Academic Programs

COURSES AT HARTFORD SEMINARY

January Intersession 2009 and
Winter/Spring 2009 Course Schedules

An asterisk (*) indicates that the course fulfills core area requirements for the Master of Arts program.

January Intersession 2009

While we will make every effort to hold to this schedule, it is subject to change. Please refer back to this website or to the official semester course brochure for up-to-date information before registering.

Preparing Islamic Legal Documents (AM-639) NEW View Syllabus
Monday, Jan. 12 through Friday, Jan. 16
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Make-up day: Jan. 17)

Focused on skills needed for success in Islamic Chaplaincy and other programs where practical matters of service to Islamic communities, congregations and individuals are important, this course introduces students to a contemporary American condensed version of Ibn al-`Attar's Kitab al-Watha`iq wa'l-sijjilat. The topics under consideration include but are not limited to Islamic legal documents, writing contracts, and completing other legal obligations in the U.S. context. Students will be exposed to practical information and training in the preparation of these documents. Imam Talal Eid, Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and Imam and Executive Director of the Islamic Institute of Boston

Building Abrahamic Partnerships (DI-650) View Syllabus
Sunday, Jan. 11 through Sunday, Jan. 18 (Intensive schedule, includes all days and some evenings)

This eight-day intensive training program offers a practical foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Participants learn about the tenets and practices of the three faiths, study texts from their respective scriptures together, attend worship at a mosque, synagogue, and church, and acquire pastoral skills useful in interfaith ministry. Building on Hartford Seminary’s strengths as an interfaith, dialogical school of practical theology, this team-taught program is a resource for religious leaders who are grounded in their own traditions while open to the faith orientations of other communities. Due to the interfaith nature of this course, we aim for equal representation among each of the three Abrahamic traditions in admitting students to this course. Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations and Co-Founder, Open House, Ramle, Israel

Traditions of Change: American Literature of Reform (HI-676) NEW View Syllabus
Monday, Jan. 12 through Friday, Jan. 16
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Make-up day: Jan. 17)

“In the history of the world, Reform never had such scope as at the present hour.” This course explores the social, religious and cultural contexts in which Ralph Waldo Emerson makes this statement in “Man the Reformer” (1841). We will examine the literature that ignited and spurred on the most significant and historic reform efforts in 19th-century America: abolition of slavery, temperance, household reform, suffrage and criminal justice, including prison reform and capital punishment debates. Given the religious dimensions of these reform movements, including the relationship between rhetorical strategies and theological beliefs, we will explore how sermons, essays, autobiographies, and fictional narratives shaped these reform movements. Writers studied may include Benjamin Rush on the penitentiary, Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the role of women in public life, Nathaniel Hawthorne on communal living, Frederick Douglass on abolition and African-American civil rights, and T.S. Arthur on temperance. Erin Forbes, Adjunct Instructor of History and Ph.D. candidate in English and Religion at Princeton University

Winter/Spring Semester 2009

ARTS OF MINISTRY (AM)

Genesis Stories for Practical Preaching (AM-608) NEW View Syllabus
Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., beginning Jan. 28

The marvelous stories of Genesis are a source for spiritual enrichment and inspiration for practitioners of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this seminar we shall discuss in depth essential religious ideas that these stories yield. Then we shall explore – with respect for religious diversity – how we might use them as the basis for messages that are both intellectually honest and spiritually uplifting. In addition to attaining a thorough knowledge of Genesis’ content, each student will be asked to prepare two pulpit-type messages for the class’s edification and critique. Stephen Fuchs, Adjunct Professor of Scripture and Arts of Ministry and Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford, CT

Congregational Conflict Resolution (AM-662) NEW View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Jan. 27, Feb. 10, March 3, March 31, and April 28

How we respond to differences and to conflict in congregations and other organizations can help to sustain health and vitality within the congregation even in turbulent times. In this course, we will explore practical theories for understanding congregational conflict as well as looking at various practices of conflict transformation. Students will be expected to do some reflection on their own styles (using a few inventories) as well as discerning different levels of conflict and ways of responding. We will also use practices of dialogue and deliberation for interpersonal, small group and congregational settings. Lawrence Peers, Adjunct Professor of Arts of Ministry and consultant and seminar leader with the Alban Institute, Herndon, VA

Essential Skills in Pastoral Counseling and Ministry (AM-638) View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:50 p.m., beginning Jan. 27

This course will offer pastors, lay ministers and caregivers an opportunity to learn basic counseling skills for use in pastoral settings. Students will develop skills in assessment, honoring ethical concerns and addressing the most common diagnoses such as depression and anxiety. Attention will be given to clarifying the differences between pastoral care and pastoral counseling. Issues of referral to professional mental health resources and community agencies also will be addressed. Benjamin K. Watts, Faculty Associate in the Arts of Ministry and Senior Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, New London

DIALOGUE (DI)

Understanding Islam: Rumor and Reality (DI-501) ONLINE View Syllabus
beginning Jan. 26

This course is an introduction to the Islamic faith, intended for those from other traditions. It is designed to meet the growing need for basic information about Islam. It will cover Islamic beliefs and practices, issues faced by Muslims living in the West, the role of women in Islam, and current efforts at Muslim-Christian dialogue. Kemal Argon, Adjunct Instructor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and Ph.D. Candidate in Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary

DOCTOR OF MINISTRY (DM)

Doctor of Ministry Colleague Seminar I, Part II (DM-711) View Syllabus
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, Feb. 9, March 2, March 30 and April 27

A continuation of D.Min. Colleague Seminar I, Part I. Required of first-year D.Min. students. James Nieman, Professor of Practical Theology

Doctor of Ministry Colleague Seminar II, Part II (DM-721) View Syllabus
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, Feb. 9, March 2, March 30 and April 27

The spring semester of the second year colleague group directs its full attention to students’ major project proposals. A variety of organizational change interventions and models are explored; each student prepares and shares a literature review in the anticipated substantive area of his or her major project; and each student prepares and shares a draft of a major project proposal, this draft also serving as a student’s major paper for the seminar. David Roozen, Professor of Religion and Society

Ministry Project Colloquium (DM-795 – Non-Credit) View Syllabus
Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 26, March 2 and April 27

Students who have successfully completed Colleague Seminars I and II and at least four of the six elective courses may enroll in the Ministry Project Colloquium. The Colloquium, while highly recommended, is not required. F. Maner Tyson, Facilitator, and Pastor, Waterbury Baptist Church

ETHICS (ET)

Theological Ethics and Public Life* (ET-546) View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 7 p.m. – 9:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 27

Ethics involves examining life in an attempt to interpret what is going on. Theological ethics undertakes this examination with the conviction that all things exist in relation to God. In this course we will survey models of our common life that have prevailed in western Christianity in the modern period, reflect on the religious symbols, stories, practices and habits by which we make sense of what is going on in public life, and consider what possibilities exist for fostering a civil society. Issues to be considered include religion and politics, human rights, war and revolution, and the treatment of animals. Heidi Gehman, Faculty Associate in Theology and Ethics

Life Together: Ethics in a Religiously Plural World* (ET-661) NEW View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Jan. 27, Feb. 10, March 3, March 31 and April 28

This course focuses on ethical issues provoked by the life we lead together. It will examine such questions as how one goes about building bridges from one set of ethical assumptions to another; what must be agreed upon between religious communities in order to live in the same ethical universe, and what they can agree to disagree on; the different conceptions of what the moral responsibility is of one religious community for those within it who are physically distant, and how it views its responsibility for those outside its boundaries. The course will also look at the ethical resources in several religious communities related to central moral issues of our day such as global warming. Heidi Hadsell, Professor of Social Ethics and President, Hartford Seminary

HISTORY (HI)

Global Christianity in Modern Historical Perspective* (HI-611) View Syllabus
Wednesdays 4:30-6:50 starting January 28, 2009

During the three centuries that have passed since 1700 the size, global distribution and ethnic composition of world Christianity have been transformed. Most Christians now reside in the developing world, and statisticians calculate that the total number of Christians in Africa, Asia and Latin America increases by 70, 000 per day, or more than 25.5 million per year. Historians are now struggling to produce truly “global” histories of Christianity that explain the vast and varied mechanisms through which missionary efforts and indigenous movements have produced the present diversity. This course will help students gain a broad historical perspective on modern trends in Global Christianity. It will also provide focused introductions to the origins of historical movements of current importance, such as Pentecostalism and some of the indigenous Christian movements now flourishing in the newly developing concentrations of Christian faith. Brian Clark, Adjunct Instructor in History of Christianity

Modern and Contemporary Islamic Thought* (HI-667) NEW View Syllabus
Tuesdays from 7 to 9:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 27

This course deals with Islamic thought in the modern and contemporary Muslim world (since the beginning of the 19th century). The most important movements and tendencies of Modern Islamic Thought (Revivalism, Reformism and Radicalism, but also Nationalism and the so called Islamic Left or Islamic Socialism) will be analyzed, and examined through the works of their main exponents. The relationship between contemporary Muslim thought and the West will be considered, as well as the relationship between faith and reason in 20th century Islam. The aim of the course is to gain an understanding of the broad spectrum of ideas from which Modern Islamic thought has developed. Davide Tacchini, Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies

LANGUAGE (LG)

Introduction to New Testament Greek, Part II (LG-562) View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:50 p.m., beginning Jan. 27

A continuation of LG-561, Introduction to New Testament Greek, Part I. Pre-requisite: LG-561 or permission of the instructor. Edward F. Duffy, Adjunct Professor of New Testament and Minister of the First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, CT

Readings in the Greek New Testament, Part II (LG-662) View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 2 p.m. – 4:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 27

A continuation of LG-651, Readings in the Greek New Testament. Prerequisite: LG-651 or permission of the instructor. Edward F. Duffy, Adjunct Professor of New Testament and Minister, the First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, CT

Introduction to Arabic Morphology and Syntax (LG-581) View Syllabus
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:50 p.m., beginning Jan. 28

Vernacular Arabic will be the focus of this course, with an accent on all four linguistic areas of language learning: oral, aural, reading, and listening. Basic sentence and phrase structures will be highlighted while a vocabulary of several hundred words will be built. Assumes a prior knowledge of the Arabic phonology and script. Prerequisite: LG-580, or permission of the instructor. Shadee Elmasry, Adjunct Instructor of Arabic

Intermediate Arabic, Part II (LG-651) View Syllabus
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 5:40 p.m., beginning Jan. 26

This course is designed for participants to consolidate their knowledge of Arabic. Prerequisite: LG-650 or permission of the instructor. Steven Blackburn, Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PHD)

Research Methodology and Scholarly Development II (PHD-701) View Syllabus
Thursdays, 1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., beginning Jan. 29

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

RELIGION AND SOCIETY (RS)

Contemporary Religious Trends* (RS-668) NEW View Syllabus
Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:50 p.m., beginning Feb. 5

The contemporary religious world is in a rapid state of flux. With increasing urbanization/suburbanization, emigrating populations and technological advances all adding to continual mission activities, the spiritual contours of the globe are undergoing significant shifts. This course will focus mostly on the pluralistic situation in North America but will also intentionally trace the major socio-spiritual transitions taking place in world religions throughout the globe. The course will reflect on how these changes are making a profound difference in how all faith communities practice their religions. Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion

Pagans, Witches and/or Christians* (RS-690) ONLINE, View Syllabus
beginning Jan. 26 NEW

The course centers on a sociological study of contemporary paganism, witchcraft and other earth-based faiths and practices, examining how these intertwine with one another and with Christian churches in their beliefs and rituals. Can modern-day, Druid religion, Goddess Worship, Paganism, Shamanism, and Wicca be considered real religions or are these more fluid movements swirling through related religious networks? To what extent do adherents of one of these earth-based sects who worship in groups or covens have distinctive beliefs and rituals that differentiate them from one another and most Christian congregations? What portends in the next decades for pagan theology and practices? Adair Lummis, Faculty Associate in Research

SCRIPTURE (SC)

New Testament Survey I* (SC-531) View Syllabus
Thursdays, 7 p.m. - 9:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 29

This course introduces students to the study of the origins of Christianity by means of its canonical literature, the New Testament. We will undertake a historical study of the New Testament documents, seeking to understand their plan, origin, purpose and content within their broader historical and cultural context. Appropriate interpretive methods for each genre will be discussed. We will also seek to clarify the theological message of each document in light of its historical circumstances. Efrain Agosto, Professor of New Testament

Tafsir Survey: Reading the Qur’an across the Ages* (SC-580) NEW View Syllabus
Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:50 p.m., beginning Feb. 3

In this class we will survey the range of tafsir literature, from the early days, to the classical period and then modernity. Students will study the history of Qur’ân commentary, the sub-genres of tafsir literature, biographies of the great scholars of Qur’ân commentary and their methodologies. Much of the time will be spent reading selections of the Qur’ân with their various commentaries. Arabic is not required, but students who can, will read Arabic original sources. Other students will read from translations or original works produced in other languages. Ingrid Mattson, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

THEOLOGY (TH)

The History of Christian Theology: From the Rise of Christianity to the Middle Ages* (TH-501) NEW View Syllabus
Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 9:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 29

This course examines the development of western Christian reflection from the early church through the Middle Ages. Attention will be given to the Council of Nicaea, Augustine, Celtic monasticism, Pope Gregory, the secrets of the “Dark Ages,” Anselm, the Crusades, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, the Scholastics, late medieval mysticism and the early Renaissance. Key texts will be read and considered in light of their surrounding social and intellectual milieus. Kelton Cobb, Professor of Theology and Ethics

Major Theological Figures: Ibn Taymiyya* (TH-691) NEW View Syllabus
Mondays, 6 p.m. – 8:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 26

This course explores the life, ideas, influence and image of one of the most fascinating—and controversial—thinkers of classical Islam: the Mamlûk mufti and theologian Taqî al-Dîn Ibn Taymiyya. Ibn Taymiyya left his mark on later Islamic reformist spirituality, puritanism or extremism, from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya to the Ottoman Mehmed Birgivi or, even, modern Islamism and Osama Ben Laden. The texts read in this course will hopefully contribute to a correct understanding of his ideas and actions, as this is not just a medieval affair but is of direct relevance for our time. No knowledge of Arabic is required for this course. Some background information about the history of the Middle East since the Crusades would be useful. Bibliographical references will be provided. Yahya Michot, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

SPIRITUALITY, LITURGY AND WORSHIP (WS)

Women’s Leadership Institute* (WS-553) View Syllabus
Fridays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 23-24, Feb. 27-28, March 27-28, April 24-25, and May 15-16

This continuation of the yearlong six-credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective meets monthly through May. Students interested in joining next year’s class should contact the Admissions Office at 860-509-9512. Miriam Therese Winter, Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality and Director, Women’s Leadership Institute

Practical Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism, Meditation, and Morality* (WS-624) NEW View Syllabus
Wednesdays, 7 p.m. – 9:20 p.m., beginning Jan. 28

This course will explore various aspects of Jewish spirituality and their interconnection: how mystical interpretations of the Hebrew Bible (in the Zohar) influence our understanding of Scripture; how the observance of commandments relates to the interior life of the heart and soul; theoretical and practical aspects of Kabbalah, including meditative exercises; and the implications of Jewish mysticism for tikkun olam, the mending of our broken world. How these insights might impact on Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations will also be addressed—are there affinities on the mystical level that can be tapped for interreligious peacemaking? (Note: To get the most out of this course, WS-623 [Holiness in Time and Space: A Jewish Approach to Spirituality] or a similar introduction to Jewish spirituality is highly recommended.) Yehezkel Landau Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations

 

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