TeacherDr. L. Stephenson
SemesterFallDuration8 Weeks
FrequencyEvery three years
Credits5 ECTSWorkload125-150 Hours
Module formatIntensive
ApplicabilityThe purpose of this course is to establish the two predominant views that are currently maintained with respect to the task of political theology and then to observe the way in which these two tasks shape contemporary political theologies.
Course structureSee module and courses
Contact time35-45 HoursSelf-Study105-125 Hours
Participation requirementSee access to the program
Phase 15025%
Reading Reflections5025%
Phase 24040%
Phase 36035%
Research Paper6035%
Content of the ModuleThis course intends an analysis and criticism of political arrangements from the perspective of differing interpretations of God’s ways with the world. This course will also explore the role of the church as a polis, which practices theological politics. Major themes and thinkers will include the following: liberation theology, feminist theology, black theology, Radical Orthodoxy, Jürgen Moltmann, Walter Brueggemann, William Cavanaugh, John Howard Yoder, Stanley Hauerwas, and Amos Yong.
Learning Objectives

A. General Learning Objectives
This course seeks to:

  1. Examine and critically evaluate primary sources that exemplify each of the two tasks of political theology.
  2. Compare and contrast the primary sources with the manner in which the secondary sources understand these texts as political theologies.
  3. Discuss the development and articulation of political theology in its manifold streams of thought.

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives
As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe and offer an evaluation of the issues surrounding the two tasks of political theology.
  2. Articulate the differences in primary sources as it relates to political theology.
  3. Critically evaluate secondary sources dealing with political theology.
  4. Explain the development of various streams of political theology.

OutlineA. What is Political Theology?
B. German Political Theology
C. Liberation Theology: Latin American Theology
D. Liberation Theology: Black Theology
E. Liberation Theology: Feminist Theology
F. Walter Brueggemann
G. William Cavanaugh
H. John Howard Yoder
I. James Smith
ExaminationSee Evaluation
Core LiteratureTextbooks:
Boff, Leonardo and Clodovis Boff. Introducing Liberation Theology. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1987.
Brueggemann, Walter. The Prophetic Imagination, 2nd Edition. Fortress Press, 2001.
Cone, James. God of the Oppressed. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997.
Smith, Jamie K.A. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.
Yoder, John Howard. Body Politics. Herald Press, 2001.

Reading List:
Ashley, James Matthew. Interruptions: Mysticism, Politics, and Theology in the Work of Johann Baptist Metz. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998.
Balakrishnan, Gopal. The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt. London and New York: Verso, 2000.
Barr, James. The Scope and Authority of the Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1980.
Bartholomew, Craig et al., ed. A Royal Priesthood? The Use of the Bible Ethically and Politically A Dialogue with Oliver O’Donovan. University of Gloucestershire: The British and ForeignBible Society, 2002.
Bell, Daniel M., Jr. Liberation Theology After the End of History: The Refusal to Cease Suffering. New York: Routledge, 2001.
Berman, Joshua A. How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Boff, Leonardo. Trinity and Society. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988.
Cavanaugh, William T. Being Consumed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.
Cavanaugh, William T. Theopolitical Imagination. New York: T & T Clark LTD, 2002.
Cavanaugh, William T. Torture and Eucharist. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1998.
Cavanaugh, William T. and Peter Scott, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
Chopp, Rebecca. The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1986.
Cone, James H. Black Theology & Black Power. New York: The Seabury Press, 1969.
Cone, James H. God of the Oppressed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997.
Cone, James H. Liberation: A Black Theology of Liberation. New York: J.B. Lippincott Comanpy, 1970.
De Vries, Hent and Laurence E Sullivan, ed. Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World. New York: Fordham University Press, 2006.
Ellis, Marc H. and Otto Maduro, eds. The Future of Liberation Theology: Essasy in Honor of Gustavo Gutierrez. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1989.
Fiorenza, E.S. In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins. London: SCM, 1983.
Freire, P. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972
Gutierrez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation. Translated and edited by Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1973.
Hauerwas, Stanley. A Better Hope: Resources for a Church Confonting Capitalism, Democracy, and Postmodernity. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2000.
Hauerwas, Stanley. After Christendom? How the Church is to Behave if Freedom, Justice, and a Christian Nation are Bad Ideas. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991.
Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.
Hemming, Laurence Paul, ed. Radical Orthodoxy? – A Catholic Enquiry. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing LTD, 2000.
Hennelly, Alfred T., S.J. Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice. Mystic: Twenty-Third Publications, 1997.
Horsley, Richard A., ed. Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1997.
Jones, William R. Is God a White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology. Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1973.
Kirwan, Michael. Political Theology: An Introduction. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.
McFague, Sallie. The Body of God: An Ecological Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Metz, Johann Baptist. A Passion for God: The Mystical-Political Dimension of Christianity. Translated by J. Matthew Ashley. New York: Paulist Press, 1998.
Metz, Johann-Baptist, Jürgen Moltmann and Francis Schüssler Fiorenza. Faith and the Future: Essays on Theology, Solidarity, and Modernity. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1995.
Milbank, John, Catherine Pickstock and Graham Ward, eds. Radical Orthodoxy. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Milbank, John. Theology & Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. 2nd edition. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
Moltmann, Jürgen. The Crucified God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Moltmann, Jürgen. Theology of Hope. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Moltmann, Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1981.
O’Donovan, Oliver and Joan Lockwood O’Donovan, eds. From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought 100-1625. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999.
O’Donovan, Oliver. The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Petrella, Ivan. The Future of Liberation Theology: An Argument and Manifesto. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing LTD, 2004.
Rahner, Hugo, S.J. Church and State in Early Christianity. Translated by Leo Donald Davis, S.J. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1961.
Rasmusson, Arne. The Church as Polis: From Political Theology to Theological Politics as Exemplified by Jürgen Moltmann and Stanley Hauerwas. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995.
Rowland, Christopher, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Ruether, Rosemary R. Sexism and God-talk. London: SCM, 1983.
Schwab, George. The Challenge of the Exception: An Introduction to the Political Ideas of Carl Schmitt from 1921 to 1936. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1989.
Smith, James K. Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-secular Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004.
Sobrino, John. The True Church and the Poor. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1984.
Soelle, Dorothee. Suffering. Translated by Everett R. Kalin. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975.
Sölle, Dorothee. Thinking About God: An Introduction to Theology. Translated by John Bowden. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.
Sölle, Dorothee. The Window of Vulnerability: A Political Spirituality. Translated by Linda M. Maloney. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.
Tanner, K. The Politics of God: Christian Theologies and Social Justice. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.
Vanhoozer, Kevin J., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996.
Wannenwetsch, Bernd. Political Worship: Ethics For Christian Citizens. Translated by Margaret Kohl. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Ward, Graham, ed. The Postmodern God: A Theological Reader. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.
Ward, Graham, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2001.
Ward, Graham. Cities of God. New York: Routledge, 2000.
Yoder, John Howard. Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community before the Watching World. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1992.
Yoder, John Howard. The Christian Witness to the State. Scottdale: Herald Press, 1964.
Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972.
Yoder, John Howard. The Royal Priesthood: Essays, Ecclesiological and Ecumenical. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994.

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