THE 440: Christian Hope and the World’s Future

St. John’s University, Queens Campus, Spring 2012

Section 15419: Tue 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Dr. Matthew Sutton

(originally taught by Dr. Raymond Bulman now on medical leave)

Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology

Office: St. John’s University, Queens Campus, SJH B20–27

Student Hours: 1:00pm – 2:30pm Tue and Fri, or by appointment

718.990.5052 | suttonm[at]stjohns[dot]edu | | @doctorsutton

Graduate Bulletin: “A study of contemporary theological reflection on the ultimate destiny of humanity and of the world. The major symbols of Christianity are reexamined in the light of critical biblical and historical studies. Credit: 3 semester hours.

This course provides the graduate student with a theological mastery of Eschatology in relation to other major theological loci of Christian Systematic Theology. While the students will deepen their understanding of the foundational biblical and historical eschatologies, they will also come to understand several current and significant eschatologies that have emerged within the last decades of the twentieth century. The student will also be engaged in Comparative Eschatology throughout the semester as we examine major Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Eschatologies and place them in constructive, ecumenical, theological dialogue.

After exploring some important Eschatologies, we will explore the continued development of Mariology, spending significant time thinking about Mariology in the Post-Modern Age through your papers and presentations.

By the conclusion of the course, the student should be able:

  • to articulate in writing and speaking a knowledge of significant theologies of the End of Time and Theologies of Christian Hope
  • to analyze critically scripture and other theological texts pertaining to Eschatology
  • to interact Eschatology with other major theological loci and develop consistency of theological thinking
  • to express the similarities and differences of several Eschatologies to develop constructive, ecumenical, theological dialogue

Course Texts: Required:

  • Bible, must be an appropriate translation for academic work, such as RSV, NRSV, NAB, NIV, NKJV. (recommended translation: The Ignatius Bible (RSVCE [Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition]). Second Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007.) If you have questions about your translation, please see me. Paperback, Hardcover, or Ebook.
  • Kelly, Anthony. Eschatology and Hope. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006.
  • Bulman, Raymond. The Lure of the Millennium. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999.
  • Benedict XVI. Spe Salvi: On Christian Hope. Online
  • Ratzinger, Joseph. Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life. Selection to be given in class.
  • Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation. Revised Edition: Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999. Selection to be given in class.
  • Kurz, S.J., William. What Does the Bible Say about the End Times? A Catholic View. Cincinnati, OH: Servant Books, 2004. Selection to be given in class.

Learning Assessment:

  • Class Participation: active engagement (questioning, answering, discussing)
  • Short Term Paper or Book Review (5-6 pages) - due April 16
  • Final Take Home Exam - due May 14
  • Final Report (oral) - due May 14

Grading Scale:

A = 100 – 93 points (100 – 93%) A- = 92 – 90 points (92 – 90 %) B+ = 89 – 87 points (89 – 87%) B = 86 – 83 points (86 – 83%) B- = 82 – 80 points (82 – 80%) C+ = 79 – 77 points (79 – 77%) C = 76 – 73 points (76 – 73%) C- = 72 – 70 points (72 – 70%) D+ = 69 – 67 points (69 – 67%) D = 66 – 60 points (66 – 60%) F = 59 – 0 points (59 – 0%)

We are at our best when:

  • We act with Academic Integrity, which means no plagiarism, no cheating, no damaging of other people’s work, and no assisting someone’s dishonesty. Plagiarism is the act of appropriating and using the ideas, writings, or works of original expressions of another person as your own without giving credit to the person who created it. I will follow the university’s procedure for plagiarism and discipline to the highest extent allowable by this procedure, which can include an “F” for this course and the act of plagiarism noted in your academic file. Any further offences entail suspension or expulsion. You need to read the libraries’ web page on proper citation:

  • We are Actively Engaged with each other. As a student, you must attend class regularly, attentively, and promptly with readings and assignments completed. As a professor, I must be available to you outside of class for encouraging, listening, and guiding so that you can excel in your education.

  • Regular and prompt attendance is expected of all students. You are responsible for everything said in class even if you are unable to attend. We attend prepared for all class meetings.

  • We do not use any Digital Devices during class time such as cell phones, text messaging, mp3 players, or laptops unless the professor gives clear approval.

  • We complete our assignments promptly as directed by the professor. Even if you are absent, you are still responsible for turning in your assignments as directed. If your assignment is late, your grade for that assignment will be lowered by at least 10%. Your grade will be lowered more the later the assignment.

  • We strive above all for Excellence without Excuses.