TH856 – Re-Imagining God and the World
View outline (PDF) Instructor(s): Dr. Sallie McFague
This course will reflect on the question of God in a time of crisis due to climate change and human poverty. It will consider divine transcendence and immanence in the writings of postmodern theologians and philosophers who are questioning supernatural understandings of God as well as privileged views of human beings. Thus, we will read critiques of dualistic, hierarchical, metaphysical views of reality as well as such new interpretations as spirited matter, flat ontology, species interrelations, biological democracy, radical incarnation, and other ways in which contemporary thinkers are re-imagining the relations between transcendence and immanence. Such reflections by contemporary scientific and philosophical views of transcendence and immanence should provide a basis for Christian and other religious re-interpretations of the place of human beings on the planet as well as God’s relationship to the world.
A first part of this seminar can be taken in Fall term (although Spring can also stand alone). During the fall semester, we will focus on postmodern critiques of supernaturalism as well as contemporary interpretations of transcendence and immanence.
The second semester will consider a range of Christian and other theologies attempting to apply such contemporary interpretations to climate change. In other words, we will consider how some revisions on conceiving of the relations between transcendence and immanence (the doctrine of God) are relevant (or not) to the crises facing the planet.
Pre-requisite: Th.m students only, or permission from the instructor