Fall 2021 Course Descriptions 


Duke Divinity has a diverse selection of courses available.
Below are the courses designed into the DITA Certificate for this term.



XTIANTHE 773 “Introduction to Theology and the Arts” – Daniel Train

This course aims to provide an introduction to the ways in which theology can enrich and be enriched by the arts. Covering a wide range -including literature, painting, film, music and drama -it seeks to show how central theological doctrines can transform the way we perceive and make art, and how the arts in turn can deepen our understanding of some of the central tenets of the Christian faith.



LTS 830 “Survey of Christian Hymnody” — Zebulon Highben
This course studies the significance and evolution of Christian hymnody. Attention will be given to both the textual and musical aspects of hymns, and how their interaction influences theological content and faith formation. Various historical and contemporary repertoires of hymnody will be studied. Working
collaboratively and guided by the instructor, students will employ their developing knowledge of hymnic structure to craft a new hymn—either text, tune, or both.

XTIANTHE 890.01: “Reform and Revolution: John Milton in Christian Tradition” – David Aers
This is a class in Historical Theology, but it is a somewhat unusual one. How and why? It is unusual in that we will be working across poetry, theology, politics, and ethics as well as crossing widely diverse genres. It may also be unusual in that while our inquiries will certainly be diachronic, seeking to understand how Christian tradition works in changing, profoundly contested circumstances (such as the English Civil Wars), it will be shaped by some of my own convictions about grand narratives (or in their less grand form, surveys of theological and intellectual history).

XTIANTHE 890.02 “Visual Art as Theology” – Johnathan Anderson
This is a course in visual theology, exploring the history of Christian art as a domain of Christian theological thinking through the centuries. Our approach will be to study works of visual art not as illustrating or translating theological texts into visual form but as theological “texts” in their own right— as theology conducted specifically in visual and spatial modes of thinking, amidst and alongside written and verbal theologies. The aim of this course is to learn how to “read” this kind of theology well, in partnership with our reading of other theological texts and commentaries, exploring and experimenting with how visual theology works as theology and how it might contribute to other modes and domains of theological study.

XTIANTHE 852: Modern Theological Anthropology I: Pascal – Thomas Pfau
Modern Lay Writers of the Strict Observance – 1: The Controversialists: Pascal / Kierkegaard: The first of a series of seminars of modern lay theologians, writers, and intellectuals who between 1840 and 1990 seek to reclaim Christianity as a transformative force against its bourgeois trivialization and/or instrumentalization by competing revolutionary and reactionary (secular) ideologies. Seminars will typically juxtapose two (at most three) figures. Following the first seminar on Pascal and Kierkegaard will be others: 2) “The Prophet: Late Dostoevsky (w. Solovyov and Bulgakov)” – 3) “The Rigorists: Charles Péguy & Simone Weil” – 4) “The Mystics: Late T. S. Eliot and Georges Bernanos” – 5) “The Explorers: Czeslaw Milosz and Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II”