Historical Theology is an interdisciplinary project, which employs the tools and skills of historical research to examine what Anselm of Canterbury called "faith seeking understanding." Yet history, like theology, is neither monolithic in structure nor univocal in expression. This seminar will introduce students to issues and questions that dominate historiographical debate, and by extension theological discourse. We will proceed in three ways. First we will discuss the basic tools of the trade, ranging from bibliographical research to the "grunt work" of collecting the data, to the various genres of historical writing. Then, we will examine some the key philosophical and methodological questions around the construction and writing of history, with a clear eye on how this relates to nature of historical theology. Finally, practice and theory will come together as we examine a topic of common interest (such as a broad doctrinal category, or a general aspect of ecclesial life). This examination will give each student the freedom to employ a specific historical methodology on this topic, but framed in relation to each student's own confessional and ecclesial contexts. It is during this last part of the course that students will begin to formulate their major piece of writing.
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