Course Syllabus


Dr. Vial Office:  Iliff 109
Winter 2020 Phone: 303-765-3166
Office Hours:  by appointment E-mail:


Instructor: Ted Vial

Course Description

Theological work today is done in the context of the rise of the historical consciousness, a phenomenon with its roots in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. We inherit a fundamentally different worldview from the worldviews of the ancient and medieval worlds that gave rise to many of the classical Christian practices and beliefs, and different from contemporary non-western worldviews. The historical consciousness leads to a particular set of assumptions about Biblical authority, identity and subjectivity, epistemology, the relationship of individuals to communities, etc. It also leads to a particular set of assumptions about race and gender, among other categories. This class examines important texts in the development of the historical consciousness, analyzes issues raised for Christian theology and social thought, and points to some of the theological resources developed in its wake.


Required Texts

Sheila Greeve Davaney, Pragmatic Historicism:  A Theology for the Twenty-First Century (SUNY 2000)

Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (Cambridge 1996)


For Ph.D. Students (we will meet separately to discuss the additional reading):

Jonathan Sheehan, The Enlightenment Bible:  Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton 2007)


Additional required readings will be available on the course Canvas page. 

Overview and Objectives


Discussion Guidelines

Paper Guidelines


Writing Conventions

Course Summary:

Date Details Due