Bard College Catalogue 2017-18
FacultySusan Aberth, Nicole Caso, and Bruce Chilton (coordinators), Daniel Berthold, Katherine M. Boivin, Richard H. Davis, Karen Sullivan
OverviewThe Theology concentration enables participants to explore new directions that have emerged since the removal of theology as a dogmatic discipline from most liberal arts curricula. The focus is on how the divine or ultimate is conceived. Two principal approaches to that issue may be combined. The first approach is referential; it begins with the evaluation of texts, works of art, or other aspects of human production that claim to express the meaning and purpose of experience. The second approach is constructive; it involves the investigator in an analysis aimed at evaluating or contributing to religious discourse. While the critical study of religion is designed to describe and analyze religious systems within their historical settings, theology’s purpose is to engage what these systems claim to refer to. The ethical, political, literary, and cultural are all contexts in which theological elements may be significant.
RequirementsThe principal issues of theology demand competence in several disciplines. For that reason, the Theology concentration involves courses from every division and competence (in the form of Moderation) in a discipline. Moderation in Theology is to be associated with Moderation in another discipline or disciplines. By Moderation, a student should have taken three theology courses. In addition to the Senior Project, theology students should complete four cross-listed theology courses from at least two divisions. The board for Moderation and the Senior Project must include at least one member of the Theology faculty. During the semester of Moderation, students who wish to concentrate in theology are to participate in a seminar, which the concentration coordinator arranges.