Paul Jones, Associate Professor
"Liberation theology" refers to recent Christian perspectives that connect theological and political inquiry. Specifically, authors attempt to link theological reflection on God, Jesus of Nazareth, human beings, creation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian ethics with normative analyses of race, sex and gender, economic in/justice, poverty, and human rights. In this class we'll read from some landmark texts by liberation theologians and will analyze and discuss the theological and political arguments advanced therein. While there is an emphasis on liberation theologies from the Americas (Black theology, feminist theology, and Latin American liberation theology are the three major sections of the course), we will also consider works from other parts of the world. Among the authors we will read are James Cone, Delores Williams, Gustavo Gutierrez, Serene Jones, Leonardo Boff, Marcella-Althaus Reid, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye. Students will be evaluated in light of in-class discussion and by way of a take-home final exam.
Kevin Hart, Professor
This course introduces students to spirituality, primarily as expressed in the Christian tradition yet with reference to other religious traditions. In particular, it concerns itself with three modes of the spiritual life: visions, contemplations, and mystical experiences. Students are invited to consider the spiritual or inner life in two ways: (a) texts, and (b) problems that arise from those texts. The main texts to be read and discussed are works by Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and the Cloud-Author: two English authors, one Spaniard, and one German; two women and two men. Among the questions to be considered are these: What differences are there between visionary, contemplative, and mystical writings? Do all these refer to experience in the same ways? Do male and female writers speak of the same things? Is spiritual life at the center or at the margin of institutional religious life? Does the spiritual life in Christianity resemble in important ways the spiritual life in other world religions? Attention will also be given to historical changes in the understanding of the spiritual life, especially the formation of the modern notion of "mystical experience." We shall also see and discuss a film in the course - "Into Great Silence" - which gives insight into the Carthusian spirituality that is advocated by the Cloud-Author.
Last Modified: 20-Nov-2012 15:45:54 EDT
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