Academic Programs 
      

Research Methodology and Scholarly Development II    (PHD-701)
Winter/Spring 2009

 

A continuation of PHD-700, Research Methodology and Scholarly Development I. Enrollment limited to Ph.D. students

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Thursdays, 1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., beginning Jan. 29

Faculty

Contact Information:
phone: 

email:

 

Course Syllabus



Course Objectives:

  1. To enable the student to have an understanding of the appropriate research skills and techniques for doctoral level academic study of religion.
  2. To introduce theological, material, psychological, postmodern, feminist, ethical, and interfaith dialogue approaches to the study of religion.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Students will have reflected on the appropriate research skills necessary for their doctoral work, including:
    • leading a course discussion
    • techniques in lecturing
    • testing and grading
    • applying and interviewing for academic positions
    • the requirements of tenure
  2. Students will have an understanding of theological, material, postmodern, feminist, post-colonial, ethical, and interfaith dialogue approaches to the study of religion

Course Format:
The course is delivered in three-hour sessions, held weekly. It is team taught, bringing a range of faculty to the subject matter. This course is a continuation from the fall semester.

Course Assessment:
Students will be graded for the course according to the following:

  1. For each class meeting, students should read and have written summaries of all of the required readings. The booknotes are 20% of the grade. These summaries can be revised after class, and should be submitted via email to Heidi Gehman athgehman@hartsem.edu by midnight on the Friday following class. Note: Please plan ahead and make sure you have access to the readings for each week, whether they are books you purchase or readings to be copied from the reserve shelf in the library!
  2. Attendance and participation in class discussion as informed by the weekly readings is 20% of the grade. This is a research seminar not a lecture: it should involve a close reading of the texts. So please read all the texts before class. The entire three hours will be spent raising certain questions that help the students to interpret the texts; the students should be encouraged to form a view about the material, articulate that view, and defend that view in conversation with their peers and with the Professor. The class participation grade will include a weekly “point-person,” who will be responsible to lead the discussion when asked by the faculty person. The “point-person” should be prepared to present and assess the argument of the text, and may be asked in advance by the faculty person to be prepared for a particular task or portion of the text. The Faculty is expected to assess the students’ participation and grasp of the assigned texts.
  3. Two exams, 3 hours in length, are each 30% of the grade. The exams will have five to six essay questions, of which the students must answer three. They will be drawn from the different approaches to the study of religion covered in the course. The student may write the exam on computer or by hand. Course books and articles, as well as the student’s booknotes, may be brought to the exam for reference. The exams will be graded by the faculty person whose topics were covered by the exam questions, in consultation with Professor Gehman.

Required Texts:
The following texts are available for purchase at the bookstore, as well as available on reserve:

Michael Barnes, SJ, Theology and the Dialogue of Religions (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Neil Gillman. Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew. Jewish Publication Society, 1990.

Sherman A. Jackson, On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Serene Jones. Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.

Colleen McDannell, Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; paperback edition, 1998.

Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil, trans. by Emerson Buchanan. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.

Rollins, Wayne G., and D. Andrew Kille, eds. Psychological Insight into the Bible: Texts and Readings. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007.

Schweiker, William, Michael Johnson, and Kevin Jung, eds. Humanity Before God, Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Ethics. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006.

Winter, M.T. Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe. Orbis Press, 2009.

Articles and Books on Reserve
(listed in the order they appear on the syllabus weekly schedule)

"The Unity Theme and Its Implications for Moderns" by Norman Lamm, pp. 149-170; "Autonomy, Heteronomy, and Theonomy" by Alexander Carlebach, pp. 28-51; and "Confrontation" by Joseph B. Soloveitchik, pp. 55-80, all from A Treasury of "Tradition" edited by Norman Lamm and Walter S. Wurzburger, (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company, 1967).

Fazlur Rahman, “Dialectical Theology and the Development of Dogma” and “Sectarian Developments,” from Islam (University of Chicago, 1979), 85-99; 167-180.

Ahmed ibn `Abd al-Halim Ibn Taymiyya, Kitab al-Iman, translated by Salman Hassan al-Ani and Shadia Ahmad Tel. Bloomington, IN: Iman Publishing House, 1999, 132-164; 244-285.

Ernst Troeltsch, Writings on Theology and Religion, edited by Robert Morgan and Michael Pye Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1977.

Carl G. Jung, “Approaching the Unconscious” in Man and His Symbols. New York: Dell, 1971.

“Moral Minimalism,” in Michael Walzer, Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994.

Please contact one of the librarians if you have any difficulty finding the readings. If they cannot help you, please contact Professor Heidi Gehman.

SCHEDULE OF TOPICS AND READINGS
Note: All readings should be completed by the beginning of class. There may be additional requirements from the faculty person teaching that weekly session. If so, you will be contacted by that faculty person, or by Professor Gehman, in advance. Books are available for purchase at the bookstore, or on reserve in the library. Essays are on reserve.

Session 14: Theological Approaches to Religion I (Judaism)
January 29 Session led by Yehezkel Landau

Reading: Neil Gillman, Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew. Jewish Publication Society, 1990. Read introduction and the first four chapters, pp. xv-108. This book, written in 1990, presents a range of contemporary Jewish thinkers on fundamental theological issues and questions.

The following essays, from the book A Treasury of "Tradition" edited by Norman Lamm and Walter S. Wurzburger, (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company), 1967: "The Unity Theme and Its Implications for Moderns" by Norman Lamm (on the Unity of God and its implications for the unification of all existence, with Kabbalistic teachings cited—pp. 149-170); "Autonomy, Heteronomy, and Theonomy" by Alexander Carlebach (on the dialectic or tension between Divine authority and human freedom—pp. 28-51); and "Confrontation" by Joseph B. Soloveitchik (addressing questions related to interfaith dialogue, especially with Christians—pp. 55-80).

Note: These essays are available for photocopy in the library.

Session 15: Theme: Theological Approaches to Religion II (Islam)
February 12 Session led by Yahya Michot

1. Fazlur Rahman, “Dialectical Theology and the Development of Dogma” and “Sectarian Developments,” from Islam (University of Chicago, 1979), 85-99; 167-180 (on reserve).

After reading this, you should mostly be able to give definitions of the following terms and people – however, you will need some additional information; get this from The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, (or from another reliable source:
“`Aqida (‘Akida)”
Ash`arites (Ash`ariyya)
Mu`tazilites (Mu`tazila)
Maturidites (Maturidiyya)
Ibn Taymiyya
Al-Ghazali

2. Ahmed ibn `Abd al-Halim Ibn Taymiyya, Kitab al-Iman, translated by Salman Hassan al-Ani and Shadia Ahmad Tel. (Bloomington, IN: Iman Publishing House, 1999), 132-164; 244-285 (on reserve).

3. Sherman A. Jackson, On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002 (whole book).

Session 16: Theme: Theological Approaches to Religion III (Christianity)
February 12 Session led by Kelton Cobb

Reading: Ernst Troeltsch, Writings on Theology and Religion, edited by Robert Morgan and Michael Pye (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1977).

Note: Read pp. 1-51, 82-233. Make certain, in particular, that you are able to follow the arguments in chapters 3 and 4.

Session 17: Theme: Psychological Approaches to Religion
February 19 Session led by Wayne Rollins

1. Read an encyclopedia article surveying the history, major fields, and methods of "Psychology." Come prepared to discuss one or two fields of psychology that relate to issues of interest for you in religious studies.

2. Read Carl G. Jung, “Approaching the Unconscious” in Man and His Symbols. New York: Dell, 1971 (on reserve). Come prepared to discuss the applicability (if any) of Jung’s thought to your field of specialization in religious studies.

3. To illustrate the application of psychology to a specific field of religious studies read the following chapters in Rollins, Wayne G., and D. Andrew Kille, eds. Psychological Insight into the Bible: Texts and Readings. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007):
Ch. 1 Reading 1.3 on “A Psychological-Critical Approach to the Bible and Its Interpretation”
Ch. 2. The Care and Cure of the Soul
Ch. 3 Freud and Jung
Ch. 6 Biblical Symbols and Archetypal Images
Ch. 5. Between Texts and Readers
Ch. 13 Biblical Effects: Pathogenic and Therapeutic

Session 18: Theme: Comparative Ethics
February 26 Session led by Heidi Hadsell

Reading: Schweiker, William, Michael Johnson, and Kevin Jung, eds. Humanity Before God, Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Ethics. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006: Introduction, and Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 9; and first essay, “Moral Minimalism,” in Michael Walzer, Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994 (on reserve).

Session 19: Theme: Interfaith Dialogue
March 5 Session led by Heidi Hadsell
Reading: Michael Barnes, SJ, Theology and the Dialogue of Religions (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Session 20: Exam I
March 12

Session 21: Theme: Hermeneutical Approaches to Religion
March 19 Session led by Kelton Cobb

Reading: Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil, trans. By Emerson Buchanan (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967). Read pp. 3-174, 306-355, skim pp. 175-305.

Session 22: Theme: Material Religion
March 26 Session led by James Nieman

Reading: Colleen McDannell, Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; paperback edition, 1998).

Session 23: Theme: Feminist Approaches to Religion (Christianity)
April 2 Session led by Heidi Gehman

Reading: Serene Jones. Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.

***NO CLASS ON APRIL 9 FOR EASTER BREAK

Session 24: Theme: Spirituality
April 16 Session led by M. T. Winter

Reading: M. T. Winter, Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe. Orbis Press, 2009.

Session 25: Theme: Skills Workshop: Writing a syllabus; applying and interviewing for jobs; tenure
April 23 Session led by Heidi Gehman

Assignment: Students are required to bring 8 copies of a draft of a syllabus for a general course in their area of expertise—Intro to Christian Theology or Ethics, Intro to Islamic Studies, Intro to Christian/Muslim Dialogue, etc.

Session 26: Final Exam
April 30

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