Christology: The Legacy of Chalcedon

Spring 2018
T 1:30 - 3:20pm
Area II
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course will examine the Christology of the Council of Chalcedon and its complex legacy in Eastern and Western theology. The Definition of Chalcedon is the single most influential statement of Christ’s identity in this history of Christianity, and yet it has proven to be extremely controversial, from the fifth century schism among the Eastern churches to the Great Schism between East and West to fractious developments in later periods, such as Western medieval debates over Christ’s person from Peter Lombard to Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus to Lutheran-Reformed debates in the modern period to twentieth-century discussions of the perceived Nestorianism of modern theology. We will examine in detail the strengths and liabilities of Chalcedonian Christology against the horizon of early Christian biblical interpretation, the received faith of Nicaea, and the fifth-century Christological debates, before tracing its legacy through the medieval and modern periods among Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant theologians. 

Background Expected: 

This sill be a mid- to upper-level seminar; previous experience in historical and/or systematic theology will be assumed. Admission to the course by permission of the instructor: all are welcome on the first day, and students will fill out a questionnaire to determine admission.

Course Requirements: 

1.   Regular preparation of the reading assignments, unfailing attendance, and active participation in seminar discussion. Students are allowed to miss one meeting    during the term. If you miss more than one, speak with the instructor about make-up work. (50%)

2.  One 20-25 pp. paper or two 10-12 pp. papers, due as listed on the syllabus. Late papers will be deducted one-third letter grade per day. (50 %)

Basis of Evaluation: 

As described in the YDS Bulletin, the grades for this course will be assigned as follows: Honors (H) = Exemplary; Honors minus (H–) = Excellent; High Pass plus (HP+) = Very Good; High Pass (HP) = Good; High Pass minus (HP–) = Satisfactory; Pass (LP) = Acceptable; Fail (F); Withdrew (W)  OR  Credit (CR); No Credit (NC).

“H” is reserved for outstanding work that shows a mastery of the material as well as intelligent organization, vivid expression, clarity of argument, freshness and originality.

“HP” work demonstrates that a student understands the material, has a grasp on the issues in an assignment, and can develop an interesting line of thought with good written expression.

“LP” work is weak in both content and form, and is just barely acceptable. An “LP” grade is a warning that the student’s work below the standard expected at YDS, and it is should be heard as a wake-up call.

“F” indicates that the work cannot receive credit.