History of Christianity TrackMEHR TrackSeminarsResident Students 



Seminars

 

2010-2012 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 


2010-2012   

CH9023 Ephrem the Syrian, His Symbolic Theology, and His Influence
Study of Ephrem’s literary corpus in his fourth-century context, followed by consideration of his influence. Like Syriac Christian tradition as a whole, his life and work were in many respects at the crossroads: 1) at the geographical boundary between the Roman and Sassanid Empires in a time of war, 2) at the intersection of reli- gious boundaries––among them rabbinic Judaism in its Babylonian environment, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Nicene and Arian forms of Christianity, 3) at the intersection of literary categories, such as Syriac and Greek, poetry and prose. Strongest in his own Syriac tradition, Ephrem’s influence extends to Greek, Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, Arabic, and, possibly, Indian and Chinese Christianities as well as to early Islam. Cross-cultural and inter-religious aspects of his life and work will be explored. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2010–2011; Ms. McVey 

CH9025 Medieval Theological Literature
Topic of the seminar for fall 2011 is Hugh of St. Victor’s De sacramentis and Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias. Recent surveys of medieval theological literature, for an overview of the field. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2011–2012; Mr. Rorem 

CH9032 Worship: Liturgy, Ritual, and Piety in the Reformation
Among the most visible changes of the Reformation period, which affected the entire population of Western Europe, were those in worship. Theology was vital for reforms of worship, but continuities and discontinuities in liturgy and piety affect- ed much besides doctrine and had wide-ranging implications for all of religious life and practice. The early modern period was also a time of significant changes in Western views of ritual. The seminar will address issues of worship in the full range of Christian traditions (traditional medieval through Radical and Puritan) during the “long sixteenth century,” drawing on social history/ ritual studies as well as theology, liturgy, and piety. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2011–2012; Ms. McKee 

CH9033 Calvin and the Classical Reformed Tradition
An examination of the theological, institutional, and pastoral development of the classical Reformed tradition in the context of early modern (Reformation) history. Particular attention will be devoted to John Calvin’s teaching and practice of ecclesiology and ministry. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2010–2011; Ms. McKee 

CH9071 Protestant Theological Education and American Christianity
An examination of Protestant theological education in America from the late eighteenth through the twentieth century, with particular emphasis upon the history of Princeton Theological Seminary. Attention will be given to the ways in which theological education sought to shape its religious, intellectual, and cultural contexts and in turn was shaped by them. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2010–2011; Mr. Moorhead 

CH/EC9080 Seminar on Popular Spiritual Movements in Southeast Asia
This course explores the theme of present-day “popular spiritual movements” in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. This research aims to study how local Christian communities re-establish their reference points amid the challenges of nation building and of identity formation in multiethnic societies. The seminar explores issues on concepts, sources, and methods for this research, and on the wider mis- siological implications for the study of world Christianity. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2010–2011; Mr. Michael Poon

HR9035 World Christianity through the History of Religions
Collectively and individually, “conversion” is a multidirectional process found throughout religious history. In the academy, a lively debate has been conducted about the nature and determinants of conversion. The seminar will assess a variety of theoretical models, historic and contemporary, from those that are common in biblical studies to those that are constructed by the social sciences, the “cognitive” model of Africanist Robin Horton for example. Phenomenologically, ‘conversion’ occurs in all religious contexts, not only to and from Christianity but also from and to all other religions; thus, the approach will be comparative in outlook. The seminar’s prime concern, however, is theory and methodology for understanding Christianity’s emergence in the global South, through ‘conversion’; there, the dom- inant context is ordinarily shaped by traditional religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2010–2011; Mr. Young 


 

2009-2010   

CH9025 Medieval Theological Literature
Recent surveys of medieval theological literature, for an overview of the field. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2009–2010; Mr. Rorem 

CH9034 History of the Peasants’ Wars in Sixteenth-century Europe
The history of the sixteenth-century Peasants’ Wars remains controversial to this day. Long a point of contention between Marxist and Western interpreters, describing and understanding the conflict is still a central challenge to “mainline” Protestant traditions—most of whom argued for and benefited from the peasants’ defeat. This course will examine historical source material as well as important secondary literature in order to gain a balanced and nuanced appreciation for the main social, economic, and theological aspects of this sixteenth-century conflict. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2009–2010; Mr. Appold 

CH9055 Modern European Church History: European Christianity and the Construction of Gender
For much of history gender was assumed to be rooted in a divinely established and/or natural order. Recently, a number of historians have begun to show that gender identities were more flexible than presumed. Christian doctrines and practices often proscribed or reinforced assumptions of gender, but at times also could be involved in altering them. This course explores the interaction of gender roles and identities with Christian institutions, practices, and theologies within the changing social conditions and intellectual developments across the history of modern Europe. 3 credits.
Fall Semester, 2009–2010; Mr. Deming 

CH9072 Race, Racism, Religion: American Religion in Historical Context&
Why is Sunday morning still the most segregated time in America? A partial answer to that question comes from understanding the intersections of race and religion in American culture. How is a view of American religion complicated when using the lens of race to provide a critique? How does the history of racism unfold in America if one argues that it is primarily connected to religious developments? Using history, theology, critical race theory, film, and literature, this course proposes a careful consideration of issues of race, racism, and religion in a variety of American faith traditions, but most notably in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Special attention will also be paid to those traditions, denominations, and groups born as a result of the intersection of race, religion, and racism in the United States. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2009–2010; Ms. Pierce 

CS9026 The Sociology of Religion
Designed to provide a thorough grounding in contemporary social theory, with focus on the problem of secularization. Theorists to be studied include Parsons, Luckmann, Robertson, D. Martin, B. Martin, B. Wilson, Bellah, and Hammond. Comparative analysis of institutions in complex societies. Issues in the interpretation of language and ritual. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2009–2010; Mr. Fenn 



 
2008-2009   

CH9021 Patristic Theological Literature
Topic of the seminar: The Early Arian Controversy. The focus will be primarily on the letters, theological treatises, creeds, and other records of synods directly per- tinent to the Arian Controversy ca. 300–350 AD. Other materials to be adduced as background are: select ante-Nicene theological literature, especially Origen’s Peri Archon and Commentary on John and Tertullian’s Adversus Praxean. The principal secondary literature will be brought into the discussion as well. Facility in Greek and French, German, or Latin is required from those taking the seminar for a letter grade. May be taken as a “reading” seminar by doctoral students with French or German. 3 credits.
Spring Semester, 2008–2009; Ms. McVey 

CH9025 Medieval Theological Literature
Topic of the seminar for Fall 2009: Recent surveys of medieval theological litera- ture, for an overview of the field. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2009–2010: Mr. Rorem 

CH9033 Calvin and the Classical Reformed Tradition
An examination of the theological, institutional, and pastoral development of the classical Reformed tradition in the context of early modern (Reformation) history. Particular attention will be devoted to John Calvin’s thought and practice, with consideration also of the wider extent of the early Reformed tradition, both key fig- ures and geographic expansion. 3 credits.
Fall Semester, 2008–2009; Ms. McKee 

CH9034 History of the Peasants’ Wars in Sixteenth-century Europe
The history of the sixteenth-century Peasants’ Wars remains controversial to this day. Long a point of contention between Marxist and Western interpreters, describing and understanding the conflict is still a central challenge to “mainline” Protestant traditions—most of whom argued for and benefited from the peasants’ defeat. This course will examine historical source material as well as important secondary literature in order to gain a balanced and nuanced appreciation for the main social, economic, and theological aspects of this sixteenth-century conflict. Fall Semester, 2009–2010; Mr. Appold 

CH9071 Protestant Theological Education and American Christianity
An examination of Protestant theological education in America from the late eigh- teenth through the twentieth century, with particular emphasis upon the history of Princeton Theological Seminary. Attention will be given to the ways in which theo- logical education sought to shape its religious, intellectual, and cultural contexts and in turn was shaped by them. 3 credits. Fall Semester, 2008–2009; Mr. Moorhead 

CH9072 Race, Racism, Religion: American Religion in Historical Context
Why is Sunday morning still the most segregated time in America? A partial answer to that question comes from understanding the intersections of race and religion in American culture. How is a view of American religion complicated when using the lens of race to provide a critique? How does the history of racism unfold in America if one argues that it is primarily connected to religious developments? Using history, theology, critical race theory, film, and literature, this course pro- poses a careful consideration of issues of race, racism, and religion in a variety of American faith traditions, but most notably in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Special attention will also be paid to those traditions, denominations, and groups born as a result of the intersection of race, religion, and racism in the United States. 3 credits. Spring Semester, 2009–2010; Ms. Pierce