Do you want to enhance your knowledge of peace and justice from a Christlike cruciform theological perspective? Then this course is for you.
This course will explore a variety of perspectives on peace theology and social justice by drawing on examples and lessons from the Scriptures, Christian history, and real life circumstances. We will explore themes such as pacifism and nonviolence, ‘just’ peacemaking vs. just war, love of enemies, reconciliation, and inner peace, among others as they appear in various theological categories.
This course seeks to answer such questions as, What’s the connection between our theology (what we believe) and how we behave? How do the teachings, life, and example of Jesus exhibit nonviolence and what do they tell us about how we can be agents of peace? What is the peace import of Christology, Trinitarian theology, pneumatology, atonement, soteriology, ecclesiology, sacramentology, eschatology, and judgment and afterlife? How can peace and justice coexist? What is the peace import of the social justice considerations in this course? How can I incorporate a concern for social justice into my everyday life?
- Lecture 1 — Introductory Comments on Peace Theology and the Kingdom of God (46:25)
- Video Clip — Brian Zahnd: “Resisting Empire” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Stanley Hauerwas: “The System vs. The Kingdom” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "The Upside-Down Kingdom of God and the Transfiguration of Christ" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "The Kingdom of God and the Problem of Patriotism" (Huffington Post)
- Supplemental Reading — Preston Sprinkle: "The King and His Kingdom" (Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence)
- Lecture 2 – Peace in the Incarnation and Crucifixion, and Peace in the First Few Hundred Years of Christian History (58:03)
- Video Clip — James Alison: “Subversion from Within” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Greg Boyd: “Nations and Violence” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "I Am Constantine Too" (Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Should We Venerate Martyrs or Those Who Use Violence to Prevent Martyrdom?" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Violence as Anti-Sacrament" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — Preston Sprinkle: "Love Your Enemies" (Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence)
- Lecture 3 – Christology, Nonviolent Atonement, and Soteriology (25:31)
- Video Clip — Parker Palmer: “A Cruciform Way of Life” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Kelly Brown Douglas: “Crucified Realities” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Is Nonviolence Naïve? ...and other questions about Jesus' most controversial teachings" (Sojourners Magazine)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Trampling Down Death By (Our Own) Death" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — 2 Corinthians 5:21: Panel discussion with Andrew Klager, Michael Harden and Brad Jersak (Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice)
- Lecture 4 – Peace, Eschatology, and the Afterlife (29:27)
- Video Clip — Barbara Brown Taylor: “Defeating Dualism with Imagination” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — James Alison: “Undoing Wrath” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "'And this is the Judgment ...' The Divine Light of Christ (Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Being Intentional about Our Starting Point for Informing Christian Behaviour" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Violence and Our Embarrassment Over the Problem of Evil" (IRPJ Blog)
- Lecture 5 – Shane Claiborne: “How Peace and Justice are Related” (25:53)
- Video Clip — Shane Claiborne: “Jesus Disarmed Us All” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Stanley Hauerwas: “Legitimating Power and Underwriting Violence” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "The Vulnerability that Makes Peace Possible: An Interview with Stanley Hauerwas" (Huffington Post)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Bethlehem has opened Eden: come, let us see" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — "Two Mothers" poem (mentioned in Shane Claiborne's lecture)
- Lecture 6 – Peace Theology and Practical Peacebuilding (31:02)
- Video Clip — Amal Nassar: “Refuse to be Enemies” (The Work of the People)
- Video Clip — Fr. Richard Rohr: “Evoking the Harmony of Beauty” (The Work of the People)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "What Should Christians Do About the Violence in Northern Iraq?" (Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice)
- Supplemental Reading — Andrew Klager: "Non-peacebuilding and Placing the Burden of Proof on War Advocates" (IRPJ Blog)
- Supplemental Reading — Glen Stassen: "Just Peacemaking, Just War, and Pacifism"
Instructor: Andrew Klager is the Director of the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice (St. Stephen's University). He earned a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Glasgow with a focus on Anabaptist history and theology, including the 16th-c. Anabaptist peace tradition(s) and has completed continuing studies in Interfaith Conflict Resolution and Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace.
Over fourteen years, Andrew has taught 23 different courses (8 of them online) at seven different universities and colleges in BC and Alberta and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.
In addition to many presentations, published peer-review articles, and book chapters, Andrew writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice. He is also the editor of the book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Pickwick, 2015), about which Noam Chomsky wrote, "Andrew Klager's fine collection on the Mennonite way of proceeding 'from suffering to solidarity' provides a most enlightening and instructive guide to these impressive contributions, and what we can learn from them."
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you expect to get out of this course?
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- recognize and articulate the various themes in peace theology and become aware of their application in day-to-day life and to larger global challenges;
- identify and express how a peace theology is transposed into a number of theological categories, including Christology, eschatology, atonement, soteriology, ecclesiology, and sacramentology;
- evaluate the strengths and limitations of a theology of peace, while recognizing the theological appropriateness of nonviolence, peacemaking, reconciliation, and forgiveness;
- understand the broader spectrum of perspectives on peace theology, lesser and necessary evil, pacifism, love of enemies, and peacemaking;
- evaluate the general gospel narrative, trajectory, and exhortation to the Church as exhibited in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth;
- understand better the role of the inner life and one’s transformation on the commitment to love our enemies and become peacemakers;
- integrate these peace theology perspectives and resulting convictions into peacebuilding and conflict transformation in practical ways as foundational directives;
- identify forms of injustice in this world, related issues and challenges, and integrate ways to address these injustices from a Christian gospel-centred perspective;
- understand more clearly the connection and tension between peace and justice.
What is the format and length of the course?
This course has six modules with a total of 3.5+ hours of lecture material, plus other additional video and written content. Each section contains an exclusive and substantial detailed video lecture that's synchronized with a Keynote presentation ranging from over a half an hour to one full hour long and supplemental video clips from IRPJ's partner and friend, The Work of the People, that are hand-picked by the instructor. This course also includes an exclusive lecture from well-known peace activist, speaker, and author, Shane Claiborne, as well as supplemental readings provided as PDFs. The course is a completely self-paced, online course.
What materials will I need and will I have access to the lecturers?
All you will need is a computer with internet access and access to the recommended textbooks books (optional). Students can access all exclusive recorded video lectures once enroled. Unfortunately, the instructor is not available to interact or answer questions. Our suggestion would be to dialogue with a group of people going through the course, and to seek out a local practitioner.
How long do I have access to the course?
A lifetime. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like — across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.