The TAs for the course are Marylu Bunting and Echol Nix. I have asked them to provide a quick introduction to themselves here.
Brandon Daniel-Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Julian Gotobed (email@example.com)
Eric Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hee-Kyung Kim (email@example.com)
Brandon Daniel-Hughes (Section A1--mornings): Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 in the Student Union
Julian Gotobed (Section A1--mornings): Wednesday 9.00-10.00 am in the Student Union
Eric Dale (Section B1--afternoons): TBA
Hee-Kyung Kim (Section B1--afternoons): TBA
Prof. Wildman's office hours are held in room STH 335 (sign up for appointments using sheet on door)
Discussion Groups (Cloisters)
The purpose of discussion groups is to allow you to discuss the ideas and readings of the course in a small group with the help of a TA. This helps you to become more familiar with the course material and gives you a chance to ask questions and debate the course concepts in a less formal environment than the lectures.
Discussion groups will meet beginning after the first class meeting. Signups for discussion groups will occur during the first class of semester. The discussion groups are as follows:
Brandon Daniel-Hughes (Section A1--mornings):
Julian Gotobed (Section A1--mornings):
Eric Dale (Section B1--afternoons):
Hee-Kyung Kim (Section B1--afternoons):
Classes will be held in two 90-minute sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Discussion sections with TAs occur weekly. Attendance at lectures and section meetings is required, as is active participation in section discussions and on the web site for the course. Each class will presuppose the reading assigned for that class. There may be brief, in-class or in-section tests or assignments. Web-based quizzes (reading helper quizzes) will help you focus on the readings. There may also be brief writing assignments for section meetings. Attendance, participation, and quizzes count for 30% of the final grade.
Two major tasks are required in the class, one having to do with theological analysis and the other with theological construction. These are the two skills that the class aims to help you cultivate. See Lecture 1 for a discussion of this.
This course makes extensive use of web support. Every student is provided with free access to the web and email. You can also have access to these services from your home computer using a modem or other remote connection to the university. Participation in web-based course activities helps students learn the course material at their own pace and more effectively. This is especially true for the web-based “reading helper” quizzes, which help you understand more deeply the course readings. There are also online discussions about topics that come up in classes. Web involvement is also an important aspect of the participation portion of the course grade.
To reach the WebCT site (for students enrolled in the course), go to http://webct.bu.edu. Use your BU login and Kerberos password to access the site. Basic information about the course is below.
Do not plagiarize; if you are uncertain what plagiarism is, ask the teaching staff or consult the Office of the Dean of Students for information.
Do not be late. Late outlines and first drafts may not be read and will incur a penalty; late final drafts are subject to a penalty (one grade step per day).
Incompletes are not given, by STH policy, except under extraordinary circumstances. Speak to Prof. Wildman about your extraordinary situation as soon as possible. Since most requests are denied (fairness to students who submit work on time demands this), do not leave it to the last minute to ask. Also, remember that the STH Registrar has paperwork requirements.
Inclusive language with regard to human beings is the standard within the world of theology and religious studies (witness the standards of the major journals, including the Journal of the American Academy of Religion). You are expected to use inclusive language with respect to human beings in your class work. Inclusive language with regard to God is a theologically controversial matter and you are free to use pronouns that express your working theological view of this issue. You are encouraged, however, to be thoughtful about the language you use for God.
A prominent reality in this edition of Theology II is that the class meets in two sections. The School of Theology Registrar refers to these sections by the romantic names A1 and B1. The A1 section meets from 9:00-10:30 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in room B19 of the School of Theology. It consists mainly of first-year students. The B1 section meets from 3:30-5:00 on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in luscious room 211 of the Photonics Building across the road from the School of Theology on Saint Mary’s Street. While students in the B1 section got the better room, they have to walk half a block to get there so we figure everything balances out in the end.
In practice, the reality of two sections will not affect students greatly. Both sections will be using the same website, however, and the website will contain reminders that there is another group out there somewhere studying similar things to you. Readings are the same for both groups. The TAs are different and the lectures may be different also.
Course books are available at the Boston University Bookstore in Kenmore Square.
Required Books: Textbooks (available in the BU Bookstore)
Ford, David. Theology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2000; ISBN: 0192853848).
This book is a great place to get started with theology. It is clearly written, well organized, and—most importantly for some—short.
Hodgson, Peter. Readings in Christian Theology (Fortress, 1985; ISBN: 0800618491).
This book is will be the main source of classic readings in Christian theology. We will turn to it when we want brief glimpses of theological insights through the history of Christianity. We will turn to the remaining required books for more detailed examples of contemporary systematic theology from a variety of points of view.
Lacugna, Catherine. Freeing Theology: The Essentials of Theology in Feminist Perspective (Harper SanFrancisco, 1993; ISBN: 060649356).
This is collection of excellent writings on feminist theology. The title says it all. It continues to be an effective and well balanced introduction to the way feminist perspectives have transformed theological vision since the 1960’s.
Required Books: Constructive Theologies (available in the BU Bookstore)
Gutiérrez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation, 15th ed. (Orbis, 1988; ISBN: 0883445425).
This is a translation of the book that, more than any other single volume, launched Latin American liberation theology. Decades later it continues to shine as a superb example of a systematic theology that emphasizes the category of liberation.
Hauerwas, Stanley; William H. Willimon. Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Abingdon, 1989; ISBN: 0687361591).
This influential and challenging book represents an Anabaptist and Radical Reformation perspective on theology. The title expresses the major insight and interpretative perspective of the book.
Rahner, Karl. Foundations of Christian Faith (Crossroad/Herder & Herder, 1983; ISBN: 024505239).
This is the closest that the premier Roman Catholic theologian of the twentieth century came to writing a systematic theology. It uses a technical vocabulary but, once you have grasped it, it reads beautifully even in English translation.
Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Chicago, 1973; ISBN: 0226803376).
This is the first of three volumes of what I think is the greatest Protestant systematic theology of the twentieth century. (Note: Karl Barth certainly was Tillich’s equal as a theologian but Barth did not want his Church Dogmatics thought of as a systematic theology.)
Recommended Books (available in the BU Bookstore)
McGrath, Alister. Historical Theology: An Introduction (Blackwell, 1998; ISBN: 0631208445).
If you feel the need for a simple introduction to the history of Christian theology, this is a fine place to turn for help.
Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Chicago, 1980; ISBN: 0226803384). Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Chicago, 1976; ISBN: 0226803392).
For the sake of completeness, of if you can’t get enough of Paul Tillich, these are the other two volumes of his systematic theology.
Harvey, Van. Handbook of Theological Terms (Simon & Schuster, 1966; ISBN: 0684846446).
Though a little out of date with regard to the most recent developments, this is a fine handbook of theological terms. We need Dr. Harvey to make an update.
Additional Recommended Textbooks (not ordered for the BU Bookstore)
Allen, Diogenes. Philosophy for Understanding Theology (Westminster/John Knox, 1985; 0-8042-0688-0).
This valuable textbook will give you important background information on the philosophical influences conditioning the development of Christian theology.
Harvey, Gordon. Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998; 0-87220-434-0).
When you want guidance on how to handle sources, from citing to quoting to avoiding plagiarism, this book is an excellent (and cheap) place to turn.
Marty, Martin E.; Dean G. Peerman, eds. A New Handbook of Christian Theologians, 3rd ed. (Abingdon, 1996).
This reference book contains a collection of mostly excellent articles on theologians from the modern period, some still living. It will prove particularly useful to students who are interested in more in-depth theological study.
McGrath, Alistair E. Christian Theology: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 1997; 0-631-19849-0). The Christian Theology Reader (Blackwell, 1995; 0-631-19585-8).
If you get adventurous, this pair of books will give you an alternative introduction to Christian theology. The first is written clearly and simply. The second contains a solid selection of key readings from the history of Christian theology.
Musser, Donald W.; Joseph L. Price, eds. A New Handbook of Christian Theology (Abingdon, 1992; 0-687-27802-3).
This is a useful introduction to a variety of movements and themes in Christian theology.
Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992; 0-87220-156-2).
“Socrates was a human being. All human beings are over one foot tall. Therefore Socrates was a short, bald guy.” If you want to know precisely what is wrong with this argument, this is on the cheapest and shortest books available that will do the job. Good arguments matter in all formal writing, including theology.
Additional Recommended Contemporary Constructive Theologies (not ordered)
Bloesch, Donald G. Essentials of Evangelical Theology. Volume 1: God, Authority, and Salvation; Volume 2: Life, Ministry, and Hope (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1978).
Bloesch’s catholic (small-“c”) evangelical theology has a novel form of arrangement: it is organized by controversies. This approach allows Bloesch to show at every point how catholic evangelical theology is like and unlike other theological options.
Cone, James H. A Black Theology of Liberation: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1990; 0883446855).
The publication of Jim Cone’s book marked a controversial beginning to mainstream Black Liberation Theology in the United States. It continues to stand out as a rhetorical masterpiece.
Kaufman, Gordon. In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).
Kaufman’s systematic theology is the premier example of so-called “constructivist” theology, which means that the theologian explicitly takes responsibility for creative construction and refuses to pretend that we have more knowledge of God that we in fact (according to the constructivist) have.
McClendon, James Wm., Jr. Systematic Theology, 3 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon); vol. 1: Ethics (1986), vol. 2: Doctrine (1994). Vol. 3: Witness (2001).
What would a systematic theology look like if its first volume was on ethics? This is the place to go for an answer to that question. In McClendon’s theology, the Anabaptist tradition endures with tremendous grace and creativity.
Neville, Robert Cummings. A Theology Primer (SUNY, 1991).
This book provides an advanced introduction to themes in Christian theology from a pragmatist-Platonic point of view. It will give you a good sense for the thought of its author, Dean of Marsh Chapel and Boston University Chaplain, our very own Bob Neville.
Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Systematic Theology, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; vol. 1: 1991, 0802836569; vol. 2: 1994, 0802837077; vol. 3: 1998, 0802837085).
Pannenberg is the leading German Lutheran systematic theologian. This systematic theology is a masterpiece, combining a wealth of historical detail with profound theological vision.
Rahner, Karl. Content of Faith (Crossroad, 1993).
If you want more of Karl Rahner, this is the place to start. This book contains lovely English translations of a wide variety of Rahners’s writings, from prayers and meditations to theological treatises.
Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. God, Christ, Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology (Crossroad, 1990)
This is the most accessible introduction to process theology and it has the additional virtue of of being a work of feminist theology at the same time.
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