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Intro to E Asian Theologies
This course introduces a range of themes and key thinkers in twentieth- and twenty-first century theology in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. It surveys different theological movements within these countries (such as ‘homeland theology,’ Minjung theology, the “no-church” movement etc.) and encourages a critical response to the challenges that these theologies raise for Christians in Asia and elsewhere. The course considers contextualization and inculturation debates in each of these societies, as well as regional responses to Christianity. We read primary texts in English, with background reading for context, and students will be encouraged to develop their own responses to the authors and their thought (e.g. students may submit theological reflections to count towards their grade).
Objectives: To read some of the most significant Christian thinkers and writers from East Asia; to develop a greater critical awareness of the role context plays in theological development; to gain a greater awareness of the questions raised by Christianities developed outside of Greco-Judaic philosophical bases; to encourage reflection on the challenges for Christian mission and witness in an East Asian context and on some of the challenges that East Asian Christianity poses for non-Asian Christians.
No background requirements. The course is designed to be accessible to students with no knowledge of East Asian languages or history.
Students are expected to attend each class, having read the set materials being prepared to engage in discussion on the topic. Other requirements as per evaluation below.
Weekly discussion and a seminar presentation on one East Asian theologian chosen by student (20%)
Written evaluation: students may choose either to write two longer (1500-3000 word) essays developing analyses of different themes in East Asian theology, essay titles to be agreed in advance (40% each); OR one/two short theological reflections on different theologians/ aspects of East Asian theology based on course readings (20% each or 40% for a longer reflection) PLUS one longer essay as above (40%)