Developing a Christian Mind (DCM)
Developing a Christian Mind (DCM) is a first-year core course that introduces students to the central intellectual project of Calvin College, the development of a Christian worldview, and a faith-based engagement with culture. All DCM sections include common readings and plenary lectures, which sketch out the broad contours. Each section then works out the implications of a Christian frame of reference in relation to an issue of contemporary relevance. Student evaluation is based on classroom participation, quizzes on the readings and lectures, writing assignments or presentations, and a final exam.
IDIS 150 01 DCM: Eugenics & Personal Genomics. Eugenics – the self-direction of human evolution through the promotion of desirable traits and the elimination of undesirable traits – is the topic of this hybrid on/off campus DCM course. While eugenics is a philosophy we most commonly associate with Hitler and Nazi Germany, few are aware of the eugenics programs that were vigorously promoted by prestigious institutions, notable political leaders, and pastors in the United States well before Hitler. Would it surprise you to know that tens of thousands of people were sterilized during the American eugenics movement? For obvious reasons, after WWII eugenics programs and their support fell into disfavor. However, the sequencing of the human genome coupled with advanced technology has again made directed modification of the human species probable, with seemingly good intentions. However, is the genetic modification or selection of embryo's to prevent disorders an acceptable form of “treatment,” rather than drug therapies and surgical procedures used today? Is the unprecedented accessibility to data from your own personal genome (90 diseases and traits for as little as $400) leading us again down the slippery slope of hatred, discrimination, and devaluation of subsets of humanity similar to the old eugenics movement? Using readings, class discussions, and visits to key historical sites in the eugenics movement (including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Ellis Island, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), this course will evaluate the rise of eugenics, its original hopes, subsequent fall, and re-invigoration in the genomic era. Students will learn to recognize eugenics in all of its forms, and will evaluate its implications in political, socio-economic, moral, and religious contexts.
Students will spend approximately one week in New York and Washington, D.C. Students will be graded on the basis of class participation/activities, blogs and reflection essays, an exam, and a course paper. Fee: $1500. NOW offered ON-campus. J. Wertz, A. Wilsterman. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 38 DCM: Eugenics& Personal Genomics. The self-direction of human evolution through the promotion of desirable traits and the elimination of undesirable traits is a philosophy we most commonly associate with Hitler and Nazi Germany. Would it surprise you to know that eugenics programs, including mandatory sterilizations were vigorously promoted in the United States well before Hitler by prestigious institutions such as the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation, and by notable persons such as H.G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, J.H. Kellogg, and Woodrow Wilson? Would it surprise you to know that the American eugenics movement, American funding and American technology promoted Hitler’s human extermination program? For obvious reasons, after WWII eugenics programs and their support fell into disfavor. However, the sequencing of the human genome coupled with advanced technology has again made directed modification of the human species probable, with seemingly good intentions. However, is the genetic modification or selection of embryo's to prevent disorders an acceptable form of “treatment,” rather than drug therapies and surgical procedures used today? Is the unprecedented accessibility to data from your own personal genome (90 diseases and traits for as little as $400) leading us again down the slippery slope of hatred, discrimination, and devaluation of subsets of humanity similar to the old eugenics movement? What decisions go into obtaining and interpreting this genetic information, who should have access to it, and what values should guide our use of it? This course will evaluate the rise of eugenics, its original hopes, subsequent fall, and re-invigoration in the genomic era. Students will learn to recognize eugenics in all of its forms, both past and present, and will evaluate its implications in political, socio-economic, moral, and religious contexts. Students will be graded on the basis of class participation/activities, blogs and reflection essays, an exam, and a course paper. S. Nelesen & R. deJong. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 02 DCM: Global Hunger: Issues of Food Security and Sustainability. In this course students identify the root causes of global hunger and its linkage with environmental health, economic health, and social justice issues. By developing a clearer understanding of where our food comes from, students evaluate the sustainability of our current food system on environmental, nutritional, and social health. Factors considered in local context include land and water resource use, pesticides and chemicals, biotechnology, organics, farmer markets and community-supported agriculture. The local context, once fully informed, is applied to the global environment. Having understood the current global situation from environmental, economic and social justice points-of-view, students can then investigate ways in which they can serve as intentional and effective agents of redemption today and in the development of their vocational plans. This course examines how our perspectives influence our perceptions and understanding of world hunger issues. Students examine how the causes of world hunger are deeply rooted in our understanding of the nature of human beings, the meaning of creation, and the relationship of human beings to their environment. Students also consider how our understanding of the norms of justice and how a biblical concept of justice applies to the worldwide distribution and availability of our daily bread. U. Zylstra. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 03 DCM: Christian Practices in Business. Is business inherently evil, a sphere of activity that worships money, dehumanizes people, and destroys the earth? Or through God’s grace can it be an avenue of redemptive activity, one into
which the faithful are called to do His work? If the second, how do faithful men and women serve God in business? This is a daunting question. We address these questions in this course by examining Christian beliefs and practices to seek to understand how they may lead to faithful business practices. Students will develop their own understanding of how Christian practices can influence business practices based on observations, lectures, and readings. Evaluation will in part
be based on reflection papers, cases, a project and a final exam. T. Cioffi, P. Snyder. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 04 DCM: Leadership & Character - Why? '...becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It's precisely that simple, and it's also difficult. So let's get started." (Warren Bennis). There is a lot of talk about “character” but what does it actually mean and how can we relate it to the world in which we live, learn, and work? The Christian life we lead is in the present - but God also redeems our past and has plans for our future. If we are to understand this Christian life, with its responsibilities and particular callings, we must start by understanding ourselves - in Christ. Our character is a complex interaction between God's 'wiring' of our bodies and background, the contributions others make to our life, and our unique participation in co-writing our story with God. Leadership first rests on character and the importance of ethics and authenticity. In business, and in life, you can't lead others if you can't lead yourself. Students will explore the scriptural basis and foundation for Christian "character" and "virtue". "Who" we are is critical in dictating our moment by moment actions and the impact we have on others. Following the study of current virtue taxonomies (NT Wright, and others), students will prepare and present an analysis of a current or historical figure of interest. Students will also explore their own Core Identity – starting with purpose and calling (using writings by authors such as L. Hardy and O. Guinness). Students will also use new assessment tools and processes. The course will culminate with the development of a Core Identity statement consisting of: Virtues, Values, Passions, Spiritual Gifts, Strengths, Competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, and personality), and their Story. Evaluation will be based on written reflections on assigned topics, an in-class presentation, class participation, and an integrative paper that includes their Core Identity statement. B. Cawley. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 05 DCM: Having Faith in the Theatre. Students engage with key issues of our faith and culture. These issues include questioning our own sense of truth, the meaning of human suffering, death and dying, longing for fulfilling relationships, abuse and power, racism and sexism, and the struggle of human existence. Through a thoughtful and careful study of contemporary plays such as “Doubt,” “August/Osage County,” Next to Normal,” and other works currently running on the worldwide stage, students delve into the meaning of a Christian’s role in contemporary life. Students read six plays (also viewed on film and in the theatre if possible), keep a daily journal on their reading, give a critical presentation on one of the plays, write an integrative essay, and take a final exam. S. Sandberg. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 06 DCM: Non-profit Issues & Challenges. Grand Rapids has many non-profit agencies dedicated to helping people in various ways. This course explores what it takes to find a career in non-profit work, and what leadership qualities non-profit agencies need. Through course lectures and discussions, and through the use of the course textbook, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Non-Profits, students gain an awareness of the local non-profit network, as well as an understanding of non-profit leadership issues. Students also engage in self-assessment for potential work in the non-profit arena. Evaluation is based on daily journal entries and participation in book discussion sessions. M. Fackler. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 07 DCM: Theatre, Faith & Identity. Theatre is “the stuff” of human behavior and human interaction. Theatre allows students to see characters striving to make a life in this world and sometimes failing. Students see that a character from centuries past, from a continent away, from a culture unlike our own, is much like ourselves: human, fallible and broken searching, for meaning and identity—searching for God. Theatre breaks down barriers by allowing students to understand that all people fail, laugh at human foolishness, and weep with characters that are undone by circumstance. This course examines several plays that highlight how theatre helps mankind to understand identity and faith and Christian practices of testimony, discernment and hospitality. D. Freeberg. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 09 DCM: Two Kingdoms: Homer, Augustine and Christian Faith. This course features selections from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as well as Augustine’s City of God. Through careful reading, extensive classroom discussion, and short student papers and presentations, the course will seek to examine the first, and arguably most robust and compelling, account of the earthly city in the Western tradition, namely Homer’s tragic vision of a world in war and peace. We will then look at Augustine’s attempt to delineate the two kingdoms by their respective loves and ends. Foundational questions of the course will include: What is the nature of human excellence (arête)? Does this excellence vary from person to person or is it uniform? What obligations does the human being who seeks such excellence have to self, others, and God? What resources are there within the Reformed confessions, relying as they do on Augustinian anthropology and soteriology, for answering these questions? D. Noe. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 10 DCM: Practices of Christian Pilgrimage. Life is full of noises, hurry, busyness, crowds and of frustrations, fears, resentments and worries, too. Each of these—and a thousand other static noises—tend to distract a person. They can lure one away from the path of careful Christian obedience—from living with careful Christian focus and purpose. How then, amid these discordancies and distractions, to learn to slow down and to ‘let life’s blessings catch up’? How daily to cultivate awe and delight? Jesus invites his would-be followers to walk attentively—daily to train their eyes to see and their ears to hear God amid the fine-print details of their circumstances. He wants them to grow, as He did, in faith, hope and love. And in deep wonder, too. This course shall explore the several Christian ‘practices of the heart’ which generation upon generation of Christians have commended as useful for learning to live with, like & for Jesus. Students will read and reflect together upon a number of (classic and contemporary) Christian treatises. The course will include a pilgrimage into the deliberate rhythms of monastic Christian community at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. Students will be given opportunity to report on this “journey into solitude” at the 2012 Calvin Symposium on Christian Worship. Fee: $500. D. Cooper, D. Kelderman. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 11 DCM: Capitalism. First, this course offers an introduction to the way economists think about market-based economic systems, including the institutional foundations of well-functioning market economies. Second, it examines major Christian and secular critiques and defenses of market economies, including both moral and practical arguments. Students interact with these arguments and use them to discuss questions related to major policy disputes. Should we support international trade & globalization? How strictly should we regulate financial institutions? How much wealth should we redistribute? Additionally, the class focuses on questions of individual participation in market economies given a Reformed Christian worldview. In this vein, students consider their consumption and production choices. Are Christians called to buy Fair Trade? Should we buy primarily locally produced goods? Should a Christian business look different from a secular business? Students are evaluated using exams, writing assignments, and various forms of class participation. S. McMullen. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 12 DCM: God and Culture. Have you ever had a puzzling conversation with someone where even though you spoke the same language you could not quite communicate and this led to frustration or misunderstanding? Our ways of communicating, as well as our values, norms, and behaviors are shaped not only by our language, but also by cultural influences. In this course, students deepen their understanding of the cultural influences on their own values, norms, and behaviors as well as on those from other cultures, with a special emphasis on Native American cultures. Lack of cultural awareness can lead to severe problems, from oppression by dominant cultures throughout history to simple cultural misunderstandings that impede communication in international relations today. At a national level, this can lead to human suffering. At an individual level, lack of cultural awareness can result in lost opportunities to grow from encounters with those different from us. Throughout the course students read, discuss, and listen to a variety of speakers and insights. The learning objectives include a heightened awareness of how cultural contexts and faith traditions impact human relationships; a deeper understanding of how the Reformed tradition of Christianity relates to other faith traditions; and increased listening and conflict resolution skills. Evaluation will be based on written papers, oral presentations, and thoughtful discussion. B. Haney. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 13 DCM: Pop Culture in the Empire. The word "empire" refers to a complex reality that is referenced throughout Scripture and has significant implications for daily faithfulness in today's world. This course uses Colossians Remixed (Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat) and additional resources to help define empire and the role of fully awake Christians living in the empire. Popular culture is explored in a very broad sense, with particular reference to food, fashion, shopping, advertising, television, film and music. The course material interweaves pop culture with theological and philosophical concepts such as truth, storytelling, imagination, hope, modernism and postmodernism. Through reading, film viewing, discussion, guest speakers and special projects, students explore the problem of sin reflected in idolatry, consumerism and power manipulation, but they are also encouraged to find hope in the Kingdom of God, rooted in individual practices and communal rituals. Course evaluation consists of reading responses, group projects, online conversation with other students in the class, as well as a final project that allows students to choose a particular area of pop culture in which to apply the theological framework presented in the course. K. & R. Vander Giessen-Reitsma. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 14 Dramatic Families: Dreams, Dysfunctions, and Occasional Solutions in Shakespeare and Modern Drama. This DCM section will study a number of plays featuring families suffering from maladies such as death, abandonment, and betrayal; these same families have members who each have their own dreams, desires, and aspirations. We will ask questions such as these: How do these families differ from what might be considered God’s design for families? What has brought about these problematic situations? How do characters’ dreams seek to rise above the dysfunction? How are they the cause of it? How is redemptive hope present (or absent) in the different families? How is all of this relevant to our own lives? How can the study of such material glorify God, draw us closer to Him and others as we become increasingly conformed to His image, and help advance His Kingdom? We will study The Tempest by William Shakespeare, A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. D. Urban. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 15 DCM: Utopian Literature. The word “utopia” means both “good place” and “no place,” and utopian literature has traditionally been about places that are too good to exist in the world as we know it. The Garden of Eden is a kind of utopia; the redeemed heaven and earth promised in the Bible is another. In between those utopias, humans have always—and will always—create utopian visions of their own, usually in comparison to the cultures they live in, but also to pose larger questions: What would an ideal world look like? What in human nature prevents our world from looking like that? And wouldn’t one person’s idea of utopia be awfully oppressive or boring to someone else? Students this course arrive at questions like these through class discussion of major utopian works, such as Thomas More’s Utopia and George Orwell’s 1984, through short written assignments, and through a creative project. Students will also be evaluated using daily quizzes and an exam. C. Engbers. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 16 DCM: Called to Serve - Called to Lead. Through tears of shattered dreams, empty success, cruel injustice, and broken promises, the world cries for a sense of meaning, a sense of hope, and new life. Where are the leaders who can show us a “new land”, a “new beginning’, and a “new hope” for a better tomorrow? Exploring the commands of Jesus, the Biblical message, and Reformed theological insight, the course will examine (in practical terms) two propositions: (1) “Leadership is not simply a question of how can “leaders better serve”, but rather how can “servants better lead” and (2) “Today’s leaders are already in our midst.” Class sessions will incorporate guest speakers, lectures, one-on-one and small group discussions, videos, and readings from Neal Plantinga, Jim Collins, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Timothy Keller. Students will be evaluated on the basis of performance during in-class discussion, group work, writing assignments, and final exam. S. Berg. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 17 DCM: Cooking & Eating in American History. Eating is something we all have in common: it opens up both our senses and our consciences to our place in the world.” Through films, readings, discussions, cooking, and eating, this course examines how Americans have put food on their tables and consumed that food from the colonial era to the present. Course material draws on cultural studies, gender studies, political theory, environmental studies, and reformed theology, and examines all in historical perspective. Individually and communally, students will learn to articulate how the reformed tradition both fosters and inhibits a moral analysis of historical and contemporary food production and consumption. Specific topics for investigation include: farming, gardening, processing, industrialization, consumerism, fast food, gender roles, kitchen technology and design, multinational corporations, Jamie Oliver and Alice Waters, and connections between mealtime, civility, and American democracy. Each day, participants will gather around a table to consider food in light of reformed understandings of creation, sin, justice, and shalom, discovering the Christian mind while appreciating that the mind inhabits a body that must be fed. Methods of Evaluation include written reflections and papers, presentations, a take-home exam, and class participation. K. Du Mez. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 18 DCM: Other Sheep Have I. This course will examine theological, doctrinal, sociological, and philosophical motivations for African American Christians engaging in African missions work. The objective is to understanding how one group of Christians has approached missionary work as a vocation, and how Christians may have multiple motivations for missionary work. The primary focus will be on African American Protestants and their work in Africa historically Students will be evaluated on the basis of performance during in-class discussion, short-writing assignments, journals, a long essay, group presentations, and a final exam. E. Washington. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 19 DCM: Coaching Young Athletes. This course is designed to provide students with knowledge and practical experiences related to coaching young athletes. The focus is on knowledge, skills, strategies, and issues in youth sport. This course aims to develop insight and knowledge for a youth sport leader, primarily in the areas of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy, and secondarily in physiology and risk management. Cultural norms involved in coaching the young athlete will be critiqued using a Reformed worldview in an attempt to expose the complicated demands of coaching and the necessary tools one should possess in order to be successful in coaching. J. Bergsma. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 20 DCM: Music, Manipulation & the Mind of God. This course explores music's power to influence our feelings, thoughts, actions, and beliefs in light of the Christian's call to spiritual freedom and service. We’ll hear from filmmakers, psychologists, musicologists, philosophers, theologians, linguists, sociologists, music therapists, church fathers, rock stars, civil rights activists, worship leaders, poets, economists, classical composers, and athletic trainers – all of them taking their best shot at identifying various types of musical power, while suggesting ways we might incorporate them into our lives. Students willing to evaluate their own habits and attitudes regarding music will find plenty to stretch their imagination while encouraging new means of spiritual growth. D. Fuentes. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 21 DCM: The Music of Joy. "It is a certain sound of joy without words, the expression of a mind poured forth in joy.” For St. Augustine, music—especially wordless singing—is a means through which joy becomes embodied in meaningful sound. This linkage of music and joy is deeply embedded in human culture from antiquity to the present day. And as for St. Augustine, such music is for many the expression of joy rooted in contemplation of God. But music can also trigger a response that is palpably similar to the experience of joy, that might be described as not only expressive of joy but an actual experience of joy itself. In this way it may produce what C. S. Lewis described as a “stab of joy:” an experience that may arise, unlooked-for, at any time and in any circumstances. Such experiences can produce an almost unbearable longing that finds its true object in Jesus Christ alone. Building on key passages in the Old and New Testaments, the task of this course is to assemble a framework for understanding joy and its relationship to the experience of music. Consideration is given to how joy emerges even in the midst of sorrow, and that the experience of joy can lead to compulsive behaviors and even idolatry. Musical examples include chants by Hildegard of Bingen and the polyphonic organum of the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and other classical composers, the progressive rock of Yes, the jazz of John Coltrane, and film scores by Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings) and Vangelis Papathanassiou (Chariots of Fire). Students will keep a daily journal, write the obligatory DCM integrative paper, and take a final exam. T. Steele. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 22 DCM: Figuring Yourself Out. Who are you? Most of us have no clue. The aim of this class is to help students figure themselves out by asking questions. We ask two kinds of questions. On the one hand there are the philosophical and theological questions, the "head questions." So in the first part of the class, before the break each day, we read through Engaging God's World and tackle whatever questions the students want to address about prayer, God, evil, free will, etc. But there are also, and centrally to this class, the much more personal "heart questions"; the sorts of questions you need to have answered if you are going to understand you better. The second part of the class each day tackles these questions. This involves lots of quiet journaling (with music!) in response to lots of focused questions, and lots of discussion (also with music!) in pairs, in small groups, and as an entire class. We get to know each other very well. Both inside and outside of class, the students answer some 200 questions about themselves; about every aspect and dimension of their self-conceptions, deep desires and longings, childhood memories, wounds and traumas, relationships with God, thought lives, insecurities, personal philosophies, hopes for the future, etc. Throughout, students are encouraged to locate themes that run throughout their lives and to understand these in the light of the cosmic drama of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Vocation. The final assignment encourages students to synthesize the main messages and themes of their life into a single essay: grades are based on attendance, class investment, daily journals, a large final paper, and the final exam. D. Herrick. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 23 DCM: Jewish Thought & Culture. Christianity arose from a Jewish context, but interactions between Jews and Christians have often been strained. The Jewish people have developed traditions that are frequently quite different from those found in Christianity. This course aims to improve students' understanding and appreciation of Jewish thought and culture. Through this process, this course aims to encourage a greater understanding of the Reformed tradition of the Christian faith. We will explore the lives and writings of several important Jewish thinkers. We will also explore creative and artistic works, looking for insight into Jewish culture and Jewish experiences. Evaluation will be based upon class participation, a journal, and a final exam. D. Billings. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 24 DCM: Christian Perspectives on Politics/Public Policy. This course focuses on key questions involved with a Christian understanding of and action in the public sphere. These topics include; the purpose of government and Christian attitudes toward government (with special emphasis on comparing Reformed perspectives to other Christian and other religious perspectives), civil religion and its dangers (with special reference to the United States), church-state separation/interaction issues, mixing biblical readings and public policy is an advantage. The main objective is to encourage intelligent, critical, and humble Christian reflection on and engagement in political and public policy issues. Objectives will be achieved through lectures, critical reading of texts (accessible yet thoughtful articles on each topic), class visits by political practitioners, classroom simulations, classroom debates, videos, and movies. Evaluation will be in regular quizzes, grading of writing assignments, and evaluation of classroom participation and preparation. D. Koopman. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 25 DCM: Human Nature. Does the Bible or religion have anything to say to Psychological Science? This course suggests that psychological issues have been contemplated throughout history. Issues such as mind and body, emotional disorders, child development, and social interactions have been addressed by many religious traditions. Students will review some of the basic topics of current psychological science. Each area will be followed by an exploration of what people – particularly as found in the Bible - have historically understood about these issues. Discussions will focus on the contrasts and similarities between each perspective. Considerable weight will be given to appropriate ways to understand biblical passages, theological interpretations and modern psychological theories. Discussions will also focus on ways to develop a coherent approach to resolve apparent conflicts or to benefit from each perspective. Students will lead many of the discussions and there will be several small group presentations and discussion sessions. S. da Silva. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 26 DCM: Psychological Perspectives on Humor. Humor is an integral part of the human experience, yet we rarely talk about it in academic settings. This course explores the many facets of humor, including a growing body of psychological research on why humor exists, and how it impacts our daily lives. The course follows three themes: 1) Why were we created to have humor? 2) How and why has humor been distorted and sometimes causes harm?
3) How can we be discerning with humor and use humor in the way it was intended? Specific topics include, psychological theories of humor (including recent evolutionary accounts), Biblical portraits of humor, the way our brains process humor (including brain conditions where humor comprehension is diminished), how humor develops in children, adolescents and emerging adults, social and psychological effects of humor (i.e., dark humor, humor that stereotypes, etc.), and the social and psychological benefits of humor. Considerable class time is devoted to critiquing and discussing examples of humor (e.g., comedy routines, movies, literature, sarcasm, jokes, etc.]. In addition to exams, students are evaluated through group projects that observe the occurrence of humor in a particular setting - using themes learned during the course. L. DeHaan, D. Tellinghuisen. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 27 DCM: Interpersonal Relations. Students investigate the psychology of interpersonal relationships, particularly one-to-one relationships, by examining their initiation, development, and patterns of interactions. Discussion includes topics such as roles, motives, aspirations, expectations, communication, self-disclosure, and resolution of problems. Classes consist of lectures, small-group discussions, analysis of case studies, films, and videotapes. The initiation, breaking, and restoration of relationships is an example of the creation/fall/redemption theme that will be developed in this course. Evaluation is based upon daily written assignments, daily attendance, analysis of case studies, a book-based paper, class participation, and a final test. A. Shoemaker. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 28 DCM: Animals, Angels, A.I. This class explores the distinctiveness of human beings as created in the image of God and the nature of human rationality in relation to other non-human creatures marked by some form of intelligence: animals, angels, and artificial intelligences. Focusing on human intelligence in comparison to non-human intelligence will help highlight the strengths and shortcomings of limiting our notion of imago dei and human uniqueness to rationality. By examining the nature of non-human intelligences and how human beings relate to creatures with such
intelligences, the class addresses the questions “What does it mean to be human?” “What is ‘intelligence’?” “How should we understand and respect the integrity of the non-human?” “How should human beings interact with the non-human?” “What relationships do non-human creatures have with each other and with God?” Textbooks, essays, short stories, and films serve as materials to engage the topic. Students keep a daily journal recording comments, questions, and insights arising from these materials. Class time involves lecture and discussion. Students write three essays, take quizzes, and write a final exam. B. Madison. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 29 DCM: The Scandal of the Incarnation. This section is designed for students who wish to explore in greater theological depth various readings of the familiar “Creation-Fall-Redemption” paradigm so frequently employed at Calvin College in discussions of its educational mission and its Reformed worldview. In particular, we will strive for greater theological insight through a study of the Incarnation of the Son of God and the implications that doctrine might have for Calvin’s paradigm. Readings will be from St. Irenaeus, the 2nd century Church Father who first clearly articulated the Church’s response to the growing anti-creational and anti-incarnational threat of Gnosticism. Implications for the contemporary setting of Christians and Christian churches in American society will be discussed. Students will learn basic theological concepts and vocabulary and learn how to express them coherently in written and spoken form. Students will be evaluated with quizzes, exams, papers, and discussions. A. Griffioen. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 30 DCM: World Christianity: Christ of the China Road. Some say that by the end of the 21st century, China will be largely Christian. How is Christ received by Chinese people accustomed to Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist traditions? How do indigenization and syncretism differ? What are the main doctrinal characteristics of the indigenous Chinese Church? What are Chinese “cultural” Christians? What are Chinese “house” churches? What is the relationship of the Christian church to Chinese government? To universities? To seminaries? What are six important ways in which CRC Christians are engaged in China today? How will Christian faith continue to grow and deepen in China in the future? Through readings, art, short videos, feature-length films, and class discussion, students will learn 1) about indigenous Chinese religious traditions, 2) good Christian mission, and 3) the history of Christian faith in China, with a focus on the post-1949 Christian church in China. Students will also integrate what they learn about Christ on the China Road with Reformed narrative theology: creation, fall, redemption, renewal/restoration. Students will also learn how to do good sentence outlines. Students are required to do daily outlines of readings, take daily quizzes on all the readings, participate daily in class discussion, participate in one team presentation, write one carefully constructed integrative essay with sentence outline, and take one final exam. Students will receive a letter grade (A-F) for all daily outlines, quizzes, team presentation, integrative essay, and final exam, Through this very structured course students work hard and enjoy how much they learn! D. Obenchain. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 31 DCM: Living the Psalms. This particular “Developing a Christian Mind” course focuses on God’s world through the eyes of the biblical psalms. It entails a history of the Book of Psalms, and study of the common genre of psalms (lament, praise, thanksgiving, and psalms for wisdom teaching or festival use), their spiritual and literary qualities, and their use in personal and corporate worship. The themes of Plantinga’s Engaging God’s World (creation-fall-redemption-vocation-kingdom-consummation) will be explored in specific psalms by the instructor and by students in their presentations, so that there will be interaction between the psalms and the Christian world-and-life perspectives that are central to the mission of Calvin College. The course requires an oral presentation, written work, group discussion, and tests. B. Polman. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 32 DCM: Music as Therapy in Everyday Life. Think of the myriad ways one engages with music through the course of a day. What needs in our lives does music fulfill? What needs in the world can be addressed by music? This course will explore the ways in which music can impact our lives, transforming us and reflecting God’s redemption of the world. Through readings from contemporary musicology and the social sciences, films, and a variety of musical styles, students will explore the questions, 1) What is music? 2) How does music make us human? And 3)How might different musical forms and practices contribute to the healing of a broken world? The field of music therapy will be looked at as a “case example” of themes and concepts discussed. No formal music training is required, though students will have the opportunity to participate in group music-making experiences. Evaluation will be based on participation, reading responses, journal entries, oral presentations, and a final exam. E. Epp. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 33 DCM: The Church in the 21st Century. The local Christian church is changing rapidly. Shifts in worship style, music, the visual arts, and the role of lay leadership are only a few of the elements driving these changes. Others are asking, “What does a biblically functioning church look like?” And, “What is the role of the local church in the Kingdom of God?” Still deeper, many Christians are questioning the necessity of the institutional church. These questions are compounded by a North American society that is becoming rapidly more secular, pluralistic, and materialistic. Local churches must be ready to respond and speak clearly to these and other issues. This course will challenge students to think about their individual roles within the local church, and to think carefully about the nature and mission of the local church within a broad Kingdom context. Students will be required to attend local church worship services each Sunday (and one Saturday evening) of Interim. R. S. Greenway. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 34 DCM: Catholic Reformers & the Hispanic Spiritual Tradition. As Christians, we are called to sharpen our understandings of our own practices and points of view through hospitable but critical analysis of other peoples and cultures. This course will do that by closely investigating the founders and legacy of one of the principal rivals of the Protestant Reformation from which Calvin College takes its bearings—the Catholic Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. We will engage with such spiritual giants as Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Teresa of Avila as they explore the interconnections of spiritual devotion, faith and doctrine. We will also investigate through text and film how heirs of the Catholic Reformation throughout the centuries have dealt with issues of high import at Calvin College today. For example, we will study how the Spanish Enlightenment priest Jerónimo de Feijoo handled the intersection of faith and "science," and we will use the Hollywood hit film Romero and Guatemala-centered documentary Reparando to explore Christianity's counter-cultural mission, its calling to pursue political and social justice as this resonates both on the current Latin American scene and with the idea of Kingdom consummation in Cornelius Plantinga's DCM text, Engaging God's World. Join this course to see where, why, and how Catholic reformers and their inheritors might converge with or separate from Calvinists on important matters of theology, faith and spiritual practice. In the process, be enriched in your understanding of the religious background and spiritual perspectives of your Hispanic neighbors in North America. Course and readings will be offered in English with some optional original texts for those who read Spanish. A. Tigchelaar.
IDIS 150 35 DCM: The Gospel According to Oprah: Religion, Media, & Contemporary Female Authority. Oprah Winfrey has been described as the "media messiah for a secular age."
Through her daily television program, magazine, and cable network, Oprah has successfully used the mass media to present messages about morality that reflect – and occasionally challenge – popular culture. This course is a critical exploration of Oprah and her ideas, and of how a single black woman became arguably the most influential person of our time. Comparisons to other figures will be made wherever appropriate, in an attempt to understand the (gendered) role of cultural authority in postmodern society. M. Hughes. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS 150 36 DCM: Multi-Sensory Worship. As they critically examine the formal elements of art and popular culture, students are led in the study of aesthetic principles governing the creation of ministry and fellowship aids, then challenged to apply those principles in collaborative design projects which may include, power point, video, website design, worship bulletins, cooking, painting, photography, aromatherapy, and architecture. B. Fuller. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 38 DCM: Eugenics& Personal Genomics. S. Nelesen & R. deJong. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS 150 39 DCM: God Rested - Why Can't You? Living in a life of a 24/7 world, the notion of rest may come to our mind as an anachronism, a fantasy, or simply unimaginable. While we are created to worship God and rest in Him, we tend to worship our work, and rest in ourselves. These distortions affect our perceptions of ourselves, our relationships with others, and most importantly, our relationship with God. We may wonder, “Do I realize life while I live it, every, every minute?” This class will examine some of the personal and socio-cultural forces that drive us toward living restless life. In addition, this class will assist in developing a new perspective that will help rediscover leisure, work and rest. Assessments will include quizzes and a personal plan for leisure project. Y. Lee. 8:30 a.m. to noon.