Courses in English - Spring Semester 2019

Courses in English - Spring Semester 2019

History of Eastern Christianity: The Church after the Soviet Union and the Arabic Spring, 7.5 credits

The course provides a deeper understanding of the development of Eastern Christianity, with a special emphasis on the development in the late twentieth century and the early twenty-first. The course takes into account especially how the fall of the Soviet Union and the Arabic Spring was influenced by the eastern churches, and how it affected them. Furthermore, the course provides an introduction to methods in church history with a particular emphasis on the historical-critical methods, source criticism and archive research.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to:

  • be able to describe the various Eastern Christian Churches and their involvement in the political events
  • display considerable insight in understanding how theology may have an impact on political events
  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the History of Eastern Christianity after the fall of Constantinople to the present day with particular emphasis on the development after the fall of the USSR, the development associated with the Arabic Spring, and the recent events in Ukraine
  • display competence in handling key methodological issues in church history and be able to make a critical analysis of a source text.
 

The Theology of Baptism and Eucharist, 7.5 credits

The Baptism and the Holy Communion occupy central positions in many churches. Nevertheless, the individual believer often has a vague idea of their meaning. What meanings might baptism carry for believers in the 21st century? How does the Eucharist relate to contemporary social and political challenges? The course highlights contemporary theological perspectives on Baptism- and Eucharist liturgies from different churches and denominations and relates them to the practices of the early church and their biblical origins. Thus the course provides a foundation on basis of which the student may shape her own notion of their history as well as their contemporary significance. Contemporary theological schools (such as liturgical theology, feminist theology, contemporary evangelical theology, post-metaphysical theology, etc.) as well as the liturgies of various traditions will be analyzed and discussed. 

At the end of the course, the student is expected to:

  • demonstrate a general as well as an in-depth knowledge of the historical background of the Christian Baptism and Eucharist
  • demonstrate ability to identify, describe and independently formulate conclusions of how the Baptism and the Eucharist can relate to human living conditions in contemporary culture
  • from a Systematic-Theological perspective, show ability to critically analyze possibilities and limitations of different contemporary Baptism and Eucharist traditions
  • demonstrate ability to independently formulate a constructive Systematic-Theological account of Baptism and/or Eucharist theology.
 

The Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities, 7.5 credits

This course addresses the human rights of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, taking up contemporary tensions such as religious, social and political conditions, tensions between national sovereignty and collective and individual rights, as well as questions of identity. Significant emphasis is placed on the arguments that have been asserted by actual minority groups on these issues. 

At the end of the course, the student is expected to

  • show a good understanding of how indigenous peoples as well as the rights of ethnic and national minorities are defined in international law
  • show a basic understanding of the theoretical framework that defines how these rights relate to the nation-state and to democracy
  • demonstrate independent thinking and competence in undertaking research on indigenous peoples’ relationship to majority populations and cultural frameworks.
 

Theology by Necessity. Change, Crisis and Development in Biblical Theology, 7.5 credits

Biblical texts have often been occasioned by profound theological crises. These in turn have a background in historical events or processes that force different and more appropriate theological constructions. This course analyzes the mechanisms of change in such processes. The purpose is to illustrate how a theology can result from a particular situation, and how texts in such situations often change both in scope and interpretation. The course covers a number of examples where these mechanisms of change have been particularly transformative in text and theology, such as the exile and the absence of the temple, hellenistic influence, the Roman occupation, Jesus' crucifixion, the so-called delay of the parousia, and the growing gap between early Judaism and the early Christian movement. The course also emphasizes the responsibility of the interpreter in the light of these changes.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to

  • demonstrate knowledge of the historical crises behind fundamental changes in the theology of biblical texts and their interpretations
  • demonstrate an ability to formulate and discuss issues and tasks that contribute to the understanding of how biblical texts have been shaped
  • demonstrate an ability to speak and write clearly about and account for the relationship between social crises and theological developments of biblical texts
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of research in mechanisms of social change underlying the formation and re-interpretation of religious texts and biblical texts in particular, and demonstrate an ability to present research with both theological and ethical implications.
 

Contact:
Josef Forsling, josef.forsling@ehs.se, assistant director of studies.