  • Theology of Vatican II
  • Virtue and Hypocrisy: Moral Thought
  • Worship and War
  • The Worship Mall

Area III

  • Buxtehude
  • Chinese Protestant Christianity, 1800–2010
  • Christian Spirituality in the Age of Reform
  • Death and the Dead
  • German Reformation, 1517–1555
  • Interpreting Medieval Religion
  • Introduction to Post-Reformation Studies: Sources of Early American History
  • Late Beethoven
  • Methods and Sources of Religious History
  • Music, Liturgy, and Historiography in Medieval England
  • Pietism and the Origins of Evangelicalism
  • Readings in American Christianity, 1870–1940
  • Readings in Reformation History, Calvin, and Calvinism
  • Religion in American Society, 1550–1870
  • Religion in the American West
  • Religions and Societies in Colonized North America
  • Religious Freedom in U.S. History
  • Sacred Music in the Western Christian Tradition
  • Sin, Penance, and Forgiveness in Early Modern Europe

Area IV

  • Advanced Skills for Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals
  • Christian Education in the African American Experience
  • Congregational Song as Resource for Preaching
  • Contextual Preaching
  • Creativity and the Congregation
  • Ethnography for Transformation
  • Family Systems and Pastoral Care
  • Feminist and Womanist Perspectives on Pastoral Theology and Care
  • Introduction to Christian Religious Education
  • John of the Cross
  • Musical Skills and Vocal Development for Parish Ministry
  • Narrative Therapy: Resources for Pastoral Care
  • The New Homiletic: Innovative Methods of Proclamation
  • Professional Seminar: Theory and Practice of Church Music
  • Prophetic Preaching
  • The Roundtable Pulpit
  • Spirituality and Religious Education
  • Spirituality of Presence in the Pulpit
  • Text, Memory, and Performance
  • Theologies of Preaching
  • Wellsprings of Joy in the Ministry and in Life
  • Women Mystics
  • Women’s Ways of Preaching

Area V

  • African Religions
  • American Environmental History and Values
  • American Religious Thought and the Democratic Ideal
  • The Art and Architecture of Conversion and Evangelism
  • Art, Architecture, and Ritual in Early Christianity and the Middle Ages
  • Chinese and Japanese Christian Literature
  • Christian Art and Architecture: Thirteenth–Twenty-First Century
  • Christian Social Ethics
  • Communicative Ethics in a Multicultural Democracy
  • Covenant, Federalism, and Public Ethics
  • Cult of the Saints in Early Christianity and the Middle Ages
  • Dante’s Journey to God
  • David: Sweet Singer of Israel
  • Divine Command Theory
  • Environmental Ethics in Theory and Practice
  • Ethics and Ecology in the Practice of Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ethics and the Economy
  • Faith and Globalization
  • From House Churches to Medieval Cathedrals
  • Gender, Religion, and Globalization: Practices, Texts, and Contexts
  • Genesis: Scripture, Interpretation, Literature
  • Global Ethics
  • Global Ethics and Sustainable Development
  • Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion
  • Indigenous Religions and Ecology
  • Jewish Space
  • Kant’s Philosophy of Religion
  • Kierkegaard’s Philosophy of Religion
  • Late-Medieval English Drama
  • Material Sensations: Sense and Contention in Material Religious Practice
  • Milton
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Political Economy of Misery
  • Psalms in Literature and Music
  • Religion, Globalization, Arab Awakening
  • Religion and Performance of Space
  • Ritual, Hermeneutics, and Performance Art
  • Spiritual Autobiography
  • Theological Aesthetics
  • Visual Controversies
  • Visual Fluencies
  • What’s in a Text?: Charles Long’s Significations
  • What’s in a Text?: Huntington
  • Witnessing, Remembrance, Commemoration
  • Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Religion
  • World Christianity
  • World Religion and Ecology: Asian Religions

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