REL W40 Movies and Music: Theological Themes. This course examines the expression of theological themes in select musical works and films. Compositions studied include works by Haydn (The Creation), Bach (St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Cantata 106), and Mozart (Requiem). Films analyzed include Babette’s Feast, The Mission, The Seventh Seal, and Amadeus. Where possible, the relevant libretto or screenplay is read prior to listening to or viewing the work in question. Prerequisites: interest in theology, the arts, and their intersection; readiness to listen carefully and watch discerningly; and willingness to engage in discussion. Students will acquire a knowledge of select theological themes; become acquainted with certain sacred compositions (and their composers); enhance their listening skills; become acquainted with certain films (and their directors); advance their skills in film analysis; and exercise their skills in discussion and oral presentation. Students will be required to do readings, keep a journal, write a paper, engage in discussion, and participate in a final exam. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major or minor. R. Plantinga. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
REL W41 Birth, Sex, and Death in the Biblical World. Why is sexual intercourse "unclean" according to Leviticus 15:18? If the body is in the grave, where is the "person" after death. In recent years, anthropologists and other social scientists have begun to examine more closely the ways in which human cultures conceptualize and organize the ordinary events of the human life cycle. Biblical scholars, too, have begun to consider these things by using the Bible, not as a theological textbook, but as a window into the lives of ordinary people in ancient Israel and the early Church. This course looks at various aspects of the human life cycle as they are described or discussed in the Bible. Material from other ancient Near Eastern cultures is also used to illuminate the thought world of the Bible. Some of the aspects of the life cycle covered are the reasons why people wanted to have children, theories of conception and fetal development, birth and the postpartum period, the female reproductive cycle, the structure of marriage, raising children, sexual activity and restrictions, celibacy, old age, death, and the afterlife. Students get to study biblical texts as reflections of a particular moment in human culture; look at and interpret various biblical texts for themselves; and think about how various biblical texts might apply today. Students write a paper which is based on the material covered in class. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major or minor. R. Whitekettle. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
REL W42 Learning to Pray Like Jesus. This course explores the place of prayer in the New Testament literature and the life of the early church, including the Jewish roots of Christian practice, and how the theology of prayer was developed in the early church fathers. Delving into the practical dimensions of the practice of prayer will include a look at the traditional spiritual disciples of meditation. We 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 evaluations are based upon two book reviews, class participation and the keeping of a personal prayer journal. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major or minor. D. Crump. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
CANCELLED REL W43 Martyrdom in Theology & Film. This course is a historical and theological study of Christian martyrdom that will devote significant attention to its cultural presentation in the medium of film. Topics considered include definitions of martyrdom, the literary genre known as “martyrology,” the theological significance that Christian traditions have attached to their martyrs, and the potential dangers of the concept of martyrdom, especially in an age of religious violence. To this end, students will study early church martyrs, the phenomenon of martyrdom in the Reformation era, and more recent martyrs such as the German anti-Nazi theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. By taking this class, students will develop a deeper understanding of the meaning and ambiguities of Christian martyrdom. These topics are examined through readings, discussion, lectures, and film. Evaluation is by means of short written reflections, class participation, and a take-home final examination. This course may fulfill an elective in the Religion major. Fee: $20. M. Lundberg. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
REL W44 One Bible, Many Readings. This course examines the emergence, development, and practice of non-Western-crentered biblical hermeneutics. Special attention is given to the phenomenon of biblical interpretation in Asia: how the Bible, a Semitic book formed in an entirely different geographic, historical, and cultural context, and interpreted for so many centuries by the West, can and should be interpreted in Asia by Asian Christians for their own people. In what way does biblical authority help Asian Christians confess Christ in a multi-scriptural content. Through engaging in meaningful dialogue with others, students learn a balanced attitude toward diverse readings of biblical texts. Student learning objectives are: a) to read an extensive amount of biblical and theological works of the Third-world perspectives, especially Asian perspectives; b)to be able to summarize and analyze the nature and contribution of this movement; c) to examine and construct their own biblical hermeneutical perspective. This course is designed for active dialogue sessions among participants on the subject matter. To facilitate discussions, each student will: a) lead two sessions on how non-Western readers interpret biblical texts (one from the Old Testament and the other from the New Testament); b) lead one session on a reading from Asian Faces of Jesus; c) bring a short paragraph reflecting the assigned readings. A final 5-page paper on a chosen biblical text which show how “you” read the text. This course may fulfill an elective in the Asian Studies major. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. W. Lee. 8:30 a.m. to noon.
IDIS W26 Theology of Narnia. L. Smit. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
IDIS W63 The Book of Revelation. D. Harlow. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.