Cultural and religious rules about the body—including sexuality, bioethics, abortion, etc.—are often based on implicit assumptions about what is “natural” and what is cultural or political. What is considered “natural” or “life itself” is treated as a solid foundation for determining what is moral. But the relationship between “life itself” and the social is more complex than such arguments presume.
This advanced seminar focuses on the ways in which socio-political arrangements and practices shape life itself—not simply by exposing some to
The body changed theology. How and for what purpose? What does the role of the body reveal about the aims of contemporary theology and its relationship to ethics? This lecture course introduces Christian theology focusing on these questions. We will study theologies written from the Second World War to the present—texts that respond to state violence, economic oppression, and ecological devastation; to wrestle with the significance of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. By turning to the body, these theologies do not merely add an item to the list of themes that theology treats. They
Latina/o literary theory gives a central place to the effects of history and geo-political conditions on the production of knowledge. Therefore, Latina/o theorists begin their critical work by foregrounding the distinct contexts from which the intellectual work of Latinas/os arise and how those contexts relate to the content, language, and style of their writing. How do Latina/o writers challenge assumptions about literature and national languages? How do they understand the self, identity, race, and gender in their relation to context? What is the relationship between myth, history, and
“Hyphen-Nation” will explore the interactions of ethnicity/race, migration, and human rights in shaping twenty-first century United States, with particular attention to the past and present experiences of Latina/o, Asian American, Native American, and African American communities. Students will design case studies from the perspective of their particular disciplines to help fashion a multi-disciplinary approach to the social, cultural, and ethical processes that define nationhood.
Postmodernity has provoked critical examinations of concepts and ideas that shaped modern Western thought, such as the self, history, language, truth, ontology, and coloniality, among others. As a consequence, postmodern thought has significantly shaped critical theological studies in the twenty first century. This course engages recent theological texts that exemplify a postmodern intellectual environment—its sources, style, and themes.
This course will explore approaches to God-talk that emphasize—both in content and in style—its character as intellectual discourse as well as creative practice. It will engage various contemporary "theopoetic" and "poethics" works to theorize their understandings of the relationship between the imagination, the world, and the divine. Readings will include philosophical and theological texts, including works by Plato, Heidegger, Rubem Alves, Hélène Cixous, Paul Tillich, Amos Wilder—as well as recent works in "ecopoetics."
This seminar engages on selected works by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It focuses on the influence of Christian ideas on his work and the relationship between philosophy and theology. It also engages the works of thinkers influenced by Merleau-Ponty, including Franz Fanon, Judith Butler, and others.
This lecture course engages critically and 20th-21st Century Christian writings about the human body in dialogue with current debates including: the boundaries between the human and the non-human; definitions of sexuality, gender, and race; understandings of materiality and performativity; and discourses about health and normative forms of embodiment.