THE THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL
CHSOC 401: RELIGION AND THE SOCIAL PROCESS
Summer 2005 ? Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m. / May 23rd thru June 22nd, 2005
Dr. Otto Maduro
12 Campus Drive, Room 206
Summer office hours: by appointment only
Office phone: X 3041
DESCRIPTION: Our churches live in the real world ? not in some ideal plane. They influence, and are influenced by, the ways in which human beings relate to one another, to their communities, and to their resources. Our contemporary world is sadly characterized not only by constructive, life-protecting, life-nurturing dynamics, institutions, and structures. It is also plagued by very destructive, violent, life-threatening, death-dealing social processes and relations. Albeit the Gospel of Jesus Christ appears for many Christians to entail a call for the former (life-protecting, life-nurturing attitudes and initiatives), the fact of the matter is that our churches often are among the institutions contributing also to the latter (destructive, life-threatening social processes). This course tries to raise awareness and sensitivity toward the complications and implications of such quandary, hoping to contribute to our churches ? their members and ministers, including in their relations and actions ? becoming better witnesses of Jesus? love for the most vulnerable among us.
GOALS: The main purpose of this introductory course is thus to enhance our capacity for grasping, analyzing, and dealing with the interplay of our religious congregations, on the one hand, and, on the other, the major social problems and conflicts of our contemporary world.
WORKING METHOD: Our meetings (5:30-8:30 pm) will typically be prepared by the students by previously doing a set of weekly required readings and a reflection paper on them. The sessions will be divided in three blocks of 45?-50? each (with two breaks of 10?-15? in between them). The first two ?blocks? will be a combination of lecture and/or film on the topic previously announced for that day. The third part of the class meeting will be a discussion of the participants about the day's theme ? hopefully all within a spirit of mutual, participatory, respectful, and very open inquiry and dialogue.
REQUIREMENTS: There will be no final exam, but this requires (1) That you read ALL the assigned weekly readings BEFORE the respective class; (2) That you write FIVE READING REPORTS as described below; (3) That you don't miss a single class, don't arrive late, don't leave early; and (4)That you participate weekly in the discussions in either/both class/Blackboard.
reports: Each student is required
to do ALL the weekly required readings before the respective class, and to
deliver, at the start of the Monday class (5:30 pm), a 4-5 page
well-referenced, well-organized, well-documented, well-edited, clearly written,
READING REPORT containing (a) A summary of the main idea(s)
of at least 3/4 of the readings (preferably of all of the readings); (b)
A reflection on these ideas from the perspective of your involvement
in church ministry (at whichever level you are involved); and (c) some
critiques, doubts, and/or questions you would pose to the texts
read. THESE THREE ASPECTS DO NOT HAVE TO BE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER, but
they can be, if you so prefer. These reports will be evaluated and returned
to you the next week (NOT with a grade, but with either a check-, a checkmark, or a check+ depending
on how well they meet the requirements just described).
Because every week you will have readings assigned for TWO different themes, you may, if you want, divide your report in TWO ? at 2 or 2.5 pages each (and in the case of the 3rd, 4th and 5th week, you may, if you prefer, deliver the first one on Monday on or before 5:30 pm, and leave the second part for delivering it the Wednesday immediately thereafter, also on or before 5:30 pm).
All reading reports should be double-spaced, in 12-point Times Roman font, in pages with all four margins of one-inch. Whenever possible, print on both sides of the page, or on the back of already used paper, so as to bring ecologically sound practices into our academic work. Please also consider purchasing the highest percent recycled content, chlorine-free paper possible.
Attendance: Classes missed, late arrivals, early departures are strongly discouraged and will usually contribute to lower final grades. Two classes missed will entail the failure of the course (unless a major medical or similar justification is provided within 3 business days). Three classes missed ? for whatever reasons, justified or not ? will not be eligible for any type of justification.
Inclusive language: It is Drew's policy to require in term papers the fair use of inclusive language in reference to human gender and divinity. Any theological or cultural objection to the use of inclusive language related to divinity must be justified by the author in text or footnote.
Academic integrity: It is important to bear in mind, among others, that paraphrasing too closely the work of others, or using an author's words as your own, is considered plagiarism and will have serious consequences for your grade. You must always put in quotations, with the appropriate reference, any phrase that is taken from the work of someone else (including from the internet, of course). Don?t use quotes too often, though: let your own voice be the main voice you use in your weekly papers and discussions. In an effort to standardize practice, the Theological School (along with the rest of the University) has adopted an academic integrity policy. This course will strictly follow the Theological School?s Standards of Academic Honesty Policy as they are defined in http://www.drew.edu/catalog/theo/degree_integrity.html
GRADE POLICY: As you can read in the official catalog of our Theological School (p.
51), grading is done on the basis of A (work of unusual excellence),
B (work of superior quality), and C (work of satisfactory
quality). The grades given in this course will reflect the instructor?s evaluation
of each student's learning process as a whole ? taking into account attendance,
participation in class and/or Blackboard, and reading reports. Doing only
the minimum required, even very well, will rarely earn a student more than
As a point of reference, you can estimate an A+ to be the equivalent of 433 points.
Each reading report with a check+ will add 60 points toward those 433. Each checkmark will add 40 points. Each check- will add 25 points. A good weekly level of participation (in class and/or Blackboard) will add another 12 points per week (60 points maximum over the 5 weeks). A good level of attendance (punctual arrival and departure, including from break) will add another 6 points per class session (54 points maximum over the 9 sessions). Punctuality in delivering ALL reports (no more than one late report) will add yet 19 extra points for a total maximum of 433 points.
As we all know, accidents might happen. For that reason, there will be no penalization whatsoever for a 1st late arrival, a 1st early departure, a 1st class missed, and/or a 1st late reading report. However, each further late arrival, early departure, or late return from break will deduct 20 of your earned points (late and early meaning here 15 minutes or more); reports one or two days late (other than the 1st one) will decrease your grade by 20 points per day (no reading report over two days late will be accepted).
Grades will be calculated as follows: 433 points=A+; 400 points=A; 367 points=A-; 333 points=B+; 300 points=B; 267 points=B-; 233 points=C+; 200 points=C; 167 points=C-; 166 points or less implies the failure of the course, as this is a required one. For effects of cumulative grade point average requirements for honors at graduation, you can estimate cum laude as equivalent to 350-369 points; magna cum laude as 370-389 points; and summa cum laude as above 389 points.
TEXTBOOKS: Maurianne Adams e.a. (eds.): Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (NY/London: Routledge, 2000, 521 pp. ISBN 0-4159-2634-3) will be our basic textbook.
It is recommended, but not required, that you also read Thandeka: Learning to be White: Money, Race, and God in America. (New York, NY: Continuum, 1999. ISBN 0-8264-1292-0).
CALENDAR OF LECTURES, FILMS, READINGS & REPORTS:
Mon., May 23rd: BEING CHRISTIAN MINISTERS
IN TODAY?S WORLD
Previous readings: From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 1 (pages 1-58).
First reading report (2-3 pages this time only) due Wed 5/25 at 5:30 pm
Wed., May 25th: A RESPONSIBLE READING
OF THE BIBLE IN COMMUNITY
Previous readings: Handout from the book by Marcus Borg: Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, pp. 3-20.
Film in class: Danna Nolan-Fewell?s 2004 Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture.
2nd reading report (4-5 pages) due Wed. 6/1 at 5:30 pm
NO CLASS MONDAY 5/30 ? MEMORIAL DAY
1st: U.S. CAPITALISM &
Previous readings: (1) From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 7 (pages 379-446). From handout: (2) Harvey Cox, ?Mammon and the Culture of the Market: A Socio-Theological Critique;? (3) Frank, et al., Real World Globalization, pp. 25-34; (4) ?The Crisis of Global Capitalism?; (5) Feffer, ?Globalization and Militarization.?
3rd reading report (4-5 pages) due Mon. 6/6 at 5:30 pm
Mon., June 6th: ABLEISM & OUR CHURCHES
Previous readings: (1) From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 6 (pages 319-378). From handout. (2) Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, ?The Black Church as a Therapeutic Community? (also in the internet at http://www.havenscenter.org/VSP/archives/vspf04/gilkes/readings/GilkesITC.pdf).
Wed., June 8th:
IMMIGRATION, ETHNICITY AND OUR CHURCHES
Previous readings: (1) From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, Chapters 7 & 12. From handout (2) E. Allen Richardson, ?One Nation ? Divisible,? in Strangers in This Land pp. 45-85 & 94-99, plus notes; and (3) R Stephen Warner, ?Immigration and Religious Communities in the United States,? in ibid. and Judith G. Wittner (eds.): Gatherings in Diaspora) pp. 3-27 plus notes.
Film in class: Maryknoll World Productions, The Ties That Bind: Stories behind the Immigration Controversy (56?).
4th reading report (4-5 pages) due Mon. 6/13 at 5:30 pm
Mon., June 13th: WHITE SUPREMACY &
Previous readings: From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 2 (pages 61-132) except for chapters 7 & 12 (already assigned for last week).
Wed., June 15th: SEXISM & OUR CHURCHES
Previous readings: From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 4 (pages 199-260).
Last reading report (4-5 pages) due Mon. 6/20 at 5:30 pm
Mon., June 20th:
HETEROSEXISM & OUR CHURCHES
Previous readings: (1) From the textbook, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, read ALL of Section 5 (pages 261-318). From handout (2) Peter Gomes, The Good Book, Chapter 8, pp. 144-172.
Wed., June 22nd: CARING FOR OUR HOME:
ECOLOGY, ECONOMY, ECUMENISM
Previous readings: From handout: (1) Riley, ?Ecology is a Sistah?s Issue Too: The Politics of Emergent Afrocentric Ecowomanism,? This Sacred Earth; (2) Nash, ?Six Environmental Sins and Six Environmental Virtues?; (3) Kearns, ?The Context of Eco-theology,? Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology.