History

100-Level

HA/HL 111 Church History: Early and Medieval Eras

The earliest centuries of Christianity were times of trial and courage, intrigue and insight, failure and promise for those who chose to join, or found themselves within, the religious movement that gathered around followers of the Palestinian Jewish teacher, Jesus.  As Christianity matured into the medieval period, new challenges, both within and outside the church, continued to shape the faith story and the lives of believers. This course will introduce students to the world of the early and medieval Christians: their changing social, political and economic climate, their developing theologies, their worship and faith practices, and the ways they shaped their ecclesial structures.  (S. Beardsall and G. Jensen)

(S. Beardsall and G. Jensen)

HA/HL 112 Church History: Reformation and Modern Eras

This course picks up the story of Christianity in the late medieval period and carries it through to the end of the second millennium. This course has as its focus two main components. The first part will deal with the Reformation movements of the 16th century. The second part deals with the story of Christianity in the modern world. The sixteenth century represents a major watershed in the story of Christianity in the West. This course will look at backgrounds and try to put the Reformation movements into the context of their time and place. After the upheavals of sixteenth century religious life in Europe, Christianity began to unfold in a multitude of patterns and locations. Christian communities had complex relationships with the power of the state, with each other, and with other religions around the globe. The last section of the course, then, will give an overview of the 17th - 20th Centuries in Christian history, and allow students to study in slightly greater depth areas that are of particular interest to them.  (G. Jensen and S. Beardsall)

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200-Level

HL 248 Ecumenism: Shaped by our Histories

This course explores ecumenical relations and issues in Canada, from the perspective of the denominational histories of the Anglican, Lutheran, and United Churches. Students will choose one of these denominations to study in more depth, and will join with the entire class to explore ecumenical and interfaith dialogues and documents, and new opportunities in ecumenical cooperation, such as shared ministry parishes. Assignments will include an oral history project, class presentations, and final paper. (G. Jensen, others TBA)

HA 252 Christians in Conversation: Aspects of Ecumenism

Prerequisite: HA/HL 111 & HA/HL 112, or equivalent.

This course will examine the ways Christians have sought to end their divisions with one another through cooperation and dialogue, particularly since the advent of the modern ecumenical movement in the late nineteenth century. It will look at both the forms and the content of ecumenical conversations, including the developing world of interfaith relations. (S. Beardsall)

HL/SL 284 The Devotional Writings of Martin Luther

The emphasis on Luther as the reformer, theologian and academic sometimes overshadows his cherished role as pastor. This course will explore this pastoral side of Luther, from the perspective of his devotional writings. In these writings, remarkably free from polemic that frequents his other works, Luther offers pastoral words and easy to understand expressions of evangelical piety. His reflections deal with prayer, the consolation of those who suffer — including women who suffer miscarriages, the reception of the Sacrament of the Altar, how to prepare for death, how to deal with temptations, and even what the role of a pastor is in times of crises in a community. This course will look at the practical advice and the theological underpinnings of Luther’s advice, and then evaluate the appropriateness of his devotional writings for today. (G. Jensen)

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300-Level

HA 323 The Protestant Spiritual Heritage

Prerequisite: Introductory Christian History course or instructor's permission

The various reformations of the sixteenth century and beyond left Christianity with a large and ever-changing neighbourhood of denominational homes. These new families of faith required avenues for both communal and personal expressions of faith and devotion that would resonate with their developing theologies. This course will tap the spiritual resources of that heritage, by engaging some of the primary texts and practices from various traditions and periods. A method of interpretation based on the “narrative categories” of Northrop Frye will help to bring focus to this diverse material, and provide a lens through which the class may compare and contrast the many (and often tangled) strands of Protestant faith history. (S. Beardsall)

HE/SE 333 Anglican Studies - 19th and 20th Century

This course will examine the writings of several Anglican theologians from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in their historical context. The course will begin by situating the Oxford Movement in the context both of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival and of the older Anglican 'High Church' tradition. Selections from various authors from the Tractarians to the late twentieth century will then be engaged in detail to show how Anglican theologians have dealt with theological and cultural changes over the past two centuries. (W. Hannam)

HA 335 Historical Portraits of Parish Life

Prerequisite: Introductory Christian History course or instructor's permission

This course combines contemporary approaches to congregational studies with explorations of works of fiction that have described congregational settings in a variety of historical eras and locations. Participants will have opportunity to enrich their historical knowledge, their literary “canon,” and their ability to “read” congregational life – the better to offer parish leadership. (S. Beardsall

HE/SE 348/448 Latin Patristics – Augustine on the Trinity

This course will consist primarily of a close reading of Augustine's treatise _De trinitate_ as situated within the context of Christian and pagan Neoplatonic investigations into the nature of God. Students will be expected both to read the primary text closely and to demonstrate (through class presentations and a final research paper) an ability to engage the work of other interpreters of Augustine's thought. (W. Hannam)

HA 356 Preparing for Ecumenical Ministries

Prerequisite: Introductory Christian history course(s) or instructor’s permission
Increasing numbers of Christian communities are working ecumenically to facilitate mission and ministry, especially in areas of depopulation or other financial struggle. Many of these choose to link formally as “ecumenical shared ministry” congregations or clusters. 

This course will explore the dynamics particular to developing and sustaining ecumenical ministry initiatives in congregational settings. It will introduce participants to the structures of such ministries, and consider issues that are unique to ecumenical congregational relationships. It will include the study of pertinent theological documents and denominational agreements, practical issues like the production of covenants and constitutions, and the pastoral challenges that affect all congregations, but with attention to the nuances for ecumenical ministries, attending to sources of support for clergy and other congregational leaders. Finally, the course will engage questions of our personal struggles and delights in confronting Christian identity and otherness. (S. Beardsall)

HA/HE/HL 390 Reading and Research: Church History

HA/HE/HL 399 Thesis Writing

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400-Level

HA 423 The Wesleys: Susanna, Charles and John

Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

Of the many religious societies that arose in England in the Eighteenth Century, that initiated by the Wesley family has had the greatest impact on global Christianity. This course will examine the lives and theologies of Susanna Wesley and two of her sons, Charles and John, in the context of their time and place. Each student will do a research project on an area of interest within the history and theology of the Wesleys. (S. Beardsall)

HL/PL 429 Preaching the Catechisms

In Luther’s Preface to the 1526 “The German Mass” he proposed that the Monday and Tuesday morning worship services have as their focus for preaching and teaching, the catechisms. The purpose of these services was to acquaint people with the basics of the Christian Faith, and to develop in the participants a “Lutheran hermeneutic” by which to approach both scripture and daily life.

This course, which can be taken for credit as a history or pastoral course, will begin with an overview of the practice of preaching on Lutheran and other reformer catechisms, and then look at their theology. Participants will gain experience in incorporating their discoveries about the catechisms through the preaching of sermons based on common lectionary texts. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theological themes and communicating them effectively in their preaching. (J. Boyd and G. Jensen)

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