Area III Course Descriptions

Ethics and Society

ES501. Christian Ethics
Credit, three hours. Taught each semester (Faculty)
The nature and foundations of Christian ethics and the meaning of Christian responsibility as related to concrete social issues.

ES605. Social Philosophy and Christian Thought
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
Introduction to social and ethical thought of major philosophers in the Western tradition, with emphasis on the historical and critical relationship of these philosophers to Christian thought.

ES609. Theology of Social Ministry
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
A critical exploration of selected twentieth-century theological and ethical approaches to the social mission of the church. Special attention is given to the varying methodologies of liberal Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, and liberationist perspectives.

ES615. John Wesley's Ethics
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
A critical exposition of John Wesley's theological, social, and personal ethics in relation to Wesley's historical context and the history of social and moral philosophy, including Christian social thought.

ES618. Ethics of Aquinas
Credit, three hours. (Reynolds) (Same as HT618)
Thomas's treatment of the foundations of ethics, including topics such as human action, free will, the passions, habits, vice and virtue, and law, as explained in his Summa theologiae. Teaching involves lectures, seminars, and close reading of primary texts.

ES620. Black Theology and Ethics
Credit, three hours. (Erskine) (Same as ST620)
The contributions of some of the leading theologians will be considered placing their work in conversation with more recent contributors, in particular Womanist theologians. In light of discussion of theological themes in Black and Womanist theologies, we will identify critical and ethical issues that come to the fore. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ES621. Christian Sexual Ethics
Credit, three hours (Bounds)
A study of Christian reflection on sexual ethics. Attention will be given to the embodied nature of the human person, the notions of sin and grace, sexual difference, and topics such as the AIDS epidemic and sexual violence.

ES624. Christian Feminist Ethics
Credit, three hours (Bounds)
A study of those contemporary voices in Christian ethics making critical claims on the behalf of the well-being women. Topics may include: the challenge of difference (racial, economic, sexual), violence against women, family roles, reproductive technologies, women and children in poverty, ecofeminism. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ES625. Sexuality in the Black Church
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course explores the intersecting themes of African American spirituality, sexuality, love and life. Specific attention is given to the dynamic and intricate relationships that obtain between gender, sex, and sexuality and the institutional Black Church as a principal custodian of constructive and repressive cultural values in African America. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ES628. The Civil Rights and the Black Consciousness Movement
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course examines some of the pivotal events, issues, organizations and personages that have given shape to the ongoing Black movement for freedom. The course adopts an investigative approach that is aesthetic, historical, ethical, sociological, political, and theological, with special attention given to the role of Black religion and culture in light of contemporary challenges. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ES629. Religious and Ethical Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
Systematic analysis of the development and impact of the modern civil rights movement in light of categories from selected theological and philosophical ethicists, including Rawls, Nozick, Niebuhr, the Catholic bishops, and others.

ES630. Kierkegaard as Religious Ethicist
Credit, three hours. (Jackson)
An examination of a broad spectrum of Kierkegaard's aesthetic, ethical, and religious writings with a focus on the relationship between his theological convictions and his moral teachings. Reading will include both pseudonymous texts and works published under Kierkegaard's own name. (letter grade only)

ES631. Marxism and Religion
Credit, three hours
A critical examination of Marx's thought on society and religion against its religious, philosophical, and societal background (especially Hegel and the Enlightenment). This course also offers a critical comparison of selected modern theological appropriations of Marx (e.g. R. Niebuhr, Moltmann, and Miguez-Bonino)

ES637. The Church and Economic Life
Credit, three hours.
A study of the economic dimensions of the Christian faith and life, as well as Christian responsibility in relation to contemporary institutions and issues.

ES641. Christology and Ethics
Credit, three hours. (Erskine) (Same as ST641)
This course investigates the relationship between Jesus Christ and the moral life. Two foci will be preeminent: (a) to isolate and clarify the fundamental principles of the Christian life and (b) to discern and interpret how the Christian community needs to make moral judgments in the light of its faith claims and religious convictions.

ES642. Ecological Ethics
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

ES649. Morality of Peace and War
Credit, three hours. (Jackson)
This course investigates some of the moral, political, economic, and theological issues surrounding conflict and conflict resolution in a nuclear age. Topics include the nature of war and peace, their theory and practice, the just war tradition and pacifism, deterrence theory, technology and modern warfare and the relation of women to peace and war. Readings are both religious and secular. (letter grade only)

ES651. Problems in Biomedical Ethics
Credit, three hours (Jackson)
A critical evaluation of some of the ethical problems and assumptions in medicine and biomedical research. Specific topics include: artificial contraception and reproduction, abortion, euthanasia, informed consent, paternalism, confidentiality, allocation of scarce resources, limits on research protocols, and conflict of interest. In addition, the medical, nursing, and chaplaincy professions are used as lenses through which to look at the value of life and the meaning-if any-of suffering and death, the nature of personal integrity, and the place of authority in a liberal society. (letter grade only)

ES652. Health Care Ethics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Credit, three hours. (Jackson)
An interdisciplinary approach to health care ethics, open to student from various Emory schools. The course explores virtues and values internal to the professions of nursing, medicine, and ministry. Specific topics covered include: contraception and reproduction, abortion, euthanasian, informed consent, and conflict of interest.

ES660. Moral Perspectives in the Black Church
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course focuses on evolution and contemporary contours of African American culture and black churches of the United States, particularly the plurality of African American Christian experience. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course explores why and how black culture and religion have come to assume their present character and where the black church and community should go from here. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

ES661. Christianity and Politics
Credit, three hours. (Bounds)
This course considers how and in what ways Christian social ethics has supported or distanced itself from democratic practices, with attention to whether the practices of Christian institutions can be related to the textual claims.

ES669. Theology of Ethics and Reconciliation
Credit, three hours. (Bounds)
A study of current Christian writing and involvement in reconciliation forgiveness and conflict transformation.

ES679R. Colloquy Leadership
Credit, two hours. Offered each semester by invitation of the instructors of ES501. Does not fulfill area requirements.

ES682. Jewish Law
Cross listed from the Law School
Credit, three hours.
(Cross-listed from the law school.) This course will survey the principles Jewish (or Talmudic) law uses to address difficult legal issues and will compare these principles to those that guide legal discussion in America. In particular, this course will focus on issues raised by advances in medical technology such as surrogate motherhood, artificial insemination, and organ transplant. Through discussion of these difficult topics many areas of Jewish law will be surveyed.

ES684. Constitutional Law: Religion and State
Cross listed from the Law School
Credit, three hours.
This course will explore questions arising under the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment as well as religion clauses in representative state constitutions and their colonial antecedents. Consideration will be given to cases concerning religious speech, worship and symbolism in the public square, the public school, and the workplace; government support for, and protection of religious education in public and private schools; tax exemption of religious institutions and properties; treatment of religious claims of Native Americans and various religious minorities; exercise of and limitations on religious law and discipline, control and disposition of religious property; and other issues.

ES687. Jurisprudence
Cross listed from the Law School
Credit, three hours.
This lecture/discussion course will explore some of the major historical tendencies in ethical and political philosophy. We will then trace these ideas as they have been worked out in Anglo-American jurisprudence and contemporary continental thought. The aim of the course is to provide the theoretical foundations necessary for conducting concrete critical, ethical and political analysis of law and institutions.

ES690. Comparative Legal History: The Western Legal Tradition
Cross listed from the Law School
Credit, three hours.
This is a course for students who want to "think big" about the law. It combines the traditional disciplines of comparative law, legal history, and legal philosophy. The underlying purpose is to provide perspective for understanding what our law is by studying what it has been and what it is tending to become.

ES698. Seminar: Issues in Christian Ethics


M603. The Church's Mission in a Pluralistic World
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
Contemporary issues in mission, such as evangelism, church growth, dialogue, sociopolitical action, and humanization, examined from biblical, theological, and historical perspectives.

M609. Global Church in God's Mission
Credit, three hours. (Daniel)
This seminar offers biblical, historical, and theological perspectives on the global diffusion and development of Christianity. Focusing upon the transmission and transformation of the Christian tradition through cross-cultural encounter, particular attention is given to Christianity's serial cultural penetration and its diverse local cultural expressions. The emergence of Christianity as a vibrant, predominately non-Western religion, are treated. The course is designed to locate the student's ministry within the realities of the emerging global church in a pluralistic world.

M613. Images of Christ in World Christianity
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course aims to recognize, appreciate, and evaluate the plurality of images of Christ present in world Christianity, including feminist, womanist, African American, and two-thirds world perspectives. Theological writings, hymns, poems, paintings, sculptures, and films from around the world are used in this course.

M623. The Church's Mission with Impoverished Children
Credit, three hours. (Faculty) (Same as CC623)
Theological, sociological, and psychological study of poor children, their families, and their communities. This course also explores religious and civil religious attitudes that inform public and church policy in institutions serving poor children.

M637. Christian Encounters with Hinduism
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
Following a brief introduction to the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, this course examines the various Christian approaches to the Hindu faith, and attempts to formulate a relevant posture and perspective to encounter creatively people of other religions.

M650. Faith Based Care for International Communities of Health
Credit, three hours. (Daniel)
This seminar offers biblical, historical, cultural, and practical perspectives on nursing, health care services, and other Christian ministries contributing to international communities of health. The seminar is designed for Candler students anticipating a wide range of ministry settings where the global church has a critical role in promoting health in cross-cultural and pluralistic religious communities. The course is also targeted to provide biblical, historical, and theological perspectives for students from the Schools of Nursing, enrolled in the Hubert International Mission Nursing and Faith-based Health program-a program in partnership with Candler School of Theology. Particular attention is given to Christianity's historic mission of linking faith and care in multi-cultural settings, promoting healthier communities serving diverse local notions of life. The course is designed to locate the student's ministry within the realities of providing faith based care and ministry in partnership with the global church and international aid agencies, with cultural sensitivity to health care challenges resulting from globalization, religious pluralism, and economic disparity.

M655. The Church on the Border
Credit, three hours. (Jenkins) (Also listed as CC655)
This January course focuses on immigration policy and realties facing communities on the Mexico-U.S. border. The class will travel to Arizona and Mexico in early January, hosted by Borderlinks ( , for five days of home stays and meetings with migrants, U.S. and Mexican federal agents, Mexican social justice agencies, community organizers, and congregational leaders. Federal and state immigration policies will also be critiqued. Following the trip to the border, the students will meet in metro Atlanta with Hispanic pastors, legislators and community leaders. (letter grade only)

M698. Seminar: Issues in Christian Mission

M698L. Social Mission of the Christian Church
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course is designed to familiarize church leaders with modern social witness statements of Christian denominations, ecumenical organizations, and parachurch groups in order to critically and faithfully engage the social witness of the church as an integral form of the mission of the church in the world. Special attention is given to modern Catholic Social Teaching, documents of the World Council of Churches, and the Social Gospel tradition in the United States, especially in the form of Social Creeds.

Religion and Personality

RP601. The Dynamics of Identity and Faith
Credit, three hours (Faculty) (Same as RE601)
Theological and developmental psychological perspectives on the formation and transformation of persons in faith. The course aims to deepen participants' understanding of self and others and to strengthen participants' approaches to ministry.

RP649. Psychology of Moral Development and Education
Credit, three hours. (Snarey) (Same as EDU771V)
This course introduces the study of moral development during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It also considers how moral development can be promoted through education. The course includes classic theories, the life's work of Lawrence Kohlberg, and recent expanded conceptions of moral development.

RP651. Shame, Guilt, and Reconciliation
Credit, three hours. (Faculty) (Same as HT651)
An examination of the psychology and phenomenology of shame and guilt, read in the historical and theological context of the Church's development of rites of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

RP653. William James: Psychology, Religion and Ethics
Credit, three hours. (Snarey)
This seminar is based on a close reading of William James' three great classics, The Principles of Psychology, The Varieties of Religious Experience, and Pragmatism. The course begins with James' foundational psychology, then dwells on his psychology of the diverse varieties of religious experience, and concludes by considering the relationship of religion and ethics as suggested by James' philosophical pragmatism. The course will be conducted as a graduate seminar.

RP 655. Psychology of Adult Development and Generativity
Credit, three hours. (Snarey) (Same as PSCH 555)
This course introduces the study of psychosocial development and age-related changes that occur during early, middle, and late adulthood. Equal attention is given to how adults care wisely for the next generation -- children, adolescents, and younger adults. The course focuses on the work of Erik H. Erikson and places his ideas in conversation with other adult development theories.

RP658. Classic Readings in the Psychology of Religion
Credit, three hours. (Snarey)
This survey course examines religion psychologically and maps the development of religious consciousness during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood by engaging the relevant classic writings of the field's leaders (e.g., William James, Edwin Starbuck, Theodore Flournoy, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Gordon Allport, Erik H. Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, James Fowler, and others). Students will read the classic texts for themselves, engage and review parallel psychological measures, and assess the implications for pastoral care.

Sociology and Religion

SR601. Sociology of Religion
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course explores the meaning of religion as a dimension of all social life: ritual, myth, and symbolic reality; churches as organizations and institutions; different social identities and situations among the faithful; secularization and revival, conflict and change in globalization nd liberation.

SR603. Religion in American Society
Credit, three hours. (Tipton)
This course looks at new religious movements and new denominational developments in the contexts of contemporary American culture and social life.

SR605. Contemporary American Religion and Politics
Credit, three hours. (Tipton)
This course maps the drama of religion in American public life from the perspectives of public theologies and civil religion in cultural conversation and politically enacted argument. It embraces social movements, electoral politics, and parachurch groups, including the religious right and mainline Protestant advocacy, denominational divisions, and congregations committed to prophetic witness and evangelical activism.

SR606. Religious Pluralism in Atlanta
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
The Atlanta metropolitan area is a case study in contemporary religious diversity. Through site visits, as well as readings, lectures, and guest speakers, this course explores the dynamic religious ecology of our Atlanta context.

SR607. Morality in American Life
Credit, three hours. (Tipton)
Asks how Americans see the moral meanings and problems in their lives and the social order, with attention to differences in cultural perspective and institutional experience by class, race, gender, and generation.

SR611. Religion and Aging
Credit, three hours (Faculty) Relationships between religion and aging considered theoretically, with implications for ministry.

SR612. Disability Studies in Religion
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
By introducing the perspectives of the new field of disability studies, this course aims to enable students to study disability as a cultural category similar to gender and race rather than a medical problem. Further the course examines how disability and religion intersect within historical and cultural circumstances, theological accounts, and social/religious identities.

SR613. Gender in American Religion
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This seminar examines how religion and gender intersect in Amercian society. We will approach religion sociologically, interpreting its particular roles in the United States and understanding the causes and conditions of religious and social change. We will employ sociological perspectives on gender as well, exploring it as a socially constructed phenomenon (gender differences are not innate or "natural," but are responses to cultural norms that are reinforces by society). (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

SR619. Congregation in Context
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course explores theoretical and methodological perspectives for understanding the changes in congregations and their contexts. It identifies a congregation's context as an idiosyncratic blend of national and local social, cultural, and demographic trends, as well as the ethos, polity, and program of the tradition or denomination of which it is a part.

SR621. Howard Thurman: Spirituality and Community
Credit, three hours. (Smith)
Howard Thurman's writings and ministry focused upon the meaning of personal commitment and social transformation as they reflect religious experience. The course explores how spirituality influences concepts of community and assesses the practical implications of such concepts.

SR624. Nonviolent Strategies of Social Change
Credit, three hours. (Smith) (Same as CC519)
The course will examine historical, biblical, theological, and theoretical bases for nonviolent initiatives. The empowerment of the local church, organizations, and individuals will be a central concern in the analysis of strategies.

SR625. The Church and Institutional Life
Credit, three hours. (Tipton)
A social and ethical inquiry into the structural arrangement and moral ideals of the church compared to government, the economy, and other American institutions.

SR632. The Black Church as Social Institution
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course focuses on the institutional black church in the history of African Americans and contemporary black social and cultural life. Consideration is given to the social and sacred worlds of African America from the major black denominations to a wide range of beliefs, experiences, and practices associated with black ecclesial, communal and societal life. The course is primarily social scientific but also theological and ethical in scope. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

SR635. Christian Communalism in America
Credit, three hours. (Smith)
This course examines the recurring enthusiasm for communalism as an answer to religious conviction and societal problems. Students will study Christian communes in the United States from the seventeenth through twenty-first centuries. The course provides student historical and analytical perspectives for interpreting contemporary faith-based initiatives that seek to reform the church and society, and /or be an example of radical Christian discipleship.

SR636. The Church in the Public Sphere
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

SR658. Classic Readings in the Sociology of Religion
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This seminar will address, in depth, the classical theories of Durkheim, Marx, Weber, and Simmel. We will attend to divergent approaches to the problem of theory-building by addressing the following questions: "What is theory and what does it do?" We will explore the research trajectories that have emerged from these classical thinkers.

SR667. Morality in Society
Credit, three hours. (Tipton) (also listed as RLSR767 and SOC720)

SR698. Issues in Sociology of Religion

World Religions

WR510. Introduction to Judaism
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

WR603. Ancient Judaism
Credit, three hours. (Wilson)(Crosslisted as BI603)
A survey of the literature and religion of the Jewish people during the Second Temple period, with special attention to their interactions with Greek culture and Roman rule.

WR609. Introduction to Islam
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
This course aims to provide students of all backgrounds and educational levels an introduction to the religious tradition of Islam both as a dynamic system of faith and as a sociohistoric phenomenon. As a survey, this course focuses on the broad parameters of Islam in terms of its relationship to other religious traditions (mainly Judaism and Christianity) and in terms of its internal diversity (e.g. legal, theological, and sectarian division. The goal is to enable students with a basic proficiency of Islam in terms of historical scope, proper terminology, and conceptual approaches, which will allow them to pursue further inquiries into various aspects of the tradition. Most importantly, it will provide students with the ability to critically engage current events and issues as they relate to the religion of Islam and sociopolitical dynamics of the Muslim world.

WR610. Buddhist - Christian Dialogue
Credit, three hours. (Faculty)
In this course we will focus on the complex philosophical and theological questions raised by Christian-Buddhist dialogue. We will look both at the historical development of this dialogue, in particular the work of Merton and the Japanese scholar Abe Masao, as well as the ways in which Buddhist concepts such as emptiness, karma, and enlightenment may inform Christian theological thinking on issues ranging from theodicy to salvation. Although some background in Buddhism would be clearly valuable for this, none will be assumed; therefore, one component of the course will be an introduction to basic Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.

WR698. Studies in World Religions

--Last updated 01.29.2008