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Intercultural Studies and Ministry

C 4001 Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Ministry at the Margins
Who are we, what are we doing, and why? We all have different social locations, assumptions, and expectations, and we bring them to our ministry. The Course examines culture, religion, faith, and encounter–and the call to conversion–as constitutive of the marginal and boundary-crossing ministry to which we are called.

C 4003 Abraham’s Children: Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Open to participants from any faith or philosophical background, “Abraham’s Children” is a graduate theological 3-credit seminar designed to introduce some of the basic elements of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith traditions through the lens and dynamic of interreligious relations and understanding. Those who complete the course will have had the experience of studying Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from the perspectives of history and theology and also in an experiential setting with faculty and colleagues of all three faiths. Following the two weeks of instruction, students will have a field assignment to explore aspects of these living faith communities in Chicago.

C 4008 Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (Spring 2015)
In a time of great global challenges-- wars, economic exploitation  and environmental degradation--it has become imperative that religious traditions learn to work together to create a peaceful world.  This course looks at a variety of ways in which Christians and Buddhists have learned from one another.  It culminates in an exploration of two complementary types of moral agents: the prophet and the bodhisattva.

C4009-1 Hinduism and Hindu-Christian Dialogue
This course will be a graduate level historical introduction to the great texts, ideas, and religious movements of Hinduism. The last four weeks will be devoted to examining Hindu Christian encounters and models of Hindu-Christian dialogue, but points of contact and comparison between the two traditions will be woven into the earlier part of the course as well. The course will be conducted as a discussion-oriented seminar, enhanced by online multimedia materials.

CS 4010 Spirituality, Ministry and Survivors of Human Rights Abuses
A seminar combining theory and praxis with Chicago agencies and groups working with refugees/ survivors of torture and human rights abuses. What is our pastoral responsibility in accompanying survivors on their journey to healing and reconciliation? What are the possibilities and limitations of this ministry (personally and collectively)? What is a spirituality of accompaniment? What is a spirituality of reconciliation? What is beyond reconciliation? How does this process inform and challenge our theology, mission and ministry? How do we attend to our own healing process? How do we deal with the oppressor/wrongdoer/perpetrator? These are the questions and concerns that our class-community will address during this semester. Admission by consent of instructor.

C4011 Zen Buddhism
This course studies the thought and practice of Zen Buddhism as it originated in China as Chan Buddhism, spread to Korea, Vietnam and Japan and finally migrated to the West at the end of the Nineteenth Century.  Primary emphasis is placed on Zen as a form of transformative religious practice, using primary sources from Zen teachers and practitioners including those who have integrated Zen practices into their root religious traditions.  We will examine Zen philosophy through a study of a classic Mahayana text, the Heart Sutra, through the examination of Zen koans and through a study of the ideas of Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen. Students will come to appreciate the way in which religious practices embed themselves within and shape cultural practices through a study of the impact of Zen on Japanese and American culturesBeyond engaging in classroom discussions, students will be asked to involve themselves in some form of Zen practice for a limited number of sessions.

C 4200 Christology and Culture
An investigation of the meaning of the person and work of Jesus Christ for Christian faith today. Special emphasis given to emerging christologies in the World Church, constructing christologies today, and the final consummation of all things in Christ. 

WSC 5301 Prayer Patterns in the Abrahamic Traditions
This seminar course will examine the development of (non-eucharistic) liturgical prayer patterns in the Abrahamic traditions from ancient Temple and Synagogue prayer patterns into the 21st century.  This historical-contextual approach will provide a framework for inquiring to what extent there can be said to be implied spiritualities in the form, structure and performance of these prayer patterns, and how such might shed light on the evolving prayer practices of these traditions today.  Historical work will be complemented by shared theological reflection on the patterns we examine. (3 credits)

CH 4301 Constants in Context: A Mission Theology for Today
Weaving together a systematic theology with mission at its core and a global history of the world Christian movement, this course traces the patterns by which theological constants are shaped in changing contexts in developing relevant mission theologies.

CW4301 Initiation and Contextualization
After studying the general characteristics of Christian initiation and other types of initiation as cultural-religious phenomena throughout human history, this seminar focuses on the theological- cultural, liturgical and pastoral issues in the holistic process of contextualizing initiation in particular Christian contexts.

MPC 4308 Pastoral Care in an African-American Context
This course explores the psychological and cultural elements that contributed to the formation of an African-American identity. The goal is a better understanding of the African-American experience and a greater sensitivity to the strength and needs of this cultural tradition. Students develop a better understanding/ability to minister in the African-American community.

C 4309 Mission Integration
Integrating seminar for those returning from cross-cultural and/or overseas training placements (OTP) of mission/ministry. This course provides a process for deeper understanding of the experience through theological reflection and integration of the past, present, and future.

CH 4310 History of the World Christian Movement in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The end of the French Revolution marked the beginning of a period during which Christianity eventually developed into a vibrant world movement. This course examines historical-theological models of mission and related contemporary issues within varied social-political, religious, and ecclesial contexts.

DC 4311 Introduction to Asian Theologies
As Christianity becomes post-western, the church in Asia will have an increasingly significant role in the church of the future. This course is an introduction to the theology emerging from the Asian church. It begins by looking at the context of Asia and then explores how theology addresses the realities of the many poor, many religions, and many cultures of Asia.

C 4320 Islam
This introduction to the faith tradition of nearly one-fifth of humanity includes: the life of Muhammad (s.); Qur’an and hadith; the five “pillars” of Muslim praxis; Islamic law and theology; Sunni/Shi`ite sectarianism; mysticism; and contemporary Muslim renewal and reform movements.

C 4325 Introduction to Judaism
Designed to introduce the most important aspects of Jewish practice and belief, particularly stresses questions and problems relevant to contemporary Jews, while setting them within a historical context. Considers issues in the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, including the dialogue that has developed in recent decades.

C 4330 Interreligious Dialogue
Participants investigate forms of dialogue with other religions developed in Catholic Christianity since Vatican II. Attention is given to the dialogue of religious experience and a comparative theology arising from the practice of dialogue. Field trips and various media formats are employed.

BC 4403 Mark in Cross-Cultural Perspective
A study of the narrative of Mark from a cultural and theological perspective. Focus is on Markan style and theology in dialogue with the Jewish background and with the contexts and questions of today.

BC 4502 Reading the Bible Differently: African-American Biblical Perspectives
Different contexts and perspectives lead to different approaches to, and interpretation of, the Bible. This course studies the interplay between the African-American contexts and the resulting appropriation and interpretation of the Bible. Participants are inducted into the wider issue of social location in biblical hermeneutics.

BC 4503 Perspectives in African Biblical Interpretation
After an introduction into the African culture and context, the approaches, themes, and texts in current African biblical interpretation are studied. Participants are introduced to the question of text and context in interpretation.

C 4700 Praxis for Cross-Cultural Transformation
A praxis for Cross-Cultural Transformation is preparation for cross-cultural mission/ministry. It consists of three components: preparation/ orientation, field experience, and integration. The field experience has two options: 1) Traveling seminar to the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota, led by our Lakota (Sioux) “teachers”, or 2) Program of intercultural and/or interreligious experiences in the Chicago area developed in consultation between the student and the instructors.

BC 5001 The Servant of the Lord and Interpretation
An extensive introduction to the text and themes of Deutero-Isaiah is followed by the study of the sayings about the Servant of the Lord, in relation to their meaning for the vocation of Israel and for that of people called to be God’s servant. Reapplications of the servant theme in the New Testament are considered to the extent possible

DC 5001 Catholicism, U.S. Culture, and the Mission of the Church
An investigation of the history of Catholicism in the United States, how it has interfaced with U.S. culture, and what implications this has for the missionary nature of the church in the U.S. context.

BC 5002 Women in the Scriptures
An advanced seminar in feminist approaches to the scriptures, examining texts from the canonical as well as some non-canonical literature.

CS 5010 Spirituality, Ministry, and Survivors of Human Rights Abuses
The prevalence of torture, human rights abuses, and violence in our world challenges the missionary/minister to understand the personal and societal effects of trauma and to develop a spirituality of accompaniment with survivors in their healing and reconciliation. Not open to audit.

BC 5010 Bible, Mission, and Culture
An examination of the grounds for, and models of, mission in the Bible, and of some issues in mission and culture. In even years the course is limited to the Old Testament; in odd years the entire Bible is considered.

BC 5012 Latina Perspectives on Biblical Interpretation
A seminar on the work of women theologians in the U.S.A. and in Latin America, with attention to Latina feminist/mujerista methods for interpreting scripture and insights for preaching and teaching from the scriptures in a multicultural church.

C 5020 Christianity in the Middle East
The course examines the main historical and cultural developments of Christianity in what is today known as the Middle East. The focus of this course will be on exploring the relations between Eastern Christians and the West, particularly since the colonial era, and the current debates among different Christian communities on their theological and cultural self-understanding and the mission of the church in a Muslim majority region.

CS 5020 Spirituality, Discipleship, and Mission Today
This course explores discipleship in the New Testament, seeking its applications amid changing lives and in a changing world. First, we are called, then sent; the initiative and the agenda are not our own. Ponder the implications and applications.

SC 5020 Hispanic Spirituality: History and Religiosity
Provides a general introduction to the foundations, beliefs, and challenges of Hispanic/Latino spirituality. The course covers topics like: Mesoamerican and medieval Spanish religiosity; what Latinos believe about God, Mary, humanity, evil, etc.; and finally, the challenge of evangelizing popular religiosity and of enhancing Latino interest in the Word of God, justice, and liberation.

C 5030 Cross-Cultural Theologies of Peace

Constructing local, contextual theologies of peacemaking is necessary for developing relevant pastoral responses to complex conflicts and experiences of violence—economic, cultural, military, political, religious, ethnic, ecological, etc. Realizing that the ministry of peacemaking is often a cross-cultural, ecumenical, and interreligious task, building on case studies from different parts of the world, this seminar will equip students to develop theological and pastoral methods and imagination for promoting intercultural praxis of peacemaking as an integral part of the mission and ministry of local churches.

CS 5030 The Spirituality of Lakota-Christian Dialogue
In dialogue with Native Americans (Lakota) who practice traditional spirituality and/or Christian faith, this course examines a spirituality of justice and interfaith mission/ministry. Includes a week-long field trip on Rosebud and Pine Ridge Lakota Reservations in South Dakota.

SC 5040 Islamic Mysticism and Spirituality
An exploration of the Muslim traditions of piety, devotion, and spiritual purification known as “Sufism.” Topics include: early Muslim asceticism; love mysticism; sobriety and ecstasy; the stages and states of the spiritual journey; Sufi prayer and praxis; and classical Sufi poetry.

C 5041 Contemporary Islamic Renewal and Reform Movements
A thoughtful perspective on what is popularly called Islamic “fundamentalism.” This course examines the phenomenon as a response to the effects of western modernity and modernism. It also explores the spectrum of such movements ranging from progressive to extremist.

CS 5050 Discipleship, Mission, and Spirituality Today
This course seeks to bring together three deeply enmeshed topics. Discipleship is the way we live out God's Mission in our lives and world, and Spirituality is the life of the Holy Spirit with which our baptism enriches us. None of these can exist authentically without the others. We ponder the implications of the "disturbing quality" of Jesus' call.

WC 5200 Advanced Preaching
This practicum addresses specific pastoral and cultural contexts for preaching, e.g. preaching specific sacramental rites (weddings and funerals), preaching various aspects of the church year (a cycle of the lectionary or particular feasts and seasons), or preaching in distinctive cultural contexts (Hispanic or Asian). Prerequisite: Liturgical Preaching, W4204

WC 5202 Liturgical Inculturation
This seminar explores the inculturation of the church's worship in both historical and contemporary perspective with emphasis on current methodological and theological issues raised by the engagement of the church with contemporary cultures promoted by Vatican II.

WC 5205 Liturgy in a Multicultural Community
This seminar explores the complex situation of liturgical celebration in communities comprising people of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds. It takes up the dynamics of intercultural engagement, assumptions and principles relating to multiculturalism, liturgy, and popular religiosity, conceptual and practical groundwork, and models for liturgy that embrace the plurality of cultures in a respectful, inclusive way.

CD 5210 – Theology of Interreligious Dialogue
Takes as starting point the Second Vatican Council's declaration "Nostra Aetate" to examine the Church's relations with other religions. Begins with a historical perspective and then looks at the theologies and forms of interreligious dialogue today. The actual praxis of dialogue will be integral to the course.

DC 5310 Interreligious Dialogue in Asia
Explores the theory and praxis of interreligious dialogue, including the influence of personal, social, and extra-religious factors. Taking into account the contextual realities, the texts of Christian scriptures and teachings are investigated to discern the church's theology of religions.

DC 5311 Readings in Asian Theology
This is a reading course on the writings of key Christian theologians-- especially on how they address the issues arising from the context and realities of Asia. Among the major themes examined from an Asian perspective are post-colonialism, contextualization, hermeneutics, theological methods, inculturation, integral liberation, and interreligious dialogue.

CH 5322 The History of Muslim-Christian Relations
An investigation of Christian-Muslim relations from the early seventh century Common Era to the present. Specific topics include: the early Muslim conquests, the Crusades, the fall of Constantinople, the Bosnian genocide, twentieth-century Algeria, and contemporary Nigeria, Indonesia, and the U.S.

C 5042 Witchcraft in Contemporary Africa
Witchcraft, sorcery, and associated beliefs and practices, continue to plague Africa and constitute perhaps the most serious social problem for millions. The Christian response has been at best patchy and at worst indefensible. Through an anthropological analysis, we probe the social reality of witchcraft, and then bring theological and pastoral insights to bear on addressing it.

BC 5515 Forms and Meanings in Bible and Culture
The course examines themes that recur in cultures and in the First Testament in order to see how anthropology and biblical studies can enlighten each other as well as the missionary/theological enterprise.

DC 6000 Theological Anthropology in Intercultural Perspective
A doctoral seminar in emerging issues in theological anthropology in the World Church today, as well as new challenges to the Christian understanding of the human being. Emphasis is placed on the different contexts in which these issues and challenges are encountered.

CD 6001 Inculturation
Much misunderstood, inculturation will be carefully explicated, theoretically and practically. We will study methods by which Christianity and a culture may actually encounter each other, and to what effect. The outcome (under the Holy Spirit and with the local people) is a new reality: the People of God Transformed.