RELIGION 316. (3) THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. Through careful reading of John and of ancient works that clarify Johnâ€™s imagery, the class attempts to understand this simple and profound Gospel. Students also read selections from interpreters, such as Origen, Augustine, Calvin, and Brown. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 319. (3) BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN PRACTICE. A careful study of a particular Biblical book and of issues in its interpretation. Students seek to understand the work with imagination and strive to tame that imagination by precision in observation and argument. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 415. (3) SEMINAR IN BIBLICAL STUDIES. A seminar on a focused topic in Biblical studies that prepares students for a significant exercise in research. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. COURSES IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND ETHICS RELIGION 221. (3) HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT I. A study of important Christian thinkers and the historical currents in which they worked from New Testament times to the Reformation. Readings include the work of several early Church Fathers and Medieval mystics as well as singularly important figures such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, with a view toward exploring the diversity of Christian experience, practice, and theology in the first fifteen hundred years of the Christian era. Prerequisite: none. RELIGION 222. (3) HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT II. A study of important Christian thinkers and the historical currents in which they worked from the Reformation to the present. Within the great diversity of this period, the course focuses upon the work of the Reformers (Luther, Calvin, the Anabaptists), the development of 18th and 19th century liberalism, and the subsequent reactions of thinkers such as Newman, Kierkegaard, Barth, and Balthasar. Prerequisite: none.
RELIGION 225. (3) CHRISTIAN ETHICS. An exploration of Christian ethics emphasizing the role of Christian community and identity as fundamental to Christian ethical practice. An initial examination of the Biblical, theological, and historical bases for Christian ethics in the first part of the course leads to focused discussions of specific contemporary moral and social issues in the latter part of the semester. Prerequisite: none, but Religion 101 or 102 is recommended. Offered: spring semester. RELIGION 321. (3) REFORMATION THOUGHT. A study of the disintegration of medieval Catholicism, the rise of Protestant Christianity, and the development of Catholic reform in the sixteenth century. This course emphasizes the interaction between religious, theological, social, and political forces. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 323. (3) THEOLOGY AND LITERATURE. A consideration of the usage of specific Biblical and/or religious themes or motifs in contemporary literature. The emphasis is on discerning what principles of interpretation are used in giving contemporary expression to specific themes. The specific themes vary. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 324. (3) THE CROSS OF CHRIST: HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION. The death of Jesus has been a significant event for the faith of Christians since the time of the New Testament, believed by many to constitute the definitive act of God on behalf of humanityâ€™s salvation. Despite this, the collective witness varies widely on just what this death means for humanity, with some critics arguing that it should not be a central focus of the faith at all. This course considers the history of this event--insofar as it can be obtained from the earliest testimonies-and the many interpretations it has received by Christians and non-Christians alike. Key thinkers may include Athanasius, Anselm, Abelard, Luther, Nietzsche, Simone Weil, Rene Girard, Leonardo Boff and Jurgen Moltmann. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.