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
Instructor: Doug Blomberg / Elaine Brouwer


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)


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)


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)

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)


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)



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)


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