"Contemporary Christian Traditions"
Original Course dates: October 4-December 6, 2012
Course Instructor: Ellen Blue
The Rev. Dr. Ellen Blue is the Mouzon Biggs, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity and United Methodist Studies at Phillips Theological Seminary. About this course she says, "the class is intended to give persons who are not Christians a basic overview of how this religious tradition is practiced today, and also give Christians the opportunity to learn about other traditions within their own faith. Oftentimes, the best way to reflect on our own beliefs is to spend some time learning how others express theirs. The rich variety of Christian churches here in Tulsa provides a fertile field for this kind of study."
Students will be introduced to the Greek Orthodox tradition with a field trip to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Orthodox churches are constructed to highlight beautiful icons that serve as a teaching and devotional purpose. Students will become acquainted with the art of iconography and its use in Christian spirituality.
The class will also visit the Roman Catholic Tulsa Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and hear the story of her appearance in the Americas in 1531. The shrine has a wonderful copy of the image of Our Lady on Juan Diego's tilma (cloak), the original of which is housed at a Basilica devoted to her in Mexico City. Tulsa has the only official shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in mid-America.
In addition, students will also explore several Protestant expressions of Christianity.