This course examines the approach to and doctrinal teaching of the Eastern Church (focusing especially on Eastern Orthodoxy) and the spiritual practices that arise from and support them. The Eastern Church’s spiritual traditions offer a strikingly different entrance into the Christian faith and journey within it than we are familiar with in the Western Christianity in which almost all of us have been raised and trained. This course offers the opportunity to be challenged and enriched by a strikingly “other” Christianity and the way it articulates and practices the faith. As part of the course, we will attend the Pan-Orthodox “Sunday of Orthodoxy” service in an Orthodox church here in Hamilton and participate in the Lenten supper which follows it (provided the service is held; it has not been held the past three years).
- to acquaint students with the approach to and emphases of Eastern Christian doctrinal teaching
- to familiarize students with and enable them to appreciate some of the spiritual practices of the Eastern Church
- to stimulate an appreciation in students for a quite different approach to Christianity than they have previously encountered
- to develop a sense of sharing Christian faith with others who hold quite different perspectives
- to help students acquire the ability to enter into and articulate distinctively Eastern Christian doctrinal and spiritual perspectives in a responsible fashion “from the inside”