Academic Programs 
      

Modern Theology (TH-541)  
Winter/Spring 2006

This course examines the development of western Christian reflection from the late Renaissance through the present. Beginning in the 16th century with both loyal and dissenting Catholic figures, and then turning to the Reformers, key texts will be read and considered in light of their surrounding social and intellectual milieus. Other movements that will be examined through key religious thinkers and the cultural situations in which they are writing include: Puritanism, the enlightenment, romanticism, the social gospel, existentialism, Black theology and feminist theology.

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Thursdays, from 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m., beginning February 2

Ian Markham
Professor of Theology and Ethics


Contact Information:


phone: 
(860) 509-9500
email:

 

Course Syllabus


Aim of the course:

  1. To introduce the student to the distinctive challenges facing theology in the modern period;
  2. To explore a range of issues from both the historical and systematic perspectives;
  3. To cultivate both historical and philosophical skills.


At the end of the course, the student will:

  1. Have an overview of the movement of theological ideas from the Reformation to the 20 th century;
  2. Have explored a range of issues through the lens of modernity;
  3. And have a good historical and philosophical sensitivity.

 

Content of Course.

February 2: Evangelicals and Liberals: different ways of engaging modernity

Required reading: Ian Markham, Theology of Engagement, Introduction and Chapter one.

February 9: The Catholic Church in the West

Required reading: Andrew Pettegree, Europe in the Sixteenth century, chapters one to three.

February 16: The Reformers

Required reading: Andrew Pettegree, Europe in the Sixteenth century, chapters and six.

February 23: The Enlightenment and Romantics

Required reading: Bernard M. G. Reardon, Religion in the Age of Romanticism, chapter one. (Photocopy available on reserve in the library.)

March 2: Postmodernism

Required reading: David Ford with Rachel Muir, The Modern Theologians (2005 edition), chapter 19

March 7 to March 15: ONLINE class: Approaches to modern theology

Required reading: Ian Markham, Theology of Engagement, chapters six, eleven, and twelve.

March 16: Modern Theology and the concept of God

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 2

March 23: Modern Theology and Creation

Required reading: David Ford with Rachel Muir, The Modern Theologians (2005 edition), chapters 20 and 21. William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 3.

March 30: Modern Theology and Evil and Suffering

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 4.

April 6: Modern Theology and God Incarnate and Redemption

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 5.

READING WEEK

April 20: Modern Theology and Other religions

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 8.

April 27: Modern Theology and the Church

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 6.

May 4: Modern Theology and Hope beyond the grave

Required reading: William C. Placher, Essentials of Christian Theology, chapter 9.

 

Required texts:

Andrew Pettegree, Europe in the sixteenth century, ( Oxford: Blackwell 2002)

Ian Markham, Theology of Engagement, ( Oxford: Blackwell 2003)

David Ford with Rachel Muirs, The Modern Theologians ( Oxford: Blackwell 2005)

William C. Placher (editor), Essentials of Christian Theology, ( Louisville: WJK 2003)

 

Assessment:

  1. Pick one of the following theologies and outline the history and key developments in that theology: Catholic Theology starting with Vatican 2, Methodist Theology in the United States, Liberation Theology, Feminist Theology, American Evangelical Theology, Revisionist Theology, and Black Theology. (10 pages) Due March 23.
  2. Write a fifteen page paper on ‘Theological methodology.’ Explain in this paper how you approach theology. It is essential to cite the literature and place yourself on the map of other approaches to theology. Due June 1.

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