Academic Programs 
      

  Dialogue in a World of Difference (MA-530)
Fall 2004

Students and faculty in a collegial setting will explore in depth the principles and the practice of dialogue in a pluralistic world through dialogical listening and cross-cultural conversations in a context of diversity.  Goals of the course include the development of listening and communication skills in multi-cultural contexts; fostering an understanding of one another through information sharing and community building action; and learning how to discuss potentially divisive issues constructively and without animosity. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. It is required for all students enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program. 

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 and 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, and Nov. 1, 8, 15 and 29  

Ian Markham
Professor of Theology and Ethics

Contact Information:
phone:

email:

Ingrid Mattson
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 509-9531
email: imattson@hartsem.edu
 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Students and faculty in a collegial setting will explore in depth the principles and the practice of dialogue in a pluralist world through dialogical listening and cross-cultural conversations in a context of diversity.


UNDERLYING COURSE ASSUMPTION

This is more than a course about dialogue.  It is an invitation to engage in the practice of dialogue in a structured setting.  Course outcomes focus on what is learned in the process.

 

GOALS, OUTCOMES, ASSESSMENTS, AND EXPECTATION

The goals of this course are:

  • Fostering an understanding of one another within the class through information sharing and community building action

  • Providing opportunities for developing listening and communication skills in multi-cultural contexts

  • Offering a context for wrestling with the challenging questions and issues of our times and for discussing potentially divisive issues constructively and without animosity

The outcomes of this course are:

  • A sense of collegiality and community across religious, cultural, gender lines

  • A rudimentary understanding of cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue and the ability to participate meaningfully in multi-cultural conversations

  • An ability to integrate and apply one’s learnings to the task at hand

The methods of assessment and general expectations of this course are:

Expectations

  • You are expected to read the required texts

  • You are expected to participate fully in class discussions and activities

Methods of Assessment: Assignments

  • Write a reflective paper having experienced a worship service at a faith community other than your own

  • Write a reflective paper about what you have learned about dialogue in this course

  • Write a review of one of the books on the review reading list


PLEASE NOTE.  The length of the reflection papers (2-4 pages each); the length of the book review (3-5 pages).

The Grade for this course will be pass or fail.

The final deadline for all assignments is: January 7, 2005.  Please send all papers to the Dean’s Office.

 

Course textbook:

Ian Markham (ed.) A World Religions Reader (2nd edition) 


Review Reading List (Pick one book from the list below for review)

Ariarajah, S. Wesley.  The Bible and People of Other Faiths.  Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1985

Forward, Martin.  Inter-Religious Dialogue.  A Short Introduction.  Oxford: Oneworld 2001. 

Gandhi, Mohandas.  Essential Writings.  Selected with an Introduction by John Dear.  Maryknoll: Orbis books 2002

Mitri, Tarek (ed.) Religion, Law and Society:  A Christian-Muslim Discussion.  Geneva:  WCC Publications, 1995

Sherwin, Byron and Kasimow, Harold, John Paul II and Interreligious dialogue.  Orbis 1999

Wheatly, Margaret J. Turning to One Another. Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. San Francisco: Berrett-Loehler Publishers, 2002

 

COURSE SYLLABUS

Part one.  Storytelling: Universal Paradigm – personal, communial, cross-cultural.

Session one.  September 20  Let me tell you who I am  
Reading: A world religions reader, pp.46-54, 153-155, 294-296, 325-328, 362-368.   


Session two. September 27 Let me tell you about my religion/faith context  
Reading: Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce (eds.) A Field Guide to US Congregations (WJK 2002)
Guest Faculty: Cynthia Woolever


Session three.  October 4 Let me tell you about my culture, my country  
Reading:  (On Reserve in the Library – please photocopy the section).  Justo L. Gonzalez, Manana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective, chapters 1 & 2
Guest Faculty: Efrain Agosto

Part two.  Dialogue: Principles and Praxis

Session four.  October 11 Principles of Dialogue
Reading: A world religions reader.  Chapter 1.  Purpose and Method

Session five.  October 18 Sharing our Sacred Scriptures
Reading: A world religions reader, pp.70-95, p, 274, p310-314, p334-353

Session six.  October 25 Appreciating Islam
Reading: A world religions reader, chapter 9.

Session seven.  November 1 Appreciating Judaism  
Reading: A world religions reader, chapter 7
Guest Faculty: Yehezkel Landau

Session eight.  November 8 Appreciating Christianity
Reading: A world religions reader, chapter 8

NOVEMBER 15.  Eid al Fidr  Seminary closed.

NOVEMBER 22.  Reading week 

Session nine. November 29. Faith and our Families
Reading: Don Browning, ‘World Family Trends’, in Robin Gill (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics (Cambridge: 2001) pp243-260

Session ten.  December 6.  A Continuing Journey
Guest Faculty: Jane Smith

 

General Guidelines

Reflective paper on a worship service other than your own.  We will attempt to create groups of diverse students, which live in sufficient proximity, which will be able to attend two different worship services. We suggest that groups should make their visits during the weeks November 9 to November 28.  In this way during the two week gap, you will stay in touch with the themes of the course.

Before each session, please fill in the reading sheets.  We need you answer the questions, based on the reading.  When you are discussing the reading in the small groups, then you will find your reading sheets helpful.  At the end of the session, please hand your reading sheets in.

AND IN CONCLUSION

We hope you will enjoy the course.  Any questions, worries, thoughts or suggestions, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500  info@hartsem.edu