W40 Traditions of Worship in Japan. The goal of this off-campus course is to provide an introduction to Shinto, Buddhist, and Christian traditions of worship in Japan through a lecture/discussion/travel experience. The itinerary of this interim course is a rare one, taking students to some of Japan’s most sacred pilgrimage sites on the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, as well as Honshu. Along these famed pilgrimage routes of Japan, there will be exceptional opportunities for students to experience the beauty of Japan’s mountainous, island terrain, along with hot springs. Each day of the course will allow time for textbook reading, class lecture provided by the Calvin College professor, first-hand visits to significant worship sites, and group discussion of same. Student cumulative learning in the course will be evaluated in on active engagement in daily group discussion of required reading, lecture, and site visit, four short, reflection papers, one for each of the major regions visited and an oral final examination for one half hour with the Calvin College professor. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the Religion major and Missions minor. NOTE: The course dates are May 20 - June 11, 2008. Fee: $3,500. D. Obenchain. Off campus.
W41 Urban Missions in New York City. Urban Missions and race relations are inseparable dynamics of modern life. To understand one demands knowledge of the other. This course examines the overlap of urban living and human diversity by critically analyzing: 1) demographic trends, 2) the sociology of American race relations, 3) historical and ‘modern’ missiological strategies, 4) anti-racist strategies for urban living, and 5) a Reformed-Christian perspective on urban missions, the multi-ethnic and multi cultural church and race relations. Classroom learning will be supplemented by travel to New York City to experience urban missions and race relations. Students will critically examine the history of CRC missions in New York City, visit contemporary urban churches, study the complexity of ethnically diverse neighborhoods and the challenge of ministry in such neighborhoods. The students will write a reflective journal of this experience and give a class presentation addressing a specific issue or aspect of urban missions and race relations. Fee: $1,103. J. Kooreman. Off campus.
W42 Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. This course explores the historical, moral, and theological dimensions of the Nazi Holocaust. Students study the history of anti-Semitism that culminated in Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, the historical account of the Holocaust itself, and the moral and theological issues raised by it. Resources used in this class are books on the history of anti-semitism and the Holocaust, two books by Elie Wiesel, and various films about the Holocaust and its significance. The course also includes a four-day field trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Evaluation is based on class discussion, a short written report, and a final exam. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the Religion major. Fee: $275 (approximate) for the field trip. K. Pomykala. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
W43 Learning to Pray Like Jesus. What does the New Testament teach about prayer, and how does that translate into real life? This course will explore the place of prayer in the New Testament, including the Jewish roots of Christian practice, and how the ancient church eventually developed its own monastic traditions through the Desert Fathers. Delving into the practical dimensions of the practice of prayer will include a look at the traditional spiritual disciplines of fasting and meditation. We will also investigate some of the theological questions raised by prayer: Can God be influenced? Does God change his mind? Does prayer make a difference in the world? Student evaluation will be based upon a book review, class participation and the keeping of a personal prayer journal. The final goal of this course will be for each student to cultivate of a more deeply personal, theologically informed, and historically aware, life of prayer. There are no fees or prerequisites for enrolling in this course. This course may fulfill an elective requirement in the Religion major. D. Crump. 8:30 a.m. to noon.