CHET 65013 History of Christian Ethics (syllabus)
3 semester hours, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas
Spring 2014, Friday, 9:30-12:00, Moore 213

 

Instructor: Charles Bellinger c.bellinger@tcu.edu 817-257-7668 home page: http://lib.tcu.edu/staff/bellinger/cbhome.htm

Prerequisites: CHET 60013, CHTH 60003, or equivalent

Description of Content: An examination of the historical development of major themes in Christian theological ethics from the early Church up to early modern times. Particular attention will be given to the bearing this historical development has on ethical thinking today.

Course Objectives:
1. Students will gain an appreciation for the importance of studying the history of Christian thought.
2. Students will gain an introductory level knowledge of the principal themes and issues that shaped the major time periods in the history of Christian ethics.
3. Students will gain an introductory level knowledge of the ethical thought of certain key Christian theologians.

Class Procedures:
Classes will include lectures and discussions. Attendance will be taken. There will also be an online discussion component.

Requirements and Grading Procedures:
1. Attendance, class participation, online response papers. (25% of grade) [missing more than one class and not contributing to discussion will negatively impact grade]
2. Five take home examinations. (75% of grade) [these will be open book, open notes, focusing on comprehension of the required readings]

Texts:
Gushee, David P. The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World's Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. ISBN: 978-0802844200  $25*

Hart, David. Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0300164299  $13*

MacIntyre, Alasdair. Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991. ISBN: 978-0268018771  $24*

Noll, Mark. The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN: 978-0807830123  $23*

*this is the list price; books can often be obtained at a discount

There will also be required readings made available as Internet links, electronic reserves, or handouts.

For students who wish to study this topic further in the future, bibliographies on the history of Christian ethics are here:
http://lib.tcu.edu/staff/bellinger/biblios/biblio_list.htm

 

Schedule: (reading assignments should be completed by the date next to which they are listed)

This syllabus represents current plans that are subject to change. Such changes, communicated by the instructor, are not unusual and should be expected.

 

date

themes

reading assignments

Week 1

Jan. 17

Introduction to Course

 

Week 2

Jan. 24

The Bible

  • Gushee, The Sacredness of Human Life, 1-84

Week 3

Jan. 31 online

Early Christianity

  • Gushee, The Sacredness of Human Life, 85-145

  • Tertullian, "On Patience" [handout]

Week 4

Feb. 7

Week 5

Feb. 14

exam 1 due

  • Hart, 166-215

  • Augustine excerpts [instructor will make this material available to students]

Week 6

Feb. 21 online

Minister's Week, no class

  • Gushee, The Sacredness of Human Life, 146-213

Week 7

Feb. 28

Middle Ages

Week 8

March 7

 exam 2 due

Week 9

March 14 online

Spring Break, no class

  • assignment TBA

Week 10

March 21

Reformation

  • Luther, Calvin, Anabaptist excerpts [instructor will make this material available to students]

Week 11

March 28

Enlightenment

exam 3 due

Week 12

April 4 online

19th Century

  • Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, 1-94

Week 13

April 11

exam 4 due

  • Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, 95-162
  • Kierkegaard excerpts [instructor will make this material available to students]

Week 14

April 18 online

 Good Friday, no class

  • MacIntyre, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, 1-104

Week 15

April 25

 

  • MacIntyre, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, 105-215

Week 16

May 2

no class, study week
exam 5 due

Books on physical reserve in the Library:

        The Ethics of Aquinas / Stephen J. Pope, editor.
LOCATION: Reserves at Main Circulation Desk : B765.T53S8164 2002
AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT ó 24 Hour Loan

        Sources of Christian ethics / Servais Pinckaers ; translated from the third edition by Sr. Mary Thomas Noble.
LOCATION: Reserves at Main Circulation Desk : BJ1249.P5613 1995 c.1
AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT ó 24 Hour Loan

        The Spirit of early Christian thought : seeking the face of God / Robert Louis Wilken.
LOCATION: Reserves at Main Circulation Desk : BR165.W65 2003 c.1
AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT ó 24 Hour Loan


 

Brite Divinity School Mission Statement

Brite Divinity School educates women and men to lead in the ministry of Christís church, the academy, and public life as witnesses to Godís reconciling and transforming love and justice.

 

Inclusion Statement:

Brite Divinity School values people of all cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, races, and religions, with regard to characteristics such as sex, gender, sexual identities, social class, age, and differing abilities. We are committed to promoting a diverse and just environment, in which language and practices support the achievement of inclusion. Brite seeks to remove all barriers to the maintenance and aspirations of its Mission Statement and Non-Discrimination Statement.

 

Inclusive Language Statement:

Brite Divinity School promotes inclusive language. This includes such matters as language about God, humanity, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, races, and religions, with regard to characteristics such as sex, gender, sexual identities, social class, age, and differing abilities. We are committed to promoting a diverse and just environment for all, in which language and practices encourage inclusion. To this end, Brite will maintain and update as necessary a webpage of resources for current best practices of inclusive language.

 

Statement on Disability Services:

Brite Divinity School complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. Eligible students seeking accommodations should contact TCUís Coordinator, Student Disabilities Services, located in Sadler Hall 1010. Accommodations are not retroactive; therefore, students should contact the Coordinator as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations. Further information can be obtained from Student Disabilities Services, Sadler Hall 1010, TCU Box 297710, Fort Worth, TX 76129, or at 817-257-6567.

 

Academic Misconduct (Sec. 5.14 of the Student Handbook):

Any act that violates the academic integrity of the institution is considered academic misconduct. The procedures used to resolve suspected acts of academic misconduct are available in the Student Handbook and the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

 

Netiquette: Communication Courtesy Code:

All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats. If I deem any of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and appropriate action will be taken, not excluding expulsion from the course.

 

TCU Campus Resources for Students:

Many resources exist on the TCU campus that may be helpful to students: Mary Couts Burnett Library (817-257-7117); Student Disabilities Services (817-257-6567, Sadler Hall 1010); the William L. Adams Writing Center (817-257-7221, Reed Hall 419; and 817-257-6520, Library Annex); Student Development Services (817-257-7855, Brown Lupton University Union 2003); and The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (817-257-7830, Jarvis Hall First Floor).

 

Email Notification:

Only the official Brite student email address will be used for all course notification. It is your responsibility to check your email on a regular basis.