Professors: William Abraham, Karen Baker-Fletcher, Charles Curran, Isabel Docampo, Robin Lovin, Bruce Marshall, Rebekah Miles, Joerg Rieger, Theodore Walker, Charles Wood
Coursework in Division III is intended to foster an understanding of the content of the Christian faith in its historical and contemporary articulations and to enhance the student’s capacity for constructive theological and ethical reflection. Basic studies provide an orientation to theological and ethical thinking and a knowledge of the principles of Christian doctrine and moral teaching. Advanced studies are offered on specific doctrines, theological questions and ethical problems, on the works of selected theologians and ethicists and on issues having to do with the relationship between contemporary Christian thinking and current philosophical, scientific, political and cultural developments.
The following courses are prerequisite for ST 6301 Interpretation of the Christian Message I and for MT 6303 Moral Theology: two of the four required terms of Basic Studies in Bible, the two terms of HX 6305, 6306 The Christian Heritage and ST 6300 Introduction to Theology. A minimum of one term of Basic Studies in New Testament must be taken either prior to or concurrently with ST 6301. Enrollment in ST 6302 presupposes satisfactory completion of ST 6301.
Enrollment in a 7000-level course in Division III presupposes completion of ST 6300 Introduction to Theology.
Enrollment in an 8000-level course in Division III presupposes completion of ST 6301 Interpretation of the Christian Message I (for advanced courses in systematic theology) or MT 6303 Moral Theology (for advanced courses in moral theology) or ST 6300 Introduction to Theology (for advanced courses in theology and culture). Exceptions to these prerequisites, when justifiable because of the nature of the advanced course or the student’s readiness for it, are to be decided upon by the academic dean.
Beyond the regular elective courses offered each term, reading courses in Division III may be arranged. Instructions may be obtained from the registrar.
ST 6300. Introduction to Theology.
A consideration of the aims and character of theological reflection in relation to the Christian life and to church leadership, giving particular attention to principles of reasoning and argument and to pertinent historical and contemporary examples. Three term hours.
ST 6301, 6302. Interpretation of the Christian Message.
A study, through lectures and preceptorials, of the methods and insights of systematic theology, aimed at aiding students in their own understanding of the content of the Christian faith. The lectures undertake to develop basic perspectives in theological analysis of the cardinal issues. The preceptorials provide opportunities for small group discussion, examination of doctrinal standards and the formulation of the student’s “credo.” Six term hours, three per term.
MT 6303. Moral Theology.
An introduction to ethical inquiry from a Christian point of view. The course examines selected past and present methods in moral theology, basic concepts and criteria developed in moral philosophy and selected situations as opportunities for concrete embodiment of Christian moral reflection. Three term hours.
ST 7029, 7329. Doing Theology From a Hispanic Perspective.
An analysis of the historical-cultural situation of Hispanic peoples in the United States and a consideration of theological themes germane to that situation. Attention will be given to the use and development of the theological resources within the Hispanic community. One and one-half or three term hours.
ST 7034. United Methodist Doctrine.
A study of doctrinal standards in United Methodism, with attention to Wesley’s thought, subsequent theological transitions and contemporary guidelines for doctrinal reflection in an ecumenical context. One and one-half term hours.
TC 7301. Philosophy and Theological Inquiry.
An examination of the discipline of philosophy as it relates to theological studies, with particular attention to the history of philosophy, relevant religio-philosophical problems and the development of the student’s critical skills. Three term hours.
ST 8311. Contemporary Theology.
A comparison of liberal, neoorthodox, postmodern, liberation and other theologies (approaches to theological methodology), exploring their implications for the present as well as the question of their social and historical locations. Three term hours.
ST 8314. The Christian Doctrine of God.
An inquiry in systematic theology directed toward the formulation of an adequate constructive statement of the Christian understanding of God. Three term hours.
ST 8318. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
A consideration of selected themes, images, issues and problems, both past and present, in the area of Christological doctrine. An attempt will be made to draw some guidelines for present-day thinking about Christ. Three term hours.
ST 8321. The Christian Doctrine of Providence.
A systematic theological study of the Christian doctrine of providence, aimed at the development of an adequate contemporary understanding of the doctrine. Three term hours.
ST 8325. The Authority of the Bible for Theology.
An examination of theological questions resulting from the claim that the biblical canon has primary authority among the sources of Christian theology. Three term hours. (co-listed as BB 8325)
ST 8027, 8327. North American Hispanic Theology.
An exploration of the development of North American Hispanic theology and of the dynamics of doing theology from a Hispanic perspective as a distinctive style of theology. Attention will be given to the issues, concerns and beliefs of the Hispanic community and the major developments of this style of doing theology. A group project and participation in a Hispanic event are required in the course. No previous knowledge of Spanish required. One and one-half or three term hours.
ST 8336. Studies in Barth.
Survey and study of representative writings. Three term hours.
ST 8342. Studies in Tillich.
Survey and study of representative writings. Three term hours.
ST 8345. Theologies of Hope and Liberation.
An examination of the critique and vision brought to contemporary theology by liberation and political theologies. The theologies studied will include Latin American, African American, feminist and Hispanic perspectives. Three term hours.
ST 8347. Theology in a Postmodern World.
An overview of questions raised by a postmodern world and their relevance to theology and the Christian life. The course will aim at a comparison of different attempts to respond constructively to this situation, including the marginalized voices of women and people of the Third World. Three term hours.
ST 8349. Ecumenical Theology.
An in-depth study of theological writings on Christian unity; ecumenical councils and assemblies; and recent ecumenical arguments, including bilateral dialogues. Three term hours.
ST 8359. God and Creation.
An examination of 20th and 21st century process and relational understandings of God and creation in response to the problem of sin against creation. Attention is given to the significance of a relational god in response to questions of manyness and oneness in God and creation. Three term hours.
ST 8365. Process Theology and Christian Thought.
An overview of the development and concepts involved in process theology and its impact upon and its compatibility with Christian beliefs. Attention will be given to the background, concerns and topics addressed by process thought and to its value for Christian theologies that seek to bring forth change. Three term hours.
ST 8375. Feminist, Womanist and Mujerista Theologies.
An exploration of the critique and vision brought to contemporary theology by women’s perspectives represented in texts by feminist, womanist, mujerista and other theologians and in women’s fiction and essays. Three term hours.
MT 8332. Ethics, Theology and Children.
An exploration of Western understandings of childhood and the formation of moral children, recent changes in parenting and childhood and implications for ministry. This course draws on classical and contemporary resources in ethics, theology and sociocultural analysis. Three term hours.
MT 8335. Ethics, Theology and Family.
Drawing on classical and contemporary resources in ethics, theology and sociocultural analysis, this course reviews Western models of family, examines ethical issues confronting U.S. families and identifies implications for ministry. Three term hours.
MT 8345. African American Liberation Theology.
A study of contemporary North American “black theology,” with special attention to both its characteristic features and its development of social ethics. Principal readings include works by James Cone, Deotis Roberts, Major Jones and Katie Cannon. Three term hours.
MT 8352. Contemporary Moral Issues.
A study of selected moral issues concerning such subjects as abortion, crime and punishment, the environment, sexuality and war and peace. Each issue studied will be examined in relation both to moral-theological questions and to the morally relevant circumstances. Three term hours.
MT 8365. Ethical Reflection on Schubert M. Ogden’s
A critical reflection upon Schubert M. Ogden’s theology with particular attention to ethical and metaethical issues. Three term hours.
MT 8377. Studies in Reinhold Niebuhr.
An examination of some major issues and themes in Niebuhr’s work. The course will include special attention to The Nature and Destiny of Man. Three term hours.
MT 8381. Theology and Ethics
A theological and ethical examination of the general and representative ministry of the church. The course will explore key issues relating to each of the principal areas of the church’s ministry: Word, Sacrament and Order. Three term hours.
MT 8383. Process Theology and Social Ethics.
An examination of process theology with particular attention to ethical and metaethical implications for social ethics. Three term hours.
MT 8385. Martin and Malcolm and Theological Ethics.
A theological, ethical study of selected works by and about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Three term hours.
TC 8308. Contemporary Issues in Philosophy of Religion.
Critical investigation of a selected issue in philosophy of religion based on current literature in the field. Three term hours.
TC 8310. Theology, Religion and Cultural Studies.
An exploration of recent developments in critical theory and cultural studies and their implications for religion, theology and ethics. Special attention will be given to constructive proposals and issues related to global change. Three term hours.
TC 8316. Christian Ethics, War and Peace.
An inquiry into the causes and characteristics of war, various Christian responses to it and approaches to peacemaking, with attention to selected contemporary issues. Three term hours.
TC 8318. Christian Ethics and Social Justice.
An inquiry from a Christian perspective into different theoretical and practical responses to issues of justice in society. Three term hours.
TC 8325. Bioethics.
A study of religious and moral issues that have been made critical by recent developments in the biological sciences and in medical technologies and practices. Such issues as the following will be examined: experimentation on human subjects, abortion, the decision to let someone die, the nature and determination of death, physician-patient relationships, the concept of health and the access of the poor and of ethnic minorities to the health care system. Three term hours.
TC 8331. The Theology and
Ethics of 19th Century Holiness Women.
An exploration of the knowledge and experience of God in the writings of nineteenth century holiness women, with attention to their Christian thought and practice including their understanding and experience of calling, prayer, social justice, etc. Three term hours.
TC 8340. The Christian, the Church and the Public
A study of how the Christian and the church should work for a more just society and the public good in the light of the church’s own self-understanding from a theological and ethical perspective and in the light of the First Amendment and today’s pluralistic society. Three term hours.
TC 8351. Theology and Literature.
An examination of the methods by which various theologians employ literary resources to articulate and elaborate their concepts of God. The course will include a sampling of literary resources.
TC 8360. Issues in Science and Theology.
An overview and examination of the interaction of science and theology with an emphasis on selected areas of study. Specific attention will be given to the historical interaction of science and theology, as well as to their mutual concerns and respective methods. Three term hours.
TC 8375. Advanced Feminist
Offered yearly by the Women’s Studies program at SMU, this course will include the “classic” literature from feminist, womanist and mujerista perspectives and address current theoretical issues across relevant disciplines. The course will be taught in rotation by interested faculty associated with the Women’s Studies program and Perkins.