History and Interpretation of Christianity. Systematic Theology

ST501. Systematic Theology

Fall and Spring. Credit, three hours. (Erskine, Lösel, McDougall, Soulen)

Survey of figures and issues in contemporary theology, including doctrines of God, Christ, holy spirit, revelation, humanity, salvation, and eschatology. Opportunities for students to do constructive theology.

ST604. Theology of Atonement

Credit, three hours. (Soulen)

A seminar focusing on the Christian doctrine of the atonement from the patristic period to the present, with special attention to the doctrine’s variety of forms in both traditional and contemporary contexts.

ST605. Providence, Evil, and Suffering

Credit, three hours. (Soulen)

This course allows students to consider what we may—and may not—say regarding God’s fidelity, love, and redemptive power in the face of evil, suffering, chaos, and death by examination of traditional and contemporary Christian approaches to these issues.

ST606. The Doctrine of Atonement

Credit, three hours. (Soulen)

This course is a seminar on the reconciling work of Jesus christ, also known as the doctrine of atonement. Emphasizing close engagement with primary sources, the course will explore the tremendous bredth of approaches to the doctrine in both classical and contemporary theology, with the aim of helping students to better formulate their own best understanding of the doctrine.

ST607. Doctrine of God—Women’s Voices Past and Present

Credit, three hours. Prerequisite: ST501 or equivalent. (McDougall)

A biblical and theological study of the relationship of gender to the doctrine of God. Particular attention to the historical retrieval of women’s theological traditions as well as to contemporary women’s formulations of language about God, the nature of divine power and the God-world relation, and Trinitarian versus non-Trinitarian approaches to the doctrine of God. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender) (ST607CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective)

ST610P. Redeeming the Body

Credit, three hours. (McDougall) (Instructor permission required.)

This advanced seminar (which is crosslisted as a doctoral seminar) examines Christianity’s historical attitudes to the female body in conjunction with feminist proposals for retrieving and reformulating Christian doctrines that impact the female body today. Throughout the seminar emphasis will be placed on both historical re-workings of Christian traditions as well as constructive feminist theological aims. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ST618. Theology, Art and Architecture

Credit, three hours. (Lösel)

Explores theological approaches to art, architecture, and the built environment, both from historical and systematic perspectives. With the help of four recent theological monographs on art, architecture, taste, and the built environment, Christian approaches to art through the centuries is studied.

ST619. Liturgy and Architecture

Credit, three hours. (Lösel)

This course seeks to explore questions at the intersection of Christian sacramental liturgy and architecture, from historical, anthropological, and theological perspectives. We will study how Christians have understood the nature and function of their worship, how they have used architectural spaces for their liturgical purposes, and which role gender has played in this context. (ST619CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective)

ST620. Black Theology and Ethics

Credit, three hours. (Erskine) (Same as ES620.)

The contributions of some of the leading theologians will be considered placing their work in conversation with more recent contributors, in particular womanist theologians. In light of discussion of theological themes in black and womanist theologies, we will identify critical and ethical issues that come to the fore. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ST621. Teaching with Authority: Scripture, the Church, and Congregational Self-Understanding

Credit, three hours. Pre- or corequisite: ST 501 or equivalent. (McFarland)

This course is designed to help congregational leaders engage specifically theological questions in their communities by focusing on the way in which authority is exercised in the church. As such, it will explore two basic issues: 1) the sorts of attitudes and practices do Christian leaders need to develop in order to “teach with authority” in church and society, and 2) how authoritative teaching plays out in concrete questions of the church’s self-definition, as exemplified in practices like baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (ST621CEE when offered as a Contextual Education Elective)

ST623. Theology of Karl Barth

Credit, three hours. (Soulen)

A study of Barth’s theology across the course of his career, with attention to his influence on contemporary theology.

ST626. The Preacher as Theologian

Credit, three hours. Prerequisites: P501, ST501, or equivalent. (McDougall/Faculty) (Same as P626.)

This course helps students with the act of theological reflection and emphasizes the crafting of sermons that express in accessible ways careful thinking about theological issues.

ST627. Theology of the Church and Sacraments

Credit, three hours. (Faculty) (Same as W627.)

Biblical and theological understandings of the church, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper are discussed. Attention is also given to other traditional sacraments and to ecumenism.

ST628. Liturgical Theology

Credit, three hours. (Alonso) (Same as W628.)

This course introduces students to central texts and themes in theological reflection on Christian worship as they have coalesced into the field of liturgical theology. Through historical, theological, biblical, practical, and pastoral approaches, we will explore the ritual, symbolic, aesthetic, cultural, kinesthetic, and textual dimensions of worship and consider how they both shape and express Christian thought and practice.

ST631. Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Renewal

Credit, three hours. (E. Phillips)

Historical, theological, and pastoral study of baptism, confirmation, and renewal. This course pays special attention to twentiethcentury reforms in theology and practice. (ST631CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective.)

ST641. Christology and Ethics

Credit, three hours. (Erskine) (Same as ES641.)

This course investigates the relationship between Jesus Christ and the moral life. Two foci will be preeminent: (a) to isolate and clarify the fundamental principles of the Christian life and (b) to discern and interpret how the Christian community needs to make moral judgments in the light of its faith claims and religious convictions. (ST/ ES641CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective.)

ST645. Ecclesiology

Credit, three hours. (Lösel)

This course explores the theological nature, the structures, and the mission of the Christian Church from an explicitly ecumenical perspective. We focus on the church’s nature as rooted in the liturgy, the church’s role in God’s economy of salvation, its defining marks and structure, and how it relates to the Reign of God. Authors we engage include Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, John Zizioulas, and Elizabeth Johnson.

ST647. Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Credit, three hours. (Erskine)

This course seeks to understand Bonhoeffer on his own terms as clearly and as fully as possible. We will investigate whether there is an “epistemological shift” between the “early Bonhoeffer” and the Bonhoeffer of Letters and Papers from Prison. The doctrines of ecclesiology, Christology, God, and reality (the world come of age) will come up for theological attention.

ST651. Theologies of Hope and Liberation

Credit, three hours. (Erskine)

This course looks at eschatology and apocalypse in contemporary theology. Particular attention will be given to the thought of Jürgen Moltmann, Leonardo Boff, Dorotee Soelle, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and James Cone. The central question which focuses our discussion is how may we be faithful to Jesus Christ in our time and in our own historical circumstances?

ST652. Global Feminist Theologies

Credit, three hours. (McDougall)

This course introduces students to global Christian feminist theology through an indepth study of feminist/women’s theological movements from different regions of the Global South and their respective theological movements in the US. We will address key theological concerns of these Global South feminist movements, in particular theological anthropology (e.g., women’s identity, agency, and attitudes toward the body); the gendered nature of sin, suffering, and redemption; pneumatology and indigenous spiritual traditions. In addition, we will grapple with the major social and gender justice concerns of these feminist/women’s movements, in particular, gender-based violence, sex trafficking, women’s poverty, and sexist institutions and practices in the church and wider society. The class will explore these theological and ethical issues through various media: indigenous theological scholarship, liturgical resources, popular religious practices and sacred art, documentaries and in-class/Skype dialogues with guest theologians when possible. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ST653. Christology in Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Theologies

Credit, three hours. Prerequisite: ST501 or equivalent. (McDougall)

An ecumenical and multicultural study of contemporary women’s formulations of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Special attention to the intersection of Christology with issues of race, ethnicity, and gender, and ecclesial identity. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ST656. Theology of Jürgen Moltmann

Credit, three hours. (McDougall)

An in-depth study of Moltmann’s theology in dialogue with challenges confronting the contemporary church in society. Particular attention to his contributions in eschatology, political theology, and to the doctrines of the Trinity, creation, and pneumatology.

ST659. Theology of Martin Luther King Jr.

Credit, three hours. (Erskine)

This course seeks to examine the life, thought, and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. The class will engage in theological exposition and analysis of his primary ideas, sermons, and conceptual frames of reference. A conversation with Malcolm X, Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebur, and the black church will ensue.

ST660. Womanist Theology

Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

This course will provide an introduction to womanist theology through the work of primarily first-generation womanist theologians in the United States. Organized systematically to address a range of topics, including theological ethics, biblical hermeneutics, Trinity, Christology, atonement, theological anthropology, sin and suffering, evil, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology, the study will employ both a deconstructive and a constructive method in an effort to interpret and enhance the faith and practice of the church. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ST661. Philosophical Theology

Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

Examination of a major movement, such as phenomenology or process thought.

ST672. Trinitarian Praxis: The Trinity, The Human Person, and the Christian Life

Credit, three hours. Prerequisite: ST501 or equivalent, or instructor permission. (McDougall)

An advanced seminar on classical and contemporary approaches to the doctrine of the Trinity and its implications for theological anthropology and the shape of the life of faith. Particular attention will be paid to contemporary proposals relating the doctrine to social, ethical, and liturgical issues that are challenging churches today.

ST677. Theological Arguments for Criminal Punishment Reform

Credit, three hours. (Lösel)

This course aims to help students understand the theological rationale for “mild” forms of punishment, which Christian theologians have developed through the ages. We engage a range of texts stemming from the intersection of theology, philosophy, sociology, postcolonial theory, and legal theory regarding the question of criminal punishment reform. Authors we engage may include Augustine of Hippo, Michel Foucault, Martha Nussbaum, James Whitman, and Timothy Gorringe.

ST678. Modern Catholicism

Credit, three hours. (Alonso, Lösel) (Same as HT672.)

This course introduces students to modern Catholicism both from a historical and a theological perspective. We trace the significant theological and ecclesiastical changes the Catholic Church has undergone from the eighteenth century through the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and in its aftermath. Along with the major documents from Vatican II, authors we engage may include Henri de Lubac, Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Elizabeth Johnson, Jon Sobrino, Mark Jordan, and Cyprian Davis.

ST679. Contemporary Anglican Theology

Credit, three hours. Prerequisite: ST501 or equivalent. (McDougall)

This seminar provides a survey of contemporary Anglican theology. The focus will be on theological issues that are currently sparking debate across the Anglican communion, e.g., different approaches to Scripture and Christology, the relationship of gender, spirituality and theology, and the nature of the global Anglican communion. Course readings will range across the Anglican tradition (Anglo-Catholic, liberal, and Reformed/ Evangelical), and will include authors such as Sarah Coakley, David Ford, Kathryn Tanner, Desmond Tutu, Rowan Williams.

ST690. Contemporary Systematic Theology

Credit, three hours. Prerequisite: ST501 or equivalent (McDougall)

This course will examine contemporary issues in systematic theology and may be used as the capstone course for MDiv students in the Theology and Ethics concentration.

ST691. Comparative Theology and Literature

Credit, three hours. Prerequisites: HC503 and ST501 (Pacini)

A seminar devoted to the ways in which literary expressions address the conflicts in human experience that emerge in the face of theological silence or indifference.

ST698. Special Topics in Systematic Theology

Credit, variable. (Faculty)

Special topic or one-time offering courses led by Candler regular and visiting faculty. Prerequisites may be required and are noted on the course schedule when applicable.