Living Traditions

 

LTR 5131 Church History I: A study of the development of the Christian Church from the beginning of the Christian era until 1054. Emphasis is upon the leading personalities, basic events and trends of thought that have helped to shape the life, faith and institutions of the Church. Topics include: the Greco‑Roman and Jewish influences on Christianity; the early heresies and ecumenical councils, reform movements and crises of early Medieval Christianity; the rise of Islam and Byzantine Christianity; and the Christianization of Eastern and Western Europe. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5132 Church History II: A continuation of Church History I, studying the development of Western Christian History from the Gregorian Reform in the 11th Century, covering Medieval Christendom, the Reformation, and Modern Christianity until the present time. Emphasis is placed on the leading personalities, events and trends of thought, which have helped to shape the life, faith and institutions of the Western Church. In‑class activity is designed to prepare the participants to think historico‑theologically and aid them in communicating ecumen­ically with representatives of diverse Christian traditions. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5141 Paths of Faith: An introduction to the world's religions that acquaints the student with the various Paths that are presently being lived by human beings in the global society. Study is made of origins, development, basic beliefs and contem­porary expressions. 3 credits. Dr. Isaacs or Dr. Brown.

LTR 5151 The Unification Movement: This seminar examines the history of the worldwide Unification Church from its estab­lishment in 1954 to the present. Em­phasis is placed on the leading personalities, events and thought which have helped shape the Church and its practices in its various geographical and national settings including Korea, Japan, the United States, Europe, Africa, South America, South Asia and Oceania. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5301 The American Religious Experience: This course examines key features of the American religious experience. It notes the interplay between culture and religion in the formation of distinctively American atti­tudes; and considers the public role of religion in American life. Beyond this, the course explores regional differences of religious expression as well as the religious experiences of the Native Americans, Protestants, Catholics, the Black Church, Jews, Hispanics, women, and new religious movements. An important purpose of the course is to prepare students for the practice of ministry in the United States. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5302 History of the Black Church in America: Through a descriptive and evaluative study of its history, beginning with its African roots, students will arrive at a clear understanding of the dynamics of the Black Church in America. The influence of mainline denominations on the Black Church will be studied. Students will then have the opportunity to further explore the development of their local church in light of the understandings developed in the course. 2 credits. Dr. Hickman.

LTR 5303 Contemporary Christian Denominations: This course prepares the student for dialogue with Christian clergy. Major Christian traditions are examined, inclu­ding: Roman Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presby­terian and Pentecostal. Each tradition is presented in terms of its history and current position on theological issues. Points of contact and conflict with Unificationism will be explored. 2 credits. Dr. Seidel.

LTR 5305 African-American Religious History of Harlem: This course traces the rise and flowering of Harlem as the leading African-American city in the United States, and one of the leading world centers of African culture. From the arrival of the first African-Americans in the late 1800s, through the Harlem Renaissance, and until today, Harlem has exerted and continues to exert a powerful influence on the African-American and world African culture and religions. The course is intended to help students explore the religious history of this fascinating neighborhood. 3 credits. Dr. Brown.

LTR 5311 Parallels of History: While the Scriptures reveal God's plan in history, God's providence did not end with the early Christians of the Apostolic Age. That Christian history continues to display God's handiwork becomes evident when seen in the light of Bible parallels. This course investigates the biblical history of Israel and the course of Christian history from New Testament times until today, with an eye to discerning parallels between these two histories. Topics include the nature of history itself and the relationship between God's predetermined providence and human free will. A central concern will be to elucidate lessons of history for under­stan­ding God's providence today. Prerequisite: SCR 5131, LTR 5131 or LTR 5132. 2 credits. Dr. Wilson.

LTR 5390 Independent Study in Church History: 1‑3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 6390 Thesis/Project in Church History: 4 credits. Must be accompanied by the Divinity Colloquium, MIN 5801. Faculty.

LTR 5402 Jewish-Christian Relations: This course has the objective of raising awareness of the complex and potentially rewarding relationship between Judaism and Christianity. It surveys the dark history of Christian anti-Semitism as well as recent attempts to heal this breach within the family of God. Jewish attitudes towards Jesus and Paul will be investigated, for example, why Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. One purpose is to dispel Christian miscon­ceptions that cast Jews as though their religion were unchanged since New Testament times. We should also understand Jewish misconceptions of Christians, e.g., distrust of the religious right that has shaped Jewish politics in America. Current issues include: limits on proselytizing, doctrines of election, Zionism and Palestin­ian rights. Finally, the class will look at ways to build common ground between the two faiths. 3 credits. Dr. Wilson.

LTR 5411 Islam: This course introduces the tradition of Islam from the authentic perspective of an active Muslim imam. The life of Muhammad, the Qur'an, central beliefs and traditions, schools of jurisprudence and the Shari'ah, the history of Islam, the social impact of Islam, and Islam's theory of war and peace are among the topics. 3 credits. Imam Khan.

LTR 5413 Islam and Protestant African-American Churches: The critical challenge facing the Protestant African-American churches is the growing Islamic missionary activity in an increasingly pluralistic society. This course provides students with knowledge of Islam as a missionary religion. It focuses on the Islamic leadership to understand their world­view, motives and means of mission, and approaches to contextualization. Students will also look at the response of African-American churches and study how to better respond to the Islamic missionary challenge. 2 credits. Dr. Jones.

LTR 5421 Confucianism: This course is an examination of major themes in the social philosophy and lifestyle of Confucianism, wherein filial piety is the way to the Way. The life of Confucius and his teachings, including the five relation­ships, will be studied and compared with Unificationism. Neo-Confucianism, key figures such as Mencius, the important texts, and the impact of Confucianism on China, Korea, and Japan will be considered. 3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 5431 Buddhism: The major themes of Buddhism and the heart of Buddhist practice are the subject of this course. Both Theravada and Mahayana traditions will be considered. Topics include the life of Shakyamuni, the Buddhist vision of reality encapsulated in the Four Noble Truths, monastic discipline and the order of the Sangha, and the state of enlightenment or Nirvana. 2 credits. Wangdue.

LTR 5401 The Christian Religion: Designed for students from a non-Christian background, this course studies the basic contents of Christian faith, practice and history. It also surveys some character­istics of the major Christian denominations. 3 credits. Taught in Japanese or Korean. Dr. Shimmyo.

LTR 5490 Independent Study in World Religions: 1‑3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 6490 Thesis/Project in World Religions: 4 credits. Must be accompanied by the Divinity Colloquium, MIN 5801. Faculty.

LTR 5502 Church-State Relations: A seminar covering the historical development, theoretical underpinnings, key issues, landmark cases, present circum­stances and likely prospects of church-state relations. The first part of the seminar will examine various models and theories of church-state relations. The second part will investigate major areas of church-state debate, including relevant court decisions, regarding the privileged status of churches in democratic societies, legislation affecting the family, education, and public funding of faith-based social services. The third part of the seminar will examine litigation involving the Unification Church and other minority religions. Students are encouraged to think through these matters from the standpoint of their future ministries. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5505 Religion and Economics: What is the ideal economic system? What does religious teaching say about capitalism, socialism, the free market, and government economic policy? Is capitalism essentially selfish? How can economic opportunity best be distributed to poor nations? In this course, students will study great economic thinkers and religious voices, from Adam Smith to Pope John Paul II, to help them better understand how economic systems work and the religious and moral issues at stake. 3 credits. Dr. Isaacs.

LTR 5512 World Religions and Social Justice: This course examines seven of the most troublesome and complex social issues facing society today: human rights, the environment, new religious movements, women's rights, poverty, technology, and racism. While governments, corporations and wealthy elites approach these issues from their own perspectives, the religions of the world have a special contribution to make. Students will examine the religious, historical, political, economic, cultural and social dimensions of the problem, and seek to understand the positions of various denominations. 3 credits. Dr. Brown.

LTR 5513 World Religions and Global Conflict: Utilizing a case-study approach, this course examines conflicts around the world and the role of religion in causing, exacer­bating or ameliorating them. In seek­ing to understand religion's role, students will examine comprehensively the religious, historical, political, economic, cultural and social background of the crises. Particular effort will be made to spotlight religiously grounded activists and leaders who have made a positive difference. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler or Dr. Brown.

LTR 5515 The United Nations and Global Peace: This course will begin with a brief synopsis of the aims and structure of the United Nations. It will then investigate the relationship between religion and religions and the life and work of the United Nations and its affiliated bodies. Course content will include discussion of the United Nation's Millennium Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, its declared commit­ment to working with civil society, to promoting interfaith dialogue, the dialogue among civilizations and religious and cultural understanding. The possibility of an inter-religious council within the UN system will be explored. The success of UN-recognized Non Governmental Organ­iza­tions in influencing the policies and programs of the United Nations will be analyzed. The course will include a visit to the UN headquarters in New York City. 3 credits. Dr. Noda

LTR 5516 Religion, Politics and Ideologies on the Korean Peninsula: This course explores the historical, political, religious, ideological, and social factors that have shaped the development of the two Koreas, particularly since the end of World War II. We will cover Korea's experience under the latter stage of Japanese colonialism, its division into two zones of occupation, the Korean War (including the respective roles of Stalin, Mao, and Kim Il Sung), the continuation of the Cold War on the peninsula, South Korea's industrializa­tion and democratization, the role played by Christianity in modern Korean politics, North Korea's response to its post-Cold War environment, and an examination of the interests of the U.S., Japan, China and Russia in the Peninsula. We will then focus on practical steps that can be taken to foster inter-Korean cooperation and eventual unification, including the roles of religions, NGOs and civil society. 2 credits. Dr. Barry.

LTR 5521 Religious Themes in Cinema: This course examines film as medium for communicating religious themes and spirit­uality. Students will view and discuss a variety of feature-length films, some on overtly religious subjects and others that evoke reflec­tion on the theological dimen­sions of human experience. The course is intended to help students enter into a theological conversation with film. Students will develop the skills of movie watching and film criticism. The course is an oppor­tunity to broaden the student's theological sensibilities and open up new avenues for ministry. Interfaith topics will be a particular focus this year. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5531 Sociology of New Religious Movements: A sociological understanding of the Unification Movement is enhanced by understanding new religious movements. Topics include: typologies of cult, sect and church, deprivation theories, models of conversion and apostasy, the role and function of the charismatic prophet, the historical development after the founder's passing, and the role of new religious move­ments and social change. The course will examine various new religions and review the sociological literature on the Unification movement in particular, e.g. Lofland, Barker, Shupe and Bromely, Robbins and Anthony, Melton. 3 credits. Dr. Mickler.

LTR 5590 Independent Study in Religion and Society: 1‑3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 6590 Thesis/Project in Religion and Society: 4 credits. Must be accompanied by the Divinity Colloquium, MIN 5801. Faculty.

LTR 5601 United Methodist Doctrine and Polity: This course is to prepare students for full ministerial membership in an Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It will examine the nature and history of the church as the institutional expression of its theological postulates. Topics include: the theology of connectionalism with its impli­cations for collegiality, accountability and responsibil­ity; ordination; and ecumenism. 3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 5602 The Wesleyan Tradition and Church Renewal: To acquaint the student with the develop­ment of Methodism and its abiding influence on many Protestant denomina­tions, this course examines the history, theology and doctrines of Metho­dism. Special attention will be given to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, Wesley's concept of perfection, his emphasis on small group ministry, the Sunday School, and his view of the role of parents and home life in the spiritual formation of children. 3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 5611 History of the Church of God in Christ: This course will explore the roots and doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, one of the fastest-growing Black churches, that showcases the rise of Pentecostal spirituality in the twentieth century. Students will study the reasons for Pentecostalism's phenomenal growth. They will also learn the folklore and rich legacy of this important denomination. 2 credits. Dr. Hickman.

LTR 5690 Independent Study in Denominational Studies: 1‑3 credits. Faculty.

LTR 6690 Thesis/Project in Denominational Studies: 4 credits. Must be accompanied by the Divinity Colloquium, MIN 5801. Faculty.