回應:「身為基督徒對真愛聯盟的疑惑」-他者、多元、與啟示 vs. kockroach 1

Gilles Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze

kockroach @ PTT Christianity says,

1. 你在「分辨陳述性(descriptive)語言的現象描繪和作為規範性(prescriptive)語言的意識型態入侵」的這一段先主張應該把多元現象放入現象學的括號(bracketing)中,採取存而不論(epoqué )的態度,避免主觀的判斷。

2. 但是到了後面一段,卻又先驗的主張「我們認為是罪的…」。
似乎在你的立場中,已經存在著一個「我們」的主體,可以代表所有的基督教現象,而這個主體可以輕易、不需任何驗證地發言,說「這就是基督教的立場、聖經的立場」?

你是在尊重他者(多元性)的口號下,假裝有一個「他者」的存在,但你其實是在「我」與「他」之間劃下一道無法逾越的界線,讓他者在自己的門外喧嘩,把他們稱為「罪人」,而自己卻躲在 ghetto 之中相信自己才是倖存的先知。

所以你所謂的「先知」和「見證者」這兩種身份其實是大同小異的,(就所我知,與「先知」相對應的另一個身份應該是「神秘主義者」,但在這裡先不討論)這兩者都脫離不了在一個異己的環境中堅持、主張自己的立場,並試圖透過不同方式說服他人自己的立場是正確的。

而你所謂『也將自己納入「罪人」的範疇』從這點來看,其實是一種矯揉造作。他者其實不存在於你的論述之中,他們被客體化(objectified),然後被你當作異己、需要被「循循善誘」的對象,然後整個切除了。他者並沒有任何發聲的權利,他們作為一個「罪人」,一個需要被「尋尋善誘」的對象存在於你的論述裡面,維持你的主體作為正義的一方的權利。

但這和你最後面所說,其他人也「具備上帝形象(imago Dei)」的神學立場其實是完全相反而牴觸的。

3. 上帝形象的神學並不是告訴我們「要愛罪人」,而是告訴我們「那不是罪人,那是主所愛的,在他身上也有著上帝的形象」。基督徒的責任,是讓所有的人都能暢行無阻地、自願地到神面前,把自己的香膏打破,澆在耶穌頭上。

因為上帝的形象存在於「他者」身上,而且上帝本身就是最終極的他者(the Other),因此認識到他者也有自己的發話權,認識到自己的主體論述可以隨時被他者所中斷(interrupt),同時認識到「我」是一個開放而非封閉的主體,才有可能在這個面對「絕對他者」的信仰中,打破自己,被他感召、啟示和救贖。

只有認識到主體本身也是多元而複雜的(即使在基督教內部,對同性戀的態度也是多元的),認識到上帝有著「他者」的臉龐,才能在視域融合(fusion of horizon)的企圖中,接近它者害怕的面容,聽到他虛弱的聲音:「不要殺我」。

因此,我不能接受你所謂「基督徒應該尊重性別認同多元的客觀現實,但不接受多元性向的教育價值灌輸」的論點。多元現象不僅是一個「現實」,它還是一種打破主體偏執的契機。多元的價值並不絕對與基督教的信仰衝突,基督教的信仰可以是面對他者的信仰,可以是打破自己,容許自己的主體論述被他者中斷的信仰。基督徒在「多元性向的價值觀」面前,應該承認自己作為先知和見證者的身份,提出自己的質疑和批判,但同時也應承認,自己的論述可以被他者所中斷,自己的價值有可能被他者所影響,這不是信仰的失落,而是在離開自我的過程中,看到他者所看到的,聽到他者所聽到的,體會到他者所體會而我自己所不知道的。

說得形而下一點,基督教應該要認識到,即使是在他們自己的教會中,也有許多同性戀的人,生活在所謂「基督徒倫理觀」的壓迫之下(而且這個壓迫只會比外面社會的歧視更嚴重)。一個堅持基督教主體必須反對同性戀的神學,只能讓這些人以低人一等的「罪人」存在於社群裡面,而不是真正的讓這些人感受到神的愛。

相反地,多元性向教育能讓這些人發聲,讓其他人體認到他們的感受,讓他們在互為主體性的價值觀下被接納到社群之裡面,獲得同儕和信仰的支持。

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我認為kockroach 的第一點和第二點是誤讀和誤解我的立場。第三點則才真正展現我們的神學立場衝突和差異。

1. 在現象學還原和屬靈爭戰辨別的這段,我談的是「現象」。

如同Zheng Fuyao在一段FB同志家庭長大的青年公開見證影片下的一段聲明:

基督徒若把民主社會裡必然出現的文化價值衝突理解成屬靈爭戰無疑是致命的失誤,錯把應該細心呵護關懷的對象當成 »敵人 »或 »有問題的人 »予以批判潔淨(要求先認罪才配得被愛),既忘了自己根本是在不配愛的情況下被上帝無條件地接納,也忘了那真正需戒慎面對的對手是看不見的靈性勢力,以及那迫使受壓迫者無法自由呼吸的社會文化結構。

再者,「存而不論」(epoqué)不是永久性的。純粹的懷疑論不是倫理學。Richard Hays, Miroslav Volf 等神學倫理學家都強調我們無法避免在僅擁有「局部知識」的不得以情況下採取道德立場。(例如,如果小鳴看似要跳樓,儘管我不知道發生什麼事,我需要第一時間上去拉他。結果可能是我判斷錯誤了,但這就是「無法避免在僅擁有局部知識的不得以情況下採取道德立場」的倫理折衷。)

2.「我們認為是罪的,他們不認為!」

這段談的是基督教罪的定義,「何為罪?」
就像「偷竊是罪」。而今天發生了「麥可用右手從他叔叔脫下的襯衫中拿出五百元」的這個還原後的現象。我要挑戰基督徒的是,「你怎麼知道麥可偷錢了?而不是他叔叔請他拿這五百塊去還他爸?」

這與「基督徒能否從閱讀出埃及記和約書亞記七章猶大支派亞干的故事而一致認定偷竊在上帝眼中為罪」是兩碼子事。存而不論的「論」並非現象學的關注,而是倫理學的。我要求基督教會在兩者的聯繫之間,先將「論」所使用的聖經標準給釐清。

此外,「我們」是在耶穌基督的救恩盟約維繫下的共同體宣稱:「一主一信一洗」(以弗所書四:5)
驗證機制有,但是存在於內部(本於大公會議框架、聖經)。「我們認為是罪的,他們不認為!」是要強調,即使通過內部機制(對罪的認定),也尚未通過外部「世俗社會」驗證機制。

並不是肯定「基督教反同性戀立場已經通過內部驗證機制」。從一個條件句型的條件從句(protasis)導出其肯定了一種實然現象,是分析哲學上的一種邏輯謬誤。
我覺得這篇文章一開始就是對基督徒的呼籲,你們要跳進來回其實我也歡迎,只是需要麻煩你們嘗試進入盟約架構中思考,以免容易一再誤解語境。

3.

是在尊重他者(多元性)的口號下,假裝有一個「他者」的存在, 但你其實是在「我」與「他」之間劃下一道無法逾越的界線,自己躲在 ghetto 之中相信自己才 是倖存的先知。

我只能說基督教就是這麼可悲。難道基督徒連根據聖經認罪悔改,幻想自己是在審判之日將是神義怒(indignation)之下倖存者的權利都沒有?大家都是都是發現自己有罪而且很可悲,才聚集在廢墟之中仰望神的憐憫(參約翰福音五章畢士大池邊病人群集的敘事)。我們看自己和別人都有罪。想拉別人進來,別人不來。那還有什麼辦法?界線誰劃的?想進來,就認罪。我們都是突破了心理障礙,相信自己是罪人才去畢士大池的。

界線從來就不是不可逾越的啊~


請你來,不來(因為你不願跨過「我是罪人」這個象徵性門檻);讓你在外面,就是尊重你自願留在外面的權利,卻又要說我們排擠你。
(我知道這個比喻如果精確地邏輯推敲還會有一些衍生觀點需要說明,我已經把後面幾步棋也想過了。)

您如果要進入完全的意識型態批判,和列維納斯(Emmauel Levinas)倫理系統的激進詮釋,我只能同意它也說得通,但您必須紮實的有神學根基去解構現下的基督教神學。Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, 1996已經針對這點給了有力的回應(見第二章:排斥、第三章:擁抱、第五章:欺壓與正義)。他提出,「他者」在基督教救恩論中沒有被客體化,而是重建主體性。特別是在擁抱的隱喻中(如浪子回頭後與父親的擁抱),「先展開雙臂、等待對方回抱」(循循善誘)正是他者無法被切除的證據。
性別剛好也是他的一個重要舉證。(參第四章:性別身份)

上帝形象的神學並不是告訴我們「要愛罪人」,而是告訴我們「那不是罪人,那是: 主所愛的,在他身上也有著上帝的形象」。基督徒的責任,是讓所有的人都能暢行: 無阻地、自願地到神面前,把自己的香膏打破,澆在耶穌頭上。

暢行無阻的條件必須是經過神人之間唯一的中保耶穌,而不是說「他者」可以不必與耶穌建立關係、不必接受基督十架救贖寶血、維持其原本的樣貌和所作所為,而不必在基督裡面重建主體性。否則請您解經,告訴我有一種上帝形象的神學,不包含

「世人都犯了罪、虧缺了神的榮耀。 如今卻蒙神的恩典、因基督耶穌的救贖、就白白的稱義。」
「我們若認自己的罪、神是信實的、是公義的、必要赦免我們的罪、洗淨我們一切的不義。」

這些基要真理。

其實您整篇回覆,誠實地說,我覺得我回這段就夠了。您所提的,既是田立克(Paul Tillich)面對終極關懷的態度,又是列維納斯(Emmauel Levinas)的他者,還有德勒茲(Gilles Deleuze)非此、非彼之主體性游牧的況味。
我對這些人都是開放的。我是先接觸哲學和自由神學,才學習福音神學(evangelical theology)和大公神學(catholic theology),也一直以來的都企圖在正統神學框架下延展更多外來聲音衝撞的可能性。但是所有的神學都有個底線:上帝的啟示。

按照正統神學來說,上帝的啟示有沒固定的內容?有!

上帝透過虛弱的他者啟示。
上帝透過教會傳統的智慧和口傳福音啟示。
上帝透過經驗和良知啟示。
上帝透過自然律啟示。
上帝透過聖經啟示。
上帝道成肉身,在基督身上的啟示。

這些啟示之中,基督耶穌是啟示的高峰。

基督耶穌的啟示卻只有透過傳統和聖經保存,所以正統基督教神學無法像Deleuze那樣地完全「在其中」、「從自我出走」。它的穩定性是被聖經、傳統所鞏固的,而且還有「救恩之約、洗禮」這樣的會員制,其神學注定無法完全地向非信徒開放。
拉赫納(Karl Rahner)將天主教完全對外開放的努力值得敬佩,但我老師和我都覺得他失敗了:從左派角度不夠解構,從右派角度更不用說,完全守不住聖經啟示的救恩論(太多經文他根本解不過去)。

Tillich 處理啟示的方式是完全將它坍塌到文化、經驗中。他的存在主義神學,叫人不是透過讀經認識耶穌、瞭解上帝心意,而是像您說的,在「存在性邂逅」( existential encounter )遭遇「絕對他者」,打破自己,被他感召、啟示和救贖,發掘一種新生命的可能性。

從前我愛死 Tillich了(現在還是很愛,他的「嗣子」基督論是我不停反思和想要引渡的一塊),但他的系統所要付出的代價太大:十字架的死、復活、永生,全都變成一種道德寓言,可以不按照「歷史」、「猶太-基督文化傳統下」律法、啟示、恩典等神學概念的脈絡理解。

在這個意義下,基督可以不必是耶穌,祂可以是任何人。
連基督教都可以繞過聖經來承認多元性別認同和基督教本質有相容性的話,基督教也就不存在任何實質了,只是一種「大公精神」,美其名為「自由、平等、博愛」,實則成為個人和「被淘空既成啟示的根基的上帝」之間的個人協定,不但沒有弟兄姊妹平行的當責關係(accountability),也根本就不具備任何神聖盟約的忠誠度:

「 我是耶和華你們的 神、所以你們要成為聖潔、因為我是聖潔的」(利未記十一:44)
「你們要歸我為聖、因為我耶和華是聖的、並叫你們與萬民有分別、使你們作我的民。」(利未記二十:16)

全聖經有十次相同片段。

因此,我回頭承襲歷代以來正統神學所傳承的模型:所有外部聲音、人物想要進入到修改教義內容的程度,都必須要回到解經。現在有些同志神學,如哈佛(Harvard Divinity School)、范德堡(Vanderbilt Divinity School)、耶魯(Yale Divinity School)的,都做得不錯,原因在於能從解經立場上扭轉基督徒對創世紀、羅馬書、哥林多書信的定見。

否則,基督徒最多能做到傾聽之神學、溝通之神學、現象學之保留。但無法以聖經明文啟示之是為非。就算被溝通被打斷無數次,最後還是要說:「我相信同性戀性行為(非傾向)是神所不喜悅的,一如婚外情、婚前性行為是神所不喜悅的。」(Martin Luther « sola scriptura« : 請用聖經說服我。)

[文摘] 美國最佳神學院校排名(2007)

[評:作者認為神學無法和哲學一樣靠學術實力進行有客觀標準的排名,因為信仰框架會非常大程度地影響學生的選校和畢業生的事奉方向。他列出了一個依據信仰光譜由右(保守)到左(自由)的排行方式供參考,範圍只包括基督新教的學校。]

A List (from fundamental to ultra-liberal) by myself

Dallas Theological Seminary

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary

Talbot Theological Seminary- [Biola University]

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary- [Gordon College, London School of Theology/Boston University]

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School- [Trinity International University]

Wheaton Graduate School- [Wheaton College]

George W. Truett Theological Seminary- [Baylor University]

Regent College- [University of British Colombia]

Fuller Theological Seminary

Claremont Graduate School

Duke Divinity School

Candler School of Theology- [Emory University]

Toronto School of Theology- [University of Toronto]

Notre Dame University Department of Theology

Princeton Theological Seminary- [Princeton University]

Yale Divinity School

Virginia University Department of Religious Studies

Harvard Divinity School

University of Chicago Divinity School

Graduate Theological Union- [UC Berkeley]

Union Theological Seminary- [Columbia University]

Marquette University Department of Theology

Princeton University Department of Religion

Oversea alternatives (非美加的海外系統)

Oxford University

Cambridge University

Aberdeen University

Saint Andrews University

Edinburgh University

Tubingen University

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

[評:從發問的第一篇開始的前半部及包含了豐富的資訊,Union, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Harvard,還有幾所保守福音派神學院都榜上有名。]

Anyone with some idea about the better schools, say schools in the top 25 or so, please let me know. The only schools I could think of were Union Theological, Columbia’s school of theology, and Princeton’s.

Schools with prestigious names in the wider academic community: Princeton, Yale, Oxford. (Harvard would go here too, but frankly, if you want to do theology as an orthodox Christian, I think you might be wasting your time there.)

I hear consistently excellent things about the University of Aberdeen. The University of Edinburgh is worth considering as well (Oliver O’Donovan is there now). Oliver Crisp at Bristol is a philosophically minded theologian worth looking up.

If you want to study spiritual formation, Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation is an amazing place to be (no doctoral program at the moment, however).

To pursue conservative Christian theology then, for what it is worth, here are a few more schools:

Dallas Theological Seminary (non-denominational/evangelical, good on theology and languages but little to no philosophy)

Talbot Theological Seminary (non-denominational/evangelical, good balance of professors for theology and philosophy)

Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky (Methodist seminary, good balance of professors for theology and philosophy)

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago (non-denominational/evangelical, good on theology with some professors who try their hand at philosophy)

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in KY (obviously Southern Baptist theology–little philosophy)

[評:作者認為神學無法和哲學一樣靠學術實力進行有客觀標準的排名,因為信仰框架會非常大程度地影響學生的選校和畢業生的事奉方向。他列出了一個依據信仰光譜由右(保守)到左(自由)的排行方式供參考,範圍只包括基督新教的學校。]

I don’t know that a Leiter-type ranking system would work in theology.

Conservative Reformed Christians, for example, would not want to go to Dallas Theo Seminary no matter what its ranking. A degree from DTS would not allow them to teach in the places they wanted to end up in.

Probably the best way to go about choosing a program would be to look at the schools at which one would love to teach and see where that faculty was educated (especially the newer hires).

Getting a PhD in theology usually means that one must first get an MDiv (or some kind of MA in theology) first. If one wants the broadest job possibilities after completing the program, it wouldn’t hurt to go to a large seminary with a moderate-leaning theological bent. People can get away with a more « liberal » PhD program and still teach at conservative schools (it’s almost a « badge of honor » to come through those programs without being tainted).

Here’s how I would rank prestigious programs by theological leanings:

Fundamentalist:

Bob Jones University
Grace Theological Seminary
The Master’s Seminary

Fundamental-Evangelical:

[Southern Baptist Theological Seminary]
Dallas Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary
[Talbot School of Theology]

Evangelical:

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Neo-Evangelical (leaning to the right):

Fuller Theological Seminary

Neo-Evangelical (leaning to the left):

Princeton Theological Seminary

Liberal:

University of Chicago
Yale Divinity School (although the PhD program is offered through Yale University and is probably more « liberal »)
Claremont Graduate School

Emory University- Candler School of Theology

Very Liberal:

Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley)
Harvard University/Divinity School (the university offers a PhD; the divinity school offers a ThD)
Union Theological Seminary

…One might also look into the religion program at University of North Carolina with Bart D. Ehrman (American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC) and James Tabor.

[評:這篇和下一篇在爭論Fuller是否為正統福音派的問題。這是一個我非常廣泛聽到的爭論,故問題是存在的。供各位自行判斷。]

I would say that Fuller is barely evangelical, since some of their faculty does hold to views that would qualify them as being on the leftward fringes of evangelicalism. It’s much more moderate than Princeton, which I have trouble seeing as evangelical even in a very loose sense. I doubt very many of their faculty could sign the ETS statement of faith. More of Fuller’s could, but I’m not sure it’s even a majority there.

I was trying to limit my list to programs that offer PhD’s or ThD’s. Gordon-Conwell does, now, have a joint program with BU for missiology, but they have no other PhD’s. I guess, though, the same is true of Talbot (which only has a PhD in Christian Education), so if it is on the list, G-C also belongs there.

Speaking as an alumnus of Fuller, though, I think you are way off base when you say « Fuller is barely evangelical, » and from my experience with current students and grads of Princeton Theological, I would say that they are much closer to evangelical than you suggest.

From my personal experience, there was not a lot of significant difference between the teaching I received at The Master’s College (an indisputably fundamentalist college), Fuller, and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (certainly an Evangelical seminary).

[評:這篇的作者從Fuller和Yale畢業。資訊內行切實。他列出自己的綜合排名,他有說明排行是大約,每一個學校都可以和上下兩名互相更動位置。]

I thought I’d weigh in as a Fuller grad and a Yale Divinity grad.

At the level of PhD programs, some may not know how to compare these across groups. So here’s my stab at it – PhDs in Theology, where the aim is to get a decent full-time, tenure-track teaching job:

Yale University
University of Chicago, Divinity School
Harvard Univ/HDS
University of Notre Dame [incredibly, I don’t think any previous posters mentioned ND!]
Duke University
Princeton Theological Seminary –
Emory
GTU (Berkeley) +
Wheaton Graduate School

Fuller Theological Seminary
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dallas Theological Seminary

Union Theological Seminary? Vanderbilt? UCSB? Princeton U? West Virginia? Reformed? Asbury? Claremont? and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

This ordering is approximate (and surely I’ve left out some great institution); any two next to each other could really be exchanged. And the ordering will vary a lot depending on the area of specialization… If you do NT, Yale and Duke, and maybe Emory, are at the top (and others, like Univ. North Carolina-Chapel Hill might come into play); if you want to do systematic theology and study Barth, PTS is at the top; if you want to do religious ethics, that will have to include, eg, Princeton University’s religious studies Dept program, and so on. And this list doesn’t even include UK schools, of which Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Manchester are excellent.

But if you’re broadly evangelical, and/or somewhat moderate theologically, I think the two best seminaries in the country, in terms of orientation, total resources, faculty quality [incl. diversity of views], and academic excellence, are Fuller and Princeton.)

[評:想在福音派做神學研究的,可以參看此篇。下頭排行為本人整理,在較廣義福音派的定義下,論其學術研究實力。Wheaton為本人所加上,以其2010年時的實力為準。事實上,就我目前瞭解,Fuller的博士班入學標準至少較4, 5寬鬆不少,給獎能力和學生競爭力也大不如1, 2,並不值第三位。]

…For evangelical seminaries, I’d put Gordon-Conwell up with Trinity well ahead of Talbot— Talbot is one of the best seminaries with a philosophy program. The only ones that come close are Denver Seminary and Trinity. But if we’re talking theology or biblical studies, Talbot isn’t in the same league as Trinity, Gordon-Conwell, Westminster Theological Seminary, or Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando). Those four are the easy leaders in my mind.

In the next rank I’d place Talbot, Dallas, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS) and maybe one or two others that I can’t think of right now. I start to lose my sense of things with the second tier and the third tier with some schools.

Evangelical seminaries

Princeton
Wheaton
Fuller
Trinity
[Gordon-Conwell]
Westminster
Reformed, FL
Talbot
Dallas
Southern Baptist
Reformed, MS

[評:終於使用了一種分等制度,主要是以博士畢業生在學界的影響力來做出對比。這樣Harvard、Yale、Chicago,三所極為自由多元、信仰框架薄弱的的老牌頂尖學府,便最容易得到青睞。這不是說排在第二等的Duke和Notre Dame在學術上有任何不及前者之處,只是因為兩者分別有極重的Wesleyan/Episcopal和Catholic的信仰框架,故畢業生的影響力擴散幅度不及前者。原作在下方的評等經過了本人的細微更動和補充。加上以上的說明,希望成為應用此表時的參照。此外,新教神學系統當中,推薦了Princeton和Fuller,主要是看上他們的研究廣博和自由風氣。同樣,這也不表示Fuller本身有比Trinity或Dallas更嚴謹的博班訓練或資質優的學生;但和教會界可能相反,在目前的神學教育界,「廣」就是一種優勢。]

I would have ranked GTU higher, PTS lower, and added Claremont and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary–since conservatives seem to have started favoring it over Dallas). Notre Dame is definitely an oversight.

Someone graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary with a PhD has very limited options when it comes to finding a teaching position. She (does Dallas allow women in their PhD program?) will not be considered for positions at places like Yale, University of Chicago, Claremont, etc. Someone graduating from Yale, however, would be considered at any of the schools listed–of course, the applicant would need to demonstrate that she fell within the guidelines of a more conservative school’s doctrinal statement, but as long as she served in a conservative church and demonstrated a true belief in that school’s particular dogma, her degree from a more « liberal » institution would probably be valued (i.e. she made it through a « liberal » education without being « tainted »).

I also agree that Fuller and Princeton are good programs for MDiv or MA work if one does not want to pigeonhole herself into a specific theological tradition. Fuller, in particular, is very large, so one will always be able to connect with other graduates.

Maybe a tiered approach is best for PhD programs:

Tier One:

Yale University (NT & OT)
University of Chicago Divinity School (OT)
Harvard University (OT)

Tier Two:

Graduate Theological Union/Berkeley (OT)

University of Notre Dame (NT)
Duke University (NT & OT)

Tier Three:

Claremont Graduate School (OT)

Princeton Theological Seminary (ST & NT)
Emory (NT & OT)

Vanderbilt University
Marquette (ST)

Wheaton Graduate School (NT)

Tier Four:

Fuller Theological Seminary
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (NT)
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dallas Theological Seminary

These tiers, of course, are different than law school tiers. They should be thought of as tiers of more or less restricted opportunity. The top tiers provide graduates the most options, whereas the bottom tiers dramatically restrict options.

[評:這篇有較為中肯,內行且精準的資訊。指出Graduate Theological Union新約跟舊約研究水準落差很大的問題。舊約依靠UC Berkeley可以衝上頂尖學府。說明Fuller不是純福音派;Yale也不是自由派,而是後自由派。認為Harvard值得一念,而Talbot和Dallas則不適合真正要做神學學術的人。]

I put GTU lower (and wouldn’t have it up in tier 1), because it’s variable how much one gets to utilize UC Berkeley a block away; and in the end, they’re separate institutions. GTU students can use their libraries and take some courses, but this will more relevant if you’re in certain subfields. Eg, if you specialize in Hebrew Bible or Ancient Near Eastern studies, you’ll gain a lot from drawing on Berkeley’s resources, since they have a lot of offerings in that area (I think Berkeley offers a joint PhD in Jewish Studies in connection with GTU; and that’s a different program from their Dept in Near Eastern studies). But if you do NT or systematic theology, the presence of UC Berkeley doesn’t matter as much (and the « prestige »—for whatever it’s worth— of UC Berkeley doesn’t attach in the same way to your degree)…

Marquette and Georgetown (both Jesuit schools) should definitely be mentioned as well…

Fine, contrary to their own statements, Fuller is not a True® Evangelical seminary. Instead of believing that the Bible is inerrant in all things it says, they only believe that the Bible is « God’s sure Word » and that « God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory » (part 2 of ETS statement of faith). [This sounds like a distinction about which only a fundamentalist would be concerned.]

I attended Fuller and earned an M.A. there in theology before I went to grad school in philosophy. If the ETS represents « evangelical » theology, then Fuller is not an evangelical institution. Not being an evangelical myself, this doesn’t bother me. However, it is only the narrowest characterization of evangelicalism that would exclude Fuller from being evangelical. It represents the evangelical left, but in my denomination (the Episcopal Church), Fuller is regarded as conservative.

As for schools like Dallas, Talbot, etc. don’t go those schools if you want a career in academe outside of the most narrowly evangelical seminaries and Bible colleges. Talbot has a fine M.A. in philosophy of religion program, however.

Harvard is a good place to go if you want to do a PhD or ThD. If you want to do philosophical theology, Sarah Coakely is there and she is quite good. A friend of mine (Todd Billings) who now teaches at Western Seminary worked under her.

Finally, to characterize Yale Divinity School as liberal betrays a lack of understanding of how terms like « liberal », etc., get used in theological circles. YDS is actually quite conservative when compared to Chicago or Harvard. It is best characterized as a « post-liberal » institution. Granted, « post- » language is annoying. But theological post-liberalism is very different from theological liberalism. The late Hans Frei and George Lindbeck have more in common with theologians like Barth and philosophers like Norman Malcolm (i.e., neo-orthodox theologians and Wittgensteinian fideists, respectively). In terms of philosophers at YDS, Marilyn McCord Adams and Nicholas Wolterstorff were both on the faculty there, and John Hare is now there. I don’t think any of them are theological liberals (even if they are not evangelicals). In any case, I think one is better off going to places like YDS, Princeton, Fuller, and other schools where they will be exposed to a wide range of different perspectives in their courses.

[評:幫Yale University Divinity School說好話,指出Talbot School of Theology生師比失衡的大問題。認為福音派神學院的博士路線太窄,非常不推薦。]

Andrei, I think you are probably right about YDS. Miroslav Volf is also there, and he was one of my profs (and probably one of yours) at Fuller. I was thinking more in terms of the PhD program that is offered through the Religious Studies department of the University, not the divinity school.

You don’t need to be a fundamentalist to be a full inerrantist. Bob Jones University is fundamentalist. Gordon-Conwell, Trinity, Westminster, and several of the other top evangelical schools are full of inerrantists who are not fundamentalists.

I do think the Jewett issue could distract us even more than we already are, but my sense is there are people who hold to a hermeneutic like the one you suggest, and maybe he’s one, but it seems to me to be contrary to inerrancy on matters of faith and practice.

For the record, I didn’t see any problem with the tiered structure explaining how broad someone’s acceptance would be at various places. I would never recommend anyone to get a Ph.D. at an evangelical institution unless they never wanted to teach in a mainstream department.

Andrei and all, just a word of caution about Talbot’s MA program in philosophy or philosophy of religion. Their student/faculty ratios are so ridiculous that it is a mistake to classify the program as a strong one. Several of the students who went through the program early on are outstanding, but given the lack of individual attention, the norm for more recent students seems to be drifting back toward what one sees from a decent undergraduate program. When I talk to representatives at other graduate programs in philosophy at APA meetings, this assessment is quite widely shared.

[評:舊生挑出來幫Talbot說好話]

Regarding Jon’s comment, I agree about Talbot. I didn’t want ‘fine’ to be read as ‘strong’. There are some good people at Biola that one would have access to if one is a student at Talbot (especially Tom Crisp). But I would advise students interested in the philosophy of religion to go to a school with a strong M.A. program with faculty who work in the philosophy of religion (e.g., Western Michigan, Texas A&M, Baylor, and NIU).

I can’t speak to the overall perception of Talbot or compare it to other MA programs, but I do know this: there may be a lack of individual attention at Talbot in the classroom, but certainly not outside it. The professors know the classes are too large and because of that they are readily accessible for discussion outside of it and make plenty of time for students who want to go further than the classroom allows. I have experienced that often.

Jon: You are right that the student-faculty ratio at Talbot (MA Phil) leaves something to be desired. But I would point out that the department is actively working on the issue. As a recent Talbot alum, I can say that I have spent quality, out-of-class time with faculty members more times than I can count – not to mention time spent with visiting scholars such as Richard Swinburne, Robert Audi, and Steve Wykstra. Not all of my peers have had the same level of contact with faculty, but the opportunities are there for those who seek them. I realize, Jon, that you were speaking about ‘norms’, but I would take exception with the claim (which seemed to be implied) that Talbot is a sub-par program, on the whole.

Talbot is still graduating excellent, well-trained philosophers. Were that not the case, the University of Rochester would not have admitted Talbot alum the past two years in a row. That is but one example.

Also, I just wanted to weigh in on the subject of Talbot philosophy graduates. My philosophy Phd program (Ohio State) has two Talbot alumni right now, one who just graduated last year from Talbot. I can testify that both of these guys are very sharp and impressive thinkers, theologically and philosophically. But on a sour note, I also knew someone in my last graduate program (Baylor) who attended one year at Talbot and left because of the overcrowding problem.

[評:這篇繼續說Talbot生師比誇張的問題]

Let me be clear about my criticism of the Talbot program. To say that a respectable program cannot have the teacher/student ratio that they have is not to say any of the following: that they don’t have some good faculty (Crisp, for example, is outstanding); that the students don’t do well; that some of the students are not excellent. The fact that these latter claims are false is an indication of the strong interest in and preparation for abstract thought in the conservative Christian community. Quality graduate programs have a ratio in the 2/1 or perhaps 3/1 range, and the ratios count only permanent department members, not affiliates or visitors of various sorts. Good students often find ways to excel despite weaknesses in the institutions they attend, but that fact shouldn’t be interpreted in a way that somehow shows that the weaknesses aren’t present.

[評:總算有人開始用研究領域來劃分不同學校的長處了]

He is talking about doctoral programs. As far as Duke, he must be talking about Duke University’s Ph.D. program. But [Gregory] Jones is not the dean of this. He is the dean of Duke Divinity School which just accepted their first crop of Th.D. (doctoral) students for this fall.

In Old Testament, I hear people talking about Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Duke University, and Emory.

In New Testament, I hear people talking about Duke, Notre Dame, Princeton Theological Seminary, Emory, Cambridge (UK), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Wheaton Graduate School.

Another mention in theology and philosophy might be: Baylor University

In practical theology, I am hearing about Princeton Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Luther Seminary, Emory, and Vanderbilt.

Theologians might not be familiar with what has become an institution within the field of philosophy: Brian Leiter’s « Philosophical Gourmet Report » ( http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com )–a (global) ranking of graduate programs in philosophy. Leiter’s report is not without controversy, but it plays a huge role in how undergraduates think about applications to graduate programs in philosophy. Perhaps the time is ripe from something equivalent in theology & religion?

[評:把英國的一些學校拉進戰局,還有討論中被忽略的Toronto University School of Theology!]

Programs in the UK have the benefit of RAE rankings, which offer a quasi-objective ranking of the research quality of graduate programs in theology and religion, made possible by a more centralized organization of higher education in the UK (as most other countries). This would be impossible in the free-marketization of higher education in America.

Thinking about the UK also opens the question: do Americans consider doctoral programs in the UK? And if so, which? It seems to me that a lot of evangelicals–particularly in biblical studies–still make the trek to the UK. And the recent meteoric rise of theology in Scottish universities is sure to draw a number of American graduate students to St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and perhaps Glasgow (depending on whom they appoint to succeed Newlands), as well as the stand-by of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and King’s College. More creative, pluralistic programs draw students to Manchester and Birmingham (which includes significant resources for work in Pentecostal theology).

Looking internationally also reminds us of the resources at the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. Some excellent discussions are going on there.

Another reason why this list is outdated is that there is no mention of Union Theological Seminary anywhere on the list. Sure we have some old farts, but Gary Dorrien (Niebuhr chair) is in the top five most important scholars of our time. He’s bringing back a social gospel movement that is really generating some major momentum. When Langdon Gilkey was asked to produce his life acheivments and goals in five pages or less, he called Dorrien and asked him to do it for him! Alongside Dorrien, we have several legends in their field: James Cone (Briggs chair), the founder of Black Liberation; Paul Knitter (Tillich chair), an international source concerning interfaith dialogue. Roger Haight, faced heresy trials from the Catholic Church while producing a definitive work on the Trinity, called « Jesus Symbol of God ». Christopher Morse is one of the major authorities on Barthian studies today (of course, besides Dorrien). Hal Taussig’s Bible department is one of the best liberal approaches towards scripture in the Ivy’s.

It is obvious that whoever this guy is that wrote this essay is a hard core evangelical. Placing Trinity on the same plain as Marquette and Princeton is absurd. Now granted, I did apply to Trinity. I am an evangelical. But Union is clearly a better pick. I agree that both theology and ethics program more or less revolve around one person. But Dorrien vs. Vanhoozer? Come on.

I would venture to say that Paul DeHart’s just published work _The Trial of the Witnesses: The Rise and Decline of Post-liberalism_ (Blackwell, 2006 — Paul is in his seventh year at Vanderbilt), as well as the work that will just now start coming out from his first round of graduate students (a dissertation just now being finished on « The Politics of Christian Mission in Barth, Hauerwas, and Yoder » by one student; another student writing on the « nature/grace » discussion in Barth, de Lubac, and Milbank), and some of the things that Vanderbilt graduate students in theology are now involved in (such as the putting together of the « Critical Responses to _Theology and the Political: The New Debate_ » panel at AAR this year with Milbank, Ward, Cunningham, responding to other younger scholars from programs like Duke and Vanderbilt; the organization of a forthcoming international conference on « Theology and Aesthetics »), will cause Vanderbilt to emerge as a place to engage the influential work of those who have been or are on the faculties of the schools Reno and others have mentioned (Duke, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Notre Dame), in a fresh and critical context — one that can no longer strictly be delimited as « Protestant liberal » or « post-liberal. »

Vanderbilt’s program is small, and in many respects still deserves the « Protestant liberal » label as a whole, especially at the Divinity School level. But if one comes to Vanderbilt and takes a concentrated combination of classes with DeHart (Theology… BA, Chicago [1987], M.A.R., Yale [1990], PhD, Chicago [1997]), Patout Burns (Patristics; Augustine), Robin Jensen (Aesthetics; Liturgics… M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D, Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary, New York [1977, 1986, 1991]), Doug Meeks (Theology/Economics), Melissa Snarr (Ethics/Political Theology), and David Wood (Philosophy; Heidegger/Derrida/Kierkegaard), and combines that with intentional participation in the robust graduate student community (such as the newly begun « Graduate Theological Society »), one will have the rigorous interdisciplinary makings for the kind of « systematic theology » needed at the outset of the 21st century.

This post is of course an appeal that Vanderbilt be reconsidered as a place for Ph.D. theological study, especially if we think more in terms of where programs are going, rather than where there has been has led them to where they are today. Theological education really needs to start looking to the future; very few programs are doing that these days. But mostly I want this post to be a plug for DeHart’s book. Pick it up; read its critique of Lindbeck carefully; consider its commendation of Frei vis-a-vis Lindbeck, and ask if it doesn’t problematize some of the categories Reno and many others have all along been assuming in their work.

I should not have failed to mention the recent addition of John Thatamanil to Vanderbilt’s faculty. John is working hard to develop a Christian theology of religions that is robustly « confessional. » I have done significantly less work with John, but he seems to be striving to articulate this vision with the kind of subtlety and sophistication that such a project needs. It will be interesting to see in what direction his work goes; at any rate, it appears it will not be going in the « post-Christian » direction that one would have thought such a theology at Vanderbilt would have gone after McFague (and Hodgson, though less so).

Source: sorry…it was more than two years ago and the link is missing….

Main Thread starts here (正文開始):

[評:從發問的第一篇開始的前半部及包含了豐富的資訊,Union, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, Harvard,還有幾所保守福音派神學院都榜上有名。]

Anyone with some idea about the better schools, say schools in the top 25 or so, please let me know. The only schools I could think of were Union Theological, Columbia’s school of theology, and Princeton’s.

Schools with prestigious names in the wider academic community: Princeton, Yale, Oxford. (Harvard would go here too, but frankly, if you want to do theology as an orthodox Christian, I think you might be wasting your time there.)

I hear consistently excellent things about the University of Aberdeen. The University of Edinburgh is worth considering as well (Oliver O’Donovan is there now). Oliver Crisp at Bristol is a philosophically minded theologian worth looking up.

If you want to study spiritual formation, Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation is an amazing place to be (no doctoral program at the moment, however).

To pursue conservative Christian theology then, for what it is worth, here are a few more schools:

Dallas Theological Seminary (non-denominational/evangelical, good on theology and languages but little to no philosophy)

Talbot Theological Seminary (non-denominational/evangelical, good balance of professors for theology and philosophy)

Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky (Methodist seminary, good balance of professors for theology and philosophy)

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago (non-denominational/evangelical, good on theology with some professors who try their hand at philosophy)

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in KY (obviously Southern Baptist theology–little philosophy)

[評:作者認為神學無法和哲學一樣靠學術實力進行有客觀標準的排名,因為信仰框架會非常大程度地影響學生的選校和畢業生的事奉方向。他列出了一個依據信仰光譜由右(保守)到左(自由)的排行方式供參考,範圍只包括基督新教的學校。]

I don’t know that a Leiter-type ranking system would work in theology.

Conservative Reformed Christians, for example, would not want to go to Dallas Theo Seminary no matter what its ranking. A degree from DTS would not allow them to teach in the places they wanted to end up in.

Probably the best way to go about choosing a program would be to look at the schools at which one would love to teach and see where that faculty was educated (especially the newer hires).

Getting a PhD in theology usually means that one must first get an MDiv (or some kind of MA in theology) first. If one wants the broadest job possibilities after completing the program, it wouldn’t hurt to go to a large seminary with a moderate-leaning theological bent. People can get away with a more « liberal » PhD program and still teach at conservative schools (it’s almost a « badge of honor » to come through those programs without being tainted).

Here’s how I would rank prestigious programs by theological leanings:

Fundamentalist:

Bob Jones University
Grace Theological Seminary
The Master’s Seminary

Fundamental-Evangelical:

[Southern Baptist Theological Seminary]
Dallas Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary
[Talbot School of Theology]

Evangelical:

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Neo-Evangelical (leaning to the right):

Fuller Theological Seminary

Neo-Evangelical (leaning to the left):

Princeton Theological Seminary

Liberal:

University of Chicago
Yale Divinity School
(although the PhD program is offered through Yale University and is probably more « liberal »)
Claremont Graduate School

Emory University- Candler School of Theology

Very Liberal:

Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley)
Harvard University/Divinity School (the university offers a PhD; the divinity school offers a ThD)
Union Theological Seminary

…One might also look into the religion program at University of North Carolina with Bart D. Ehrman (American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC) and James Tabor.

[評:這篇和下一篇在爭論Fuller是否為正統福音派的問題。這是一個我非常廣泛聽到的爭論,故問題是存在的。供各位自行判斷。]

I would say that Fuller is barely evangelical, since some of their faculty does hold to views that would qualify them as being on the leftward fringes of evangelicalism. It’s much more moderate than Princeton, which I have trouble seeing as evangelical even in a very loose sense. I doubt very many of their faculty could sign the ETS statement of faith. More of Fuller’s could, but I’m not sure it’s even a majority there.

I was trying to limit my list to programs that offer PhD’s or ThD’s. Gordon-Conwell does, now, have a joint program with BU for missiology, but they have no other PhD’s. I guess, though, the same is true of Talbot (which only has a PhD in Christian Education), so if it is on the list, G-C also belongs there.

Speaking as an alumnus of Fuller, though, I think you are way off base when you say « Fuller is barely evangelical, » and from my experience with current students and grads of Princeton Theological, I would say that they are much closer to evangelical than you suggest.

From my personal experience, there was not a lot of significant difference between the teaching I received at The Master’s College (an indisputably fundamentalist college), Fuller, and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (certainly an Evangelical seminary).

[評:這篇的作者從FullerYale畢業。資訊內行切實。他列出自己的綜合排名,他有說明排行是大約,每一個學校都可以和上下兩名互相更動位置。]

I thought I’d weigh in as a Fuller grad and a Yale Divinity grad.

At the level of PhD programs, some may not know how to compare these across groups. So here’s my stab at it – PhDs in Theology, where the aim is to get a decent full-time, tenure-track teaching job:

Yale University
University of Chicago, Divinity School
Harvard Univ/HDS
University of Notre Dame [incredibly, I don’t think any previous posters mentioned ND!]
Duke University
Princeton Theological Seminary –
Emory
GTU (Berkeley) +
Wheaton Graduate School

Fuller Theological Seminary
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dallas Theological Seminary

Union Theological Seminary? Vanderbilt? UCSB? Princeton U? West Virginia? Reformed? Asbury? Claremont? and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

This ordering is approximate (and surely I’ve left out some great institution); any two next to each other could really be exchanged. And the ordering will vary a lot depending on the area of specialization… If you do NT, Yale and Duke, and maybe Emory, are at the top (and others, like Univ. North Carolina-Chapel Hill might come into play); if you want to do systematic theology and study Barth, PTS is at the top; if you want to do religious ethics, that will have to include, eg, Princeton University‘s religious studies Dept program, and so on. And this list doesn’t even include UK schools, of which Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Manchester are excellent.

But if you’re broadly evangelical, and/or somewhat moderate theologically, I think the two best seminaries in the country, in terms of orientation, total resources, faculty quality [incl. diversity of views], and academic excellence, are Fuller and Princeton.)

[評:想在福音派做神學研究的,可以參看此篇。下頭排行為本人整理,在較廣義福音派的定義下,論其學術研究實力。Wheaton為本人所加上,以其2010年時的實力為準。事實上,就我目前瞭解,Fuller的博士班入學標準至少較4, 5寬鬆不少,給獎能力和學生競爭力也大不如1, 2,並不值第三位。]

…For evangelical seminaries, I’d put Gordon-Conwell up with Trinity well ahead of TalbotTalbot is one of the best seminaries with a philosophy program. The only ones that come close are Denver Seminary and Trinity. But if we’re talking theology or biblical studies, Talbot isn’t in the same league as Trinity, Gordon-Conwell, Westminster Theological Seminary, or Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando). Those four are the easy leaders in my mind.

In the next rank I’d place Talbot, Dallas, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS) and maybe one or two others that I can’t think of right now. I start to lose my sense of things with the second tier and the third tier with some schools.

Evangelical seminaries

  1. Princeton
  2. Wheaton
  3. Fuller
  4. Trinity
  5. [Gordon-Conwell]
  6. Westminster
  7. Reformed, FL
  8. Talbot
  9. Dallas
  10. Southern Baptist
  11. Reformed, MS

[評:終於使用了一種分等制度,主要是以博士畢業生在學界的影響力來做出對比。這樣HarvardYaleChicago,三所極為自由多元、信仰框架薄弱的的老牌頂尖學府,便最容易得到青睞。這不是說排在第二等的DukeNotre Dame在學術上有任何不及前者之處,只是因為兩者分別有極重的Wesleyan/EpiscopalCatholic的信仰框架,故畢業生的影響力擴散幅度不及前者。原作在下方的評等經過了本人的細微更動和補充。加上以上的說明,希望成為應用此表時的參照。此外,新教神學系統當中,推薦了PrincetonFuller,主要是看上他們的研究廣博和自由風氣。同樣,這也不表示Fuller本身有比TrinityDallas更嚴謹的博班訓練或資質優的學生;但和教會界可能相反,在目前的神學教育界,「廣」就是一種優勢。]

I would have ranked GTU higher, PTS lower, and added Claremont and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary–since conservatives seem to have started favoring it over Dallas). Notre Dame is definitely an oversight.

Someone graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary with a PhD has very limited options when it comes to finding a teaching position. She (does Dallas allow women in their PhD program?) will not be considered for positions at places like Yale, University of Chicago, Claremont, etc. Someone graduating from Yale, however, would be considered at any of the schools listed–of course, the applicant would need to demonstrate that she fell within the guidelines of a more conservative school’s doctrinal statement, but as long as she served in a conservative church and demonstrated a true belief in that school’s particular dogma, her degree from a more « liberal » institution would probably be valued (i.e. she made it through a « liberal » education without being « tainted »).

I also agree that Fuller and Princeton are good programs for MDiv or MA work if one does not want to pigeonhole herself into a specific theological tradition. Fuller, in particular, is very large, so one will always be able to connect with other graduates.

Maybe a tiered approach is best for PhD programs:

Tier One:

Yale University (NT & OT)
University of Chicago Divinity School (OT)
Harvard University (OT)

Tier Two:

Graduate Theological Union/Berkeley (OT)

University of Notre Dame (NT)
Duke University (NT & OT)

Tier Three:

Claremont Graduate School (OT)

Princeton Theological Seminary (ST & NT)
Emory (NT & OT)

Vanderbilt University
Marquette (ST)

Wheaton Graduate School (NT)

Tier Four:

Fuller Theological Seminary
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (NT)
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dallas Theological Seminary

These tiers, of course, are different than law school tiers. They should be thought of as tiers of more or less restricted opportunity. The top tiers provide graduates the most options, whereas the bottom tiers dramatically restrict options.

[評:這篇有較為中肯,內行且精準的資訊。指出Graduate Theological Union新約跟舊約研究水準落差很大的問題。舊約依靠UC Berkeley可以衝上頂尖學府。說明Fuller不是純福音派;Yale也不是自由派,而是後自由派。認為Harvard值得一念,而TalbotDallas則不適合真正要做神學學術的人。]

I put GTU lower (and wouldn’t have it up in tier 1), because it’s variable how much one gets to utilize UC Berkeley a block away; and in the end, they’re separate institutions. GTU students can use their libraries and take some courses, but this will more relevant if you’re in certain subfields. Eg, if you specialize in Hebrew Bible or Ancient Near Eastern studies, you’ll gain a lot from drawing on Berkeley’s resources, since they have a lot of offerings in that area (I think Berkeley offers a joint PhD in Jewish Studies in connection with GTU; and that’s a different program from their Dept in Near Eastern studies). But if you do NT or systematic theology, the presence of UC Berkeley doesn’t matter as much (and the « prestige »—for whatever it’s worth— of UC Berkeley doesn’t attach in the same way to your degree)…

Marquette and Georgetown (both Jesuit schools) should definitely be mentioned as well…

Fine, contrary to their own statements, Fuller is not a True® Evangelical seminary. Instead of believing that the Bible is inerrant in all things it says, they only believe that the Bible is « God’s sure Word » and that « God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory » (part 2 of ETS statement of faith). [This sounds like a distinction about which only a fundamentalist would be concerned.]

I attended Fuller and earned an M.A. there in theology before I went to grad school in philosophy. If the ETS represents « evangelical » theology, then Fuller is not an evangelical institution. Not being an evangelical myself, this doesn’t bother me. However, it is only the narrowest characterization of evangelicalism that would exclude Fuller from being evangelical. It represents the evangelical left, but in my denomination (the Episcopal Church), Fuller is regarded as conservative.

As for schools like Dallas, Talbot, etc. don’t go those schools if you want a career in academe outside of the most narrowly evangelical seminaries and Bible colleges. Talbot has a fine M.A. in philosophy of religion program, however.

Harvard is a good place to go if you want to do a PhD or ThD. If you want to do philosophical theology, Sarah Coakely is there and she is quite good. A friend of mine (Todd Billings) who now teaches at Western Seminary worked under her.

Finally, to characterize Yale Divinity School as liberal betrays a lack of understanding of how terms like « liberal », etc., get used in theological circles. YDS is actually quite conservative when compared to Chicago or Harvard. It is best characterized as a « post-liberal » institution. Granted, « post- » language is annoying. But theological post-liberalism is very different from theological liberalism. The late Hans Frei and George Lindbeck have more in common with theologians like Barth and philosophers like Norman Malcolm (i.e., neo-orthodox theologians and Wittgensteinian fideists, respectively). In terms of philosophers at YDS, Marilyn McCord Adams and Nicholas Wolterstorff were both on the faculty there, and John Hare is now there. I don’t think any of them are theological liberals (even if they are not evangelicals). In any case, I think one is better off going to places like YDS, Princeton, Fuller, and other schools where they will be exposed to a wide range of different perspectives in their courses.

[評:幫Yale University Divinity School說好話,指出Talbot School of Theology生師比失衡的大問題。認為福音派神學院的博士路線太窄,非常不推薦。]

Andrei, I think you are probably right about YDS. Miroslav Volf is also there, and he was one of my profs (and probably one of yours) at Fuller. I was thinking more in terms of the PhD program that is offered through the Religious Studies department of the University, not the divinity school.

You don’t need to be a fundamentalist to be a full inerrantist. Bob Jones University is fundamentalist. Gordon-Conwell, Trinity, Westminster, and several of the other top evangelical schools are full of inerrantists who are not fundamentalists.

I do think the Jewett issue could distract us even more than we already are, but my sense is there are people who hold to a hermeneutic like the one you suggest, and maybe he’s one, but it seems to me to be contrary to inerrancy on matters of faith and practice.

For the record, I didn’t see any problem with the tiered structure explaining how broad someone’s acceptance would be at various places. I would never recommend anyone to get a Ph.D. at an evangelical institution unless they never wanted to teach in a mainstream department.

Andrei and all, just a word of caution about Talbot’s MA program in philosophy or philosophy of religion. Their student/faculty ratios are so ridiculous that it is a mistake to classify the program as a strong one. Several of the students who went through the program early on are outstanding, but given the lack of individual attention, the norm for more recent students seems to be drifting back toward what one sees from a decent undergraduate program. When I talk to representatives at other graduate programs in philosophy at APA meetings, this assessment is quite widely shared.

[評:舊生挑出來幫Talbot說好話]

Regarding Jon’s comment, I agree about Talbot. I didn’t want ‘fine’ to be read as ‘strong’. There are some good people at Biola that one would have access to if one is a student at Talbot (especially Tom Crisp). But I would advise students interested in the philosophy of religion to go to a school with a strong M.A. program with faculty who work in the philosophy of religion (e.g., Western Michigan, Texas A&M, Baylor, and NIU).

I can’t speak to the overall perception of Talbot or compare it to other MA programs, but I do know this: there may be a lack of individual attention at Talbot in the classroom, but certainly not outside it. The professors know the classes are too large and because of that they are readily accessible for discussion outside of it and make plenty of time for students who want to go further than the classroom allows. I have experienced that often.

Jon: You are right that the student-faculty ratio at Talbot (MA Phil) leaves something to be desired. But I would point out that the department is actively working on the issue. As a recent Talbot alum, I can say that I have spent quality, out-of-class time with faculty members more times than I can count – not to mention time spent with visiting scholars such as Richard Swinburne, Robert Audi, and Steve Wykstra. Not all of my peers have had the same level of contact with faculty, but the opportunities are there for those who seek them. I realize, Jon, that you were speaking about ‘norms’, but I would take exception with the claim (which seemed to be implied) that Talbot is a sub-par program, on the whole.

Talbot is still graduating excellent, well-trained philosophers. Were that not the case, the University of Rochester would not have admitted Talbot alum the past two years in a row. That is but one example.

Also, I just wanted to weigh in on the subject of Talbot philosophy graduates. My philosophy Phd program (Ohio State) has two Talbot alumni right now, one who just graduated last year from Talbot. I can testify that both of these guys are very sharp and impressive thinkers, theologically and philosophically. But on a sour note, I also knew someone in my last graduate program (Baylor) who attended one year at Talbot and left because of the overcrowding problem.

[評:這篇繼續說Talbot生師比誇張的問題]

Let me be clear about my criticism of the Talbot program. To say that a respectable program cannot have the teacher/student ratio that they have is not to say any of the following: that they don’t have some good faculty (Crisp, for example, is outstanding); that the students don’t do well; that some of the students are not excellent. The fact that these latter claims are false is an indication of the strong interest in and preparation for abstract thought in the conservative Christian community. Quality graduate programs have a ratio in the 2/1 or perhaps 3/1 range, and the ratios count only permanent department members, not affiliates or visitors of various sorts. Good students often find ways to excel despite weaknesses in the institutions they attend, but that fact shouldn’t be interpreted in a way that somehow shows that the weaknesses aren’t present.

[評:總算有人開始用研究領域來劃分不同學校的長處了]

He is talking about doctoral programs. As far as Duke, he must be talking about Duke University’s Ph.D. program. But [Gregory] Jones is not the dean of this. He is the dean of Duke Divinity School which just accepted their first crop of Th.D. (doctoral) students for this fall.

In Old Testament, I hear people talking about Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Duke University, and Emory.

In New Testament, I hear people talking about Duke, Notre Dame, Princeton Theological Seminary, Emory, Cambridge (UK), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Wheaton Graduate School.

Another mention in theology and philosophy might be: Baylor University

In practical theology, I am hearing about Princeton Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Luther Seminary, Emory, and Vanderbilt.

Theologians might not be familiar with what has become an institution within the field of philosophy: Brian Leiter’s « Philosophical Gourmet Report » ( http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com )–a (global) ranking of graduate programs in philosophy. Leiter’s report is not without controversy, but it plays a huge role in how undergraduates think about applications to graduate programs in philosophy. Perhaps the time is ripe from something equivalent in theology & religion?

[評:把英國的一些學校拉進戰局,還有討論中被忽略的Toronto University School of Theology]

Programs in the UK have the benefit of RAE rankings, which offer a quasi-objective ranking of the research quality of graduate programs in theology and religion, made possible by a more centralized organization of higher education in the UK (as most other countries). This would be impossible in the free-marketization of higher education in America.

Thinking about the UK also opens the question: do Americans consider doctoral programs in the UK? And if so, which? It seems to me that a lot of evangelicals–particularly in biblical studies–still make the trek to the UK. And the recent meteoric rise of theology in Scottish universities is sure to draw a number of American graduate students to St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and perhaps Glasgow (depending on whom they appoint to succeed Newlands), as well as the stand-by of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and King’s College. More creative, pluralistic programs draw students to Manchester and Birmingham (which includes significant resources for work in Pentecostal theology).

Looking internationally also reminds us of the resources at the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. Some excellent discussions are going on there.

[評:Union的校友出來為母校幫腔。自稱是福音派的他,批Trinity學術不如Marquette和Princeton,遑論和Union叫板。]

Another reason why this list is outdated is that there is no mention of Union Theological Seminary anywhere on the list. Sure we have some old farts, but Gary Dorrien (Niebuhr chair) is in the top five most important scholars of our time. He’s bringing back a social gospel movement that is really generating some major momentum. When Langdon Gilkey was asked to produce his life acheivments and goals in five pages or less, he called Dorrien and asked him to do it for him! Alongside Dorrien, we have several legends in their field: James Cone (Briggs chair), the founder of Black Liberation; Paul Knitter (Tillich chair), an international source concerning interfaith dialogue. Roger Haight, faced heresy trials from the Catholic Church while producing a definitive work on the Trinity, called « Jesus Symbol of God ». Christopher Morse is one of the major authorities on Barthian studies today (of course, besides Dorrien). Hal Taussig’s Bible department is one of the best liberal approaches towards scripture in the Ivy’s.

It is obvious that whoever this guy is that wrote this essay is a hard core evangelical. Placing Trinity on the same plain as Marquette and Princeton is absurd. Now granted, I did apply to Trinity. I am an evangelical. But Union is clearly a better pick. I agree that both theology and ethics program more or less revolve around one person. But Dorrien vs. Vanhoozer? Come on.

[評:Vanderbilt的校友出來為母校幫腔。這篇有非常有價值的訊息。說明Vanderbilt雖算不上信仰正統,但近期神學蓬勃地開展使其不應再放在過往自由派學術標籤的框架下理解,尤其是它和「後自由神學」高度且密集的對話,絕對有值得一瞧之處。]

I would venture to say that Paul DeHart’s just published work _The Trial of the Witnesses: The Rise and Decline of Post-liberalism_ (Blackwell, 2006 — Paul is in his seventh year at Vanderbilt), as well as the work that will just now start coming out from his first round of graduate students (a dissertation just now being finished on « The Politics of Christian Mission in Barth, Hauerwas, and Yoder » by one student; another student writing on the « nature/grace » discussion in Barth, de Lubac, and Milbank), and some of the things that Vanderbilt graduate students in theology are now involved in (such as the putting together of the « Critical Responses to _Theology and the Political: The New Debate_ » panel at AAR this year with Milbank, Ward, Cunningham, responding to other younger scholars from programs like Duke and Vanderbilt; the organization of a forthcoming international conference on « Theology and Aesthetics »), will cause Vanderbilt to emerge as a place to engage the influential work of those who have been or are on the faculties of the schools Reno and others have mentioned (Duke, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Notre Dame), in a fresh and critical context — one that can no longer strictly be delimited as « Protestant liberal » or « post-liberal. »

Vanderbilt’s program is small, and in many respects still deserves the « Protestant liberal » label as a whole, especially at the Divinity School level. But if one comes to Vanderbilt and takes a concentrated combination of classes with DeHart (Theology… BA, Chicago [1987], M.A.R., Yale [1990], PhD, Chicago [1997]), Patout Burns (Patristics; Augustine), Robin Jensen (Aesthetics; Liturgics… M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D, Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary, New York [1977, 1986, 1991]), Doug Meeks (Theology/Economics), Melissa Snarr (Ethics/Political Theology), and David Wood (Philosophy; Heidegger/Derrida/Kierkegaard), and combines that with intentional participation in the robust graduate student community (such as the newly begun « Graduate Theological Society »), one will have the rigorous interdisciplinary makings for the kind of « systematic theology » needed at the outset of the 21st century.

This post is of course an appeal that Vanderbilt be reconsidered as a place for Ph.D. theological study, especially if we think more in terms of where programs are going, rather than where there has been has led them to where they are today. Theological education really needs to start looking to the future; very few programs are doing that these days. But mostly I want this post to be a plug for DeHart’s book. Pick it up; read its critique of Lindbeck carefully; consider its commendation of Frei vis-a-vis Lindbeck, and ask if it doesn’t problematize some of the categories Reno and many others have all along been assuming in their work.

I should not have failed to mention the recent addition of John Thatamanil to Vanderbilt’s faculty. John is working hard to develop a Christian theology of religions that is robustly « confessional. » I have done significantly less work with John, but he seems to be striving to articulate this vision with the kind of subtlety and sophistication that such a project needs. It will be interesting to see in what direction his work goes; at any rate, it appears it will not be going in the « post-Christian » direction that one would have thought such a theology at Vanderbilt would have gone after McFague (and Hodgson, though less so).

結論

A List (from fundamental to ultra-liberal) by myself:

  • Group 1 (fundamental / evangelical)

Dallas Theological Seminary

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary

Talbot Theological Seminary- [Biola University]

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary- [Gordon College, London School of Theology/Boston University]

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School- [Trinity International University]

Wheaton Graduate School- [Wheaton College]

George W. Truett Theological Seminary– [Baylor University]

Regent College- [University of British Colombia]

Fuller Theological Seminary

  • Group 2 (mainline liberal and neo-orthodox)

Claremont Graduate School

Duke Divinity School

Candler School of Theology- [Emory University]

Toronto School of Theology- [University of Toronto]

Notre Dame University Department of Theology

Princeton Theological Seminary- [Princeton University]

Yale Divinity School

Marquette University Department of Theology

Virginia University Department of Religious Studies

  • Group 3 (neo-liberal, pluralistic, and atheistic)

Harvard Divinity School

University of Chicago Divinity School

Graduate Theological Union- [UC Berkeley]

Union Theological Seminary- [Columbia University]

Princeton University Department of Religion

Oversea alternatives (非美加的海外系統)

Oxford University

Cambridge University

Aberdeen University

Saint Andrews University

Edinburgh University

Tubingen University

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

[文摘] 適合你的神學學位:神學教育制度的基礎介紹-Theological Degree Demystified

Source: http://www.aarweb.org/Members/Students/StagesofEducation.asp#teaching

許多對神學研究的學位感興趣的人,面對各種學院制度時容易產生誤解及混淆。American Association of Religion (AAR) 的網站上整理了一些資訊以茲說明。

學制可分為學術性的和實踐性的兩種。

實踐性的包含 道學碩士(MDiv)、神學博士(ThD)、牧範學博士( DMin,或稱教牧博士)。

學術性的有 文學碩士(MA)、神學碩士(ThM)、神學研究碩士(STM)、哲學博士(PhD)。

  • 關於校名

學校名稱則有 Seminary, Divinity school,School of Theology ,Department of Religion,School of Religion,School of Religious Studies等多種。在中文譯名中無法全部地有效區分。

一般來說,Seminary 較為實踐導向,且有明確的信仰框架。例如 Westminster Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Divinity school 則較為學術,雖部分仍重實踐,但信仰框架較為鬆散薄弱。例如 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, Duke Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School, The University of Chicago Divinity School

School of Theology 則雖然也學術,但內部的神學統整性一般較高。這多半是因為其創設時與宗派的聯繫。例如 Lutheran School of Theology [of Chicago],  Talbot School of Theology, Claremont School of Theology, Candler School of Theology, Boston University School of Theology.

Department of Religion,School of Religion,Department of Religious Studies 則是以宗教社會學、宗教人類學和哲學方法等解析宗教的學術單位,絕大多數與大學院系平行,且教學研究並不帶有任何信仰框架。例如 Religious Studies Department – University of California, Santa Barbara, The Yale Department of Religious Studies, Department of religious Studies at Michigan State University, Penn’s Religious Studies, Department of Religion – Princeton University, Pacific School of Religion.

theological-education

  • 關於學制

學程側重的面向不同和信仰框架的差異,也會直接影響學生畢業後事奉定位。由此可說,同樣的道學碩學士學位,由Seminary, Divinity school,和School of Theology 的內容編排會不同。文學碩士,Seminary到 School of Religious Studies 之間的差異就會更大。

以下是范德堡大學對自家宗教研究所文學碩士提供的介紹

MA (Master of Arts):
From Vanderbilt’s web-site: (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/gradschool/religion/degree/twoyear.html)

“The experience of the Graduate Department of Religion indicates that students enroll in the M.A. program for a variety of reasons. For some it is a means of being introduced to the field of religion, or to a special area within it. For others it is an opportunity to explore in greater depth a field of study with which the student has already become acquainted. For others it is a way of preparing for Ph.D. study, either by testing one’s own ability and motivation or by building an academic record which will support admission to a Ph.D. program. Students may find it advisable for any of these reasons to spend more than one year in the M.A. program and to enroll for more than 24 hours of course work.”

簡單說了四點:

  1. 讓初步對宗教研究領域感興趣的人試水溫。
  2. 讓過往有基礎的人更加進深。
  3. 對有興趣通往博士的人來說,可以當作預先適應學術生活的博士先修班。
  4. 或是當作累積資歷通往更高水準博士班的跳板。

以下是艾墨瑞大學對自家神學校神學研究碩士提供的介紹

M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies)
From Candler School of Theology: http://www.candler.emory.edu/ADMISSIONS/mts.cfm.

“The MTS is especially suited for persons interested in some aspect of teaching and research or engagement in social issues and is not intended for those whose primary immediate interests are in ministry or counseling. Students who plan to apply to a PhD program in religion or to teach at the secondary school level might seek this degree. Others may elect the degree out of intellectual curiosity. Students may focus their studies in Area I – Biblical Studies (Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical Languages), Area II – History and Interpretation of Christianity (Church History, Christian Thought, Historical Theology, Systematic Theology) and/or Area III – Christianity and Culture (Ethical Studies, Missions, Religion and Personality, Sociology and Religion, World Religions).”

“The MTS is closer to the master of arts than to the master of divinity. The program focuses more intensely on issues of academic theology and the study of religion in general, and less on issues of ministry. However, in contrast with the MA offered in some graduate schools which specializes in a single area of religious studies, the MTS covers all areas of theological studies.”

簡單說了幾點:

  1. 適合對志在教學研究或參與社會議題的人。
  2. 這不是一個給預備立即投入事奉場域者的實踐學程。
  3. 拿到這個學位,可以在高中教書。
  4. 也適合作為通往博士班的途徑。
  5. 有些單純為了滿足求知慾的人也會來讀。
  6. 該校的神學研究碩士分為三個大領域:聖經研究(包含新舊約和聖經語言)、歷史和基督教研究(教會歷史、基督教思想、歷史神學和系統神學)、基督教與文化(倫理學、宣教學、宗教與人文、宗教與社會學、世界宗教)。比起一些研究方向單一的文學碩士,無疑提供了更寬廣的選擇。

connect-home

以下是普林斯頓神學院對道學碩士提供的介紹:

M.Div. (Master of Divinity)
From Princeton Theological Seminary: (http://www2.ptsem.edu/offices/admissions/programs/master.aspx)

The Master of Divinity is the basic professional degree for ministry, and is designed to prepare students for the parish ministry, for graduate study in theology and related disciplines, for various types of chaplaincy, for mission work at home and abroad, and for other forms of church vocation. The curriculum is planned to provide the flexibility and independence consonant with a broad theological foundation. Under full-time study, the M.Div. program takes three years to complete

  1. 提供學生將來在區域性教會牧會的裝備
  2. 或是職場牧養(醫院、軍隊、企業機構)
  3. 或是本地以及海外學校
  4. 或是各種教會事奉
  5. 提供神學和相關學科的研究課程預備,具備彈性和自主性。
  6. 為一個三年的全時間學程。

以下是加州柏克萊的聯合神學研究院對自家哲學博士提供的介紹:

Ph.D. (Doctorate of Philosophy):
From the Graduate Theological Union’s Web-site: http://www.gtu.edu/academics/doctoral-program.

“The Ph.D. program places theological or religious studies in the context of university research disciplines, and students are required to engage such a discipline in order to provide an additional critical and theoretical dimension to their work.”

Pursuing a PhD, (or any Doctorate) more so than any of the other degrees mentioned depends highly upon at least two factors: finding a school where you can explore your area of interest and/or identifying a specific Professor that will serve as your intellectual and professional guide through your Ph.D. program.

Also, remember when you are searching for a program, that you will also be living in a certain place, usually for 5-7 years.  What are the costs?  What type of funding does the program offer?  Do I like the location?  Since we are bodies and minds, intellectual and emotional creatures, these questions are valid questions to ask about a PhD program that you may be considering.

  1. 純學術的重點是:找到適合自己研究興趣的學校和能夠提供專業指導的教授
  2. 同時要在學校所在區域花上五到七年。環境和經濟都需要仔細考量再做抉擇。

以下是哈佛大學神學院對神學博士提供的概括性介紹:

Th.D. (Doctorate of Theology)
From Harvard’s Web-site: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~csrel/doctoral/faqs.html.

“Both the Th.D. and the Ph.D. programs are intended to prepare persons primarily for teaching and research in religion. In many respects, students in a particular field, e.g. theology, would follow almost the same course of study for specialization in that field whether in the Ph.D. or the Th.D. program.”

In general, the Th.D. is focused more specifically on Christian theology whereas a PhD is often more comparative.  In addition, the Th.D. is most often awarded by seminary’s, divinity school’s, and school’s of theology, while the Ph.D. is offered by a university.

For More information about the ThD, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThD.

  1. 和哲學博士一樣,都是為了預備學生通往在宗教領域教學和研究的資格及能力。
  2. 在許多情況下,和哲學博士在課程修業的部分是接近完全相同的。
  3. 不過,神學博士的研究導向會比較專精在基督教。哲學博士比較多偏向宗教比較。
  4. 此外,神學博士通常是由 seminary,divinity school,school of theology所授與。哲學博士是由大學。(註:但這個界定現在已經非常模糊了。)

以下是霍華大學神學院對教牧博士提供的概括性介紹:

D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry)
From Howard University Divinity School: http://husd.dst01.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=60.

“The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program is designed for people who wish to engage in an advanced level of preparation for ministerial practice. It is not designed primarily for teaching and research, although effective ministry includes aspects of these. Its primary goal is the integration of theological and anthropological understandings in the context of responsible engagement of ministry.”

For more information about the D.Min. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Ministry.

  1. 教牧博士是為了在牧養實踐上希望更加進深的人所設
  2. 主要的側重點不是教學與研究,儘管有效的牧養也會包含教學和研究。
  3. 教牧博士的學習目標是整合神學和人[類]學的理解,以達到更盡職的事奉參與和實踐。