15 September 2014

Ways of Learning

Participants in the course will investigate and evaluate significant perspectives on the learning process in order to understand the assumptions of various theories and to interpret these from a biblically-informed standpoint. They will review current research into child development and learning (e.g. brain research, cognitive processes, multiple intelligences, learning styles) in seeking to develop a coherent understanding of the relationships between various learning theories, on the basis of a Christian view of the person and of knowledge. An action research project will enable participants to test an approach to learning in the context of their own classrooms.

ICSD 120305/220305 F14
ICP3483HF L6101 / ICP6483HF L6101
CSTC1540
Instructor: Doug Blomberg / Elaine Brouwer

(MWS, MA)

11 September 2014

Religion, Critical Theory, and Habermas

While maintaining a stance of “methodical atheism,” Habermas’ work also exhibits a positive appreciation for many dimensions of the Judeo-Christian religious heritage, especially its moral and ethical dimensions. Habermas’ critical appreciation of religious tradition is in continuity with his “Frankfurt School” forebears, who took religion to be integral to modern social and cultural evolution. Religion must be studied, they felt, because it can both display forms of pathological socialization and yet be a resource for a critique of, and eventual emancipation from, such a repressive reality. After exploring key writings of the first generation of critical theorists on the social relevance of religion, the seminar will culminate in an in-depth study of J├╝rgen Habermas’ contribution to this discussion.

ICS 220505 F14
ICT3772HF L0101 / ICT6772HF L0101
Dr. Ron Kuipers
Thursdays 1:30-4:30pm
(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

God/Sex/Word/Flesh: Gender, Theology, and the Body

How is our agenda for theology related to our gender? Is ‘God’ a male word? Is the ‘Word made flesh’ a male God? Does the experience of women change how God is (made) known? Is sexuality embraced by the resurrection? Attentive to the work of feminist theologians and biblical scholars, we will attempt to develop an ‘embodied’ theology open to the biblical vision that God will be ‘all in all’.

ICS 220804 F14
ICT5220HF L0101
Dr. Nik Ansell
Thursdays 9:30am-12:30pm
(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

10 September 2014

Religion, Life & Society: Reformational Philosophy

An exploration of central issues in philosophy, as addressed by Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and the “Amsterdam School” of neoCalvinian thought. The course tests the relevance of this tradition for recent developments in Western philosophy. Special attention is given to critiques of foundationalism, metaphysics, and modernity within reformational philosophy and in other schools of thought.

ICS 1107AC/2107AC F14
ICT3702HF L0101 / ICT6702HF L0101
Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart
Wednesdays 9:30am – 12:30pm
(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus
Course Schedule

9 September 2014

Theories of Truth

Defined by Plato as lovers of truth, philosophers have long debated what truth is. Recently they have disagreed about how important truth is. This seminar examines prominent theories of truth since 1900, as proposed by such thinkers as Pierce, Heidegger, Davidson, Putnam, and Habermas. Feminist, deflationist, and postmodernist critiques of truth theory will be considered and an alternative proposed.

ICS 220705 F14
ICT3762HF L0101 / ICT6762HF L0101
Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart
Tuesdays 6:00pm-9:00pm
(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Nature, Supernature & Miracle in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas

This seminar examines Thomas Aquinas’s distinction between nature and the supernatural from the perspective of key texts in his Summa Theologiae and its most important parallels. It does so in order to address the phenomenon of miracles and the role they play in his philosophical and theological construction.

ICS 120406/220406 F14
ICH3156HF L0101 / ICH6156HF L0101
Dr. Robert (Bob) Sweetman
Tuesdays 9:30am-12:30pm
(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

 

8 September 2014

Biblical Foundations

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing story of and for God and creation, paying special attention to the way in which God's story is intertwined with that of humanity and the world. In asking whether and in what way the Bible is also our story, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.

ICS 1108AC/2108AC F14
ICB2010HF L0101
Dr. Nik Ansell
Mondays 6:00 – 9:00pm

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Christianity and the Ecological Crisis

Critics often blame Christian culture, and sometimes rightly, for ignoring and even contributing to the global ecological crisis. This course explores the gap between a biblical view of creation and Christianity's current response to the threats and opportunities posed by our ecological crisis. In this course, we will study the work of thinkers and practitioners who desire to address this perceived gap in Christian practice and reflection. In doing so, we will consider the ideological factors that have contributed to the emergence of this crisis as well as the normative question concerning the role a robust environmental ethic should play in a Christian’s walk of faith.
ICSD130509/230509 F14
Instructor: Chris Allers
MWS, MA

13 January 2014

Wisdom and Schooling

This course explores a biblical understanding of wisdom as an alternative to the theory into practice paradigm, which has dominated the way in which schooling is conducted at virtually all levels. According to the theory/practice story, schooling is the process by which theoretical insight and abstract academic understanding lay the foundations for an abundant life. The Christian gospel proclaims, however, that walking in the way of Jesus is truth and life. The challenge to the Christian school and the Christian teacher is how to be in the world of schooling while not being of it. This online course employs an extensive Study Guide, a book, book chapters and journal articles, with an online discussion forum and Skype/telephone conferencing. Participation in the forum and a professionally-oriented research paper will provide the basis for evaluation.

ICSD 120306/220306 W14
Distance Education
Instructor: Dr. Doug Blomberg
MWS, MA, PhD

Syllabus

Biblical Foundations

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing story of and for God and creation, paying special attention to the way in which God's story is intertwined with that of humanity and the world. In asking whether and in what way the Bible is also our story, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.

ICSD1108AC/2108AC W14

Distance Education
Instructor: Jeffrey Hocking
MWS

10 January 2014

The Nature (and Grace) of Modern Theology

This course will explore the work of 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 Stephen Duffy (The Graced Horizon: Nature and Grace in Modern Catholic Thought, 1992) 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.

ICS220802 W14
Dr. Nik Ansell
Fridays 9:30am-12:30pm
MA, PhD


Syllabus

9 January 2014

Art, Religion, and Theology

The course will explore significant ways that Christians have theologized the arts, artistry and art culture in Eastern and Western Christendom. The course will compare the varieties of theologies that have emerged from within the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. The study will involve looking at paintings, icons, altarpieces, and socially and culturally engaged works of art as well as pertinent theological writings. Students will be evaluated on class participation, seminar presentations, and a research paper on an approved topic. The methodology used in the course will be a mix of lecture and class discussion on assigned readings.

ICS120102 W14
Dr. Rebekah Smick
Thursdays 7:00pm-10:00pm
MWS


Syllabus

Ricoeur, Language & the Sacred

This course will focus on two of Ricoeur’s essay collections, From Text to Action and Figuring the Sacred. Students will explore the general shape of Ricoeur’s heremeneutical phenomenology, including such themes as textual interpretation, action, explanation, understanding, ideology, and utopia. From there, the course will focus on Ricoeur’s thoughts concerning the disclosive force of religious texts in particular, including his understanding of the way Christian communities might best face the task of appropriating a textual heritage from which time has distanced them, and concerning which they may have lost a certain original naivety. Imagining the world with Ricoeur, we will discuss how his recommendations contribute to our effort to find meaning and inspiration amidst the crises and fragmentations that run through contemporary life.

ICS220504 W14
Dr. Ron Kuipers
Thursdays 1:45pm-4:45pm
MWS, MA, PhD


Syllabus

8 January 2014

IDS: Philosophy and Education: The Formation of Persons

Philosophy has often been construed as more than an intellectual undertaking: Pierre Hadot, among others, considers it as a way of life or a spiritual exercise. It is thus a process of formation, a concern with (self-)education. This may often be an implicit theme for philosophers, in their concern for the meaning of humanness and the proper goals of life, and the nature of the larger world and our relations with it (how we come to know and value being primary interests). Whereas these matters are of evident significance for conceptions of education, since early times philosophers have also reflected explicitly on the conduct of institutionalised and informal education, long before specialist philosophers of education emerged as a distinct guild.

Education is itself forming in(to) a way of life and educational practitioners have from time to time reflected philosophically on it. Paulo Freire is one prominent example, his influential ruminations being rooted in the very practical – and as he emphasises, also political – project of helping oppressed people achieve literacy. Obviously, Isocrates, Socrates and many other philosophers since were also teachers first and foremost. Like philosophy, education is similarly concerned with preparing people to live a particular kind of life, thus depending on the ways in which life’s primary purposes are construed.

This course will thus include philosophical reflections that emerge from both starting points.

We will explore the parallels and intersections between philosophy and education, by examining influential texts on education by those usually renowned as philosophers in the general sense (Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft) and those known more for their focus on education (Castiglione, Freire, Noddings).

Most of the authors we will study assume a form of Christian faith. We will be particularly interested in the ways all authors see their fundamental convictions playing out in the context of education, and how well these convictions and implications comport with participants’ understandings of a biblically-informed perspective on the purpose of life and correlative conceptions of the educational task.



ICS2400AC W14
Convenor: Dr. Doug Blomberg
Wednesdays 9:30am-12:30pm
MA, PhD

Syllabus

7 January 2014

With/Out Reason: Art and Imagination in the Western Tradition

This seminar will explore the special relationship of the arts to the concept of the imagination in the history of Western thought. It will also consider the implications this relationship was had for art's role in the areas of theology and ethics, areas in which reason has been thought to fail in providing adequate knowledge.

ICS220106 W14
Dr. Rebekah Smick
Tuesdays 1:30pm-4:30pm
MA, PhD


Syllabus