University of Notre Dame

Foundations of Theology: The Biblical Narrative of the Good News of the Reign of God

Course Number: THEO 13185-3
Instructor: Neil Arner

Participating in this course will prepare you to interpret the Bible as an extended narrative of the “good news” of God’s reign on earth. Each class session will allow you to explore a specific doctrinal motif that contributes to a drama spanning both the Old and the New Testaments. The primary material that you will read is the Bible itself, though you will also study the views of both ancient and contemporary Christians concerning how to interpret the Bible. During class sessions, you will closely analyze the reading assignments by responding to guiding questions posed by the professor. We will venture outside the classroom for one-third of the sessions in order to consider the diverse ways in which Christians perceive the reign of God being manifested in the world today. The major writing assignments will allow you to practice discerning and interpreting inter-testamental connections within the Bible. The professor will provide preliminary advice and subsequent feedback on both your writing projects and your contributions to seminar discussions. Many previous students report that their hard work in this course enabled them to write more clearly, to articulate the “big picture” of the biblical story, and to utilize theological terms in a manner consistent with the biblical witness.