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COURSE NUMBER: THEO 361
COURSE TITLE: Political Theology
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Stephen Martin
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Every week, Christians gather around symbols and stories which remind them of a convicted and executed political subversive who is also revealed to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This course will explore the exciting engagement of the political by Christian theologians. It will examine the contemporary retrieval of biblical, classical, and medieval sources into a post-modern and post-secular world.

Prerequisites: THEO 250
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • A Bible. Strongly recommended is The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha (Nashville:Abingdon, 2003).
  • Sheldrake, Philip. The Spiritual City (London: Wiley, 2015).
  • Scott, James C. Seeing Like a State (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).
  • Wells, Samuel. Community-Led Regeneration and the Local Church (London: Grove Booklets, 2004)
  • Friesen, Milton, and Spencer Andres. “Edmonton City Soul: A Cardus Working Paper.”
  • Friesen, Milton, et al. “Religion and the good of the city 1: The contemporary cultural context of the city.”
  • Friesen, Milton, et al. “Religion and the good of the city 2: The state of research and influence.” 
  • Friesen, Milton, et al. “Religion and the good of the city 3: The future conditions of the city.”
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Reading Introductions 5%
Film assignments 15%
Research Paper30%
Paper presentation10%
Review15%
Take-home exam15%
Participation 10%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:
  • To demonstrate the task of theology to be an inherently political activity.
  • To introduce students to key classical resources for political theology.
  • To introduce students to key thinkers that have shaped contemporary political theology.
  • To provoke students to thinking politically about theological and doctrinal formulations.
  • To give students opportunity to reflect theologically on contemporary political events.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • 3.1 Course Introduction (Jan 5)
  • 3.2 The City in Scripture (Jan 8, 10, 12)
    • Reading: The Letter to the Philippians
  • 3.3 The City in Theology I: St. Augustine (Jan 15, 17, 19)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 1
    • “Metropolis” will be screened Friday afternoon at 2PM in N219.
  • 3.4 The City in Theology II: Monasticism (Jan 22, 26)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 2
    • Friday film discussion: “Metropolis”
  • 3.5 The City in Theology III: The Middle Ages (Jan 29, 31, Feb 2)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 3
    • Good Fridays #1: TBA
    • “Citizen Jane” will be screened Friday afternoon at 2PM in N219.
  • 3.6 The City in Theology IV: Reformations (Feb 5, 7, 9)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 4
    • Friday film discussion: “Citizen Jane”
  • 3.7 The City in Theology V: Modernity (Feb 12, 14, 16)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 5
    • Good Fridays #2: TBA
    • “Radiant City” will be screened Friday afternoon at 2PM in N219.
  • 3.8 Reading Week: no classes
  • 3.9 Discussion of Seeing Like a State (Feb 26, 28, Mar 2)
    • Friday film discussion: “Radiant City”
  • 3.10 Theological Reflection on the City I: Place (Mar 5, 7, 9)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 6
    • Good Fridays #3: TBA
  • 3.11 Theological Reflection on the City II: Community (Mar 12, 14, 16)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 7
  • 3.12 Discussion of Wells, Community-Led Regeneration (Mar 19, 21, 23)
  • 3.13 Theological Reflection on the City III: Hospitality (Mar 26, 28—March 30 is Good Friday)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 8
  • 3.14 Theological Reflection on the City IV: Virtues (Apr 4, 6—April 2 is Easter Monday)
    • Reading: Sheldrake ch. 9
    • Good Fridays #4: TBA
  • 3.15 Presentations (Apr 9, 11, 13)
  • 3.16 Conclusion (Apr 16)
    • Reading: Sheldrake Epilogue.


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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