This course explores the groundwork of Christian theology: its premises, logic, and methods in comparison with the critical inquiry for self-understanding that goes on in other religions. The goal is to examine and discuss things that theologians may take for granted in their engagement with the discipline. The underlying question of the course is whether the premises of theology can be defended in a secular, scientifically educated, religiously pluralistic, and seemingly relativistic culture in a way that makes sense to people sharing in this culture and approaching theology for the first time. It begins with the character of religious experience, and moves to a theory of why it takes different forms, the object of theology as “ultimacy,” the role of Jesus Christ in the structure of Christian faith in God, and two broad categorizations of modern Christian theology. The course is meant for those who question all of these topics either through inattention or after some thought.
Note: ST 101 or ST 103 or ST 104 required for MA and MDiv students to fulfill the Theology requirement.