Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Religion Courses - Fall 2019

REL106 Exploring the Bible - Eight sections (M,W, F, 10,12,1; T,Th,  9:25,10:50, 12:15, 1:40) and one section online- core: Religion
There is a reason it is a best seller -- take this class and find out why for yourself.

REL107 Exploring World Religions - Four sections in a classroom (M,W, F, 11; T,Th, 12:15; 1:40) and three sections online - core: Religion

REL109 Exploring Christian Ethics - Two sections (T,Th, 12:15 (Dr. Hovey) & 1:40 (Dr. Spaulding))  
Start thinking about the BIG ISSUES--immigration, homosexuality, justice, war, abortion, love-- in this essential class for sentient beings.

REL208 Exploring Christian Theology (T,Th: 9:25) with Dr. Hovey
An introduction to central doctrines of the Christian faith that is both respectful of classic theological traditions and open to the new voices and emphases of recent theologies.  A required course for religion majors and one of the best ways to start loving God with your mind at AU.

REL305 Advanced New Testament: Gospels - (T, Th, 10:50) with Dr. Aune
Do you want to learn more about the life of Jesus while asking critical questions raised by recent scholarship in Biblical studies? In this course we focus on the four Gospels individually (focusing on the distinctive themes, occasion, and purpose of the writings) and then alongside one another as we consider their historical reliability for studying the life of Jesus. 
Fulfills the upper-level Biblical studies requirement for the Religion major.

REL341 World Christianity, Culture, and Mission - (T,Th, 12:15) with Dr. Dickson
Dr. Dickson recently spent a semester in Kenya working with local church leaders, and she will have just been in Peru and Israel; she will have a wealth of knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm to share. Don't miss this class.

REL 375OLB Understanding Israel core: CCI with Study Away
Dr. Dickson says: take the online course, designed to prepare students for the Passages ten-day, (subsidized!!), trip to Israel over the Winter break of 2019/20. Half the course is online; half the course is in Israel. We will study the literature, history and archeology of biblical sites and discuss award-winning books about modern Israel. On the trip you will view the Dead Sea from the ruins of Masada; slosh through the waters of Hezekiah's tunnel; dance on the deck of a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee; pray in the Garden of Gethsemane; dine in the home of Orthodox Jews; explore Old Jerusalem; hear world-class lecturers-- and much more. This is a wonderful opportunity but seats are limited. Taking REL375 GUARANTEES you a seat on the bus-- so sign up today!  

REL497 Religion Thesis Seminar (M,W: 3-3:50) with Dr. Slade
Write a 30 page thesis in one semester on a (religious) subject of your choice. This is a required class for religion majors BUT it is also a great elective for everyone else.

Monday, April 1, 2019

'Last Lecture': Bonhoeffer and a New Call to Discipleship

On Monday, April 15 at 7:00pm in Room 115, Dauch College of Business and Economics on the Ashland University campus, the Religion Department will celebrate its graduating seniors, induct new members into Theta Alpha Kappa (the religion honors society) and close out the year with lecture by Mark Thiessen Nation, emeritus professor of theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and co-author of Bonhoeffer the Assassin?: Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking (Baker, 2013).

The lecture,“Bonhoeffer and a New Call to Discipleship” is free and open to the public. This is the fifth annual 'last lecture', which is an invitation for a speaker to address the graduating class of Religion majors as if it were their last time to do so.

This event is co-sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.

Public Lecture: Women and War in the Biblical Worlds

Dr. Caryn Reeder, associate professor of New Testament Religious Studies at Westmont College, will present a lecture titled “Women and War in the Biblical Worlds” on Friday, April 5, at noon in room 115 of the Dauch College of Business and Economics on the Ashland University campus. The event, which is hosted by the Ashland University Department of Religion, is free and open to the public.

Reeder received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is the author of Gendering War and Peace in the Gospel of Luke (Cambridge, 2018)  and The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond (Baker, 2012). At Westmont College, she is also co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Program and chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hovey is 2019 Visiting Human Rights Scholar at U Dayton

In April, Dr. Craig Hovey -- religion professor and director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence--will be the visiting human rights scholar at the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton. As its website explains:
The Center hosts visiting human rights researchers and advocates from around the world. These visitors bring us new and challenging perspectives on human rights and advocacy. The program gives them the time and resources to reflect on their work, write, teach and speak. The program enlivens our own human rights research and educational community, and it creates the possibility for sustained partnerships with our visitors’ academic institutions and human rights organizations.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Dr. Aune Gives Devotion (and Biblical Exegesis) to the Board

On Friday, February 1, Dr. David Aune gave the devotion at the start of Ashland University's Board of Trustees meeting to board members, faculty, students, and administrators present. He examined the phrase in “Speaking the truth in love.” (Eph 4:15). "Paul turned the noun “truth” into a verb," Aune said to the Board. "[He] takes the standard word for truth (alĂȘtheia) and puts it in an active, verbal form: Literally, 'Truthing in love.'" Aune went on to explain that "by phrasing it this way, Paul conveys the idea that truth is lived out --not just in words but also in one’s actions," and that, for Paul, there is a correspondence between love and truth.

"Our tendency is to think of truth and love as two ends of the spectrum, as if to be loving toward someone, we can’t be completely truthful. Or when we do the right and truthful thing, it may not appear loving." But for Paul, "'truthing it in love' always asks, what’s the motive for one’s actions." Paul's insight has particular relevance to the "Ashland University way," Aune contended.

"The phrase the “Ashland University way” prompts me to think of the tendency to err on the side of kindness and protect those who may have done wrong," Aune told the Board. "Is it the Ashland way to hide some truths at the expense of personal feelings. . . [and] pass over wrongs too easily.?"

To read his devotion in full - click here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mission, Intercultural Communication, and Making Friends

This semester, as part of Dr. Sue Dickson's class REL260 Short-term Mission, student are teaming up with AU's international students and practicing inter-cultural communication skills. This collaboration kicked off over lunch in the lower chapel on Tuesday (1/29) with students getting to know each other and starting to discuss a basic values assessment they will be working on together in the upcoming weeks.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Religion Class Prepared Student for Summer Mission

Abigail McMaster, an International Business and Hospitality Management major, Spanish minor, and student in the Honors Program, discovered that a religion class proved useful in her summer of mission work. Here is her account of what happened:

Abigail (center) with EM cross-cultural interns
 in Atlanta
Comfort zones are funny. They seem so confining and terrifying; however, when you step out of them and say “yes” to what God wants to use you for it opens you up to many amazing experiences. When God opened the door for me to work as a Cross-Cultural Intern with Experience Mission (EM), I had no idea what I would be stepping into. One of the fun parts of being on EM’s summer staff is that you accept your position without knowing where you will be serving. I found out that I would be serving in Atlanta, Georgia, and Harlem in New York City. When I received the email I was excited, but at the same time absolutely terrified. I am from a small town in Ohio and have attended college at AU, so big cities were not really my cup of tea. I sent a text to a friend and mentor, “I have no idea how to live in a big city, but I guess I will figure it out.”
As I found out about the demographics of the people that I would be serving, I realized that I would actually be in the racial minority for the first time in my life. During the spring semester of 2018, I had taken a class called Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. In this class, I learned that the white Christians in the 1960s really did not stand up for African Americans in their struggle for civil rights. During this class, I came to the realization that I too had been able to ignore a lot of the modern day race relations problems. This really changed how I viewed the modern day race relations. I knew that living in Atlanta and Harlem was not going to make any major changes in these issues but I did see how God had been preparing me for this move, without me knowing it.

The knowledge I learned from this class was super helpful in Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia is the birthplace of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and home of the King Center. Every Monday morning the first thing we did with our teams of high schoolers who came was to take them to the King Center. This was so that they knew more about the area that they were serving in and also more about the Civil Rights Movement. I know I appreciated these visits more because of this class. Also, the pastor of our church would often sit our teams down and talk about how to build bridges instead of walls when it came to the tough subjects of race, religion, and politics. In Harlem, one of my coworkers quickly discovered we lived across the street from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Again, we took teams there, so that they would be more educated and again, I appreciated the visit more because of this class.

I did not actually realize some of the other ways that God had prepared me to go until after I came home. I realized that God had prepared me for city street evangelism by taking me to Ashville, North Carolina on a mission trip over spring break. God prepared me for the sheer business of New York City by first letting me serve in Atlanta. I realized that my business classes could actually be helpful on the mission field as I worked on budgets. My event planning skills from working at a country club came through with the attention to detail I was able to implement into our schedules.

My summer was hard, I cried, and at times I wanted to quit. I saw things I wish I could unsee, but at the same time know that I do not want to unsee because I know it has changed me to be a better person. I know that God will use all that I experienced this summer in my future and that nothing is wasted with God. I am amazed at what God can do when we are willing to have our comfort zones shattered.