Professors: William Bryan, Ruben Habito, Valerie Karras, William Lawrence, Bruce Marshall, James McMillin, Edwin Sylvest
The purpose of the Division II program is to examine the life and thought of the Christian community in its historical expressions and to introduce the student to the interrelations between Christianity and world culture. Studies are offered in the historical development of Christianity, the manifestations of its outreach around the globe and the varieties of religious and cultural contexts with which it has come in contact.
Enrollment in advanced HR courses requires prior completion of HR 6302 World Religions and Christianity: A Global Perspective. Enrollment in advanced HX and WX courses requires prior completion of HX 6305, 6306 The Christian Heritage. Exceptions to these prerequisites are by permission of the academic dean only.
Beyond the regular elective courses offered each term, reading courses in Division II may be arranged. Information may be obtained from the registrar.
HR 6302. World Religions and Christianity: A Global
A study of world religious traditions, their interaction with Christianity and their implications for the mission and ministry of the church in the contemporary world. The course examines the global context of ministry, including themes such as poverty and socioeconomic injustice; the ecological crisis; and cultural and religious diversity as issues for theological reflection and for interreligious cooperation.
HX 6305, 6306. The Christian Heritage I, II.
An introductory study of modes of piety, patterns of thought and styles of practice that have shaped and reshaped the Christian heritage in its major variations, from its beginnings to the present. Six term hours, three hours per term.
HX 7312. Early Christian Art.
A study of the development of Christian art from such early evidence as the paintings of the Roman catacombs and the church of Dura-Europos to the flowering of Christian art and architecture in the Theodosian age. In particular, the course will examine the emergence of a Christian vocabulary, of form and content, in the art of the fourth and fifth centuries, using both visual and literary sources. Taught occasionally, in conjunction with Meadows School of the Arts. Three term hours.
HX 7314. The Reformation.
A study of the background, origins and spread of Catholic and Protestant reform movements in mainland Europe, England and the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries, with particular attention to theological and spiritual developments at the institutional and individual level. Attention will be paid to lay devotion, preaching, liturgy and spirituality as integral to the socio-religious context of the Lutheran, Reform and Tridentine churches. Three term hours.
HX 7316. History of American Christianity.
An introduction to the most important historical forces that have shaped the character of American Christianity, together with a critical evaluation of some of the outstanding themes and issues in the history of American Christianity. The objective of these studies is a fresh understanding of the Christian mission in contemporary American society. Three term hours.
HX 7322. Christianity in the Hispanic Tradition.
A survey of the development of Christianity in Spain and its former New World colonies. Special attention will be given to the evolution of those traditions that are formative of Hispanic culture and religious experience, Roman Catholic and Protestant, in the United States. Three term hours.
HX 7324. Christianity in Latin America.
The development and influence of Christianity, Roman Catholic and Protestant, in Latin America from the 16th century to the present time with special attention to Christianity’s present status and problems in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile. Three term hours.
HX 7335. Wesley and the 18th Century.
An examination of the life and thought of John Wesley in the context of the culture of his day. Special attention will be given to the social and political issues of his day, the philosophical and theological options that were prevalent and the manner in which the Wesleyan movement took up the challenge to reform the nation, especially the church. Three term hours.
HX 7365. United Methodist History.
A historical survey of the polity and doctrine of Methodism: its beginnings in Wesley’s “Societies,” the evolution of British Methodism in its first 100 years and the development of American Methodism from its origin to the present. Three term hours.
HX 7366. Presbyterian History, Doctrine and Polity.
This course is designed to equip Presbyterian students to meet Presbyterian (U.S.A.) ordination requirements with respect to understanding The Book of Confessions and The Book of Order. Three term hours.
HX 7367. Unitarian Universalist History and Polity.
A study of Unitarian Universalist traditions and structures for students preparing for ordination or lay ministry within the Unitarian Universalist Church. The course will be arranged with assistance of denominational officials on an as-needed basis. Three term hours.
HX 7368. United Church of Christ History, Doctrine
A study of United Church of Christ traditions and structures for students preparing for ordination or lay ministry within the United Church of Christ. The course will be arranged with assistance of denominational officials on an as-needed basis. Three term hours.
HX 7370. Anglican History and Theology.
An introduction to Anglican Church history, theological developments and the development of the Anglican Communion. Three term hours.
HX 7371. Episcopal History and Canon Law.
An introduction to Episcopal Church history and canon law. Three term hours.
WX 7310. World Christianity: Its Mission and Unity.
Examination of the world Christian community in a changing global context, with consideration of the expansion of Christianity from the perspective of the recipients as well as the missionary senders. Studies of the formation of churches and theologies within cultural diversity, Christian interaction with other religions, the ecumenical impulse and movements toward unity and the struggles for renewal on each continent. Special attention given to new publications from African, Asian and Latin American sources. Three term hours.
HR 8331. Women in World Religions.
An inquiry into the images, status and roles of women as defined or conditioned by Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam and by the traditional cultures of China and Japan. Three term hours.
HR 8333. Understanding Jewish Faith.
Historical-systematic analysis of the basic doctrines, institutions and movements of Jewish life and thought from biblical to modern times. Three term hours.
HR 8036. National Council of Christians and Jews
This is a January interterm course involving participation in a seminar attended by students of theological schools of various Christian denominations in the Southwest and with participation by representatives of the Jewish community. The four-day seminar focuses on a particular theme in Jewish-Christian relations, addressing it in the context of Scriptural, doctrinal, ethical and practical perspectives. Themes vary from year to year, including, but not limited to, the Theology of Creation, Issues in Scriptural Hermeneutics, Faith and Justice, and Approaches to Religious Pluralism. One and one-half term hours.
HR 8341. The Christian-Buddhist Dialogue.
A seminar on key issues in the effort of contemporary Christians and contemporary Buddhists to learn about and from each other. Through examination of writings by Buddhists and Christians interested in dialogue, the course will consider various understandings of existence, of ultimate reality, of evil and of religious knowledge, as well as the characteristic spiritual disciplines found in each tradition. Three term hours. Prerequisites: HX 6305, 6306.
HR 8342. The Christian-Hindu Dialogue.
A seminar on key issues in contemporary Christian-Hindu dialogue, examining doctrinal and practical-experiential dimensions of each tradition, as well as broader issues of “mutual transformation” and pluralistic theologies. Three term hours.
HR 8343. Contemporary Christian-Muslim Dialogue.
A survey of key issues in contemporary Christian-Muslim dialogue, with a special emphasis on the issues of religious life and freedom for religious minorities in modern states and the role of inter-religious dialogue in the midst of a clash of civilizations. The course will conclude with participation in several dialogue sessions with Muslims living in the Dallas area. Three term hours.
HR 8360. Eastern Spiritualities and Christian Mysticism.
An examination of Eastern spiritual traditions that developed in India, Tibet, China and Japan and of Christian mystical expressions from the New Testament and from Christian history to discover resonating themes that can ground an understanding of “spirituality” in interfaith dialogue. Three term hours.
HX 8308. Varieties of Medieval Theology.
An exploration of the diverse approaches to basic issues of Christian faith among the monastic, scholastic and mystical theologians of the Middle Ages, especially the 12th to 14th centuries. Readings from several of the following: Anselm, Abelard, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Victorines, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Eckhart, Julian of Norwich and others. Three term hours.
HX 8321, 8322. The History of Christian Doctrine.
A cumulative examination of the basic doctrines and theologies that have shaped the Christian tradition. In the fall term, the course will survey the formation of the patristic, Byzantine and medieval Western theological traditions. In the spring term, it will start with the Reformation, Catholic and Protestant, and will conclude with certain 19th-century developments. Three term hours each. Prerequisite: A minimum of six term hours in church history and permission of the instructor. HX 8321 may be taken by itself, but it is a prerequisite for HX 8322.
HX 8325. The Ecumenical Movement.
An examination of the current major developments in the Ecumenical Movement, including the World Council of Churches; regional councils; the Second Vatican Council; the Church of South India and other unions; and the proposed Church of Christ United in the United States and Methodist involvement. Three term hours.
HX 8329. Mary in Christian Tradition.
An examination of the formation of Christian teaching about Mary, noting similarities and differences among Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions. The place of Mary in the popular piety of medieval Europe, especially Spain, and of Mexico will be examined with a view toward understanding her significance for contemporary Christian life and reflection. Three term hours.
HX 8337. Sex and Gender in Greek and Latin Patristic
This course will compare and contrast patristic views of human sexual differentiation and the construction of gender by examining and critically evaluating both primary sources and modern scholarly works. Three term hours. Prerequisites: ST 6300 and HX 6305, 6306.
HX 8338. Patristic Anthropology and Soteriology.
This course will study Greek and Latin patristic views of theological anthropology and related soteriology by examining and critically evaluating both primary sources and modern scholarly works. Three term hours.
HX 8342. Studies in Luther.
A study of the life and thought of Martin Luther, with special attention given to his doctrine of justification, his social ethics and his significance for the contemporary church. Extensive readings in Luther’s representative works. Three term hours.
HX 8343. Calvin and the Reformed Tradition.
A study of the life and thought of Calvin, the reformation in Geneva and the development of reformed churches elsewhere on the continent and in Scotland to the Synod of Dort (1618-19). Extensive readings in Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and other primary texts. Topic to be announced when course is offered. Three term hours.
HX 8346. The History of the Bible in the Reformation.
An exploration of the cultural, intellectual and political circumstances of the Bible during the Reformation period. The question will be: What did the Reformation do for the Bible? The main focus will be on English-language Bibles (e.g., Wyclif, Tyndale, KJV). Course projects will be based on holdings in Bridwell Library. Three term hours.
HX 8354. African American Christianity in the United
A study and appraisal of selected topics and problems in African American Christianity in the United States. The course will integrate historical studies and current concerns with the objective of providing a fuller understanding the African American religious experience in American society. Three term hours.
HX 8356. Popular Piety in Mexico and the Southwest.
An examination of the manifestations of popular religious devotion in the mestizo traditions of Mexico and the southwestern United States. European and American antecedents of that devotion will be examined with a view toward understanding its relation to the Christian heritage and its potential for contemporary theological reflection and pastoral ministry. Such phenomena as the cult of the saints, devotion to Mary and the Penitentes will be given particular attention. Three term hours.
HX 8358. A History of Hispanic Protestantism: “Chicanos
An examination of the origins of Hispanic Protestantism as a consequence of the meeting of the Anglo-Celtic culture of the British Isles and Hispano-Indian culture of New Spain in the southwestern United States. The course offers an understanding of the antecedent traditions, the circumstances of their encounter and the resultant institutions, practices and values that characterize Hispanic Protestantism in the United States. Three term hours.
HX 8360. Studies in Wesley.
Studies in the sources and development of Wesley’s theology, with special reference to theological methods, norms and ecumenical relevance. Three term hours. Prerequisite: HX 7365 or permission of the instructor.
HX 8361. Wesley as Evangelist.
A study of the evangelistic theology and methods of 18th century Methodism, especially those of John Wesley, and their implications for contemporary practice. Three term hours. (Co-listed as EV 8361) Prerequisite: HX 7365 or permission of the instructor.
HX 8367. Studies in World Methodism.
A general survey of the worldwide growth of Methodism, exploring issues in mission, culture and theology. Past and current Methodist writings from around the world will be examined, including documents from the World Methodist Council and Oxford Theological Institute. Research projects in original materials will be integral to the course. Three term hours.
HX 8383 History of Methodism
A seminar course examining the history of Methodism in Texas from 1815 to the present time, offering students the opportunity to do original historical research in unedited documents available at Southern Methodist University and elsewhere. Three term hours.
WX 8321. Christian Mission in Cultural Context.
A study of the mission, development and influence of Christianity in various cultures, with special attention to the role of the church amid societal tensions, nationalism and social change. The course may be taught as an overview course on campus or as a focused, on-site study of a particular region of the world. The specific topic will vary with each offering. The course may be repeated for additional academic credit.. Three term hours. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor for off-campus offerings.
WX 8322. Christianity in Asia.
A survey, with historical background, of the problems, achievements and prospects of the Christian churches of Asia amid a revival of ancient religions, growing nationalism contending ideologies and revolutionary social ferment. Three term hours.
WX 8328. Theological Issues in World Christianity.
A survey of important present and emerging theological issues confronting the world Christian community. Topics include world religious pluralism; Christian views of other religions; interreligious dialogue; worldwide women’s consciousness; concern for the natural environment; world economic and political structures; cultures and Christianity; Christian theologies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and other areas; contemporary reexaminations of Christian doctrines; and mission theology in the midst of diversity and tension. Three term hours.
WX 8332. Mission Studies.
A comprehensive study of Christian mission, including a review of the historical background; a survey of mission presence in a world with religious plurality and new theologies; and a theological analysis of mission theories, paradigms and practice. The opportunity will be provided for research into areas of special concern. Three term hours.
WX 8340. The Church’s Global Nature and Mission:
A Planetary Connection.
An examination of the global context of the Christian church and a review of the diversity of cultures, religious beliefs and practices of the earth’s people, with special concern for how the Christian church can define its nature and be in mission in this context. Three term hours. (co-listed as XS 8340)