What Are We Doing When We “Do Theology”? The Question of Method As Seen in Select Modern Christian Thinkers


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to representative examples of major approaches to theological study in the contemporary world, engaging the categories of overall systematic outlook, historical change, Scripture, the theological discipline, ecclesial reality, cultural specificity, and mission. We will probe these themes through a careful reading of select texts by major contemporary theologians, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. Among the issues to be addressed are: how have the Enlightenment and other aspects of modernity exerted pressure on theologians to clarify their method? What is the relation of methodological reflection in theology to the being/character of the triune God? Does every method have its corresponding metaphysics? How shall theology and philosophy be related? What role does Scripture play in the process of theological reasoning, and how does it relate to the doctrines and tradition(s) of the church? By the end of the course students will be able to describe accurately some of the many and complex senses of theological “method”;  relate these to matters of substantive Christian teaching; and be better equipped to confidently articulate their own theological visions, which they will do in a preliminary fashion in the final assignment.  This course is designed especially for graduate students at the doctoral level, and may be suitable for MA and DMin students who already have a strong background in theology.

Enrolment Notes

Please note that this course will be offered via in-person study and remote, synchronous learning. Depending on pandemic restrictions, in-person slots may be limited.  If you would like to register for the in-person section, please register for LEC 0101. If you would like to attend remotely, please register for LEC 9101.

Additional Notes

Please note: All syllabi are considered draft until the first day of class. Please look for the final version of the course syllabus to be posted on the course's Quercus site.

Course Syllabus
Session Offered
Fall 2021
Start Date
04:00 pm ~ 06:00 pm