Liberation Theology in the Context of Interfaith India

REL980
Fall 2016
F 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Area: 
Area II, Area V
MDIV Requirements: 
Non-Christian Religion
Professor: 
Permission Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course is a study/travel seminar, a primary and required component of which is a ten-day immersion experience in India in March 2017. Students will begin to prepare for this experience before the trip by assessing their motives and expectations for this experience, and by reading and discussing assigned materials. Students who are invited to take the course must commit to journaling about assigned readings every week and to attending a discussion section that meets once every two weeks for two hours. Because the course is three-credit hour and meets approximately twice a month, reading assignments shall average 150 pages per week. Topics for study include the following: (1) an overview of the South Asian situation, including history, politics, economics, and culture, focusing on India; (2) Indian liberation theology; (3) liberation theology on the ground; (4) the present situation of the church and theology in South Asia; (5) contemporary developments in liberation theology as they relate to issues of economic, environmental, racial, and social injustice. 

Background Expected: 

While not pre-requisites are required a background in Liberation Theology, Asian Theologies, Contextual Theology, and/or the history of South Asia in general would be helpful.

Course Requirements: 

Humility and flexibility. Each student participant should be open to diverse and challenging experiences as new ways of seeing, thinking, being, and doing, recalling that, as Shirley Guthrie points out, the one word that best characterizes the work of God’s spirit is the word new.  Class and travel seminar participation shall be worth (15% of the final grade)

1. Each student shall lead the discussion of required readings during one class session (often each class participant will have the opportunity to choose between two possible readings for that weeks session). Each student shall also lead or co-lead at least one reflection session of the class while in India. (15% of the final grade)

2. Journaling throughout the semester on course readings. This practice will be especially essential during the time in India, as each evening will involve a session of de-briefing, discussion, and worship. Your written journal of daily reflections is also one of the written assignments for the course; that is, you will turn it in (If you want to keep a private journal in addition, you may do so).  (10% of final grade)

3. A 12 to 15-page paper that brings together your considered reflections on your experiences in India and the semester’s readings.  The paper should address specifically what difference the seminar has made in your understanding and practice of biblical interpretation, theology, and ministry, including what the North American church may especially need to learn from the church in India. Besides drawing on your experiences in C, the paper should also reflect your awareness of and engagement with assigned readings for the course. (50% of final grade)

4. Working with the class to coordinate a related worship service in Marquand Chapel and/or a final multi-media presentation to the wider Yale Community and the anonymous IPM donor who is helping to make this travel seminar possible. (10% of the final grade)

Basis of Evaluation: 

Please see above “Course Requirements”.