Development of an idea, concept, or institution central to the social sciences. Content varies from year to year. For University Honors Program students only. Offered: A.
This course is an introduction to the field of contemporary Asian American theological reflection emerging as an expression of, and within the context of, Christianity in the United States. As an introduction to the subject, students are not expected to have either a familiarity with the Christian theological concepts that will be discussed, or knowledge of the various Asian American communities that will be discussed.
Utilizing a constructive approach to Christian theology, this course surveys a spectrum of contemporary Asian American theological perspectives offering critical reflection (“critical” here is taken to mean cross-perspectival) on the experiences of various Asian American communities from their immigrant beginnings to the present. The constructive theological categories of theological anthropology, ontology, epistemology, the problematic (the nature of sin and evil) and redemption (including Christologies) are introduced and developed with students throughout the course to help students analyze and construct Christian theological perspectives reflective of the particular Asian American populations examined.
Students will examine and analyze particular Asian American communities, researching the history of their emigration to the U.S., identifying historical events in the U.S. and their significance for various Asian American populations, and interpreting the meaning of socio-political responses to increasing Asian American immigration and the development of Asian American communities. Drawing on a variety of sources, including personal narratives, students will explore the impact of a variety of socio-cultural worldviews and experiences on the development of Asian American perceptions of self, Other, the nature of human existence, and the Divine.
By focusing on an Asian American population of their choice, students will become conversant on issues and concerns significant to their chosen population in order to construct a theological perspective drawing upon the vocabulary of Christian theological concepts and interpretations of scripture explored through our readings.
Throughout the course, students are invited to cultivate their learning as scholars in the academic study of religion through an ethic of hospitality – that practice of respectful scholarly openness crucial to cultivating academically-responsible interpretations of the religious Other. This course helps develop students’ understanding of, critical thinking about, and respectful appreciation of the Religious Other.
Student learning goals
• To help develop informed perspectives that empower understanding, appreciation, and responsible interpretations of particular Asian American communities in the U.S.
• To expand students’ intellectual vocabulary through the introduction of experiences and perspectives on the human condition and understandings of the virtuous life through the study of an influential religious tradition that have inspired centuries of creative and constructive devotion.
• To invite students as scholars in the academic study of religion to cultivate an ethic of hospitality that empowers appreciative learning about communities of the Religious Other (those different from you). This ethic of hospitality is understood as a practice of respectful scholarly openness necessary to cultivate learning that is academically fruitful and responsible.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Assignments Participation Engaged discussion in classes, evidencing prepared contributions from readings, presentations = 30% of total grade.
Written Assignments Description Paper, 5 pages, double-spaced = 35% of total grade. Use additional pages for title page and bibliography. Will be revised to develop Theological Analysis Paper
Theological Analysis Paper, 15 pages, double-spaced = 35% of total grade. - Revise earlier Description Paper and to build a theological analysis and construction for your community of student’s choice. - Include theological analysis (theological categories) of experiences core to the AA community of student’s choice. - Include identification and interpretation of selected biblical passage from perspective of AA community. Use additional pages for title page and bibliography.
Extra credit: TBA