following is the course breakdown. For further information on
this course, please contact the Dean's office at (860) 509-9553.
Ian Markham: A map
of issues facing religion in the modern world.
session sets the scene for the next ten sessions. Students will be
introduced to some of the key issues facing religion today: this will
include an understanding of modernity and postmodernity and the
differences between secularism, pluralism, liberalism, conservative,
- Keith Ward,
God, Faith and the New Millennium (Oxford: Oneworld 1999)
- John Shelby
Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die (Harper SanFrancisco
- Ian Markham, A
World Religions Reader 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell 2000)
- Martyn Percy,
The Salt of the Earth (Sheffield: Continuum 2001)
Trends and Challenges facing the Church.
brief introduction to four very contrasting trends and challenges: the
internet, homosexuality, global Pentecostalism, and individual
Landau: Introduction to Judaism.
This class will
explore basic elements of Jewish tradition and its understanding of
the Holy. Topics will include Torah study, prayer, Sabbath observance,
and interpersonal relationships.
Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians by Rabbi
Lawrence Kushner (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001).
Jane Smith and
assistant: Introduction to Islam.
is probably one of the most important and simultaneously misunderstood
religious traditions of our time. This introduction starts with a
survey of basic beliefs and practices, followed by an examination of
the nature and structure of Islam in America.
- Jane Smith,
Islam in America (New York: Columbia University Press 1999)
- Andrew Rippin,
Muslims. Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (New York:
Gobalization and Civil Society.
Description: A key
feature facing the world is Globalization. However, the exact meaning
of this term is a matter of some dispute. In addition, globalization
is often perceived as very damaging for civil society and the place of
religion within it. This session will explore the complexities of
globalization and its implications for civil society.
- Max Stackhouse
and Peter Paris (eds.) God and Globalization, volumes 1-3
(Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press 2000).
Ethics and the Environment.
Everything on the planet is dependent on the survival of the planet.
Yet it is clear that the modern world is damaging the environment in
ways that may prove to be irreparable. What is the Christian
obligation to the environment? And what sort of theology can help us
cope with the environment?
- Lynn White, ‘The
Historic Roots of our Ecologic Crisis’, in R. Gottlieb (ed.)
This Sacred Earth (London: Routledge).
- Anne Primavesi,
Sacred Gaia (London: Routledge 2000)
Concepts of God.
of the most fundamental concepts in religious is our understanding of
God. In this session we look at the classical idea of God, which is
found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and compare it with more
modern accounts of God. We look at the question: how do we decide
which account is right?
- Peter Vardy,
The Puzzle of God (Fount Collins)
- W. Wainwright
and W. Rowe, Readings in the Philosophy of Religion.
- John Cobb and
David Ray Griffiths, Process Theology. An Introductory Exposition
(Philadelphia: Westminster 1976).
Theology and Popular Culture.
Theology has shaped and has been shaped by every aspect of life and
popular culture is no exception. In music, in film, in fiction, we
find theological themes recurring. This session is an introduction to
this branch of theological analysis.
- Eric Mazur and
Kate McCarthy, God in the Details: American Religion in Popular
Culture (New York: Routledge, 2001).
Thursday, April 3rd.
Church and Community.
the heart of all Christian practice is the Church. And the ways the
church functions as a community and relates to the broader community
are at the heart of our experience of Church. The course concludes
with an introduction to the different forms of being church and a
critique of the impact of the Church on community.
- Nancy Ammerman,
Congregations and Community (Rutgers University Press 1997).
10th, to be held at Hartford Seminary.
An overview: the
Journey so far. And where do we go from here?