Fuller Logo

Summer 2012/Seattle

Summer 2012/Seattle







DESCRIPTION: An introductory survey of the ideas and movements which have helped to shape Western Civilization and of the interaction of those ideas and movements with the Christian Church. Major contributions to the development of theological concepts will be examined from Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas through Descartes. Modern philosophies, which decisively influence contemporary theology, will be introduced beginning with Kant and extending through present day issues


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: To minister effectively in today’s world, it is necessary to understand the ideas, worldviews, and intellectual currents that have shaped and are shaping both our theology and human culture in general. Accordingly, this course provides an historical orientation to the traditions of Western thought in order to provide an understanding of the relationship between Christ and culture.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: As a result of completing this course students will: 1) have increased their knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition and its relevance to Christian theology, 2) have increased their skills in critical thinking and academic writing, 3) gained confidence in their abilities to address intellectual problems, and 4) grown in appreciation for scholars whose views on the issues treated in this course differed from their own.


COURSE FORMAT: Class will meet for 30 hours over two weeks (July 30, 2012 – August 11, 2012) for discussion and commentary on primary source materials.



Allen, Diogenes and Springsted, Eric, Philosophy for Understanding Theology, 2E. Westminster/John Knox, 2007. ISBN: 0664231802 Retail: $30.

Baird, Forrest, ed. From Plato to Derrida, 6E. Prentice Hall, 2011. ISBN: 0205783864 Retail: $101.

Palmer, Donald. Looking at Philosophy: The Unbearable Heaviness of Philosophy Made Lighter. Mayfield (any edition). ISBN: 0073407488 Amazon.com Price: $47.

Downing, Crystal. How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith, Intervarsity Academic Press, 2006. ISBN: 0830827587 Retail: $19.

Occasional Handouts



1.     A 3-page Christian epistemology paper (20%)

2.     4 reading responses of approx. 500-600 words each (10%)

3.     Take home test (30%—taken by August 14)

4.     10-page analysis paper (40%—due by August 29)




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: M.Div.: PHIL; M.A.: Church History/Theology.


FINAL EXAMINATION: Yes, taken outside of class time by arrangement with Fuller Northwest office.