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Bethany Offers Course at University of La Verne

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Bethany Seminary will offer a weekend intensive class on public theologies at the University of La Verne this coming fall semester. Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture, will be teaching his popular graduate course, The Peace of the City and the Quest for Public Theologies.

“I am excited about the University of La Verne hosting this course,” said Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Seminary. “As Bethany seeks to serve the entire denomination and build deeper ecumenical partnerships with students in different geographical locations, hosting a class on the West Coast offers a new opportunity to extend Bethany’s reach. I am thankful to Professor Holland for his willingness to travel and hope his presence, especially among a growing community of new Anabaptist scholars and students, might inspire lively conversations of faith and living.”

Scott HollandAs a theologian of culture, Holland reminds his students that religion may begin in solitude, but as we are social creatures, our lives are public. Thus, biblical religion reminds us that our faith is always embodied in ethical and aesthetic engagements with culture, inviting public reflection. This course will explore how a variety of public proposals for religion or theology might contribute to or inhibit what prophetic religion has called the peace or welfare of the city. Class topics include Anabaptist and ecumenical views of church and society, the theocratic terrors of groups like Boko Haram, and how current proposals for theopoetics and theopolitics might aid in social transformation and seeking cultures of peace.

The class will be conducted during three weekends: September 12-13, October 10-11, and November 14-15. Interested persons may either take the course for credit or audit the course. For all students, the application deadline for the fall 2014 semester is July 15. Contact Tracy Primozich, director of admissions, at primotr@bethanyseminary.edu for enrollment information. For additional information on the course itself, contact Holland at hollasc@bethanyseminary.edu.

Nan Erbaugh
Emphasis in Peace Studies '08

NanBethany taught me so much. I didn't realize what a loner I had really been all my life until I opened myself to life within the Bethany community. I felt stretched, pushed, and affirmed in amazing, helpful ways. The importance of a close, supportive community cannot be overestimated, especially in light of the challenges faced living out the peace witness to which I feel called. At Bethany, I gained more courage to step into this crucial niche of the Church of the Brethren. Add the grounded, spiritual theological foundation and academic depth I gained through course work, and I feel transformed in a powerful, positive way to serve God.