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Winter 2014/Fuller Live!

Menlo Park and Pasadena




DESCRIPTION: This course develops a biblically based, theological approach to identity by exploring the relationship between racial identity, ethnic identity and Christian identity. Lectures and discussions about NT texts and works about ethnic and racial identity help students understand the biblical world-view and modern and post-modern trends on the subject of racial and ethnic identity. Students will be exposed to several biblical, theological, and theoretical approaches that will be used to construct a uniquely Christian posture about race issues in society. Classes include lectures and discussion of relevant texts and student-lead seminars on Christian identity ethics.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Christians need to develop a biblically based, historically and contextually sensitive understanding of the intersection of ethno-racial identity and Christian commitment in order to meet the challenges of multiculturalism in the contemporary church.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Having successfully completed the requirements for this course, students will have demonstrated the ability: (1) to articulate the historical development of race and ethnicity as constructs in early Christianity and in modernity; (2) to apply identity theory to issues in modern ethnic and race relations; (3) to develop moral analogies for Christian ethics on problems in race and ethnic relations in a way that incorporates contextually sensitive exegesis of the NT, and sensitivity to modern identity theory; (4) to articulate the relationship between New Testament exegesis and New Testament theology in constructing a Christian ethic of ethnoracial relations and identity.

COURSE FORMAT: The course will meet weekly for three-hour sessions.

REQUIRED READING: Selected chapters from the following books:

Emerson, M., and Christian Smith. Divided by Faith. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 978-0195147070, Pub. Price $19.99 [224 pp.].

Hays, Richard. Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament. HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN: 978-0060637965, Pub. Price $26.99 [528 pp.].

McKenzie, S. L. All God’s Children. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997. ISBN: 978-0664256951, Pub. Price $29.95 [152 pp.].

Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? BasicBooks, 1997, 1999. ISBN: 978-0465083619, Pub. Price $15.95 [294 pp.].

COURSE PACK that includes readings from the following:

Blount, Brian. Can I Get a Witness: Reading Revelation through African American Culture. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005, ISBN: 978-0664228699, Pub. Price $25.00 [selected chapters].

Guardiola-Sáenz, Leticia A. “Borderless Women and Borderless Texts: A Cultural Reading of Matthew 15:21-28,” Semeia, no 78 1997, p 69-81.

Levine, Amy Jill. A Misunderstood Jew. HarperSanFrancisco, 2006. ISBN: 978-0061137785, Pub. Price $13.99 [selected chapters].

Sechrest, Love. A Former Jew: Paul and the Dialectics of Race. T&T Clark, 2009. ISBN: 978-0567462749, Pub. Price $130.00 [selected chapters].

Smith, Andrea. “Native Evangelicals and Scriptual Ethnographies,” in MisReading America: Scriptures and Difference, Vincent Wimbush ed. New York: Oxford, 2013, pp. 23-65. ISBN: 978-0199975426, Pub. Price $39.95.

Tan, Jonathan. Introducing Asian American Theologies. New York: Orbis, 2008. ISBN: 978-1570757686, Pub. Price $24.00 [selected chapters].


  1. Attendance (10%)

  2. Group presentation on selected topic in ethnicity or race relations per class guidelines (35%)

  3. Journal postings (1-to-2-pages) in preparation for class discussions (20%)

  4. Term paper (10-12 pp.) that does theological and biblical reflection on some pertinent ethical dilemma in ethnicity or race relations raised by the course (35%)

PREREQUISITES: NS500, NS501, or NT500.

RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in New Testament Theology (NTT); Meets MA requirement in Ethnicity (ETHN). Serves as a course substitute for MB501.


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.