Previous seminars have included:
CH9021 Early Christian Interpretation of Genesis
The subject of this seminar will be the interpretation of the scriptural Book of Genesis by early Christian writers in various genres, including commentaries and scholia, apologetic literature and hymnody. A selection of specific sections and/or figures in the biblical book as well as of the early interpreters will be made at the start of the course to suit the current interests of instructor and students. The course will include general readings on biblical hermeneutics in the first Christian centuries. Students will be expected to use Greek, Latin, or Syriac, as well as French or German.
CH9025 Medieval Theological Literature
Recent surveys of medieval theological literature, for an overview of the field.
CH9033 Calvin and the Classical Reformed Tradition
An examination of the theological, institutional, and pastoral development of the classical Reformed tradition in the context of early modern (Reformation) history. Particular attention will be devoted to John Calvin’s thought and practice, with consideration also of the wider extent of the early Reformed tradition, both key figures and geographic expansion.
CH9034 History of the Peasants’ Wars in Sixteenth-century Europe
The history of the sixteenth-century Peasants’ Wars remains controversial to this day. Long a point of contention between Marxist and Western interpreters, describing and understanding the conflict is still a central challenge to “mainline” Protestant traditions—most of whom argued for and benefited from the peasants’ defeat. This course will examine historical source material as well as important secondary literature in order to gain a balanced and nuanced appreciation for the main social, economic, and theological aspects of this sixteenth-century conflict.
CH9060 European Revolutions and the Church
This seminar examines the interplay of the church and political revolution in the history of modern Europe. The seminar will focus on the Puritan Revolution in England, the French Revolution, the Revolution of 1830 in France, the Revolutions of 1848, the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the Fascist rise to power in Italy, the Nazi era in Germany, and the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989.
CH9070 Mainstream Protestantism and American Religion
An examination of the changing role of mainstream Protestantism in American life from the colonial era to the present. Particular attention will be given to the historical difficulties of defining what has constituted the Protestant “mainstream” or “mainline.” Literature examining the apparent decline of the mainstream since the late twentieth century will be analyzed and alternative interpretive schemes explored.
CH9072 Race, Racism, Religion: American Religion in Historical Context
Why is Sunday morning still the most segregated time in America? A partial answer to that question comes from understanding the intersections of race and religion in American culture. How is a view of American religion complicated when using the lens of race to provide a critique? How does the history of racism unfold in America if one argues that it is primarily connected to religious developments? Using history, theology, critical race theory, film, and literature, this course proposes a careful consideration of issues of race, racism, and religion in a variety of American faith traditions, but most notably in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Special attention will also be paid to those traditions, denominations, and groups born as a result of the intersection of race, religion, and racism in the United States.
HR9035 World Christianity through the History of Religions
Collectively and individually, “conversion” is a multidirectional process found throughout religious history. In the academy, a lively debate has been conducted about the nature and determinants of conversion. The seminar will assess a variety of theoretical models, historic and contemporary, from those that are common in biblical studies to those that are constructed by the social sciences, the “cognitive” model of Africanist Robin Horton for example. Phenomenologically, ‘conversion’ occurs in all religious contexts, not only to and from Christianity but also from and to all other religions; thus, the approach will be comparative in outlook. The seminar’s prime concern, however, is theory and methodology for understanding Christianity’s emergence in the global South, through ‘conversion’; there, the dominant context is ordinarily shaped by traditional religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
EC5470 Global South Public Christianities
This course reviews Christian public discourses from the Global South, as they reflect on the intersection between Christian faith, political action, and public policy. It examines theological responses to the challenges posed to Global South Christians as they engage the public square, through the lenses of global south scholars. It explores different views about religion’s role in public life, highlighting critical issues, and offering a range of approaches and understandings of citizenship and justice in the Global South.