II. The Minor in Comparative Theology in the PhD Program:
The Area also offers a Minor intended to enhance other major programmatic concentrations. This minor complements and interrelates with the other major doctoral concentrations (Bible, Ethics, Church History, Systematics) and also the minor concentration in Pastoral Theology. Students pursuing a minor in CT will thereby enrich their major concentration by reflexive study of analogous area(s) in one (or more) other religious traditions, contextualizing this focused study historically and communally within those other traditions.
Students who wish to minor in CT must officially declare their intent to do so by the end of the first year of the PhD program. They must at that time seek a CT advisor who will help them prepare for the comprehensive examination.
The Minor requires a minimum of four courses, which are to be identified in consultation with the student's Minor advisor: the range of appropriate courses includes courses specifically on the theory and practice of Comparative Theology, Theology of Religions, Missiology, and particular religious traditions.
a. Preparing for the examination
The reading list for the examination will be prepared by the student in consultation with her or his advisor, and circulated to the other faculty in the Area for comment and possible revision. This list must be submitted no less than six months before the intended exam date. A selection of suggested texts relevant to the theory of Comparative Theology is posted here.
The question for the examination is described below; the student is encouraged to discuss possible approaches to it with his or her advisor and even with other faculty members.
Comprehensives are taken at the regular times available for PhD students.
b. The question for the written examination
The student will write a single essay comprised of the following four aspects. (Time: 3-4 hours)
i. An exposition of a major theological theme in a non-Christian tradition, contextualized within the greater world of that tradition;
ii. A comparative study of that same theological theme, drawing on both the non-Christian tradition studied in i. and the Christian tradition;
iii. An explanation of how the materials handled in i. and ii. shed light on some aspect of Christian theology, particularly in relation to the student's major Area of focus in theology.
iv. A statement making clear the student's understanding of Comparative Theology as practiced in the other parts of the essay developed according to i., ii., and iii.
The student may take up these four aspects in any order.
c. The oral examination
The written materials for this Minor will be subject to the usual oral examination along with the rest of the written materials for the comprehensives.