WHEATON COLLEGE

Norton, Massachusetts

RELIGION 342 LIBERATION THEOLOGY

Fall 2000 Ms. Darling-Smith

Office--Knapton 101, ex. 3693

Office hours–M 2:00-2:30, Tuesdays, 2:00-4:50 p.m

T 1:30-2:00, W 2:00-2:30, F 11:00-11:30, and by appointment

e-mail: bsmith@wheatonma.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Theology is rational reflection upon faith; liberation theology is reflection by people of faith who find themselves in situations of oppression. In this course we will read the writings of Third World people, African-American women and men, and white women, which describe their struggles to see how Christian and Jewish teachings relate to liberation from oppression and their search for resources within the Christian and Jewish faiths to subvert the status quo.

 

1. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions (30% of grade). You will be graded on the quantity and quality of your participation. The class format will rely on class discussion, so your participation is essential. (And attendance is essential because you can't participate if you're not there!) Class discussion will be based on the assigned readings. Please bring to each class three questions for discussion based on your reading. Also, during this semester, please bring into the class discussions relevant items from outside this class which combine questions of religious faith and class, race, or gender.

 

2. Research paper on some aspect of or movement within liberation theology, with the following components:

3. Two of the following three reviews:

  1. Three-page review of an essay or chapter by a different Third World liberation theologian, comparing the supplementary reading to primary texts, due October 3

(15% of grade).

b. Three-page review of an essay or chapter by a different African-American liberation theologian, comparing the supplementary reading to primary texts, due November 7 (15% of grade).

c. Three-page review of an essay or chapter by a feminist or womanist theologian, comparing the supplementary reading to primary texts, due December 5 (15% of grade).

NOTE: Due dates are firm. Late assignments will be marked down a full letter grade.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Ernesto Cardenal, ed. The Gospel in Solentiname (vol. 2) ON RESERVE

Robert McAfee Brown Liberation Theology

Gustavo Gutiérrez A Theology of Liberation (revised edition)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom ON RESERVE

James H. Cone A Black Theology of Liberation (1990 edition)

Judith Plaskow & Carol Christ, eds. Weaving the Visions

Chung Hyun Kung Struggle to Be the Sun Again

 

COURSE OUTLINE AND READING/DISCUSSION/ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE:

SEP INTRODUCTION, GENERAL OVERVIEW, AND THIRD WORLD

LIBERATION THEOLOGY

12 Cardenal, Intro + chs. 1-5

19 Cardenal, chs. 6-12; Brown, entire book; Gutiérrez, Introductions

26 Gutiérrez, Parts 1-3

OCT 3 Gutiérrez, Part 4; Review of essay due

OCTOBER BREAK; NO CLASS

AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIBERATION THEOLOGY

17 King, entire book

24 Video, The Long Walk Home

31 Cone, Prefaces, Foreword, chs. 1-5; Annotated bibliography due

NOV 7 Cone, ch. 7; Review of essay due

CHRISTIAN FEMINIST THEOLOGY

14 Plaskow & Christ, pp. 29-38 + 163-69; 139-62 + 292-301; 214-25 + 235-43

Chung, entire book; Outline due; oral presentations

CHRISTIAN WOMANIST THEOLOGY

Plaskow & Christ, pp. 101-4 + 281-92; Williams handout; Cone, ch. 1

JEWISH FEMINIST THEOLOGY

DEC 5 Plaskow & Christ, pp. 39-50 +128-38 + 187-98; Review of essay due

12 CONCLUSIONS; Research paper due