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The Rev. Dr. Kristin Johnston Largen
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

 

 
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2.406 The Lutheran Confessions

                                                             Fall 2011

 

Instructors:       Maria Erling  merling@ltsg.edu  

Kristin Johnston Largen  klargen@ltsg.edu

Office hours:   by appointment

 

Rationale and description of the course:

This course explores the Lutheran confessional texts included in the Book of Concord as a witness to the gospel and guidance for faith and life. From their contents, especially the Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Catechisms, the course will define and describe the main themes of Lutheran theology and spirituality.  First-hand reading of the documents and learning about their history, context, and content will give students an appreciation of the historical foundations of Lutheran theology as well as perspectives for critical reflection on the role of the Confessions in today’s ecumenical context.

 

Outcomes:

Students will learn:

*To describe the history and main contributions of each book to the development of the Lutheran Tradition

*To articulate the basic principles of Lutheran theology expressed in the BoC

*To interpret contemporary Lutheran theology in light of the history and theology expressed in the BoC

*To recognize and understand the different levels of authority that the Book of Concord has had for different churches throughout Lutheran History

*To think theologically, historically, inclusively, critically and ecumenically about the Lutheran Tradition 

*To demonstrate an ability to reason from the BoC in order to address contemporary issues in public ministry

 

 

 

Strategies, texts, and assignments:

Throughout this course, lectures on the history, composition, and primary contributions of each document within the BoC are interspersed with lectures on specific theological topics related to each document.  In all the lectures and discussions we strive  to develop and articulate the connections between  the individual documents and the BoC  as a whole, the way in which the various theological themes are expressed in the different documents throughout the book, and finally, the way those themes are interpreted and lived out today, in the contemporary context. 

 

Required Reading:

The Book of Concord, eds. Timothy Wengert and Robert Kolb.

The Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions. Günther Gassmann and

                Scott  Hendrix. 

Extra texts as assigned and posted on the course website

 

Recommended Reading:

Timothy Wengert, A Formula for Parish Practice

 

Background reading on Luther, for those who forgot what the Reformation was about:

Carter Lindberg, European Reformations

Heiko Oberman, Luther, Man between God and the Devil

Timothy Lull, ed., Martin Luther’s Basic Writings

Kirsi Stjerna, No Greater Jewel:  Thinking about Baptism with Luther

 

 

Discussion Groups:

Students are expected to do the weekly readings and participate in class discussion joyfully.  Class discussions will be both in small & large group format.

 

Text Responses:

Each student will be asked to write a 1-2 page reflection paper on one question that will be discussed in small groups on the days listed in the syllabus.  The questions will be posted on Blackboard one week prior to the discussion date.  These papers will form the basis of the discussion, and they will be turned into the instructors at the end of the session. These response papers should be used to gauge one’s knowledge of the material.

 

Midterm Exam:

There will be a midterm take-home exam distributed on October 12th, which will be due to the instructors on October 19th.   

 

Final Exam:

The final exam will be given in two parts:  an in-class closed book exam, given on the penultimate day of class; and a take-home exam, distributed on the penultimate day of class and due back on the final day of class. 

 

Assessment:

          Discussion Group Responses: 20% [2 x 10% each]

            Midterm exam:  30%

            Take-home final:  40%

            Class attendance & participation: 10%

 

The student is responsible for observing the deadlines and instructions for all assignments. Late work may or may not be accepted, according to the instructors’ discretion.

 

Principles of inclusivity: In this class, and in this seminary, we respect the rules of inclusivity, as stated in the academic catalog, pages 13-14.  Please note that written work that does not conform to these standards will be returned for a re-write; and in the classroom, we will practice referring to both human beings and God in ways that are respectful of personhood and inclusive in terms of gender, race and class.

 

*A word about laptop computers:  The use of a laptop in the classroom is a privilege, not a right, and this privilege can be revoked at any time during the semester by the instructor, if any student is found to be using his/her computer for personal business.  Such action is a distraction to the class, and disrespectful both to the instructor and one’s classmates:  forewarned is forearmed!

Course Schedule:

 

September 13th                   Introductions & Syllabus

Prologomena:  Creeds, Confessions, BoC

Assignment:  Skim chapters 1 & 2 in G&H, read chapter 3

                                Read the introductory matter & the Creeds in BoC

                                Read Belhar Confession [on course website]

 

September 20th                   Small Catechism

Assignment:  Read the SC in the BoC

 

 

September 27th                   Large Catechism

Assignment:  Read the LC in the BoC

 

                                 

October 4th               Large Catechism

Assignment:  Review the LC in the BoC

                                First Response Paper Due!!!

 

October 11th                       CA

Class in Valentine Auditorium today!!  [Board meeting]

Assignment:  Read the Augsburg Confession in the BoC

                                Read chapter 4 in G&H

                                Read JDDJ, posted on course website

 

 

October 18th                       No Classes—Reading Days

 

 

 

October 25th                       CA

Assignment:  Review the CA , and read the Apology, article 4

                                Read chapter 5a in G&H [up to page 122]

                                Midterm exam handed out in class [due Nov. 1st]

                  

 

November 1st                        CA—Apology

Assignment:  Read articles 23, 24, & 27 in the Apology

                                Read chapter 5b in G&H [from p. 122 to the end of the chapter]

                                          Midterm exam due;

put ONE hard copy of your exam in Dr. Largen’s box

 

 

                  

November 8th                        The Smalcald Articles  &

The Treatise on the Power &

Primacy of the Pope

Assignment:  Chapter 6 in G&H

 

         

 

November 15th                     Formula of Concord 

Assignment:  Articles 1-4, Formula of Concord in BoC

[read Epitome, skim Solid Declaration]

                                Second Response Paper Due!!!

 

 

 

 

November 22nd                              Ongoing Disputes  [KKL at AAR]

Assignment:  Chapter 6 in G&H

 

 

November 29th                     Formula of Concord

Assignment:  Articles 5-8, Formula of Concord in BoC

[read Epitome, skim Solid Declaration]                     

         

 

 

December 6th                        Formula of Concord

Assignment:  Articles 9-12, Formula of Concord in BoC

[read Epitome, skim Solid Declaration]

 

 

 

December 13th                     The Confessions and Confessionalism

                                                in Lutheran History

Assignment:    Final Exam part 1:  in-class closed book exam

Final Exam part 2:  take-home exam handed out

 

 

December 20th                     Contemporary Disputes in the

Global Lutheran Communion

Assignment:  Chapter 7 in G&H

                                Final Exam part 2 due!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

                                 Reformation History and Theology

Bagchi, David and David C. Steinmetz, The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (2004).

 

Greaves, Richard, ed.  Triumph over Silence, Women in Protestant History  (1985).

               

Hsia, R. P-chia, Cambridge History of Christianity, Vol. 6, Reform and Expansion 1500-1660 (2007).

 

Hendrix, Scott, Luther and the Papacy: Stages in a Reformation Conflict1 (1981).

 

Hendrix, Scott, Recultivating the Vineyard: The Reformation Agendas of Christianization. (2005).

 

Lindberg, Carter, The Reformation Theologians (2002).

 

Lindberg, Carter, The European Reformations (1996).

 

Lindberg, Carter, The European Reformations Sourcebook (2000).

 

McKim, Donald, The Cambridge Companion to Luther (2003).

 

Obermann, Heiko, Luther, Man between God and the Devil (1982).

 

Ozment, Steven, Protestants. The Birth of a Revolution (1993).

 

Stjerna, Kirsi.  Women & the Reformation (2008).

 

 

 

 

                                                 The Lutheran Confessions

 

Arand, Charles. Testing the Boundaries: Windows to Lutheran Identity (2000).

 

Cranz, F. Edward, An Essay on the Development of Luther’s Thought on Justice, Law, and Society, ed. G. Christianson and T. M. Izbicki; Intro. by Scott Hendrix (1998).

 

Daniel, David B., Charles Arand. Bibliography of the Lutheran Confessions (1988).

 

Fagerberg, Holsten, A New Look at the Lutheran Confessions 1529-1537 (1972).

 

Forde, Gerhard, Justification by Faith: A Matter of Death and Life (1982).

 

Grane, Leif, The Augsburg Confession (1987).

 

Gritsch, Eric and Robert Jenson, Lutheranism: The Theological Movement and its Confessional Writings (1976).

 

Kolb, Robert, Confessing the Faith: Reformers Define the Church, 1530-1580 (1991).

 

Lohse, Bernhard, Martin Luther’s Theology (1999).

Maurer, Wilhelm, Historical Commentary on the Augsburg Confession (1986).

 

Mildenberger, Friedrich, Theology of the Lutheran Confessions (1983).

 

Noll, Mark, ed., Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation (1997).

 

Schlink, Edmund, Theology of the Lutheran Confessions (1961).

 

Sources and Contexts of the Book of Concord, ed. Robert Kolb and James Nestigen (2001).

 

Wengert, Timothy, Formula for Parish Practice. Using the Formula of Concord in Congregations (2006).

 

450 Anniversary of Augsburg Confession (1980)

 

Descriptive Report

2.406-03  Luther & the Lutheran Confessions

Fall  2011

 

STUDENT:_________________________________________

 

Course Objectives

Failure

 

   Basic/ Marginal

  Good

   Superior

To describe the history and main contributions of each book to the development of the Lutheran Tradition

 

 

 

 

To articulate the basic principles of Lutheran theology expressed in the BoC

 

 

 

 

To recognize and understand the different levels of authority that the Book of Concord has had for different churches throughout Lutheran History

 

 

 

 

To interpret contemporary Lutheran theology in light of the history and theology expressed in the BoC

 

 

 

 

To think theologically, historically, inclusively, critically and ecumenically about the Lutheran Tradition 

 

 

 

 

To demonstrate an ability to reason from the BoC in order to address contemporary issues in public ministry

 

 

 

 

 

Comments:

 

 

 

 

Final Course Grade:________                            Date:_______

Instructors:_____________________      _________________________



 

 

 

 

 


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