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RST-370-20, Christian Hope

INSTRUCTOR: LYLE K. WEISS, S.T.L., S.T.D.

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T2/SATURDAY/3:00-5:45 PM/October 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8, 15

CONTENT:

This course will present an historical overview of the Christian understanding of hope. The course will explore themes central to the Christian theological tradition’s understanding of death, resurrection, heaven, hell, and the fulfillment of history from both the personal and communal perspectives. Focus will be given to biblical origins, historical developments, and contemporary interpretations.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

At the end of this course, students will be able to…

1. Define Christian hope and eschatology, with an awareness of its various dimensions and the development of the eschatological tradition through the centuries.

2. Articulate the biblical foundation for the theology of Christian hope and its subsequent development in the Patristic period, the Middle Ages, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation periods, the Modern period, and the contemporary context.

3. Explain the importance of Christian hope for the whole of the theological tradition through the application of the principle of interconnection.

4. Identify the ways in which the Christian theology of hope shapes a Christian response to the realities of evil, suffering, and injustice in the world.

5. Define key terms related to the field of eschatology.

6. Apply key terms and themes in addressing an issue of contemporary significance.

METHODS:

This course will engage the student in the learning process through a variety of techniques including lecture, discussion, presentations, critical response papers, and a research paper.

REQUIREMENTS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS:

1. Regular class attendance and informed participation in class based upon timely completion of all reading assignments.

2. Three Critical Response Papers: The response papers, 2 pages in length double spaced, will respond to the assigned reading or a focus topic provided by the professor.

3. An oral in-class presentation on a particular theologian’s Christology or a contextual Christology approximately 15-20 minutes in length.

4. An 8-10 page research paper on a student chosen and professor approved topic.

REQUIRED TEXTS OR MATERIALS:

-Zachary Hayes, O.F.M., Visions of a Future: A Study of Christian Eschatology, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, 1989. ISBN # 0814657427

-Anthony Kelly, Eschatology and Hope, Orbis Books: Maryknoll, 2006. ISBN # 1570756511

-N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 2008. ISBN # 0061551821

-Additional texts to be provided

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

1. Wright: Surprised by Hope, xi-30

2.  Kelly: Eschatology and Hope, 1-52

3. Write a one page paper providing your definition of hope.