Courses

CTNS Courses at the Graduate Theological Union (Seminary, Masters and Doctoral Levels)

 

CTNS faculty offer a variety of MDiv, MA and PhD level courses through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Dr. Robert Russell and Dr. Ted Peters oversee MDiv and MA students and supervise a number of doctoral students currently pursuing their dissertation research in theology and science at the GTU. To register for courses please visit

Current Courses

Fall 2019

STCE5100-1: Christian Theology and Natural Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters, (CTNS/PLTS)

This basic doctoral seminar in Christian Theology & Natural Science is available for students in all fields while offered by the Concentration in Theology and Science in the GTU Department of Theology and Ethics. In this seminar, we review the work of several field-defining figures from 1965 to date: Ian Barbour, Nancey Murphy, George Ellis, Arthur Peacocke, John Polkinghorne, Celia DeaneDrummond, Michael Dodds, Robert John Russell, Joshua Moritz, and Ted Peters. We will examine the theological implications of physics, cosmology, evolution, genetics, bioethics, ecological ethics, plus astrotheology/astroethics as well as methodology in theology and science, as found in their writings. We will occasionally include ethical issues related to science and technology, and introduce the perspectives of non-Christian religions / spiritualities on science.

The course will consist primarily of reading, analysis, and constructive reflection on the works of theological figures such as those who have significantly shaped the dialogue between faith and science. The selected works are
considered basic to the concentration in Theology and Science. Doctoral students as well as M.A. or advanced M.Div. students with a background in theology will find this seminar illuminating and edifying.

Students will be evaluated according to their oral contributions to class discussion, class reports and leadership, plus a term paper.

Past Courses

Spring 2019

STCE-5008: Introduction to Bioethics 
Braden Molhoek, CTNS 

  
This seminar will provide an overview of bioethics. Starting with the dominant philosophical approach, the course will then look to Christian approaches to bioethics. The remainder of the course will be spent examining particular issues in bioethics, including stem cell research, cloning, organ transplantation, and genetic engineering. Students will be asked to present materials related to one of the issues, write a reflection paper on a second of the issues, and write a final paper constructing a position on an issue in bioethics. No prior experience in science or ethics needed. 

STCE-4634-1 Theology of Moltmann and Pannenberg
Ted Peters, PLTS/CTNS and Robert Russell, CTNS
Thursdays 2:10-5:00 

  
Read. Think. Discuss. This seminar will examine with appreciation the broad scope and cardinal themes in systematic theology as constructed by Jurgen Moltmann (Reformed) and Wolfhart Pannenberg (Lutheran). Key to unlocking both figures is eschatology, which opens up the ethics of revolution (liberation, political theology) along with other doctrinal loci, especially creation and anthropology. Special attention will be given to proleptic ethics in the dialectic of time and eternity. 

Fall 2018

STCE4005-1: Astrotheology and Astroethics 
Robert John Russell, CTNS; Ted Peters, PLTS / CTNS
Fridays 2:10-5:00pm, Hedco

This course is co-taught by Ted Peters and Robert Russell. This course will focus on the implications of cosmology, evolutionary biology and astrobiology/extraterrestrial intelligent life for Christian theology and ethics. Scientific topics include Big bang cosmology, the discovery of habitable exoplanets, evolutionary biology, human origins, astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life. theological and ethical topics include God, creation, Christology, eschatology and astroethics. The course counts in the Theology and Science concentration within the Department of Theology and Ethics. Doctoral students can upgrade to 5000 level. Advanced M.Div. and other masters' level students are invited, especially with background in the basics of theology. A science background is not required. Doctoral students may upgrade from 4000 to 5000 level and write in their field of focus. On-line students will follow the same sequence of assignments but with threaded forum discussions rather than in-person seminar discussion. [A grounding knowledge of Christian history and theology, and introductory classes in theology. Auditors for In-Seminar only with faculty permission]

Spring 2018

ST5931: Natural Science in the Multi-faith Context of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters, (CTNS/PLTS); Rita Sherma (CDS)

This is a new doctoral seminar in the department of theology and ethics and focused on the departmental concentration in theology and science. This seminar expands the conversations that have been primarily in Christian theology and the natural sciences to the fuller context of multi-religious perspectives now including Hinduism and Buddhism. The scientific topics include Big Bang cosmology, evolutionary biology, the environment including / ecology / climate change / sustainability, and medicine including bioethics. Together students and faculty will read a variety of religious scholars as well as the biographical writings of internationally renown scientists of committed religious faith published through the CTNS program “Science and the Spiritual Quest.”

RSST5351: Evolution and Theological Anthropology 
Braden Molhoek, CTNS
Spring 2018, Tuesday 2:10pm-5:00pm 

This seminar examines how the science and theology dialogue can inform theological anthropology. Beginning with a section on religion and evolution, attention is then given to the following issues in theological anthropology: human uniqueness, Imago Dei, the Fall, original sin, whether human nature is malleable, and future possibilities such as extra-terrestrial intelligent life, transhumanism, and continued evolution. Students will be expected to write a reflection paper, present in class on a particular issue, and write a final paper. The course is open to any masters or doctoral student who wants to know more about science and religion, no background necessary. 20 students max.

Fall 2017

ST 5106: Christian Theology & Natural Science Since 1965: II
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU) 
PSR: Holbrook 133, Thursday 2:10pm-5:00pm

This is the second of two doctoral seminars in Christian Theology & Natural Science offered by the Concentration in Theology and Science in the GTU Department of Theology and Ethics. Both of these courses are highly recommended to entering GTU doctoral students desiring to focus on this concentration as well as advanced doctoral students wishing to broader their reading in this growing field. Both courses consist primarily of reading, analysis, and constructive reflection on the works of theological figures who have significantly shaped the dialogue between faith and science from 1965 to the present. The selected works are considered basic to the concentration in Theology and Science.

In this second seminar we review the selected works of Philip Clayton, Paul Davies, Ron Cole-Turner, Michael Dodds, Celia Deane-Drummond, Niels Henrik Gregersen, Joshua Moritz, Arthur Peacocke, Ted Peters, and Robert John Russell. We will examine the theological implications of physics, cosmology, evolution, genetics, the cognitive and neurosciences, artificial intelligence, as well as methodology in Christian theology and science. Auditors by permission of the faculty.

Spring 2017

RSST4100 Science, Religion, Ethics: Bioethics in Light of Theology and Science
Braden Molhoek (CTNS/GTU), Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU)
Tuesday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this seminar we will explore the relationship between the science and religion dialogue and issues in bioethics. The course will include primers on both science and religion and bioethics, and these tools will be used to examine the following issues: stem cell research, genetic engineering, human enhancement / transhumanism, as well as interfaith perspectives on these issues when possible. The intended audience is any student interested in learning more about the science and religion dialogue, bioethics, and the specific issues listed above. Evaluation will include one reflection paper and one research paper.

Fall 2016

ST 5103 Christian Theology & Natural Science since 1965: I Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This is the first of two doctoral seminars in Christian Theology & Natural Science offered by the Concentration in Theology and Science in the GTU Department of Theology and Ethics. Both courses are highly recommended to entering GTU doctoral students desiring to focus on this Concentration, and to advanced doctoral students wishing to broaden their reading in the Concentration. In this first seminar, we review the work of several major figures from 1965 to date: Ian Barbour, John Haught, Sallie McFague, Nancey Murphy, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Arthur Peacocke, and John Polkinghorne. We will examine the theological implications of physics, cosmology, evolution, genetics, and the cognitive and neurosciences, as well as methodology in theology and science, as found in their writings. We will occasionally include ethical issues related to science and technology, and introduce the perspectives of alternate religions / spiritualities on science. The course will consist primarily of reading, analysis, and constructive reflection on the works of theological figures such as those who have significantly shaped the dialogue between faith and science. The selected works are considered basic to the concentration in Theology and Science. Doctoral students as well as MA or advanced MDiv students with a background in theology will find this seminar illuminating and edifying.

Spring 2016

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10am-12:30pm

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

Fall 2015

ST 5121 Theology of Tillich
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU); Greg Love (SFTS)
GTU: Hedco, Tuesday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this advanced MA/MDiv and Doctoral seminar we will study in depth the theology of Paul Tillich, arguably one of the two or three most distinguished Protestant theologians of the 20th century. His work is "required reading" for entering GTU doctoral students and this seminar specifically serves the needs and interests of students in the GTU Area of Systematic and Philosophical Theology. Advanced MA and MDiv students will find it of interest as well. Texts will include the three volumes of his Systematic Theology, selections from his sermons and other writings, and materials relating Tillich's work to the natural sciences.

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10am-12:30pm

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

NTST 4577 Interpreting the Body
Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU); Annette Weissenrieder

This course will engage the following questions: How is the body, its gender and sexuality imagined? How is it related to purity code and law? Is the dichotomy between body and soul actually biblical, and what other ways of conceptualizing the human body can be found? What is meant when biblical texts speak about the inner and outer human being? How is this distinction related to the distinction of body and soul? How is the body portrayed as affected by death and resurrection? This course will engage texts from New Testament, ancient medical and philosophical sources, as well as Jewish sources. The theological discussions will include materials from a variety of theological sources, philosophical discussion.

Spring 2015

ST 4600 Christian Theology and Contemporary Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this course for advanced MDiv/MA and entering doctoral students, we will examine principal Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. The main theological topics include method, God, revelation, creation and providence, theological anthropology (imago Dei, sin), natural evil, Christ and salvation, and eschatology. Scientific areas include Big Bang, inflationary and quantum cosmologies / multiverse, quantum physics, relativity, thermodynamics, chaos theory, evolutionary and molecular biology / genetics, and the cognitive and neurosciences. The course will help students preparing for Christian ministry or for doctoral studies introduce the natural sciences into their professional formation.

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10am-12:30pm

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

Spring 2014

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10AM-12:30PM

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STCE 6005 Astrotheology & Astroethics
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This seminar will frame theological and ethical exploration within a scientific review of physical cosmology, the expanding universe, the search by astrobiologists for microbial life within our solar system, and the search by SETI Institute for intelligent life elsewhere in the Milky Way. Astrotheology will be defined as that branch of theology which provides a critical analysis of the contemporary space sciences combined with an explication of classic doctrines such as creation and Christology for the purpose of constructing a comprehensive and meaningful understanding of our human situation within an astonishingly immense cosmos. Astroethics will be defined as that branch of ethics which formulates issues regarding space exploration, the treatment of off-Earth biospheres, planetary protection, satellite surveillance, weaponization of space, and plans for welcoming extraterrestrial intelligent life into a common future. Field trips to NASA and SETI may be planned.

Fall 2013

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10am-12:30pm

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STSP 5900 Axial Theology Within Big History I
Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU); Lindsey Dean (GTU)

This seminar in philosophical theology and spirituality places the Axial Breakthrough within the context of Big History and the rise of ancient civilization. Big History includes the Big Bang, physical cosmology, and biological evolution leading to Homo sapiens and the modern world. Archaic or pre-axial religion will be reviewed in light of the transcendental insights of Israel, Greece, India, and China in the first millennium before Christ. The contrast and continuity between mythical thinking (mythos) and rational thinking (logos) will be subject to repeated examination, as will current attempts to provide an evolutionary explanation for religion and morality. Primary sources will be read along with secondary theorists such as Karl Jaspers, Mircea Eliade, Robert Bellah, Terrance Deacon, and Eric Voegelin.

Spring 2013

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Friday, 11:10am-12:30pm

This student led seminar allows doctoral students an opportunity to present scholarly research in theology and science to their peers and participating faculty. This includes papers being prepared for GTU examinations, for presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, as well as continuing research. It also includes an opportunity to discuss timely materials related to theology and science from journals, media and other sources.

STPT 4874 Christology and Science Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This seminar explores the dialogue and interaction between contemporary forms of Christology and the natural sciences. Topics for the class include the relation between christologies from below and from above plus the developing understanding of the human person in light of physics and cosmology, evolutionary and molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and the cognitive and neurosciences. Traditional sources will be complemented with contemporary theologians such as Walter Kasper, Niels Gregersen, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Ted Peters and Karl Rahner.

Fall 2012

STPT 4600 Christian Theology and Contemporary Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Joshua Moritz (CTNS/GTU)
GTU: Hedco, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this course, we will examine principal Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. Theological doctrines include God, reason and revelation, creation and providence, theological anthropology (imago Dei) and sin, natural evil, Christ and salvation, eschatology. Feminist perspectives on science and religion, inter-religious dialogue in science included. Scientific topics include Big Bang cosmology, physics, evolution, genetics, cognitive/neurosciences.

Spring 2011

STPT 4600 Christian Theology and Contemporary Science
Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU); Adam Pryor (GTU)
CDSP:116, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this advanced MDiv/MA course, we will examine key Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. Theological topics include method, God, reason and revelation, creation, theological anthropology, sin and natural evil, Christology, and eschatology. Science includes cosmology, physics, evolution and molecular biology, genetics, the cognitive and neurosciences. The format is lecture/discussion. The evaluation method includes class discussion and written research and/or sermons, adult education material. This class is co-taught by PhD student Adam Pryor with a Newhall Award.

STCE 4865 Evolution and Human Nature
Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU)
PLTS:GH2, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This lecture/discussion course is a study in Christian theological anthropology in light of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Social Darwinism, sociobiology, bio-genetic technology, artificial intelligence, and transhumanism. Rival positions will be compared: materialist atheism, biblical and scientific creationism, intelligent design, and theistic evolution. Much of the reading material will be drawn from theistic evolution and ethical issues raised by altering human nature. Grading: Class participation, oral report, and two ePapers.

STPT 5950 Theology Person and Neuroscience
Mark Graves (GTU/CTNS)
PSR: Mudd 102, Monday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This advanced MA/PhD seminar focuses on our growing understanding of the relationship between theological anthropology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. It provides the student a background in brain science; a mediating framework based on cognitive science to explore the connections between theology and neuroscience; and opportunities to participate in new scholarship in the relation between theology and neuroscience. Topics examined in the course may include cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience; religious experience, theological anthropology, neuroethics, and imago Dei; narrative and contemplative psychology; philosophy of mind and pragmatism; artificial intelligence and systems modeling; concepts and metaphor in language; and consciousness and emergence.

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU) and Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU)
PSR: Mudd 103, Wednesday, 11:30am-1:00pm

This advanced seminar will monitor the independent research of each student, especially research dealing with the mutual interaction of Christian theology and natural science. Evaluation: Regular attendance, one scholarly paper, plus one or more class presentations.

Fall 2010

ST 4827 Religion, Science and Ecology
Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU) Richard B. Norgaard (UCB) and Daniel R. Smith (CTNS/GTU)
UCB: 203 Wheeler Hall, Monday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

The purpose of this seminar is to bring together representative views in religious and scientific communities to explore the ways in which they have contributed to the current ecological crisis and how they might work together towards its salvation. Class participation, written reflection and term paper required.
 

STHS 5111 History of Theology: 1914-1965
Fr. Michael Dodds (DSPT) and Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU)
DSPT: 3, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00 pm

This seminar is designed to help students develop their research skills and their ability both to identify key theological issues and to interpret them in their historical perspectives. In keeping with the ecumenical focus of the Area, the course
explores major Protestant and Roman Catholic theologians, emphasizing the period from World War I to Vatican II. As an outcome, students will be able to identify at least 10 key figures and their place in the theological, philosophical, and
cultural movements of the 20th century. The course is required for Systematic and Philosophical Theology doctoral students, but with faculty permission is also open to master's level students in the final year of their programs. Students will
be assessed through their informed and active participation in seminar discussions and by writing a 15 page research paper.

ST 6015 Theology and Science Research
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU) and Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU)
PSR: Mudd 103, Wednesday, 11:30am-1:00pm

This advanced seminar will monitor the independent research of each student, especially research dealing with the mutual interaction of Christian theology and natural science. Evaluation: Regular attendance, one scholarly paper, plus one or more class presentations. NOTE: Class meets only 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

Spring 2010

ST5104 Time and Eternity
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU) and Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/GTU)
Hedco: Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this advanced MA/doctoral seminar we will study the topic of "time and eternity" through selected readings in historical and contemporary sources within philosophical and systematic theology. We will focus in particular on the debate between eternity as unending time (everlastingness), eternity as timelessness, and eternity as the 'supra-temporal' source of time within the theological understanding of eternity in the doctrines of God, creation and eschatology. In the first half of the course we will survey the debate using brief selections from the writings of Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, Newton, Kant, Schleiermacher, Barth, Rahner, Tillich, Moltmann, Swinburne, Whitehead and Hartshorne. We will then turn to the implications of twentieth century physics (particularly special relativity), cosmology and mathematics for reconstructing the debate on time and eternity, and we will explore ways in which such a new understanding of time and eternity might play a fruitful role in research science. To do so we will study current work by Ted Peters and by Robert John Russell, whose focus is on the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Fall 2009

STPT 4600 Christian Theology and Natural Science
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU)
Hedco: Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this advanced MDiv/MA course, we will examine principal Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. The main theological topics include method, God, revelation, creation and providence, theological anthropology (imago Dei), sin and natural evil, Christ and salvation, and eschatology. Feminist perspectives on science and religion, some inter-religious dialogue and some issues in ethics and technology are included. Scientific areas include Big Bang, inflationary and quantum cosmologies, quantum physics, relativity, thermodynamics, chaos theory, evolutionary and molecular biology / genetics, and the cognitive and neurosciences.

The course will help students preparing for Christian ministry or for doctoral theological studies introduce the natural sciences into their professional formation. A background in Christian theology is required; a background in science is recommended but not required.

ST 4827 (UCB ER 290) Religion, Science and the Ecological Crisis
Richard B. Norgaard (UCB) and Daniel R. Smith (CTNS/GTU)
UCB: 203 Wheeler, Monday, 2:00pm-5:00pm

The goal of this course is to consider religion and science in terms of ecology—how both disciplines have been culprits in our current environmental crisis, and how they can each contribute to a solution across disciplines. The topics range from the history of science and technology to the biblical and theological concept of nature; from how language communities acquire and negotiate knowledge to how the university culture contributes to this social malady, and how economics is purported as a quasi religion, and is used to mitigate the claims of "unreasonable" environmentalists. Professor Norgaard approaches these problems from a postmodern perspective, seeking to construct new social contracts among diverse knowledge communities—in this case science and religion—that move public policy toward sustainability. Pastor Smith's theological approach approximates that of Jürgen Moltmann and Ted Peters, seeking on the basis of hope in God's future a concept of nature and an ecological ethics that contributes to sustainability. This is a message for the church as well as the academy. The students assembled will be practicing what both teachers hope can be a model for future dialogue and work across disciplines and worldviews, contributing to our environmental common good.

Fall 2008

STHS 5111-01 History of Theology: 1914-1965
Dr. George Griener (JSTB) and Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU)
PSR: Mudd 206, Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This seminar explores major Protestant and Roman Catholic theologians from World War I to Vatican II. The class focuses on key figures and movements from theological, political, philosophical, and cultural perspectives. The course is required for Systematic and Philosophical Theology doctoral students and is open to master's level students in the final year of their programs with Faculty permission.

STSP 4870-01 Creation and Cosmology
Dr. Ted Peters (PLTS), Dr. Carl Pennypacker (UCB) and Dr. Nathan Hallanger (CTNS/GTU)
JSTB: 216, Tuesday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

Within the field of "Theology and Science," this course will combine physical cosmology with the Christian understanding of the world as God's creation. It will include active exploration and measurement of the universe: its origin and future with special attention to Big Bang cosmology and the evolution of life both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. Astrophysics and astrobiology will be placed into creative interaction with theological concerns for creation, anthropology, and eschatology. The inherent spiritual dimensions of outer space will be analyzed in conjunction with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). This course is aimed primarily at MDiv students to enhance their preaching and teaching ministries. Evaluation: Class participation and a term paper.

STHS 4840: The Soul and the Social Order
Dr. Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU), Dr. Patricia Codron (PLTS) and Gaymon Bennett (PLTS)
PSR: Mudd 206, Friday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

A seminar study of ancient and contemporary discussions of the human subject understood as the soul along with the relationship of the soul to the social order. Special attention will be given to the Bible, Plato, Aristotle, Gregory of Nyssa, Thomas Aquinas, Eric Voegelin, Michel Foucault, and Nancey Murphy. This course is appropriate for doctoral students as well as MDiv or MA students ready for advanced work in the fields of systematic theology or spirituality.

Spring 2008

ST5930. Evolution, Evil, and Eschatology
Dr. Ted Peters (PLTS/GTU), Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU), Gaymon Bennett (CTNS/PLTS), and Dr. Martinez Hewlett (CTNS/DSPT).
Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This advanced seminar will focus on one of the key issues at the frontier of "Theology and Science" today: the relation between biological evolution and theological reflection. Specifically, the problem of natural evil as a phenomenon in the pre-human world will be examined in light of natural theodicy and in light of the Christian hope for eschatological New Creation. The course begins with a review of the neo-Darwinian model of biological evolution combined with an analysis of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology. Darwinian interpretations of predation, extinction, and genetic determinism will be interrogated, asking whether human moral evil is rooted in pre-human natural evil. A theological response to these issues and questions will be framed in terms of an eschatology that is robust enough to respond to natural theodicy.

This seminar is aimed at masters and doctoral students in Systematic Theology, Ethics, or Christian Spirituality, as well as UCB students in the sciences. Some background reading in the evolution controversy will be presupposed.

Fall 2007

ST4600, Christian Theology and Natural Science
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU) and Nathan Hallanger (CTNS/GTU)
Tuesday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

 

In this advanced MDiv/MA course, we will examine principal Christian doctrines in light of the natural sciences and the philosophy of science. Theological topics include method, God, revelation, creation and providence, theological anthropology (imago Dei), sin and moral/natural evil, Christ and salvation, and eschatology. Scientific areas include Big Bang, inflationary and quantum cosmologies, quantum physics, relativity, thermodynamics, chaos theory, evolutionary and molecular biology / genetics, and the cognitive and neurosciences.

The course will help students preparing for Christian ministry or for doctoral theological studies introduce the natural sciences into their professional formation. A background in Christian theology is required; a background in science is recommended.

Spring 2007

ST 4366, Tillich and Pannenberg

Dr. Patricia Codron (PLTS), Dr. Ted Peters (CNTS/PLTS), and Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU)
Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

This seminar will provide a study in comparative systematic theologies. We will read critically and compare the two multi-volume works in Systematic Theology authored by Paul Tillich and Wolfhart Pannenberg. This course will be of value especially to students preparing for the General Comprehensive Examination in systematic theology as well as other students wishing to gain a better grasp of these two important thinkers. Student responsibilities include regular class attendance, contribution to discussion, teaching leadership, a brief expository paper, and a term paper.

Fall 2006

ST5900, Advanced Seminar in Theology & Science
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU)
Thursday, 2:10pm-5:00pm

In this doctoral level / upper level MA seminar, we will read major new works in the interdisciplinary field of Christian theology and the natural sciences. The focus will be on the Peters/Hewlett 2006 J. K. Russell Fellowship Conference and the Festschrift for Bob Russell (God's Action in Nature's World). A strong background in theology is recommended.

Spring 2006

STSP 4600, Christian Theology and Natural Science
Dr. Robert John Russell (CTNS/GTU) and R. Daren Erisman (CTNS/GTU)
Thursday, 12:40pm-3:30pm

Robert Russell and R. Daren. Erisman and are co-teaching a course designed for middle to upper level MDiv/MA students that have some background in theology and who are seeking to familiarize themselves with the issues between the natural sciences and theology. A major goal of this course is for theological students to garner a greater comfort with and appreciation for the sciences and for the scientific community, particularly as scientists are involved in the life of the church.

Fall 2005

STPS 5950, Theology, the Person & Neuroscience
Dr. Mark Graves (CTNS/GTU) and Dr. Robert Russell (CTNS/GTU)
Tuesday, 12:40pm-3:30pm

This advanced MA/PhD seminar focuses on our growing understanding of the relationship between theological anthropology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. It provides the student a background in neuroscience; a mediating framework based on cognitive science to explore the connections between theology and neuroscience; and opportunities to participate in new scholarship in the relation between theology and neuroscience. Topics examined in the course may include cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience; religious experience, theological anthropology, neuroethics, and imago Dei; narrative and contemplative psychology; philosophy of mind and pragmatism; artificial intelligence and systems modeling; concepts and metaphor in language; and consciousness and emergence.

Summer Session 2005

STSS 0447, The Evolution Controversy
July 25-August 5
Dr. Ted Peters (CTNS/PLTS) and Dr. Martinez Hewlett (DSPT)
Monday through Thursday: 2:00pm-5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am-12:00pm

This advanced seminar in theology will map the sometimes vitriolic controversy over Darwinian evolutionary theory. The following positions will be examined: Darwinian biology, Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Fundamentalism, Scientific Creationism, the neo-Darwinian synthesis, Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, Intelligent Design, and Theistic Evolution. Theology students, parish clergy, high school science teachers, and university scholars will be introduced to an empathic understanding of the contending perspectives and be encouraged to develop their own non-combative approach to the controversy.

The faculty team includes Ted Peters, Professor of Systematic Theology at PLTS, plus Martinez Hewlett, Professor Biology in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Medical School at the University of Arizona and adjunct at DSPT. They are co-authors of a new book, Evolution from Creation to New Creation (Abindgon 2003).

Previous Courses Taught by Dr. Robert Russell

Doctoral Seminars:

History of Theology: 1965-Present (with Ted Peters), 2004

Theodicy, Evolution, and Genocide (with Ted Peters), 2003

Quantum Physics: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives (with Kirk Wegter-McNelly), 2002

Resurrection, Eschatology, and Scientific Cosmology (with Ted Peters), 2001

(Sabbatical leave 2000-2001)

Advanced Seminar in Theology and Science, 1999, 2003 (focus on Ian G. Barbour)

History of Theology: 1965-Present (with Alejandro Garcia-Rivera), 1999

Paul Tillich: Systematic Theology (with Ted Peters), 1998

Nature, Theology and Spirituality (with Mark Richardson), 1998

Cosmology and Eschatology (with Ted Peters), 1997

Evolution and Christian Theology (with Mark Richardson), 1997

History of Theology: 1965-Present (with Ted Peters), 1996

Divine Action and Chaos in Nature, 1995

Barth's Development: 1914-1932 (with Tim Lull and Ted Peters), 1993

Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (with Mark Richardson), 1993

Physics, Philosophy and Theology, 1991

Advanced Seminar in Theology and Science, 1991

The Trinity Today (with Ted Peters), 1990

Physics, Philosophy and Theology (with John Polkinghorne), 1990

Quantum Physics: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives (with Peter Degen), 1989

Einstein in Philosophical and Theological Significance, 1987

Various Special Reading Courses

MDiv Courses:

Christian Theology and Contemporary Science, 2004

Discernment and Nature: Christian Spirituality with Science and Religion (with Elizabeth Liebert and Nancy Wiens St. John), 2002

Christian Theology and Natural Science (with Kirk Wegter-McNelly), 2002

Contemporary Theology and Natural Science, 2000

(Sabbatical leave 2000-2001)

Pannenberg's Systematic Theology (with Ted Peters), 1998

Nature, Theology and Spirituality (with Mark Richardson), 1998

Introduction to Science and Religion for Church Ministry (with Mark Richardson and CTNS Staff), 1997

Scientific Cosmology in Theological Perspective, 1994

Human Genetics, Ethics, Theology (with David Cole and Richard Randolph), 1993

Technology, Environment and Human Values (with Judith Scoville), 1993

Christian Theology and Contemporary Science, Part 1, 1991; Part 2, 1992

Technology, Environment and Human Values (with Carol Tabler), 1991

Theology and Science, 1990

Whitehead, Science and Religion (with Forrest Hartman), 1990

Christian Theology and Contemporary Science (with Ted Peters), 1990

Technology, Environment and Human Values, 1989; (with Andrew Dufner), 1982

Time and Eternity (with Ted Peters), 1988

Current Thought in Science and Religion, 1982; (with Ian Barbour), 1983; (with Phil Hefner), 1985; (with Arthur Peacocke), 1986; (with Francis Baur, Ted Peters, Ben Reist and Surjit Singh)

Introduction to Religion and Science, 1985, 1986

Theology of Arthur Peacocke, 1985

Philosophy of Science and Theological Inquiry (with Nancey Murphy), 1984

Theology and Science, 1981, 1984

Mathematical and Physical Models in Theology, 1983

Theology of Thomas Torrance, 1982

Revolutions in Physics, 1982

Physics and Eastern Thought (with Durwood Foster), 1981