ICS Calendar Title: The Nature (and Grace) of Modern Theology

ICS Course Code: ICS 220802 W14

Instructor: Dr. Nik Ansell

Term and Year: Fridays, 9:30am-12:30 pm, Winter 2014

Last Updated: January 16, 2014

1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This course will explore the work of some seminal Protestant and Catholic theologians associated with the re-shaping of ‘modern’ theology in the twentieth century. Our focus will be on the ‘nature-grace’ relationship—understood as the distinction and connection that theologians posit or discern between ‘divine’ and ‘human’ power, freedom, and desire. The famous debate between Karl Barth and Emil Brunner (Natural Theology, ET, 1948), and the more recent discussions of Leonardo Boff (Liberating Grace, ET, 1979) and John Van Sloten (The Day Metallica Came to Church, 2010)  will stimulate our own contemporary reflections on the ‘covenantal’ nature of reality and the spirituality of existence. Participants will engage key readings in a seminar setting.

Course Learning Goals

a. To reflect on the nature of theology and its relation to the “graced horizon” of existence.

b. To gain insight into the relationship between contemporary theology and modern theology.

c. To explore foundational issues and concepts in systematic theology (such as the God-creation relationship, the heaven-earth relationship,  and the nature of revelation, religion, freedom, and grace)

2. Reading Schedule

[1] January 10  Boff, Liberating Grace, 3–7; Olthuis (supplied in class)

[2] January 17  Olthuis (cont); Ansell, Annihilation, 262–72; Ansell, “Its About Time”

[3] January 24  Barth-Brunner, 5–64

[4] January 31         Barth-Brunner, 67–128

[5] February 7  Barth, Church Dogmatics

[6] February 14  Moltmann, Experiences, 64–83; Ansell, Annihilation, 272–314

[7] February 21  Reading Week

[8] February 28  Boff, Liberating Grace, xiii–75

[9] March 7        Boff, Liberating Grace, 76–147

[10] March 14    Boff, Liberating Grace, 148–216

[11] March 21    Van Sloten, chaps. 1–5

[12] March 28    Van Sloten, chaps. 6–12

[13] April 4         JM Presentations

[14] April 11       JM Presentation; Conclusions

3. Course Requirements

a. Total reading: 1250 pages total, including research for paper, of which approximately 60-70 pages per week is required to prepare for class.

b. In-seminar leadership: Written analysis of/ response to 2–3 required readings, identifying key issues and questions, to aid class discussion; oral contribution to class.

c. Description of course papers: One paper of 3000-5000 (Master's students) or 5000-7000 words (Ph.D. students), due by relevant ICS/TST deadline.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

Paper: 60% [TST 50%]

Class presentations: 20% [TST 25%]

Oral contributions: 20% [TST 25%]

5. Required Readings

Nicholas Ansell, “It’s About Time: Opening Reformational Thought to the Eschaton,” Calvin Theological Journal 47 no. 1 (Spring 2012): 98–121  

______, The Annihilation of Hell: Universal Salvation and the Redemption of Time in the Eschatology of Jürgen Moltmann (Eugene, Ore.: Cascade, 2013), chap. 6 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 821.3 .A67 2013]

Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, trans. G.W.Bromiley and T.F.Torrance (Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 1956-77), IV/3 , 113–54 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT75 .B282]

Karl Barth and Emil Brunner, Natural Theology, trans. Peter Fraenkel (London: Geoffrey Bles, The Centenary Press, 1948) [Trinity Library: BX 4827 .B3B7313 1946]

Karl Barth and Emil Brunner, Natural Theology: comprising ‘Nature and Grace’ by Professor Dr. Emil Brunner and the reply “No!” by Dr. Karl Barth (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock, 2002) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX 4827 .B3 B713 2002]

Leonardo Boff, Liberating Grace (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1979) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 761.2 .B6313]

Jürgen Moltmann, Experiences in Theology: Ways and Forms of Christian Theology (London: SCM, 2000), Pt. 1, chap. 6 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX 4827 .M6 A3 2000 (Fortress Press ed.) ; Robarts Library: BX4827 .M6 A3 2000]

James H. Olthuis, “Must the Church Become Secular?” in John A. Olthuis et al, Out of Concern for the Church: Five Essays (Toronto: Wedge, 1970), 107–25 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BV625 .O9]

John Van Sloten, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Square Inch, 2010. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT 180 .P6 V36 2010]

6. Some Recommended Readings

Karl Barth, The Humanity of God, trans. John Newton Thomas and Thomas Wieser (Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press, 1960) [Knox Library: BT28 .B273]

______, Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History, trans. Brian Cozens, John Bowden et al (London: SCM, 1972) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT30 .G3 B13 1972a]

______, The Theology of Schleiermacher: Lectures at Göttingen, Winter Semester of 1923/24, ed. Dietrich Ritschl, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX4827 .S3 B313]

Hendrikus Berkhof, Two Hundred Years of Theology: Report of a Personal Journey, trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT28 .B44313 1989]

G.C.Berkouwer, The Triumph of Grace in the theology of Karl Barth, trans. Harry R.Boer (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX4827 .B3 B4713]

Emil Brunner, The Divine Imperative: A Study in Christian Ethics, trans. Olive Wyon (London: Lutterworth Press, 1937)  [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BJ1253 .B7313]

______, The Philosophy of Religion From the Standpoint of Protestant Theology, trans. B.L.Woolf and A.J.D.Farrer (Cambridge: J. Clarke, 1958) (Selections) [Emmanuel Library: BL51 .B786]

Stephen Duffy, The Graced Horizon: Nature and Grace in Modern Catholic Thought. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1992. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT761.2 .D84 1992]]

Clifford Green, ed., Karl Barth: Theologian of Freedom (London: Collins, 1989) [Robarts Library: BX4827 .B3 G68 1989]

Roger Haight, The Experience and Language of Grace (New York: Paulist Press, 1979) [Knox College Library: BT761.2 .H34 1979]

Trevor Hart, Regarding Karl Barth (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1999), chap. 7 (“A Capacity For Ambiguity: The Barth-Brunner Debate Revisited”) [Robarts Library: BX4827 .B3 H295 1999]

Van A. Harvey, “Grace” and “Natural Theology,” in A Handbook of Theological Terms (New York: Macmillan, 1964), 108–12 and 158–162.

Charles W. Kegley, ed. The Theology of Emil Brunner (New York: Macmillan, 1962) [Knox Library: BX4827 .B67 K4]

Jan Veenhof, “Nature and Grace in Bavinck,” trans. Al Wolters Pro Rege 34/4 (June 2006): 11–31.

Jan Veenhof, Nature and Grace in Herman Bavinck, trans. Albert M. Wolters (Sioux Centre, IA: Dordt College Press, 2006)  

John Webster, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) [Robarts Library: BX4827 .B3 C26 2000]

S.U. Zuidema, “Common Grace and Christian Action in Abraham Kuyper,” in Communication and Confrontation (Toronto: Wedge, 1972) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR 115 .C8 Z9 c.1]


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