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Winter 2014/Seattle




DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to the central Christian doctrines of the person and work of Jesus Christ and from a biblical, historical, and systematic perspective. Topics include the doctrine of divine election, the covenant of grace, the incarnation, the two natures of Christ, and the mediation of Christ, as well as the doctrines of sin, atonement, regeneration, repentance, faith, justification, sanctification, and the Holy Spirit. This will include not only christological, but also pneumatological and trinitarian perspectives on the reconciling work of God. We will consider the biblical basis and historical development of these doctrines, as well as their systematic inter-relatedness and their place in contemporary contextual and ecumenical conversations.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: An essential part of preparation for Christian ministry is to learn to think theologically through issues of faith and doctrine, including the identity of Jesus Christ and his saving work, and the enduring relevance of these for contemporary living.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students completing this course will have demonstrated: (1) a basic understanding of issues in their traditional and contemporary expressions; (2) an ability to reflect theologically upon the course topics; (3) skills towards developing their own theology in critical dialogue with various views; (4) an acquaintance with a range of cultural and contextual matters that shape our understanding of theological issues; (5) an appreciation of ecumenical and cultural diversity.

COURSE FORMAT: This class will meet three hours weekly for ten weeks, for a total of 30 hours. Content will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and other teaching methods as appropriate.


Kärkkäinen, V.-M. Christ and Reconciliation. Vol. 1 in Constructive Christian Theology for the Church in the Pluralistic World. Eerdmans, 2013. ISBN: 978-0802868534, Pub. price $40.00 [467 pp.].

Lane, A. N. S. Justification by Faith in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue: An Evangelical Assessment. T&T Clark, 2006. ISBN: 978-0567040046, Pub. price $70.00 [284 pp.].

Bloesch, D. G. The Holy Spirit: Works and Gifts. InterVarsity, 2000. ISBN: 978-0830827558, Pub. price $20.00 [415 pp.].

Other selected readings to be made available weekly (via e-Reserves), including selections from Cyril of Alexandria, Augustine, Anselm of Canterbury, M. Luther, F. Schleiermacher, K. Barth, and others.

A text on a special topic (choose ONE), or a text of your choice to be approved by the professor:

Adams, M. M. Christ and Horrors: The Coherence of Christology. Cambridge University, 2006. ISBN: 978-0521686006, Pub. price: $43.00 [344 pp.].

Boersma, H. Violence, Hospitality and the Cross. Baker Academic, 2006. ISBN: 978-0801031335, Pub. price $28.00 [288 pp.].

Boff, L. Jesus Christ Liberator: A Critical Christology for Our Time. Orbis, 1978. ISBN: 978-0883442364, Pub. price $35.00 [335 pp.].

Cone, J. H. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Orbis, 2013. ISBN: 978-1626980051, Pub. price $24.00 [224 pp.].

Green, J. B. and M. D. Baker. Recovering the Scandal of the Cross. InterVarsity, 2000. ISBN: 978-0830815715, Pub. price $17.00 [232 pp.].

Greene, C. J. D. Christology in Cultural Perspective: Marking Out the Horizons. Eerdmans, 2004. ISBN: 978-0802827920, Pub. price $36.00 [386 pp.].

Küster, V. The Many Faces of Jesus: An Intercultural Christology. Orbis, 2001. ISBN: 978-1570753541, Pub. price $29.00 [250 pp.].

Schüssler Fiorenza, E. Jesus: Miriam’s Child, Sophia’s Prophet: Critical Issues in Feminist Christology. Continuum, 1994. ISBN: 978-0826408587, Pub. price $49.95 [274 pp.].

Sobrino, J. Jesus the Liberator. Orbis, 2004. ISBN: 978-0883449301, Pub. price: $34.00 [308 pp.].

Weaver, J. D. The Nonviolent Atonement. 2nd ed. Eerdmans, 2011. ISBN: 978-0802864376, Pub. price $28.00 [362 pp.].


  1. Class attendance and participation, including student-led discussion of reading assignments (10%);

  2. Approximately 1,250 pages of required reading and the completion of five 3-page critical responses (25%);

  3. One 5- to 7-page critical engagement with a book chosen from the above list of special topics (25%);

  4. One 10- to 15-page research paper on a topic to be approved by the professor (40%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Systematic Theology "B" (STB).


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.