Tag Archives: classes

Class: The New England Tradition in American Reformed Theology

Prof. Jan Stievermann, director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany, is going to be co-teaching a seminar with an eminent Jonathan Edwards scholar, Prof. Douglas A. Sweeney, of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The class will be called The New England Tradition in American Reformed Theology. It will take place over four intensive days at the Ökumenisches Institut at Heidelberg University, May 29 and 30, and June 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The course description:

This compact seminar offers an outstanding opportunity for all students interested in the history of Reformed theology more generally and the specific development of Protestantism in the New World. Our focus will be on New England Calvinism, one of the most interesting and powerful traditions to emerge in early America, which also had a lasting influence on both liberal and evangelical Protestantism in the U.S. today. While providing a broad survey of the New England tradition between c. 1650 and 1850, the course will also allow students to discuss in depth the writings of key theologians with our distinguished guest scholar, Prof. Douglas A. Sweeney.

Over the course of this seminar we will cover the development of the New England tradition from Puritanism and early evangelicalism (represented most prominently by Edwards), to the major divisions of the early nineteenth century between popular revivalism (Charles Finney), Edwardsean Calvinism, and liberal Protestantism (Horace Bushnell). In following these historical developments we will look at the central theological debates within this tradition that concerned, among other things, the doctrines of predestination and original sin, the role of human agency in redemption, the nature of conversion, and the significance of affections in religion.

To register, e-mail Stievermann at jstievermann@hca.uni-heidelberg.de.

Summer Semester 2012

The University of Heidelberg’s Summer Semester is quickly approaching, and students interested in American religious history have several excellent and rare opportunities:

1. Prof. Albert J. Raboteau, a leading scholar in African American religion in America, will teach a compact seminar with Prof. Jan Stievermann in the end of May, beginning of June, covering the major themes and most important moments in African American religious history, from the colonial period to the present.

2. Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, and Prof. Rachael Wheeler, an Indiana University specialist on the Moravians in North America, will team up with Prof. Stievermann to teach a compact seminar on the culture of mission in earl America.

More information about both classes is available on the events page.

To register, e-mail Prof. Stievermann @ jstievermann@hca.uni-heidelberg.de

In addition to those unique offerings, Prof. Stievermann will be lecturing on the history of Christianity in American from 1900 to the present.

From the course description:

“Always with an eye on the wider cultural context, the course will trace the dramatic changes in America’s religious landscape during this period, and examine central events, issues, and conflicts such as the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, religious responses to two world wars, the rise of neo-evangelicalism, or the role of religion in the civil right struggles and the so-called culture wars. While special attention will be given to the transformations of America’s Christian churches, we will also discuss the increasing religious pluralization of the US and look at the development of non-Christian immigrant faiths and the emergence of new religious movements and individualistic spiritualities.”

Daniel Silliman will also be teaching a class on the history of American pentecostalism. An intro course, Silliman’s class will look to position pentecostalism in its American context.

As the course description states:

“To the casual observer, American pentecostalism may well appear to be the most bewildering of contemporary forms of Christianity. Whether it’s snake handlers or prosperity preachers, healing miracles preformed on television or the exorcism of demons on the radio, “speaking in tongues,” being “slain in the spirit,” or just extraordinarily exuberant prayer, American Pentecostalism seems completely foreign to the culture around it. Yet, it emerged from and exists in that context. American pentecostalism is deeply embedded in 20th century American history. Pushing past the apparent strangeness, this class will examine the pentecostal movement in the United States, looking at its cultural  relationships, and its history, beliefs and practices, paying special attention to ways these illuminate America’s recent past.”

It looks to be an excellent — and very busy — Summer Semester for American Religion at the University of Heidelberg.