Contemporary Christian Spirituality

REL840
Spring 2017
T 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Area: 
Area IV
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course critically reflects on developments in Christian spirituality in the last 45 years, the vocations and role of laity, feminism, the development of the social teaching of the church, multiculturalism and global church.  It provides a theoretical framework for developing one’s own spirituality in the light of these and other developments and an understanding of practices that support spiritual growth. Topics to be included are: Definitions of spirituality, asceticism, vocational choices and commitments (including life-style, ministry, and work), Christian discipleship, prayer/meditation, compassion and solidarity, sexuality and spirituality, and the effects of feminism.

Background Expected: 

Ability to reflect on readings and how they relate to one’s personal spiritual and ministerial experience.

Course Requirements: 

1.      Students will write 4 reflection papers, 4-5 pages each, double spaced, on topics or issues raised for them in the readings and class discussions.

2.      Students will write a 5th reflection paper related to personal experiments with at least five spiritual practices that will be discussed in the seminar. (We will need to meet on the Tuesday make up day for Good Friday Classes, most likely in two different time slots to discuss these experiments with one another.)

3.      Participation in discussion is expected through comments, questions, etc.

4.      Diligent reading of course materials

5.      This course is offered on a credit/non-credit basis.  To receive credit for the course, students must complete the above assignments and have no more than 2 unexcused absences. This includes the shopping period.

All reflection papers should be word processed. Please no folders, simply staple top left hand corner.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Final Practice Reflection paper = 1/3 of the grade

Shorter papers = 2/3

Participation may raise grade one level (for those who take it for a regular grade).

Assignments submitted more than one week late without the professor’s permission and serious reasons will result in a grade reduction.

To receive credit for the course, work must rise to the standard of HP-.

A grade of H or H- indicates you have demonstrated both a theoretical and practical grasp of the topic. Such a reflection paper is well-written, grammatically correct, and correctly documented, and shows unique insight into the topic as well as the ability to demonstrate integration of knowledge from other coursework. 

A grade of HP+ is very good, but is lacking one or more of the qualities listed above.

A grade of HP is also very good, but is more limited in the student’s demonstration of appropriation of lecture and reading materials and practical applications are less insightful. There is no indication of the student making connections beyond the scope of the immediate reading assignments.

A grade of HP- indicates that papers were missing or practice elements deficient (not accounted for or not enough instances).