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Courses in Area VI: Cultures & Contexts
History of Religions
HR 500 Comtemporary World Religions

An introduction to comparative considerations in the study of religious myth, ritual, and community life, as well as to central doctrines and practices of major religious traditions of the world.

HR 510 Contemporary Buddhist Traditions

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Buddhist communities, with a special focus on Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.

HR 520 Contemporary Christian Traditions

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Christian communities: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant

HR 530 Contemporary Hindu, Jain, Sikh Traditions of India

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Hindu communities, with a focus on ritual, meditation, and devotional life.

HR 540 Contemporary Islamic Traditions

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Islamic communities, Sunni and Shi'a.

HR 550 Contemporary Jewish Traditions

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Jewish communities: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform

HR 560 Contemporary Native American Traditions

An introduction to the central beliefs and practices of contemporary Native American communities, with a special attention to the history of the encounter with Christianity.

HR 565 Reading & Reciting Scripture

A study of authoritative sacred texts and their interpretation within religious communities.

HR 570 Perspectives on Religious Pluralism

An inquiry into how various religious traditions view the reality and vitality of other faiths.

HR 575 Religious Women/Religious Men: Practicing the Faith

A consideration of the formative religious practices of women and men that ensure the continuation of their community's heritage.

HR 580 Rituals & Festivals

A study of the major public and private rites and celebrations on the holiday calendar of various religious communities.

HR 585 Toward Interreligious Leadership

An exploration of the challenges of and preparation for interreligious dialogue in the contemporary world.

HR 650 Native Americans & Christianity

This course explores the contest of cultures between indigenous nations and Euro-American society in the religious arena. A survey of the patterns of conflict and confluence will follow the broad historical outline of developments drawing on social, military, and economic frames and using the tools of anthropology, history, sociology, and religious studies.

Interreligious Understanding & Global Christianity
IU 750 Christian Theologies of Religion

A study of range of contemporary options for a Christian theology of religions; contrasting understandings of global mission, past and present; and critical issues in interreligious dialogue. Prerequisites: PC 500, PC 550, PC 600, and PC 650.

IU 775 Seminar in Interreligious Dialogue

A study of the history of selected interreligious encounters or the dynamics of particular interfaith dialogues in which contemporary Christians participate (e.g., Jewish-Christian, Muslim-Christian, Buddhist-Christian, Hindu-Christian). May be repeated with different topics.

IU 800 Christianity in Latin America

An historical survey from the Spanish Conquest to the present with attention to cultural expressions of religion; church/state relations, especially during the Revolutionary Period; and effects of Vatican II and Protestant missionary activities.

IU 825 Seminar in Global Christianity

A study of the history and current practices of selected Christian communities outside of North America (e.g., Asian Christianity, African Christianity, etc.). May be repeated with different topics.

IU 880 Seminar: Interreligious Understanding & Christian Mission

Advanced study of selected issues. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisite: all four Portal Courses.

IU 900 Research: Interreligious Understanding & Christian Mission

Advanced individual research on selected issues. Offered on request only to advanced students. Prerequisite: all four Portal Courses.

Interreligious & Cross-cultural Immersion & other Educational Travel Courses
TC 850 Faculty Led Travel Courses

Non-immersion guided study tours led by members of the faculty. Courses include pre-tour educational preparation and post-tour evaluation. Dates, places, and foci of study tours will be announced.

TC 900 Immersion Travel

All course options include pre-tour educational preparation and post-tour evaluation, including but not limited to experiences in Arizona with BorderLinks, a non-profit organization that promotes study of issues on the border between Mexico and the United States and in New Orleans with churches and organizations dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dates, places, and foci of immersion courses will be announced.

TC 900.01 Immersion Travel: Borderlinks

A study trip that investigates the situation along the border between the United States and Mexico, the only place where the first world meets the third world. This course is offered in cooperation with BorderLinks of Tucson, Arizona. The seminary pays program fees and subsidizes roundtrip airfare, which must be negotiated with airlines each fall. However, students will be responsible for a portion of the transportation expenses. Pre-trip assignments and a post-trip meeting will be arranged.

TC 900.02 Immersion Travel: Nicaragua

This course is an immersion trip to Chacraseca, Nicaragua and includes pre0tour educational preparation and post-tour evaluation and reports.

Arts & Humanities
AH 500 Biblical Issues & Modern Literature

A study of works of contemporary literature that take up theological concerns either explicitly or implicitly. Special attention will be given to how such themes or theological motifs are developed and function within the works, as well as how such literary texts contribute to contemporary theological reflection.

AH 550 Theological Themes in the Contemporary Novel

An exploration of how contemporary novels pose theological questions about, and prompt theological reflection upon, human and cultural experience in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A variety of styles and sub-genres will be considered.

AH 600 Theological Issues in Films

A study of how films represent and create an American mythology. Students will learn how to view films critically and interpret their theological and religious significance. They will explore models for understanding the place of electronic media in our culture and theological responses to related issues.

AH 650 Religion & Politics

This course focuses on the presidential election and the midterm elections, which provide a fascinating backdrop for studying the interaction between religious and political discourse in the United States. While attending to the legal separation of church and state, the course will focus on the inevitable and intentional mixing of political and religious interests. In addition, the course will explore several specific theological interpretations of American public life.

AH 750 Research in Religion in the Arts & Humanities

Advanced individual research on selected issues. Offered on request only to advanced students. Satisfies a CC requirement for MDiv or MTS students.

AH 880 Seminar in Religion in the Arts & Humanities

Advanced study in selected issues in Religion, the Arts and the Humanities. May be repeated with different topics.

AH 880.01 The Bible & the Environment

Let them have dominion? The Bible begins with stories about creation that proclaim God as the Ruler of all Creation and describe humanity's role in God's world. What is that role? Does humanity have the right to use nature to our advantage at all costs? Does humanity have a responsibility to take care of God's creation? This class will explore biblical texts that deal with creation, God, and humanity, in order to seek answers to these questions and more.

HC 600 The Social World of Early Christianity

A social analysis of the origins and development of early Christianity utilizing historical and social scientific approaches, emphasizing a comparative study of literature, art, archaeology, and social institutions of the ancient world and their relation to the church's developing theology. Prerequisites: PC 550 and PC600.

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Courses are available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MA, & MTS programs,
and on campus for the DMin program.

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