SP500 * Spiritual Traditions and Practices * John Bangs
Did you know that early in Christian history the term theology referred to loving encounter with God through prayer, and the reflection and formation that came out of that encounter, rather than to the articulation of systematic propositional truths about God? St. Bonaventure, a thirteenth-century Franciscan philosopher and theologian, proposed that true theology could be understood using the image of a ladder. In Bonaventure's ladder, one upright is composed of the traditionally academic tools of study like reading, research, and observation. The other is made up of spiritual graces like devotion, wonder, joy, and humility. The rungs of the ladder, the part that allows us to climb it, are made up of "prayer through Christ crucified."
This class will attempt to utilize Bonaventure's ladder as a method of exploring and worshiping God, blending inquiry and discussion with experience and experiment, as a way of learning more about God and about ourselves in God.
The class will culminate with a silent six-hour retreat at an offsite location. It should prove to be refreshing and inspiring, a welcome interlude in the midst of a long course of academic study.
TC552A * Theology & Pacific Northwest Culture * Matthew Kaemingk
Christ in Cascadia?
There is no question that the Pacific Northwest presents some unique challenges and opportunities for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Residents of Cascadia (for example) have their own distinct ways of thinking about spirituality, religion, truth, and the purpose of life.
This fall Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, the director of the new Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture, will be offering an exciting new course on exactly this subject. The course will not only explore the unique cultural and spiritual trends percolating within the Pacific Northwest, it will also provide a number of theological and cultural tools by which churches can connect with and engage these trends with creativity and faithfulness.
The course will feature a rather non-traditional meeting format. In the hope of building a more sustained dialogue amongst the students the four credit course will be slowed down and spread out over both the fall and winter quarters. The course will meet every other Tuesday from 12-3pm. Lunch will be provided. DMin credit will be available.