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Winter 2014/Fuller Live!

Colorado Springs, Pasadena, and Seattle


Willson and McConnell


DESCRIPTION: This course will expose students to both the theoretical and practical components of Evangelical approaches to interfaith dialogue, primarily focusing on Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism. As Christian mission continues to be challenged and reshaped by globalization, increasing migration, pluralism, and polarizing conflict based on religious and cultural identity, interfaith dialogue provides the mutual opportunity to develop relationship, understanding, and cooperation across cultural and religious lines while remaining consistent with a Biblical framework for witness. This course explores the necessary theological and missiological foundations for dialogue and develops critical reflections for praxis through student participation in interfaith dialogue. The course will culminate in a final paper in which students will reflect on the implications of course material for their current and future vocational contexts within the church and in society.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course, students will be able to (1) define Christian interfaith dialogue in its various expressions and articulate its range of theological, missiological, and practical goals; (2) demonstrate an understanding of Christian interfaith dialogue's relationship to the mission of God and his church; (3) demonstrate a critical engagement between the goals of dialogue and issues arising from a specific historical, cultural, and theological context; (4) demonstrate the ability to place a particular ritual practice within the theological system of a religious tradition; (5) develop a personal theological and missiological basis for dialogue and identify both possibilities and potential problems for praxis in one's own ministry context.

COURSE FORMAT: Class will meet once per week for three-hour sessions. The class combines lectures on major issues in interfaith dialogue with small group engagement centered on specific encounters.

REQUIRED READING: A minimum of 1500 pages total is achieved through reading from the required texts, the course reader (as assigned), and additional reading drawn from the bibliography. Please select your additional reading in the areas of theology and missiology. You may also read significant parts of various titles to familiarize yourself with the contents. If you have previously read any of the required texts, please select an alternative text from the recommended reading list or a book approved by the instructor.

McDermott, Gerald R. Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions? Jesus, Revelation & Religious Traditions. InterVarsity Press, 2000. ISBN: 978-0830822744, Pub. Price: $19.00 [233 pp.].

Muck, Terry and Frances S. Adeney. Christianity Encountering World Religions: The Practice of Mission in the Twenty-first Century. Baker Academic, 2009. ISBN: 978-0801026607, Pub. Price $30.00 [416 pp.].

Tennent, Timothy. Christianity at the Religious Roundtable: Evangelicalism in Conversation with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Baker Academic, 2002. ISBN: 978-0801026027, Pub. Price $26.00 [270 pp.].

William A. Dyrness. Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities. Wipf & Stock Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1620321362, Pub. Price: $18.00 [160 pp.].

Course Reader.

For those students without a background in Muslim, Latter-day Saint, and/or Jewish life and theology, selected chapters from the following texts will help supplement your knowledge of these religions. These texts are on reserve in the library.

Islamic life and thought: Chapman, Colin Gilbert. Cross and Crescent: Responding to the Challenge of Islam. InterVarsity Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0830834853, Pub. Price $18.00 [400 pp.].

Jewish life and thought: Fishman, Sylvia Barack. The Way into the Varieties of Jewishness. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 978-1580233675, Pub. Price $18.99 [262 pp.].

Latter-day Saint theology: Millet, Robert. A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Eerdmans, 2005. ISBN: 978-0802828767, Pub. Price $20.00 [226 pp.].


  1. Weekly Moodle posts on assigned readings (10% of final course grade).

  2. A comparative analysis of McDermott and Tennent (20% of final grade).

  3. Group presentation on case study (15% of final grade).

  4. Reflection paper (1000 words) on two visitations to non-Christian religious communities (15% of final grade).

  5. FINAL integration paper (3000 words) will be due by 5 p.m. on Friday of Finals week. (40% of final grade).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Elective. 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.