Systematic theology seeks to tell a single story about God and God’s activity in the world from Creation to the Eschaton. There are points within that story that we will focus on, particularly as it comes to gaining clarity about God’s activity. The person of Jesus Christ as the central and seminal activity of the Christian story will be focused on and seen as the lens by which Christians come to learn to speak this story about God. We will, then, focus on the Holy Spirit and the Church’s role in the world and this story.
Systematic theology is, therefore, the telling of this story in a coherent and methodologically ordered manner. This course will explore the specific and critical relationships between doctrines—God, Christology, Creation—and the life of the world and the Church together.
Therefore, systematic theology is not a totalizing discourse that seeks to control or articulate precisely what or who God is. God is beyond the language that systematicians use, yet the work of systematic theology is to explore, wrestle, name to excess, and articulate clearly “the faith with a little understanding.”
Instructor: Dr. Stephan Quarles holds a PhD in Systematic and Philosophical theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Ca. He specializes in the intersections of 20th century philosophy with systematic theology, particularly the cross and apophatic theology. He lives in Central Illinois with his wife and child. He works as a Chaplain at OSF St. Francis in Peoria, Il.