Spring 2019 Christian Studies Course Guide

Archived course guides:
Fall 2018
Spring 2018
Fall 2017
Spring 2017
Fall 2016
Spring 2016
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
Fall 2014


In the future, as this program develops, the guide will include listings from other area colleges and universities.

Last updated: 18 October 2018
This list represents courses with substantial content in Christian history, theology, culture, the Bible, and the relationships between Christianity and other religions. By including courses on this list, the PGH Christian Studies project does not endorse them or take responsibility for their content. Unless otherwise indicated, classes do not have prerequisites and do not fulfill general education requirements.

Free books! Take any of these courses and we will pay for your books for each course. See details here.

University of Pittsburgh

ENGLIT 597 Bible as Literature

Prof. Ryan McDermott
We 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. / 26892
This introductory course acquaints students with what is in the bible and provides background information drawn from various disciplines about the elements and issues that give it its distinctive character. Attention is necessarily given to its religious perspectives, since they govern the nature and point of view of the biblical narratives, but no specific religious view is urged.

ENGLIT 0646 Apocalypse

Prof. William Rhodes
MoWe 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. / 25218
No description available, check for updates!

ENGLIT 1101 Invention of English

Prof. Ryan McDermott
MoWe 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. / 29467
The English language and its literatures are in constant flux, but this was especially true in medieval england as waves of foreign invaders and immigrants shaped the language, and political, religious, and mercantile contact with other regions of Europe contributed new aesthetic and poetic ideals. Beginning with old English riddles, this course helps you discover the linguistic and literary DNA of English. You will discover the multiple "Englishes" and other languages that remain present in modern English and prefigure the global diversity of the anglophone world. Along the way, you will develop familiarity with old English and multiple dialects of middle English. You will begin to chart the continuities and ruptures involved in the transitions from tribal heroic culture to a growing sense of common identity as English people of an English kingdom. And on a parallel trajectory, you will track how the notion of a specifically English literature written by the English, in English, for the English, emerges from adaptations and negotiations with other European vernaculars. This focus forms a bridge to further study in early modern or Renaissance English literature. The tools of philology, historical language study, rhetorical analysis, and manuscript studies, lend themselves to this course's emphasis on language and history, and in developing facility with them, you will be better prepared for the study of any area of literature.

ENGLIT 1797: Bible as Literature 2

Prof. Mark Best
MoWeFr 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. / 30668
This course continues the bible as literature and it provides an opportunity to consider more carefully books read in the earlier course as well as to consider other books that were entirely neglected. This second semester will permit us to address some fascinating problems; what happens to narratives as they pass from an oral tradition to written form; problems of translation; the formation of a canon; the ways the bible influences later literature. The generally historical approach will permit the student to understand the time and culture of the bible.

HAA 0050 Introduction to Medieval Art

Prof. Shirin Jones
TuThu 1:00 pm. – 2:15 p.m. / 30930
This course explores the art of Western Europe from the conversion of Constantine in the fourth century to the invention of printing in the fifteenth century. By examining manuscripts, metalwork, and sculpture, we will consider the political, theological, and social changes that informed the production of medieval art. Changes in style and iconography will be connected to the artists, patrons, and other audiences who lived in this period, and special attention will be paid to the kings, queens, monks, and crusaders whose ideas and actions shaped the history of the Middle Ages.

HIST 0125 Religions of the West

Prof. Paula Kane
TuTh 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. / 18194
This course is a historical introduction to the religious traditions that developed in ancient Near East and the Mediterranean. Our major emphasis is on the history of the religious traditions that emerged in late antiquity in this area and which continue to be major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will also touch on Zoroastrianism. We focus on key concepts, historical developments, and contemporary issues. Throughout the course, we also examine interactions among these religious traditions. In the last part of the course we examine the issue of globalization and the spread of these religions around the world as well as the presence of "non-Western" religion in the "West." The course also serves as an introduction to the academic study of religion and provides a foundation for further coursework in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. No prior knowledge of any of the religions studied is expected or assumed.

Duquesne University 

Because Duquesne is a Catholic university, it has extensive offerings in Christian Studies. We have listed here courses that may be of special interest to students at other universities, and for which detailed descriptions are available. For a complete list of courses offered, consult the course schedule on the registrar's Web site. Duquesne does not compile course descriptions, so if a title intrigues you, e-mail the professor and ask for more info. They'll be happy to help.

CLSX 250: The Rise of Constantine & Christianity

Professor TBA
Time TBA / 250
This course will trace the development of Christianity from its unique origins in the Roman province of Judea and note the reasons for its growth throughout the entire empire. Students will examine why Christianity appealed to various ancient peoples, why traditional Roman religion had ceased to appeal and how Constantine advanced his political regime along with his personal belief in Christianity.

Comm 201: Human Comm in a Tech Age

Prof. Anthony Wachs
MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am / 201
Engages ethical and practical implications of an increasingly mediated society in which people create, use, and are influenced by technological change in every sphere of human communication. Students explore theoretical questions concerning new communication technologies and applications -- learning to ask not "can it be done?", but "should it be done?" Students learn to build communicative practices in which technology assists rather than controls human communication. 

COMM 220: Approaches to Rhetoric, Religion & Society

Prof. Anthony Wachs
MWF 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm / 220
Explores intersections between religion and public life in civic contexts through rhetorical principles and practices. The course focuses on the context of American society, history, and practice. 

ENGL 412W: Spst: Renaissance Cult Contexts

Prof. Danielle St. Hilaire
R 6:00 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. / 412
A description has not been provided yet. Please check again later.

HIST 171: History of Christianity

Prof. Jotham Parsons
MW 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. / 171
This course traces the development of the Christian religion from its obscure origins to its present status as a diverse world religion with hundreds of millions of adherents. Our focus is on the ways in which the thought and organization of the Christian churches have responded to the enormously diverse societies and cultures in which they have existed. 

PHIL 299: Love and Friendship

Prof. Therese Marie Bonin
MWF 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. / 299
A philosophical consideration of love and friendship: the nature of love, its causes, its effects, its many manifestations, the mutual love found in friendship, the kinds of friendship, and the importance of friendship in human life. 

PHIL 427W: St. Thomas Aquinas-The Soul

Prof. Therese Marie Bonin
MW 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 427W
An introduction to Thomas Aquinas' philosophical psychology through a close reading of the Treatise on Man in his Summa theologiae, complemented by excerpts from his commentary on Aristotle's On the Soul. Along the way, we will consider his theory of knowledge and the views of his near contemporaries, with whom he is in a dialogue. 

SOCI 233: Sociology of Catholicism

Prof. Sarah MacMillen
MWF 10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. / 233
This course draws upon the Catholic Intellectual Tradition from the time of the Early Christians and Church Fathers, through medieval and Counter-Reformation moments, into the modern and postmodern age through the lens of sociological and anthropological theory. It focuses on how the Catholic tradition shapes the understanding of religion, and the social realm alike. 

THEO 322: Jesus of Nazareth: History & Theology

Prof. William M. Wright
TR 9:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. / 322
Jesus of Nazareth is the most historically important and influential person who has ever lived. Over the centuries, billions of people have believed this 1st century Jewish man to be the incarnation (or "enfleshment") of God and to be powerfully alive, present, and active today. Many non-Christians also admire him for his teachings and religious significance. This course will be an extensive study of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as it is given in our best historical sources about his life: the four Gospels in the New Testament. By placing Jesus in the historical setting of 1st century Palestinian Jewish life under Roman rule, we seek to grasp what the words, deeds, and events of his earthly life would have meant in his own day. In doing so, we will also attend to the ways in which the four evangelists receive and interpret the figure of Jesus in their Gospels. Our goal will be to arrive at a better understanding of this most historically important individual, whom Christians believe to be God become human. 

THEO 528: Untd Pgh:Vrt, Ctshp, & Two Kng

Prof. Elizabeth Agnew Cochran
M 6:00 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. / 528
This unique, team-taught course introduces key questions in ethics in conjunction in relation to intersecting social justice issues as these play out in Pittsburgh’s local context. The course will help students imagine the broad significance of theological ethics and its import for matters of public significance. 

UCOR 142: Theological Views of the Person

Prof. Kenneth Leroy Parker
M 6:00 pm - 8:40 pm / 142
A study of theology through an investigation of the question: “What does it mean to be human?” Students engage this question in relationship to self, others, the world, and the Divine, with attention to Christian and other views. 

Carnegie Mellon University

CMU courses coming soon!