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Intelligent Design
God, Evolution, Intelligent Design and Dover, PA: A Practical Theology

3.5J06-2  God, Evolution, Intelligent Design and Dover, PA: A Practical Theology        

J-term, January, 2006

Prof. Leonard M. Hummel
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
Gettysburg, PA  17325

Office: Wentz Library, Room 317;
Office Phone: 717-338-3000, *2157; Home Phone: 717-337-0340

email address: lhummel@ltsg.edu

Rationale:

            Throughout history, the relationship between science and religion has been characterized by some as warlike and by others as peaceable.  In recent times and especially in the United States, controversy has erupted about whether IDT (Intelligent Design Theory) is a scientific theory and also if it has any place in public higher education.  One site of this controversy has been Dover, PA.

            The field of practical theology attempts to bring recommendations for wise and faithful existence to bear on a number of social phenomena such as this recent controversy and to larger questions concerning the science and religion.

Objectives:
In this course, we will explore questions regarding the relationship of religion and science, and the implications of that relationship for contemporary ministry as they are reflected in current controversies about God, Evolution, and Intelligent Design in Dover, PA.  Accordingly, the objectives of this course are for students

        To investigate the historical, social, political, and philosophical issues operative in discussions about science and religion, and more recent controversies surrounding Intelligent Design and Evolution

        To utilize theological resources (e.g. Biblical, Historical and Systematic Theology) to assess these discussions and controversies

        To begin to develop a practical theology about the relationship between science and religion in general and the controversies around evolution and intelligent design in particular

 Strategies:
Through relevant readings, through discussion of those readings, through various in-class panels and presentations, and through the completion of projects regarding God, Evolution, Intelligent Design, students will develop a practical theology in response to this controversy.

Course Requirements:

Regular Attendance and Participation in Classroom: all enrolled students, whether auditing the course or taking it for credit, are expected to attend every session.  Those who miss more than one will be dismissed.  

Final Project: an eight to ten page paper presenting some aspect of a practical theology of evolution and intelligent design.  Most papers will fall roughly into one of three categories: (1) Papers examining some aspect of the phenomenon of public controversy regarding God, Evolution and Intelligent Design---either in Dover, PA or elsewhere in the world; (2) Papers examining some aspect of the theological and philosophical investigations into Evolution and Intelligent Design; (3) Papers which make some proposal for wise and faithful ecclesial existence given the current controversy. 

Class Schedule:  January 17-19 1:00-3:40 p.m.; 7-9:40 P.M.

January 17th

Session One, 1:00-3:40 p.m.

Dr. Steven James, Associate Professor of Biology, Gettysburg College. “A Scientist Looks at the Fundamentals of Evolution”

Introduction to the Course
Introduction to Practical Theological Method

Session Two, 7-9:40 P.M.

Review of Assigned Readings:

            George L. Murphy, The Cosmos in Light of the Cross (Harrisburg, PA.: Trinity             Press International, 2003).

            Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett, Evolution: From Creation to New Creation:   Conflict, Conversation, and Convergence, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003).

January 18th

Session Three, 1:00-3:40 p.m.

“I Love to Tell the Story: A Practical and Public Theology of Evolution and Intelligent Design in Dover, PA”  Rev. Dr. Warren Eshbach, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

Session Two, 7-9:40 P.M.

“Evolution and Intelligent Design: A Perspective From One Evangelical Christian” Edward B. Davis, Professor of History of Science, Messiah College, Grantham, PA.

        Readings:
Phillip E. Johnson, "The Wedge: Breaking the Modernist Monopoly on
Science." Touchstone Magazine (July/August 1999): 25-28.
(http://www.touchstonemag.com/docs/issues/12.4docs/12-4pg18.html)
Nancy Pearcy, "Design & the Discriminating Public."
(http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/pearcey/np_touchstone0899.htm)
William Dembski, "The Intelligent Design Movement."
(http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=121)
Edward B. Davis, "Debating Darwin: The Intelligent Design Movement."
(http://home.messiah.edu/~TDAVIS/gaps.htm)
John Wilson, "Unintelligent Debate: It's Time to Cool the Rhetoric in
the Intelligent Design Dispute."
(http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/009/24.62.html)
Edward T. Oakes, "Newman, Yes; Paley, No."
(http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0101/reviews/oakes.html)                                                                     

Discussion of Student Proposed Projects

January 19th

Session Five, 1:00-3:40 p.m.

“Pastoral Leadership and Pastoral Care in the Midst of Controversy” A Panel discussion with some Dover Clergy

Continued Discussion of Student Proposed Projects

Session Six, 7-9:40 P.M.

“The Peaceable Kingdom?: Whence and Whither Dover, PA?”  A Panel Discussion with some Civil and Educational Leaders in Dover

Reading: http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf 

Continued Discussion of Student Proposed Projects

Concluding Remarks

 

Evaluation:
Regular Attendance and Participation in Classroom
: 70 Percent of Final Grade

Final Project: An eight to ten page paper on one of the following: (1) an theological analysis of some topic or area within the Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate; (2) a practical theological analysis of some phenomenon/issue within the Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate.  30 Percent of Final Grade

Readings:

Michael Behe and William Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, (Downers Grove: IL.: Intervarsity Press, 1998).

Don S. Browning, A Fundamental Practical Theology: Descriptive and Strategic Proposals, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991).

John Haught, God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999).

James B. Miller, ed., An Evolving Dialogue: Theological and Scientific Perspectives on Evolution (Harrisburg, PA.: Trinity International Press, 2001).

George L. Murphy, The Cosmos in Light of the Cross (Harrisburg, PA.: Trinity Press International, 2003).

Robert Pennock, ed., Intelligent Design Creationism and its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives (Cambridge, MA.,: MIT Press, 2001).

Ted Peters and Martinez Hewlett, Evolution: From Creation to New Creation: Conflict, Conversation, and Convergence (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003).

David Wilcox, God and Evolution: A Faith-Based Understanding (Valley Forge, PA.: Judson Press, 2004).