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BTH 4580 Syllabus (Spring 2013)

BTH 4580 Syllabus (Spring 2013)

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Published by: Mark 'n Michelle Weedman on Jan 10, 2013
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BTH 4580
Philosophical Theology Seminar
Course Syllabus •
Spring 2010
• 3 Credits
Mark Weedman, Ph.D
MW 2:30
Course Description and Goals
:The purpose of this course is to offer students an opportunity to explore a theologicalquestion in more depth than is normally possible in a standard theology course. In this case, wewill consider contemporary
theological attempts to answer the challenge posed by “Kant’s Wall.”
In this seminar, we will examine the specific topic of Biblical interpretation. We will begin byexamining two accounts of how Modernism has affected Biblical interpretation. As part of that
exercise, we will also grapple with James K.A. Smith’s constructive
proposal for how we mightmove forward, hermeneutically.We will then apply
the principles of Smith’s
“creation hermeneutic” to
three Biblicalpassages: Genesis 3, John 1.1.-13 and Philippians 2.6-7. We will examine these passages from avariety of angles: how they might have been read in their historical context, how they have beenread throughout history, and their pastoral and theological implications. Throughout this exercise,we will keep in mind both what it means to read the Bible within the community of faith and
what it means to assert that the Bible may have a plurality of “meanings.”
The goal here is to usethe creation hermeneutic to bind together all of these diverse readings and applications of the text
to produce an “interpretation” that authoritative and pastorally resonant.
Relationship of Course to Curriculum:
Upper Division BTH Elective
Required Textbooks
Christian Smith,
 Bible Made Impossible
(Brazos Press, 2012).2.
James K.A. Smith,
Fall of Interpretation
, second edition (Baker Academic, 2012).3.
A Study Bible in a modern translation. Especially recommended are the NIV Study Bible orthe NRSV version of the Oxford Annotated Bible.
Course Requirements
Class Participation
): Theology requires a lot of reading and a lot of talking, and I willexpect you to come to class having read the assignment and prepared to talk about it.Theology is difficult, and I do not necessarily expect you always to have understood the day
’sreading. Even if you don’t understand a text, however, you can still ask questions about it,
and these questions form the basis for good theological inquiry
and good class participation.Because much of the class will consist of working through the d
ay’s reading assignment, you
come to class with a copy of the text for the day
. Anyone who shows up without acopy of the text will be dismissed from the class for that day and charged with anabsence.
 As part of the class participation grade, each student will be required to provide chapteroutlines and discussion questions for the daily reading assignments. These will be assignedon a rotating basis on the first day of class.
: You are allowed three absence without penalty. Any absence over that one willresult in the loss of three points from your class participation grade.3.
 Midterm Exam
): The midterm exam will cover both Smith books. It will be in
classand oral. However, I reserve the right to make the exam written if, in my opinion, the
requirements listed under “class participation” are not being adequately met by a
preponderance of the students in the course.4.
 Exegesis Presentations
): Because this is a seminar, the second half of the course willrely heavily on student participation. This participation will take two forms. The first is aseries of exegetical presentations. These presentations will form the basis for our discussionof the three passage (Genesis, John and Philippians), and they will take the form of historicalcritical exegesis, history of interpretation, and theological/pastoral interpretation. We willmake assignments in class. Each student will be responsible for approximately threepresentations.5.
Seminar Presentation
): Near the end of the course, each student will also present to the
class their own interpretation of a Biblical passage that uses the “creation hermeneutic”
principles. Students will examine a passage of their choosing from a variety of angles andthen integrate those perspectives into an interpretation that is authoritative and pastorally andtheologically resonant! There are a variety of possible formats for this presentation, and wewill discuss some options in class.
Grading Scale
Book Reports: 602.
Exams: 253.
Class Participation: 15Total Points: 100A: 96-100A-: 91-95B+: 87-90B: 84-86B-: 80-83C+: 77-79C: 74-79C-: 70-73D: 66-69F: 0-65
 Special Needs:
Any accommodations for students with special needs must be documented andapproved through the Student Development Office. See V.P. Tim McKinney to initiate theprocess.
Use of Electronic Equipment in the Classroom:
Computers and other devices brought to theclassroom should be used only as directed or permitted by the instructor of a given class. In-classuse of cell phones, pagers and other devices that potentially may create classroom distractions is
 prohibited (e.g., cell phones must be set on “silent”). Violation of this policy may result in
dismissal of students from the classroom, prohibiting students from using the devices in the
classroom, prohibiting the students from having the devices in academic areas during times whenclasses are in session, or other consequences at the discretion of the instructor.
Course Schedule
Mondays WednesdaysWeek 1
January 14, 2013 January 16, 2013
Course Intro: TheProblem of Interpretation
Week 2
January 21, 2013 January 23, 2013
Chapters 1- 2
Week 3
January 28, 2013 January 30, 2013
Assignments Impossible,
Chapters 3- 4
Chapter 5
Week 4
February 4, 2013 February 6, 2013
Assignments Impossible,
Chapters 6- 7
Wrap - Up
Week 5
February 11, 2013 February 13, 2013
Assignments Fall,
Chapter 1 - 2
Week 6
February 18, 2013 February 20, 2013
Assignments Fall,
Chapter 3 - 4
Chapter 5 - 6
Week 7
February 25, 2013 February 27, 2013
March 4, 2013 March 6, 2013
Assignments Fall,
Chapter 7
Wrap Up
Week 9
March 11, 2013 March 13, 2013
Catch - up Day Midterm Exam
Week 10
March 18, 2013 March 20, 2013
Genesis 3 Genesis 3

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