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Modern Western Theology

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Modern Western Theology I (1650-1900, STH TT909)
... Special Dates
... Student Assignments
... Seminar Schedule
Modern Western Theology II (1900-Present, STH TT930)
... Special Dates
... Student Assignments
... Seminar Schedule

MWT I (1650-1900, TT909): Special Dates

Fri 10/29/2004: Midterm take-home examination is handed out.

Tue 11/2/2004: Midterm take-home examinations are to be returned to instructor’s office by 9am (under the door of STH 335)

Fri 11/26/2004: Thanksgiving Break (No Seminar Meeting)

Fri 12/10/2004: Research papers are due, if you have chosen to write one (a paper is optional and not recommended; see requirements for more details).

Fri 12/10/2004: Final take-home examination is handed out.

Tue12/14/2004: Final take-home examinations are to be returned to instructor’s office by 9am (under the door of STH 335).

MWT I (1650-1900, TT909): Student Assignments



Students Assigned

9/10/2004 Introduction  
9/17/2004 Locke  
9/24/2004 Edwards
10/1/2004 Kant  
10/8/2004 Hegel  
10/19/2004 Schleiermacher  
10/22/2004 Möhler
10/29/2004 Kierkegaard  
10/29/2004 Midterm Exam Due 9am, 11/2/02, STH 335
11/5/2004 Mid-Century RC
Pius IX
Vatican I
11/12/2004 Protestant Liberalism
11/19/2004 Faith and History
11/26/2004 No class: Thanksgiving Break  
12/3/2004 RC Modernism
12/10/2004 Theology & the Sciences
12/10/2004 Final Exam Due 9am, 12/14/02, STH 335

[* indicates that dictionary articles have been received]

MWT I (1650-1900, TT909): Schedule

Note: A distinction is maintained in the Seminar Schedule between required readings (listed first in the Seminar Schedule) and optional, recommended readings (listed second). The required readings are to be prepared for the day under which they are listed; precise page numbers will be specified in class the previous week if they are not already listed in the syllabus, though you will usually read entire books. The recommended readings may be thought of as starting points for preparing seminar presentations and research papers, or simply for deepening knowledge of the figures and issues covered.

Week 1 (9/10/2004) Introduction

General discussion of the seminar and how to make the most of it, as well as identification and discussion of student interests. Introduction to the historical, political and social background of the period.

Week 2 (9/17/2004) John Locke 

Read: Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity

You may also want to read Locke, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, especially the early chapters rejecting innate ideas and connected themes.

Week 3 (9/24/2004) Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley

Read: Edwards, The Religious Affections

You may also want to consult The Freedom of the Will, The Defence of the Doctrine of Original Sin, The Discussion of the Nature of True Virtue, or The Treatise on God’s Last End in Creation, and the growing mass of secondary literature about Edwards.

You might also read freely in Wesley’s vast corpus of writings, especially his sermons and his journal.

Week 4 (10/1/2004) Immanuel Kant

Read: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics.

You may want to familiarize yourself with the main outlines of Kant’s three critiques (Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, Critique of Judgement) and Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. To that end, the wealth of secondary literature on Kant may be helpful, especially perhaps Stephan Körner, Kant. You may also wish to familiarize yourself with David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Week 5 (10/8/2004) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Read: Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Part III: "The Revelatory, Consummate, Absolute Religion," esp. ch. I, pp. 1-44, and ch. V, pp. 231-311; Stephen Crites, "The Gospel According to Hegel."

To learn more about Hegel’s religious thought, see T. M. Knox, ed., Early Theological Writings, and Emil Fackenheim, The Religious Dimension in Hegel’s Thought. You may want to find out about Johann Fichte and Friedrich Schelling; learn something about the similarities and differences between the three systems, and their relationships to Kant’s understanding of metaphysics. See Smart, ed., chs. 2-3; Thomas O’Meara, Romantic Idealism and Roman Catholicism: Schelling and the Theologians; and the 1977 ET by Walter Cerf of Hegel’s The Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s System of Philosophy (the introductions by Cerf, "Speculative Philosophy and Intellectual Intuition: An Introduction to Hegel’s Essays" and H. S. Harris, "Introduction to the Difference Essay," are outstanding). You may also want to investigate subsequent Hegelian theology, especially Alois Biedermann in Germany, and John and Edward Caird in England. For information about Hegel’s influence, begin by consulting L. Steplevitch, ed., The Young Hegelians.

Week 6 (10/15/2004) Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher

Read: The Christian Faith, Introduction, and pp. 355-475. Read On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers, especially speeches II, V, and familiarize yourself with the other speeches.

You might also take a look at Brief Outline of the Study of Theology; On the Glaubenslehre: Two Letters to Dr. Lücke (in effect a brief commentary on The Christian Faith; use the ET by Richard Crouter); and some of Schleiermacher’s sermons in the collection translated by Dawn De Vries, Servant of the Word.

Week 7 (10/22/2004) John Henry Newman and The Oxford Movement; the Catholic Tübingen School

Read: John Henry Newman, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, chs. 1-5; and Johann Adam Möhler, Symbolism, pp. 1-81.

You may want to familiarize yourself with Newman’s An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent and his Apologia pro vita sua. On Newman’s theory of the development of doctrine, see especially Nicholas Lash, Newman on Development: The Search for an Explanation in History. Investigate the background to the Oxford Movement and the Catholic Tübingen School. Consider following up on some of the other members of these schools, especially John Keble and Edward Pusey of the Oxford Movement, and Franz Anton Studenmaier of the Catholic Tübingen School. Find out about F. C. Baur of the Protestant School at Tübingen.

Week 8 (10/29/2004) Søren Kierkegaard

Read: Concluding Unscientific Postscript.

You should also familiarize yourself with The Point of View for my Work as an Author, Philosophical Fragments and Attack on Christendom. See also Bruce Kirmmse, Kierkegaard in Golden Age Denmark.

We will be skipping the following theme:

Mid-century Protestantism: in the United States (Horace Bushnell, William Ellery Channing, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Hodge, Phoebe Palmer), Great Britain (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frederick Denison Maurice), Germany (Richard Rothe, Isaak August Dorner) and France (Eugene Menegoz, Auguste Sabatier)

Read: Coleridge, Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit; selections on Channing from Sydney Ahlstrom, ed., Theology in America; and Bushnell "Preliminary Dissertation on the Nature of Language, as related to Thought and Spirit," published in his God in Christ.

For further reading on Bushnell, see H. Shelton Smith, ed., Horace Bushnell; on Channing, see David Robinson, ed., William Ellery Channing: Selections; see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures for more on Mary Baker Eddy; on Hodge, see his Essays and Reviews and Systematic Theology; and Phoebe Palmer’s Methodist holiness theology is presented in Thomas Oden, ed., Phoebe Palmer: Selected Writings. See Smart, ed., vol. II, ch. 1 on Coleridge; and, if you are particularly interested in Maurice, familiarize yourself with Walter Merlin Davies’ interpretative abridgement of his The Kingdom of Christ, and look at Alec Vidler, The Theology of F. D. Maurice. For the German Protestants, see Rothe, Theologische Ethik, and Welch, God and Incarnation in Mid-Nineteenth Century German Theology for selections from Dorner, or look at the final section of Dorner’s Doctrine of the Person of Christ. For the French protestants, see Sabatier, Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion Based on Psychology and History, and Menegoz, La mort de Jesus et la dogma l’expiation.

Week 9 (11/5/2004) Mid-Century Roman Catholicism (Pius IX, Vatican I, Leo XIII)

Read: Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (Bull re Immaculate Conception, 1854); Syllabus of Errors (1864); Dogmatic Constitutions of Vatican I: On the Catholic Faith (Dei Filius), and On the Church of Christ (Pastor Aeternus); and Leo XIII, Aeterni Patris (1879).

For the story of Vatican I, see especially Roger Aubert, Vatican I (1964) and Edward Cuthbert Butler, The Vatican Council (2 vols., 1930). You may want to learn something of the work of Matthias Joseph Scheeben, especially The Mysteries of Christianity (1865). And see Thomas F. O’Meara, Church and Culture: German Catholic Theology, 1860-1914. You can read the two Dogmatic Constitutions of Vatican I in English online.

Week 10 (11/12/2004) Varieties of Protestant Liberalism (Albrecht Ritschl, Aldolf von Harnack, Wilhelm Herrmann, William Adams Brown and the Lux Mundi group)

Read: Harnack, What is Christianity?; Ritschl: The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation, vol. III: The Positive Development of the Doctrine, pp. 1-85, 193-211; Familiarize yourself with Herrmann, The Communion of the Christian with God; Brown, Christian Theology in Outline; and Charles Gore, ed., Lux Mundi.

See also Philip Hefner, ed., Albrecht Ritschl: Three Essays; and the relevant sections of B. M. G. Reardon, Religious Thought in the Nineteenth Century. For information about Liberal Protestantism in the United States, consult Kenneth Cauthen, The Impact of American Religious Liberalism, and William R. Hutchison, The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism.

Week 10 (continued) Faith and History: David Friedrich Strauss, Adolf von Harnack, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Kähler (Herrmann, Loisy, and Maurice Blondel)

Read: Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, pp. 39-92, 757-787; Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, especially chs. I, XIX and XX; and Kähler, The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historic, Biblical Christ.

On the biblical critical aspect of the question of faith and history, read more deeply in Strauss and Schweitzer, and see Troeltsch’s essay on "The Significance of the Historical Existence of Jesus for Faith," in Robert Morgan and Michael Pye, eds., Ernst Troeltsch: Writings. You may want to familiarize yourself with Hodgson’s Introduction to Strauss’s Life of Jesus, as well as Marylin Massey’s study of Strauss, Christ Unmasked: The Meaning of "The Life of Jesus" in German Politics. On the development of doctrine aspect, you may wish to refer back to Newman and Möhler. Recall Harnack, What is Christianity? and Loisy, The Gospel and the Church; read Blondel’s essay "History and Dogma," in Alexander Dru and Illtyd Trethowan, eds., "The Letter on Apologetics" and "History and Dogma".

Week 11 (11/19/2004) Roman Catholic Modernism: George Tyrrell, Alfred Loisy, Pius X

Read: Pius X’s encyclical, Pascendi and the Anti-Modernist Oath; George Tyrrell, Christianity at the Crossroads; and Loisy, The Gospel and the Church.

See also Alec Vidler, The Modernist Movement in the Roman Church; and A Variety of Catholic Modernists; Reardon, Roman Catholic Modernism; Emile Poulat, Historie dogme et critique dans la crise moderniste; and O’Meara, Church and Culture (above).

Week 12 (12/3/2004) Theology and Social Sciences: Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Ernst Troeltsch

Read: Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, especially chs. I-V, XIX and Karl Bath’s introductory essay; Marx and Engels, On Religion (especially "The Holy Family," and "Theses on Feuerbach," but glance at "Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of German Philosophy")

See also Troeltsch, "The Place of Christianity Among the World-Religions" in Baron F. von Hügel, ed., Christian Thought: Its History and Application.

Week 13 (12/10/2004) Theology, Psychology, and Natural Sciences: Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Ernst Troeltsch, William James

Read Freud, The Future of an Illusion; and James, Varieties of Religious Experience.

For the religion and evolution question, you may wish to be familiar with James R. Moore, The Post-Darwinian Controversies. Revisit the Catholic modernist perspective of George Tyrrell, Christianity at the Crossroads, in this connection.

We will be skipping the following theme:

Church, Society and Mission: Leo XIII, Walter Rauschenbusch; early indigenous theology from China, India, Latin America, Africa and Japan; Edinburgh World Mission Conference (1910); First World Parliament of Religions (1893)

Read: Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum; Rauschenbusch, A Theology for the Social Gospel, Roy J. McCorkel, ed., Voices from the Younger Churches

It would be useful to familiarize yourself with Ernst Troeltsch’s The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (2 vols.), especially the periodic summary passages and the conclusion; Paul Misner, Social Catholicism in Europe; the Swiss religious socialism of Ragaz in Paul Bock, ed., Leonhard Ragaz: Selections; and the reports of the Edinburgh Conference. Browse the web for information about the First World Parliament of Religions and subsequent parliaments.

MWT II (1900-Present, TT930): Special Dates


MWT II (1900-Present, TT930): Student Assignments



Students Assigned

  Vatican II  
  Midterm Exam Due 9am, 3/18/03, STH 335
  No Class
Spring Recess
  Radical Theologies
Student-Selected Figures 
  Feminist Theologies
Student-Selected Figures 
  Liberation Theologies
Student-Selected Figures 
  Process Theologies
Student-Selected Figures 
  Religious Pluralism
Student-Selected Figures 
  No Class
Monday Schedule In Effect
  Open Week
Student-Selected Figures .
  Final Exam Due 9am, 5/6/03, STH 335

[* indicates that dictionary articles have been received]

MWT II (1900-Present, TT930): Schedule

Note: A distinction is maintained in the Seminar Schedule between required readings (listed first in the Seminar Schedule) and optional, recommended readings (listed second). The required readings are to be prepared for the day under which they are listed; precise page numbers will be specified in class the previous week if they are not already listed in the syllabus, though you will usually read entire books. The recommended readings may be thought of as starting points for preparing seminar presentations and research papers, or simply for deepening knowledge of the figures and issues covered.

Week 1 Introduction

General discussion of the seminar and how to make the most of it, as well as identification and discussion of student interests. Introduction to the historical, political and social background of the period.

PART II: 1900 to 1965

In this part of the course, we focus on one major figure each week.

Week 2 Ernst Troeltsch

Read: Troeltsch, The Christian Faith; “What Does ‘Essence of Christianity’ Mean?” in Morgan and Pye, eds., Ernst Troeltsch: Writings; and “The Place of Christianity Among the World-Religions” in Baron F. von Hügel, ed., Christian Thought: Its History and Application.

You may wish to familiarize yourself with Troeltsch’s The Absoluteness of Christianity. Of his essays, you may want to look at the collection by Adams and Bense, eds., Religion in History, especially “The Dogmatics of the History of Religions School,” “The Social Philosophy of Christianity,” “The Essence of the Modern Spirit,” and “My Books.” The other essays in the Morgan and Pye collection (above) are also valuable.

Week 3 Karl Barth

Read: Epistle to the Romans, especially pp. 1-26, 77-114, 164-187; Church Dogmatics, II/1, pp. 257-350 and II/2, pp. 3-93.

Familiarize yourself with Evangelical Theology and The Humanity of God.

Week 4 Rudolf Bultmann

Read: “What Does it Mean to Speak of God?” (1925), “Historical and Supra-historical Religion in Christianity” (1926), “On the Question of Christology” (1927), and “The Problem of ‘Natural Theology’“ in Faith and Understanding”; New Testament and Mythology” (1941), “Theology as Science” (1941), and “On the Problem of Demythologizing” (both the 1952 and the 1961 versions), in New Testament and Mythology.

Familiarize yourself with the emphases and results of Theology of the New Testament; the other essays in New Testament and Mythology and Faith and Understanding; and the issues under debate in Hans Werner Bartsch, ed., Kerygma and Myth.

Week 5 Reinhold Niebuhr

Read: Moral Man and Immoral Society, especially chs. 1-4, 9-10; The Nature and Destiny of Man, especially vol. I, chs. 6-7, and vol. II, chs. 4-5.

Familiarize yourself with the remainder of Moral Man and Immoral Society, and The Nature and Destiny of Man; take a look at Leaves from the Notebooks of a Tamed Cynic.

Week 6 Paul Tillich

Read: Systematic Theology, Parts I and III; and Christianity and the Encounter of World Religions.

Familiarize yourself with the remainder of Systematic Theology; The Courage to Be; the essays on theology and culture in Section II of The Protestant Era; and “Religion as a Dimension of Man’s Spiritual Life” (revised from a 1954 essay), “The Two Types of Philosophy of Religion” (1946), and “The Nature of Religious Language” (1955) in Theology and Culture.

Week 7 Vatican II

Read: “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” (Sacrosanctum concilium), “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” (Lumen Gentium), “Decree on Ecumenism” (Unitatis redintegratio), “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra aetate), “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” (Dei verbum), “Declaration on Religious Liberty” (Dignitatis humanae), and “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” (Gaudium et spes) from Austin Flannery, ed., Documents of Vatican II; and Karl Rahner, “A Basic Interpretation of Vatican II,” in Theological Studies 40 (1979): 716-727, or in Theological Investigations (20:77-89).

See other decrees and post-conciliar pronouncements in Flannery, and consult Rahner, “The Abiding Significance of the Second Vatican Council” in Theological Investigations (20:90-102).

Week 8 Karl Rahner

Read: The Content of Faith, chs. 1-9, 16-18, 29, 44-49, 59, 63-67, 74-94, 98-102, 106, 113-114, 19, 126-131, 141, 157, 159-160, 167-168, 170-174.

Get to know Foundations of Christian Faith, esp. chs. 1-2, 6; Theological Investigations, especially “Considerations on the Development of Dogma” (4:3-35), “The Theology of the Symbol” (4:221-252), “Intellectual Honesty and Christian Faith” (7:47-71), “The Nature of the Priestly Office” (12:31-38), “The Situation of Faith” (20:13-32), and “The Inexhaustible Transcendence of God and our Concern for the Future” (20:173-186).

Week 9 No Seminar Meeting (Spring Recess)

We will be subsuming the following material into the second half of the seminar:

Wolfhart Pannenberg and Jürgen Moltmann

For Pannenberg, read: Systematic Theology, vol. II, ch. 7, pp. 1-35; chs. 10-11, pp. 325-463.

Familiarize yourself with Theology and the Kingdom of God; representative essays from Basic Questions in Theology (2 vols.) such as “Kerygma and History” or “What is a Dogmatic Statement?” in vol. I; “What is Truth?” or “Toward a Theology of the History of Religions” in vol. II; Jesus—God and Man; the essays in Metaphysics and the Idea of God; and Pannenberg’s lead essay in Pannenberg, ed., Revelation as History. For discussion of Pannenberg’s theology, consult Carl E. Braaten and Philip Clayton, eds., The Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg: Twelve American Critiques with an Autobiographical Essay and Response. Survey Systematic Theology.

For Moltmann, read: The Crucified God.

Familiarize yourself with the many other volumes of Moltmann’s systematic theology.

PART II: 1965 to the Present

In Part II of the seminar, several figures will be considered each week. An attempt will be made to discuss at least one figure each week who illustrates the theme assigned for that week. There is no need for all of the figures in a given week to fall neatly under the assigned theme, however. Students will prepare “hypothetical dictionary articles” for presentation on a number of figures, depending on seminar size (figures will be assigned according to student interests and seminar needs). It is crucial that the articles be available for distribution the week before they are due to be presented, because they serve as the required reading in place of preassigned readings.

Proposed themes for each week:

Week 10 Radical Theologies

Week 11 Feminist Theologies

Week 12 Liberation and Indigenous Theologies

Week 13 Process Theologies and the Philosophy of Religion

Week 14 Theology and Religious Pluralism

Week 15 No class: Monday Schedule in Effect

Week 16 Open Week

Sample figures for presentation (grouped somewhat arbitrarily for the sake of convenience):

Early 20th Century Roman Catholic Theology: Karl Adam, Ives Congar, Henri de Lubac, Jacques Maritain, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Early 20th Century Protestant Theology: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, William Adams Brown, Emil Brunner, Friedrich Gogarten, Martin Kähler, Lundensian Theology (Aulén, Nygren, Wingren), D. C. Mackintosh, Ernst Troeltsch

Early 20th Century British Theology: Donald Baillie, John Baillie, P. T. Forsythe, H. R. Mackintosh, A. E. Taylor, William Temple, F. R. Tennant, Lionel Thornton

Post-WWII Euro-American Roman Catholic Theology: Hans Urs von Balthasar, Franz Josef van Beeck, Anne E. Carr, Elizabeth A. Johnson, Walter Kasper, Paul Knitter, Hans Küng, Catherine Mowry LaCugna, Bernard Lonergan, Edward Schillebeeckx, Elisabeth Schüssler-Fiorenza, David Tracy

Post-WWII Euro-American Protestant Theology: Carl E. Braaten, John Cobb, Hans Frei, Langdon Gilkey, Stanley Hauerwas, Eberhard Jüngel, Gordon Kaufman, George Lindbeck, James W. McClendon, Sallie McFague, Johann Baptist Metz, Jürgen Moltmann, Robert C. Neville, H. R. Niebuhr, Schubert Ogden, Ted Peters, John A. T. Robinson, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Eugene TeSelle, Jr., Ronald Thiemann, Phyllis Tribble

Post-WWII British Theology: Don Cupitt, John Hick, John Macquarrie, E. L. Mascall, Donald M. McKinnon, Thomas F. Torrance

Evangelical and Fundamentalist Theology: G. C. Berkouwer, Donald G. Bloesch, E. J. Carnell, Carl F. H. Henry, Helmut Thielicke, Cornelius Van Til

Orthodox Theology: S. N. Bulgakov, G. V. Florovsky, V. N. Lossky

Indigeneous and Liberation Theology:
American Black Theology (James H. Cone, C. Eric Lincoln, J. Deotis Roberts, Gayraud S. Wilmore)
African Black Theology (J. S. Mbiti, John Pobee)
South African Black Theology (Allan Aubrey Boesak)
American Womanist Theology (Jacquelyn Grant, Delores Williams)
East Asian Theology (Kosuke Koyama, Choan-Seng Song, Hyun Younghak)
South Asian Theology (Raimon Panikkar, Stanley J. Samartha)
Latin American Theology (Hugo Assman, Clodovis Boff, Leonardo Boff, José Comblin, Gustavo Gutierrez, José Miguez Bonino, Juan Luis Segundo, Jon Sobrino)

“Theology and...”:
Bible (Oscar Cullman, C. H. Dodd, J. D. G. Dunn, Ernst Käsemann, Gerhard von Rad)
Christian Doctrine (G. W. H. Lampe, Maurice Wiles)
Feminism (not yet mentioned: Mary Daly, Ann Loades, Letty Russell, Mary Jo Weaver)
Death of God (Thomas J. J. Altizer, William Hamilton)
Hermeneutics (Gerhard Ebeling, Hans Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur)
Deconstruction (Robert Scharlemann, Mark C. Taylor)
Philosophy of Religion (Austin Farrer, Charles Hartshorne, Alisdair McIntyre, Basil Mitchell, Ian Ramsay, Ninian Smart, Alfred North Whitehead)
Judaism (Martin Buber, Paul M. van Buren)

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