Number of weeks: 6
Required books?: Yes
Live video session?: No
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
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The world is currently experiencing a global pandemic. As we face these uncertain times, we can turn to our Methodist heritage for possible responses to this crisis. Methodism has a long history of caring for the sick and engaging in the needs of those impacted by disease and pandemic. In this class we will explore the theologies of John and Charles Wesley and Methodist responses to disease outbreaks throughout modern American history. We will give particular attention to the yellow fever pandemic of the 1790s, the 1918 influenza pandemic, the HIV-AIDS pandemic, and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is not a linear history class, moving from year to year. Once we have a basic theological understanding, we will engage the practical responses to sickness and disease. These responses includes education, formation, mission, art, and advocacy.
We will pair this exploration with work of personal and ministry reflection in order to develop our own contextually appropriate responses to the present and potential future outbreaks. While there will be a course text, most of our reading will be from original sources, including journals, news articles, poetry, and sermons. Our main goal of the course will be to begin formulating theologically and historically informed projects and resources for our local ministry settings for the present and future needs of the world.
Students are required to have the following book for this class:
- Health and Medicine in the Methodist Tradition: Journey Toward Wholeness by E. Brooks Holifield
This course is eligible for 1.5 CEUs.
About the Instructor
Jonathan LeMaster-Smith lives with his wife, Shannon, in Hildebran, North Carolina (District 12 of the Hunger Games movies). He holds a PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a focus on Rural Ministry and Methodist Studies. His work includes presentations on Dolly Parton, articles on ditch lilies, and musings about the genius of mayonnaise.