THE 347 Death and Rebirth (3 credits)
The course deals with the systematic theological topic of eschatology, the study of the "last thing" (eschaton), which is God or the Reign of God; and the "last things" (eschata), which are death, individual judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, the Second Coming of Christ, the resurrection of the body, general judgment, and the consummation of all things in the perfection of the Kingdom of God. The course includes a survey of traditional, (especially biblical) approaches to eschatology, but its methodology will proceed largely "from below" as an exercise in "hope seeking understanding." Thus, the course will include an ecumenical perspective, and community service in the form of care for the dying (especially hospice). Students will be expected to make critical judgments concerning cultural practices relating to care of the dying, treatment of the dead, and the acceptance of death as an event of life.