RLGN,LAW, & LEGITIMATE GVRNMNT (RS-1535)Credits:1.5
The core of this course will be a 2 1/2 day conference held at the Congregational Church in Berkeley which examines the legitimacy of government in the light of issues like: the national security state after the cold war; poverty, economic justice and budget priorities; low intensity warfare and international human rights. (See brochure description of conference.) In addition to the full-time attendance at the conference from Sunday, November 4 beginning at 7pm and ending Tuesday, November 6 at 9pm, students will be required to attend a 2 hour session in preparation and at least 2 hour session following the conference. First meeting will be Sunday 11/4/90 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm; place TBA.
FAITH ROOTED ORGANIZING (RS-2007)Credits:1.5
This course will give students an understanding of the emerging discipline and practices of faith-rooted community organizing, in the context of the overall field of congregational/community organizing. Students will learn the core goals and strategies of congregational/community organizing and examine the way that secular or faithful assumptions about the nature of reality impact the theory and practice of organizing. Students will leave the course with a vision for how to incorporate relevant principles of faith-rooted organizing in their ministries and/or collaborative initiatives for systemic social change. Course meets daily 7/6/15-7/10/15, from 9am-1pm, at MUDD 102. NOTE: For registration & summer session policies, see www.psr.edu/summer.
FAITH IN LOCKDOWN AMERICA (RS-2008)Credits:1.5
RETHINKING FAITH IN LOCKDOWN AMERICA Racialized police violence, mass incarceration, the death penalty and tightening surveillance networks today service an ever more corporatized USA - this being an assemblage of structures often referred to as "Lockdown America." This assemblage is a renewed manifestation of US imperial and European colonial histories, constituted also by forces of white racism, gender and sexual repression. "Lockdown America" is not just a challenge for Christians today, it demands re-thinking and re-creating what Christianity is. This course offers resources for precisely this task of critical reflection and reconstruction. The instructor will share his own critical assessments and theological proposals and welcomes extensive dialogue with class members on rethinking Christian faith, toward the end of forming radical social movements to produce institutions that guard freedom for the majority, especially those locked down in poverty or "near poverty." Course meets daily, 7/13/15-7/1715, from 1:30pm-5:30pm, at MUDD 102. NOTE: For registration & summer session policies, see www.psr.edu/summer.
THE PUBLIC SQUARE (RS-2230)Credits:3
API SEXUALITIES (RS-2480)Credits:3
This course will explore the experiences and realities of Asian Pacific Islander (API) LGBT people across various Christian traditions (evangelical, mainline, Roman Catholic). To deeply understand the intersections between API, LGBT and Christian identities, the course will feature multiple media of learning and instruction, including readings of historical and modern texts, film and video, guest speakers, simulation activities, theater, and a field experience in an affirming API Christian church. Students will gain transformative knowledge and be equipped with tools for ministry and activism in API, LGBT and Christian contexts. Class includes one field experience on August 3, Sunday, from 10 am -1 pm off site (place TBD). Major topics will include: 1. LGBT history and realities in the United States, Asia, and the Pacific; 2. Identity and coming out, as individuals and families; 3. Family, parents, and parenting; 4. Discrimination / marginalization / microaggressions; 5. Advocacy and organizing in API faith communities; 6. HIV/AIDS and stigma in API faith communities; 7. Arts and culture; and, 8. Ministry and theology in API LGBT contexts. Course meets weekdays 7/28/14-8/8/14, from 5:30-8:30pm, at MUDD 103. NOTE: For registration & summer session policies, see www.psr.edu/ summer. Course is available synchronously online to distance learners with instructor's permission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. [Auditors excluded]
SEXUALITIES IMMERSION (RS-2481)Credits:1.5
This course will provide students with the opportunity to engage face-to-face with people who are part of the rich sexual geography of the San Francisco Bay Area. The class will visit sexually-affirming spaces, such as a display of sex-positive art and a sex club, and engage in direct conversations with sex workers, BDSM practitioners, and others who are a part of San Francisco's alternative sexual communities. We will consider sexual health through conversations with professionals providing reproductive health care and HIV and STD prevention, harm-reduction, and treatment efforts. Each encounter will be framed with selected readings and a period of individual and group theological and ministerial reflection. Students are expected to have previously taken a sex-education class at a college level or gained equivalent knowledge and be committed to engaging the topics of the class with an open mind. Students should be prepared to hear adult language and conversations and may see nudity but will never be asked to view or participate in any sexual activity. This is a unique opportunity to consider our theological and ministerial response to real-world sexual cultures and practices. Class meets daily, 7/21/14-7/25/14, from 1:30pm-5:30pm at MUDD 102 and offsite. [PIN code required; 20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
SEX AND THE SACRED (RS-2495)Credits:1.5
THEO-PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES Today we know a wide range of human sexualities, and we recognize the profound psychological import of sex. Traditionally, in contrast, along with all physical reality, sex was thought to be ignoble and even dirty or nasty, so sex was allowed only for procreation. Marriage and child-rearing were to hallow sex temporarily, but only its avoidance would sanctify the unmarried. So linking sexuality with spirituality today poses a novel challenge. To meet it head on, this course suggests a novel solution: to recognize spirituality as first and foremost an essential facet of humanity--namely, the unfolding of an open-ended, self-transcending dynamism within the human mind--not necessarily as something connected with organized religion or even belief in God. These would be expressions of spirituality, not its source. This solution turns the traditional emphasis up-side down; it elaborates the nature on which grace is to build; it illumines the mystery of creation, which points to its Creator. In considerable detail, the combination of contemporary psychology and Bernard Lonergan's account of the human spirit (consciousness) fills out this new vision. It exemplifies Lonergan's Method in Theology, proposes a viable solution to the current challenge of sex, and suggests the direction helpful religion must take to serve a global, i.e., pluralistic, community. Class meets daily, 7/12/10-7/16/10, from 9:00am-1:00pm, at PSR. NOTE: For registration, see www.psr.edu/summer.
THE NEW ATHEISM IN AM CULTURE (RS-4600)Credits:3
One could say about prognostications about the decline of religion in the United States (and elsewhere) what Mark Twain once quipped upon learning of newspaper reports of his own death - they are greatly exaggerated. Nonetheless, in recent years we have seen the emergence - within scholarly (and not-so-scholarly) books, the mass media, small groups, and so forth - of a self-confident and self-consciously public atheism. This course is designed to explore this reality and interrogate its meaning. Among topics we will address are: the mutually influencing processes of secularization and sacralization; ideological and cultural change; the historical roots of atheism in the West, small groups and social movements devoted to promoting atheist, humanist, and ^free thinker^ political agendas; and theories of high and post-modernity. Format: lecture and discussion sessions. Requirements: classroom participation, choice between multiple short papers or a longer final paper. [20 max enrollment]
RESEARCHING LIVED RELIGION (RS-4950)Credits:3
This course will introduce students to research methods for investigating religion sociologically. Students will learn how to pose well-conceptualized and theoretically informed research questions and then devise research designs based upon empirical study. Particular focus will be on training students to use in-depth interview, participant observation, content analysis and survey methodologies. Students will read exemplars of each of these methods and also be given opportunities to practice them vis-a-vis research topics generated by both the professor and themselves. This course is very highly recommended not only for Religion and Society students, but for any students who simply want to become knowledgeable about these methods or who intend to use one or more of them in addressing their thesis or dissertation topics. [20 max enrollment]
FUNDRAISING FOR MINISTRY (RS-4998)Credits:3
In this one week intensive course, students will learn how to create a fundraising program for their house of worship or other nonprofit organization, including an in-depth exploration of the role of money in creating social change, the process of asking for money in person, creating a fundraising plan, and the role of a board of directors and volunteers. In addition, students will be exposed to a variety of fundraising strategies including grantseeking, direct mail, special events and on-line. Course meets weekdays, 1/26/15-1/30/15, from 9:00am-4:00pm, at SKSM Reading Room [18 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
VARIETIES OF LGBT RELIGION (RS-8239)Credits:3
Stories highlighting debates over the place of gays and lesbian believers in American religious life fill the media nearly every day. These reports give us some indication of the varieties of religious phenomena experienced by lesbians and gay men in diverse religious traditions. Many hold a deep alliance to these traditions. Others follow a more sectarian impulse. Still others pursue new forms of spiritual practice outside easily recognized religious structures in popular culture. This course will give students an appreciation of the variety of religious life among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons of faith. This ONLINE course meets asynchronously using Moodle. It has no required meeting times. High-speed internet connection required. See http://moodle.gtu.edu/mod/resource/view.php?id= 22717 for full technology requirements.
COUNTEROPPRESSIVE SOCIOLOGIES (RS-8450)Credits:3
Rich sociological traditions offer tools and knowledge for dismantling systems of oppression, creating social change, and building just faith communities. This course offers an introduction to critical analysis of social behavior, organization, and institutions for faith leaders and religious scholars. Students engage foundational texts and empirical research relevant to religious tradition and experience in order to develop theoretical and substantive bodies of knowledge as well as interpretive skills. Focus areas include feminist theory, affect, postcolonial thought, biopower, social movements, and critical race theory, among others. In each weekly unit, central questions address the nature of human action; the role of State power and ideology; notions of self, "other," and agency; and systemic oppression and social change. The course requires weekly on-line discussion and live video sessions. Students may complete a final research paper or a community-engaged research project. [PIN code required; 25 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
AFR AM BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS (RSBS-3010)Credits:3
Course designed to teach students how to interpret the Bible (primarily the New Testament) through the lenses of African American historical/religious realities while critically employing historical critical methods of interpretation. This course is offered under the auspices of the Black Church/Africana Religious Studies program.
DIAKONIA THEOLOGY (RSCE-2160)Credits:3
THIS CLASS IS BEING OFFERED IN KOREAN. This course is an introduction to Diakonia and its meanings. The word ^Diakonia^ is originally Greek and can be translated to the service and work of Jesus Christ. It is now also used as a common term for the social work of Christians. The major topic of this course deals with how the immigrant churches use Diakonia to help their community. By explaining Diakonia's historical background and exploring its inner meanings, the course will focus on our social problems and find ways to solve them. Furthermore, the course will compare Diakonia with Social Welfare and find their similarities and differences. The course will not only be an introduction to or discussion about Diakonia, but will also give a broader view of the major issues in our community and a deeper understanding of its importance.
This course will offer students a comprehensive look at human sexuality from a variety of disciplines, including theology, ethics, education, pastoral ministry, economics, and LGBTQ studies. The course will be grounded in knowledge about the human body and the ways in which sexuality and intimacy play an important role in human development and well-being. Students will have the opportunity to learn about sex education practices, including curricula, in use in progressive communities of faith, as well as engage with current issues relating to sexuality, such as reproductive health care, LGBTQ rights and more. The course will also include panels and field trips, giving students an opportunity to engage directly with the sexual communities and service providers in the Bay Area.
RSTRTVE JSTICE-WM/FM THEOETHI (RSCE-4030)Credits:3
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: INTERSECTING WOMANIST/FEMINIST THEOETHICS Restorative justice, as a conceptual framework, is rooted in ethical constructs of mutually reflective engagement and interactive accountability, as initially applied in criminal justice adjudication and educational conflict resolution process. Can restorative justice be re-envisioned as a public practice ethos with practical application for public justice work beyond present context of adjudicated mediation? Intersectionality centers dissonant experiences of diverse stakeholders margined by presumptive norms without a place or voice in equitable justice outcomes. A womanist/feminist theoethic examines restorative principles as reconciliation strategies to hold accountable the oppressive external sources in society and oppressive internal ecclesial environments toward justice and positive adaptive change. Students will examine justice theories to probe their interest in ethical justice issues through theological lens of societal practices and/or develop transformational strategies within ecclesial climates. Student discourse and research project contextualize theory application to specific relational processes in public or ecclesial settings. (3 units) - Master and Doctoral students welcome FALL 2017 Course meets Saturdays: 9/9, 9/30, 10/14, 11/11, 12/9/17; from 10:00am-4:30pm at ABSW.
READINGS IN CLIMATE JUSTICE (RSCE-4058)Credits:3
Shake My Future: Readings in Climate Justice is a hybrid seminar course intended for advanced masters students. The class can be elevated for doctoral students with additional work in conversation with the instructor. Students will be expected to engage in critical close readings of seven texts, assist with leading portions of class discussions, and complete a final research paper. This course focuses on recent writings in relation to climate change and climate justice, and works to situate an interdisciplinary approach to the subject within a broader exploration of religion, ethics, and society. Authors include: Pope Francis, Stacy Alaimo, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Robert Vitalis, Amitav Ghosh, Geraldine Terry, and Willis Jenkins. This is a HYBRID course. [Faculty Consent required; 15 max enrollment]
RELIGION & CULTURAL ANALYSIS (RSCE-4161)Credits:3
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the much-discussed (but less often understood) concept of culture and its implications for the study of contemporary religion. After attending to more theoretical concerns, we will investigate the manner in which a nuanced construal of culture is essential for better understanding such things as secularization, ideological subcultures, religious change, and the salience of religiosity in identity formation. By attending to these (and other) topics, students should acquire the theoretical and methodological tools necessary for becoming more sophisticated observers of religion as it is actually lived out in the United States and elsewhere. [20 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]
ETHICS OF SOCIAL RECONCILIATN (RSCE-4294)Credits:3
This seminar will consider theological and philosophical questions posed by the ethics of reconciliation in the social and political realms: In what respects is the reconciliation of peoples related to the themes of justice, liberation, reparation, and forgiveness? What are the appropriate forms of moral discourse invoked in assessing genocide, ^ethnic cleansing,^ institutional racism, or the systematic rape of victims? In what respects are distinctively theological interpretations possible or necessary? We will first explore the ethical dimensions of reconciliation, examining the interrelated aspects of justice, reconciliation, reparation, historical memory, and forgiveness. We will then examine and assess recent attempts at public reconciliation. Regular attendance and participation in seminar; final research paper of 20 pages. Intended audience MDiv, MA/MTS, PhD/ThD, STL/STD. [Introduction in Christian ethics; Faculty Consent required; 20 max enrollment]
ANARCHISM: RELIGION, ETHICS, P (RSCE-4313)Credits:3
ANARCHISM: RELIGION, ETHICS, POLITICS Anarchism emerged in the nineteenth century as an important transnational sociopolitical philosophy. Course participants will analyze anarchism as a political philosophy, religious ethic, and as a social movement, from the nineteenth century labor movement to the ongoing global justice movement, with the objective of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the normative visions (i.e. a society without violently enforced political decisions) presented by anarchist theorists and groups and the means that anarchists (from Thoreau and Proudhon, Bakunin and Tolstoy, Kropotkin and Emma Goldman, Dorothy Day and Murray Bookchin, and others) have prescribed and employed in order to realize their respective social visions.
FOUNDATIONAL SOCIAL THEORY (RSCE-5027)Credits:3
The purpose of this course is essentially twofold. First, it will introduce students to the following four important theoretical strands within the discipline of sociology: conflict theory (in both its Marxian and Weberian variants), structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism and rational choice theory. Second, by focusing specifically on the critical study of religion, this course will also demonstrate the salience and applicability of these theoretical frameworks as we investigate the work of contemporary sociologists who actually employ them as a means for analyzing religion in the modern world. This course, while open to other advanced students as well, is specifically designed to assist doctoral students in the area of Ethics and Social Theory as they prepare for the comprehensive exam in ^Foundational Social Theory.^ Format: Each class session will incorporate both lecture and class discussion. Requirements: Classroom participation, and a choice of multiple short papers or a longer final paper. [25 max enrollment; Auditors with Faculty permission]
API LGBTQ LIVES & CHRISTIANTY (RSFT-2481)Credits:3
This course will explore the experiences and realities of Asian Pacific Islander (API) LGBT people across various Christian traditions (Evangelical, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic). To understand the intersections between API, LGBT, and Christian identities, we will interact with a variety of media, including readings of historical and modern texts, film and video, guest speakers, simulation activities, theater, and a field experience in an affirming API Christian church. Students will gain transformative knowledge about the various intersections of API sexualities with Christianity and be equipped with tools for ministry and activism in API, LGBT, and Christian contexts. Major topics include: LGBT history and realities in the United States, Asia, and the Pacific; identity and coming out, as individuals and families; family, parents, and parenting; discrimination / marginalization / micro-aggressions; advocacy and organizing in API faith communities; HIV/AIDS and stigma in API faith communities; arts and culture; and, ministry and theology in API LGBT contexts.
SEXUALITY/RLGS PROFESSIONALS (RSFT-2493)Credits:1.5
SEXUALITY ISSUES FOR RELIGIOUS PROFESSIONALS Sexuality Issues for Religious Professionals is designed to offer students the knowledge and skills they need to address sexuality issues in their future ministries. The course will begin with opportunities for students to reflect on their own sexuality attitudes, values, and beliefs, as well has how their sexual identity and personal sexual history may affect their ministry. The course will cover foundational knowledge about sexuality issues, the interrelationship of sexuality and religion, and opportunities for the development of skills to provide counseling, education, preaching, and public witness on sexuality issues. NOTE: This one-week course can be taken on its own for 1.5 credits or can be taken as a prerequisite to the subsequent one-week Sexualities Immersion course, also offered for 1.5 credits. Class meets daily, 7/14/14-7/18/14, from 1:30pm to 5:30pm at MUDD 102. [15 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
FAITH AND PUBLIC HEALTH (RSFT-2498)Credits:3
A substantial body of research suggests linkages between spiritual beliefs and practices and individual health. More recently, there is a growing interest in looking at the linkages between community health and spiritual and faith practices. This course will explore the connections between spiritual and faith practices and the foundations of community health, with the goal of building stronger collaborations between public health and faith communities. The course will focus on four core arenas: 1. Scientific and theological frameworks that shape our understanding of community health and wellness; 2. Cross-cultural perspectives on faith and health; 3. Social justice as a nexus between faith and public health; and 4. Models of practice that combine public health and faith community strengths and assets. (Lecture, discussion, presentations, final project.)
PARISH PASTOR'S MNSTRY IN JAIL (RSFT-2572)Credits:3
This course is designed to equip pastors to respond to the immense spiritual needs and social challenges that are found every day in the jails and prisons of their communities. The students will explore the intense microcosm of society's struggles with race and class that is jail and the church's response to them. Our criminal justice system will be viewed from a pastoral, mission, and congregational education perspective. There will be opportunities provided for site visits and other projects in this vibrant cutting-edge ministry to ^the least of the brothers and sisters^ behind bars.
ISSUES FOR URBAN MINISTRY (RSFT-2582)Credits:3
Ministry in the cities of the U.S. presents special challenges and issues that are not exclusive to, but are present in the urban context with special intensity: Addiction, Drug Trade, Violence, Homelessness, Psychological disorder, Diversity/Multiculturalism, Jail/ Prison culture and the Criminal Justice System. Urban Ministry congregational models will be presented by Urban Pastors. Practitioners in the field of each of the issues covered will bring their expertise to the class as special invited speakers. The students will select a particular issue to research and will visit a jail and other site of their choice. [Auditors excluded]
ECO CORE INTENSIVE (RSFT-4017)Credits:3
Educating to ^Create Just and Sustainable Communities that Counter Oppressions^ (^ECO^) is a core goal of Starr King's M.Div. and M.A.S.C. degree programs. In this required core intensive, M.Div. and M.A.S.C. students' work together to form a framework for counter-oppressive spiritual leadership. We will ask: how can spirituality, ministry, and religious activism respond to the multiple and intersecting realities of injustice, suffering, and oppression in our lives and our world? What models of justice and sustainable community invite our commitment? Drawing on Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious sources, we will explore how in the midst of a world marked by tragedy, sorrow and injustice there remain abiding resources of beauty and grace that nourish resistance, offer healing and call us to accountability and community building. Reading and writing assignments to be completed before the course. The course will include discussion on Moodle. [Faculty Consent required; 22 max enrollment; Auditors excluded] Class meets daily, 1/23/17-1/27/17, from 9:00am-5:00pm at SKSM Fireside.
SUSTAINABLE RESILIENT LEADERS (RSFT-8416)Credits:3
How do those called to bless the world - to engage with the suffering and healing of others, and of the planet - ground and sustain themselves? Students will link theory, practice, and personal experience to develop their personal theologies for sustainable, resilient leadership - and learn practical tools to serve their vocations "for the long haul". Together, we will explore concepts including compassion fatigue, measuring emotional and spiritual health, vocational burnout, trauma stewardship, boundary setting, and care for self and community. Participants will also explore how to positively influence organizational culture and build healthy, sustainable congregations and other collectives. This interactive, multi-faceted, introductory course - ^Sustainable and Resilient Spiritual Leadership^ combines multimedia, readings, class discussion, a praxis (action/reflection) component, and more. [Faculty Consent required; 15 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
GLOBAL JUSTICE: A MUSLIM PERSP (RSHR-2920)Credits:1.5
In this course an attempt will be made to explore issues of global justice from a Muslim perspective--that is, from the perspective of a Muslim individual living in the 21st century. The issues range from the environmental crisis to the politics of occupation and dispossession. Through a deeper understanding of those global issues which most Muslims regard as critical to their honor and dignity, it is hoped that course participants would be in a better position to appreciate the situation confronting the Muslim world today as it interacts with the West. The course would, in that sense, help, in a modest way, to build a bridge between the two civilizations. Class meets T-F, 1/15/08-1/18/08, from 8:00am-1:00pm in MUDD 102.
COMPARATIVE INDIAN ETHICS (RSHR-4520)Credits:3
DHARMA, JUSTICE, GENDER AND ECOLOGY The course focuses on major founding insights, principles and practical applications of moral theology and ethical thinking - or Dharma - in India, from classical to contemporary times. It critically engages Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina, Sikh and Indian Muslim ideas of duty, right conduct, women and social ethics, ecological attitudes, and justice, negotiating personal law, constitutional rights, Gandhian responses and postcolonial with secular challenges. In the first section, students will read primary literature on competing ethical theories, Western and Indian. The next section will focus on practical moral issues, notably the dialectic of communitarian constrains versus individual autonomy, hierarchic governance vs democratic/liberal processes, religious proclivity vs secular ideals, rights trumping rites (duties), patriarchy vs gender justice, virtues vs instrumental rationality, as well as bioethical, animal, ecological and environmental challenges in a rapidly globalizing world. How modern India before and after Gandhi has responded to these challenges, amidst diversity and plurality of communities, is a question that will also inform the inquiry throughout. One short paper, one term paper, and class presentations. Advanced masters and doctoral students from all areas are welcome.
GANDHI AND NONVIOLENCE (RSHS-2221)Credits:3
GLOBALIZING CIVIL JUSTICE The course explores the many facets of 20th century's most influential savant of nonviolence (ahimsa) and the towering leader of South Asia's freedom struggle against the British Empire: Mahatma Gandhi. We will examine how from passive precepts of non-injury and compassion in Dharma (Hindu, Buddhist and Jain) spiritualties - bolstered by thought traditions encountered while abroad - Gandhi was able to evolve the powerful principles of nonviolent resistance, positive action, satyagraha, (truth-force), reinforced by personal disciplines of chastity, fasting, charity, prayer, and empathic love towards the other, as well as empowering the subaltern or the disadvantaged (e.g., women, children and under-caste groups). The wider impact and application of Gandhi's challenging ideas and techniques toward engaged social action for civil rights, or redressing injustice, discrimination, and inequitable access to economic capabilities, basic education, healthy sanitation, civil and fundamental human rights will be examined. Utilizing media and visual narratives, we will begin with his legal training in London, next explore Gandhi's formative experiments in conscious nonviolence in South Africa, then move to the decisive actions in his Indian homeland, and finally their imminent adoption and extension globally. As case studies of movements either profoundly influenced, or indirectly informed by Gandhian radical non-violence philosophy, we critically chart the Civil Rights struggles (from Du Bois to Martin Luther King, Jr), peace and conflict resolution strategies, responses to the ecological crisis; land, upliftment of women and children, animal rights, and liberational theologies. The class will debate whether Gandhi's moral philosophy of mindfully active nonviolence is still relevant in the post-secular age of anxiety about terror and war.
QUEER RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS (RSHS-8240)Credits:3
This course will offer an historical survey of leading LGBT religious figures in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Particular focus will be placed on exploring the activism and writings of select women and men who have been outstanding leaders in queer liberation and religion throughout the world. The cultural, historical, and religious contexts of these leaders will be treated in an effort to understand the roles these pioneers have played in queer-liberation movements within religious organizations and societies at large. Analysis of the legacy of these individuals and their movements will also be highlighted. This ONLINE course meets asynchronously using Moodle (http://gtu.edu/library/students/moodle-help). High-speed internet connection required. (Occasional synchronous class meetings maybe scheduled; see syllabus for details.)
RACE, ETHNICITY & NEW TESTMNT (RSNT-2470)Credits:3
Hispanic Summer Program at PSR in Intersession: A study of the theological intersections between race, ethnicity, and the New Testament. Students explore how the notions of race and ethnicity functioned in antiquity and how contemporary cultural contexts shape our interpretation of Scripture today. Particular attention is paid to the hermeneutical and theological implications of reading the texts of the New Testament in an ethnically diverse world. Class meets daily, 1/12/15-1/23/15, from 9:00am-1:00pm at MUDD 103.
THE LIFE-SUSTAINING MIND (RSPH-4032)Credits:1.5
What insights into the structure of reality will help us make the epochal transition from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization? And what spiritual disciplines will help sustain us in this ^Great Turning?^ This seven-session course is a philosophic and experiential inquiry, drawing on general living systems theory, Buddhist teachings, and Joanna's twenty years of deep ecology work. [14 max enrollment/ Sig. on Reg. Card] The class meets the first half of the semester: 1/31-3/20/00.
POP GOES RELIGION (RSRA-2000)Credits:3
Past courses in popular culture at seminaries have focused mainly on pedagogical aspects of using popular culture in churches. This course will attempt to explore a rationale/theology for studying popular culture in a religious context, as well as offer an in-depth survey uninhibited by notions of pragmatism, practicality, or usefulness. Once students become skilled exegetes of popular culture, drawing unforeseen relationships between genres, theories, and theologies, they will be better prepared to apply this knowledge to specific fields like homiletics, youth ministry, and religious education. Students will be expected to integrate themes and theories discussed in class, as well as demonstrate original thinking in development of new themes and theories for a rapidly developing field of cultural studies.
SPRTLTY/NONVLNT SCL TRNSFRMTN (RSSP-2470)Credits:3
SPIRITUALITY AND NONVIOLENT SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION: GANDHI, KING, DAY, AND CHAVEZ This course will explore quests for social transformation through the methodology of nonviolence as exemplified in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Cesar Chavez. Critical to the course will be an emphasis on the connection between spirituality and social action. What were the influences that shaped the zeitgeist of the times in which they lived? How were strategies determined and employed? What is essential to an effective nonviolent campaign? What were the faith foundations of these extraordinary leaders? What were their relationships to their communities? How did they manage to keep their resolve in times of disappointment? These are some of the questions the course will explore.
MYSTICISM & SOCIAL CHANGE (RSSP-4060)Credits:1.5
This course will explore the powerful synergy between mystic spirituality and social activism. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, ^Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.^ In the urgent and troubling context of current world events, we will look to the example of ^mystic-activists^ from diverse cultures and faith traditions for inspiration. Readings and class explorations will include Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Indigenous sources. Through a holistic approach of both head and heart, we will consider specific tools and practices to nourish and sustain us in our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work and ministerial service. Because the course is being offered in an intensive format, advance reading and viewing several online videos will be required preparation. This course is HYBRID (Residential with Skype participation). [Faculty Consent required; 20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded] SUMMER 2016 Class meets daily, 8/22/2016-8/26/2016, from 1:00pm-5:00pm at a location TBD.
DR. HOWARD THURMAN (RSSP-4568)Credits:3
DR. HOWARD THURMAN: THE SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND IN THE 21ST CENTURY Considered a 20th Century prophet by historian, Lerone Bennett, Howard Thurman created a body of spiritual insights exploring the relation between mysticism and social action. He was among the first African Americans to meet with Mahatma Gandhi, 1936, and was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was co-founding minister of the nation's first avowedly interracial, interfaith congregation, The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples. This course will focus on comprehending the ideal of community as expressed through the thought and ministry of Dr. Howard Thurman. Essential to the journey together will be the discernment of evidence of oneness across racial, sexual, gender orientation, cultural, religious and national boundaries.
HOWARD THURMAN:MYST/PSTR/PRPH (RSSP-4569)Credits:3
Howard Thurman was a 20th century religious leader and thinker whose prophetic vision and quiet mentorship were instrumental to Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists of the Civil Rights Movement, and beyond. Thurman's writings and sermons are rich with the poetics of mystic spirituality, yet reveal insightful social commentary on racism, militarism, and suffering that is as relevant and revolutionary today as it was during his lifetime. Through readings, discussion, creative activities, and video and audio recordings of Dr. Thurman, we will dive deep into his life and teachings and explore their application to our own spiritual development, ministry, and commitment to social justice and transformation. NOTE: This course will meet every-other-week beginning the week of January 30, 2017. [Faculty Consent required; 20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
SPRTLTY/RELIGIOUS QUEST IN AM (RSSP-4730)Credits:3
This course is essentially a sociological exploration of spirituality in the contemporary United States. In other words, we will attempt to analyze how Americans discern meaning and experience transcendence in their everyday lives in ways that both connect them to ^official^ religious institutions and in ways that distance them. Among the topics to be addressed are: patterns of religious belief and belonging; contemporary understandings of the self; new institutions for spirituality; changes in spirituality across the lifespan and among generational cohorts; research methods for interrogating spirituality in everyday life; and the connection between spirituality and wider socio-cultural changes within the United States and beyond. Format: each class session will incorporate both lecture and class discussion. Requirements: classroom participation, and a choice between multiple shorter papers or one longer paper.[20 max enrollment; Auditors with Faculty permission]
MYSTICISM & SOCIAL CHANGE (RSSP-8410)Credits:3
This course will explore the powerful synergy between mystic spirituality and social activism. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, ^Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.^ In the urgent and troubling context of current world events, we will look to the example of ^mystic-activists^ from diverse cultures and faith traditions for inspiration. Readings and class explorations will include Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Indigenous sources. Through a holistic approach of both head and heart, we will consider specific tools and practices to nourish and sustain us in our ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work and ministerial service. [14 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded]
ISSUES IN FEMINIST STUDIES: (RSST-2480)Credits:3
Introducing theologies and theories of women. This course will introduce students to the vast array of women's thought. Topics covered will include: experience, difference, essentialism and constructionism, sexuality, and embodiment.
ISSUES IN FEMINIST STUDIES: (RSST-2481)Credits:1.5
WOMEN AND GENDER IN ISLAM. In this two-week course we will do a close reading of the book, WOMEN AND GENDER IN ISLAM, by Leila Ahmed. The author explores issues regarding women and oppression within Islam by examining the historical roots and development of Islam, paying close attention to Islamic discourse on women and gender as developed within historical and cultural contexts. Through the use of supplemental readings, we will engage the author in dialogue around significant issues regarding women in Islam. CWR courses function according to a model called ^shared facilitation.^ (Proposed faculty consultant: Clare Fischer, SKSM) [15 max enrollment/ Sig. on Reg. Card; Auditors with permission of Faculty/ Sig. on Reg. Card] Class meets weekdays, 1/6-18/97, from 9:10am to 12:00pm, in MUDD 104.
WOMEN'S STUDIES IN RELIGION (RSST-2485)Credits:3
This seminar introduces the students to the methods and theories used in women's studies in the fields of religious studies. The course will help students learn to find out about and pay attention to the experience, influence and thought of women in religious traditions. Students will explore the application of these theories and methods to research projects of interest to them and learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. The course will also explore the uses and limits of the vocabulary of women's studies, the history and questions about such terms as feminism, gender, woman, and the rhetorical traditions associated with these kinds of terms. The course will be organized as a seminar and the grade will be based on an essay and the contribution of the student to the content of the course through class presentations. The course will be pitched at two levels, an intermediate Master's level and a doctoral level. [Auditors excluded]
HIV AND THEOLOGY (RSST-2546)Credits:3
This course addresses the history, theology and ethics of the complex personal, medical, social, cultural, and religious dimensions of HIV and AIDS. Particular attention to the pandemic will be given to the United States, Africa, and Asia. Because HIV and AIDS has disproportionately affected communities deemed expendable by the dominant culture, it reveals where there is racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia in every society. Evaluating secular sources for HIV culture as well as religious sources for theological insights will be a particular emphasis. Class meets weekdays, 7/18/2016-7/29/2016, from 1pm-5pm, at MUDD 204.
MATERIAL THEOLOGY (RSST-3370)Credits:3
This course explores objects of material culture as implicit theological sources that shape and reflect everyday human experience. Intersecting theology, globalization, and material culture, we will address pivotal themes that affect who we are and what we believe--including contemporary forms of theological agency and resistance, economics of belief and value, commodification of identity and relationships, holistic approaches to theological method, theological languages of architecture, big business, ^fair trade,^ and ^going green,^ and tangible efforts of liberation, de-colonization, and hope. Through readings, lectures, class discussions, case studies, multimedia presentations, observation experiences, and a final project, students will gain an expanded, interdisciplinary understanding of theology and how it functions in the world today. [18 max enrollment; PIN code requuired] This course is co-taught by PhD student Christy Newton with a Newhall Award.
THEOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY (RSST-3784)Credits:3
This seminar class will explore the understanding of technology and its relation to faith, especially in the works of important twentieth and twenty-first century religious writers such as Jacques Ellul, Bernard Lonergan, Hans Jonas, Walter Rauschenbusch, Johannes Baptist Metz and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. This class will not only look at the direct interaction between technology and theology, but also how certain areas of theology and certain eras of theological shift are related to technologies. This class is designed primarily for MA, MTS, ThM and advanced MDiv students, though doctoral students may take it with permission. The aim of this course is to probe the relation of religious belief and human technology, with the expectation that students develop a deeper understanding of the interaction of the two and a better sense of how to approach new technologies in their future ministry. Students will be evaluated through reflection papers, a presentation, and a final project. This course is taught by Levi Checketts with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Lisa Fullam. [15 max enrollment]