TH7391, Theological Capstone Seminar: Eschatology

St. Mary’s University
Spring 2019
Dr. Todd Hanneken (EMAIL)

Jump to date: January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 2/5, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

January 15, 2019, Week 1 – Introductions

Introductions (HTML)
Syllabus (HTML)

Topic overview (HTML)


Sesame Street (1983) version of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (7 minutes, 16 MB, MP4)

Jeopardy! (2010) The Greek Underworld (1 minute, 3 MB, MP4)

January 22, 2019, Week 2 – Ancient neighbors

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (HTML)

Ancient Greece and Rome (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

January 29, 2019, Week 3 – Hebrew Bible and Old Testament

Hebrew Bible (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

Old Testament (HTML)

February 5, 2019, Week 4 – Qumran and Apocalypses

Dead Sea Scrolls
Study guide (PDF)

1 Enoch (HTML)

February 12, 2019, Week 5 – NT Epistles and Gospels

New Testament Epistles (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

New Testament Gospels (HTML)

February 19, 2019, Week 6 – Apocalypse of John

Hour One (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

Hour Two

February 26, 2019, Week 7 – Apocalypses of Ezra and Peter

Apocalypse of Peter (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

4 Ezra (HTML)

March 2 and 5, 2019, Week 8 – Theology Day and follow up

Since Theology Day will occupy your Saturday and impact the time you would otherwise have spent preparing for class, we will not have new texts or a student leader on March 5. Please do take an hour or so to review your notes from the first half of class. We can talk about any questions you may have. In particular, please be prepared to discuss:

  1. One idea or theme that you really got—something that makes sense and will be useful in pulling the program together or your plans for work after graduation.
  2. One term, topic, or issue that still hasn’t clicked—something that seems like it is important and you should know, but doesn’t yet make sense or seem like anyone cares.

We will also look ahead to the second half of the course, particularly what you will need to start thinking about the topic for the second class meeting you will lead. It would be good to reflect on what techniques used by student leaders in the first half of the course you found particularly helpful to learning and discussion.

In the second half of the course we will be spending more time with McDowell and Kirkland. The primary perspective of the authors is one of systematic theology, but they also situate scripture into their categories. Reading their brief summaries of material we already covered in greater depth should serve as a handy review, and also give us a feel for their perspective.

Mid-course review (HTML)

(Spring break week of March 12, 2019)

March 19, 2019, Week 9 – Irenaeus and Augustine

Irenaeus (HTML)

Study guide (PDF)

March 26, 2019, Week 10 – Judaism and Islam

Testament of Abraham (HTML)

Talmud (Pereq Heleq) (HTML)

The Qur'an and Islam
Study guide (PDF)

April 2, 2019, Week 11 – Hell

The Harrowing of Hell (HTML)

Select additional topics from the Middle Ages and Reformation (HTML)

April 9, 2019, Week 12 – Folk Eschatologies

Day of the Dead (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

Ghosts and C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (HTML)

April 16, 2019, Week 13 – 20th Century Systematic Theology


Religion and Ethics Newsweekly (PBS) segment on Rob Bell and evangelical debates about hell (LINK)

Hans Urs von Balthasar (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)

Additional survey of 20th century systematic theology on eschatology (HTML)

April 23, 2019, Week 14 – 21st Century America

Contemporary Themes in Eschatology: 21st Century Black America (HTML)
Study guide (PDF)


The Simpsons, Thank God Its Doomsday (2005) (MP4)

American Millennialism, Millerites, and Cognitive Dissonance (HTML)

April 30, 2019, Week 15 – Synthesis

Mid-course review expanded with sources and terms from second half of course (HTML)

May 7, 2019 – Final exam

Non Sequitor Cartoon

Subject to frequent revision
Last updated 4/27/2019