Class Sessions: Tuesdays, 1:00 PM ‑ 3:00 PM
Prof. David Schnasa
Phone: 519-884‑1970 ext. 3493
Office Hours: By appointment in
This seminar course is designed to help students become familiar with attempts to understand what preaching is theologically and equip them to engage the theological task constructively as homileticians in their own right. As such the learning goals are as follows:
1. To understand how theological discussion around preaching developed from Early Christianity through the Medieval period.
2. To appreciate the traditions and trajectories for theologies of preaching that emerged out of the Reformation and influence Protestant and Catholic thought today.
3. To be able to identify how twentieth-century theological developments like Neo-Orthodoxy and the New Hermeneutic have shaped theologies of preaching in our day.
4. To be able to locate conversations in contemporary homiletics in light of those traditions, trajectories, and developments, and
5. To begin to envision how contemporary revisionist theologies might further enliven constructive theological work in this area.
Cooke, B. Ministry to Word and Sacrament.
Hilkert, M.C., Naming Grace.
Achtemeier, P. An Introduction to the New Hermeneutic.
Barth, K. The Word of God and the Word of
ed. Zwingli and Bullinger.
Chrysostom, J. On the Priesthood.
of Catholic Bishops. Fulfilled in
[This book is not on reserve at Knox, but is available on reserve at St. Mike’s Kelly Library]
Parker, T. H. L. The Oracles of God. Lutterworth Press, 1947.
Watson, P. Let God Be God.
Session 1, 9/9
First Hour: Introductions & Discussion of Syllabus
Second Hour: What are some common elements in theologies of preaching?
Planning Assignments and Schedules
Read Cooke, Chapters 8-10 for next week.
First Hour: Ministry of the Word in the New Testament. Discussion Leader____________
Second Hour: The Word in the
The Word in the Patristic Period. Discussion Leader____________
Read Cooke, Chapters 11-13 for next week.
Session 3, 23/9
First Hour: The Word in the Middle Ages. Discussion Leader____________
Second Hour: The Word in the Reformation Period. Discussion Leader_____________
The Word in the
Read Watson, Let God Be God, Chapter V for next week
Session 4, 30/9 The Lutheran Tradition
First Hour: Luther Discussion based on Watson’s book
Second Hour Presentation on Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology
Presentation from Lutheran Bibliography
Read Parker, The Oracles of God, Chapter(s) __ for next week
Session 5, 7/10 The Reformed Tradition
First Hour: Calvin Discussion based on Parker’s book
Second Hour: Presentation on Hyperius, The Practise of Preaching
[a modern translation of this work is available on reserve at Caven library]
Presentation from Reformed Bibliography
Read Zwingli, “Of the Clarity and Certainty of the Word of God”, pp. 49-95, for next week
Session 6, 14/10 The Reformed Tradition and Beyond
First Hour: Zwingli Discussion
Second Hour: Presentation from Other Protestant Bibliography
Presentation from Other Protestant Bibliography
Read Fulfilled in Your Hearing and selected chapters of On the Priesthood for next session
Session 7, 28/10 The Catholic Tradition
First Hour: Fulfilled in Your Hearing discussion
Second Hour: Presentation from Catholic Bibliography
Presentation from Catholic Bibliography
The Orthodox Tradition
Third Hour: Chrysostom Discussion and Presentation from Orthodox Bibliography
Read Barth, The Word of God and the Word of Man for next week
Session 8, 4/11 Neo-Orthodoxy and Today’s Homiletical Theology
First Hour: Discuss Barth
Second Hour: Presentation on
Session 9, 11/11 Presentations on
Read Achtemeier, An Introduction to the New Hermeneutic for Session 11
Session 10, 18/11 The New Hermeneutic and Today’s Homiletical Theology (extended session)
First Hour: Discuss Achtemeier
Second Hour: Presentations on Ebeling, Craddock, Buttrick or Mitchell
Read Hilkert, Naming Grace for Session 13
Session 11, 25/11 No Class–Academic Meeting
Session 12, 2/12 Revisionist and Liberation Theologies of Preaching
First Hour: Discuss Hilkert
Second Hour: Presentation on Chopp, Pittenger, González, or Turner & Hudson
1. Discussion Leader (Sessions 2 and 3)
Come to class ready to make a brief 10 minute summary of the chapter assigned in Cooke’s Ministry to Word in Sacrament and prepare questions to help us discuss its significance.
Due Date: Session 2 or 3--5% of grade
2. Presentations on Various Figures’
Theologies of Preaching
Offer a half-hour summary of the figure you read (see bibliographies below for ideas); identify how they fit or don’t fit some of the traditions, trajectories, and developments in the theologies of preaching that we’ve read; and field questions from the class.
Due Date: Sessions 4-13
Percentage of Grade: 60% of grade (averaged from all your presentations)
3. Final Paper
Develop your own constructive theology of preaching including such theological loci as revelation, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, sacraments, etc., as appropriate to your position. Try as you go to relate your developing theology of preaching to ones we covered in class.
Due Date: _____________
Percentage of Grade: 30% each
4. Attendance and Group Participation
In order to learn theologies of preaching together regular attendance is expected. More importantly, however, we will attempt to learn how to think theologically as part of a community. By struggling together with our discussions, presentations, and papers we will also grow together in ways that we can hardly imagine. This aspect of our time together will necessarily require the voicing of perspectives that some of us often ignore. Yet this is the greatest blessing preachers can receive. After all, the Gospel may not come to us who are called to preach, unless it comes first through the voice of Another. How did Paul put it?: faith comes by hearing.
Due Date: Every Class--Percentage of Grade: 5%
Protestant Theologies of Preaching
Ebeling, G. God
------ Theology and Proclamation.
------ Word and Faith.
Fant, C. Bonhoeffer: Worldly Preaching.
Hall, T. The
Future Shape of Preaching.
Lischer, R., A Theology of Preaching.
Schwarz, H. Divine Communication.
Sittler, J. The Ecology of Faith.
------- The Anguish of Preaching. Fortress, 1966.
Stuempfle, H. Preaching
Law and Gospel.
Wingren, G. The Living Word.
Allmen, J-J., Preaching and Congregation.
Barth, K., The Preaching of the Gospel.
Word of God and The Word of
Bartow, C., God's Human Speech.
Bohren, R., Preaching and Community.
Buttrick, D., A Captive Voice.
Campbell, C., Preaching Jesus.
Clowney, E.,Preaching & Biblical Theology.
Duane, J., The Freedom of God.
Duke, R., The Sermon as God's Word.
Farmer, H. H. The
Servant of the Word.
Forsythe, P. T. Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind. Armstrong, 1902.
Ford, D., The Ministry of the Word.
Kraemer, H., The Communication of the Christian
Luthi, W. Preaching, Confession, Lord's Supper.
Marcel, P. The Relevance of Preaching.
Miller, D. Fire in Thy Mouth.
Ott, H. Theology and Preaching.
Philibert, M. Christ's Preaching and Ours.
Preaching: A Kind of Folly.
Ritschl, D. A Theology of Proclamation.
Other Protestant Traditions:
Beaudean, J. Paul's Theology of Preaching. Macon, GA: Mercer, 1988. BAP
Browne, R. The Ministry of the Word.
Casserly, J. Apologetics and Evangelism.
Chopp, R. The
Power to Speak.
English, D., An Evangelical Theology of Preaching.
González J. and C. González. Liberation Preaching.
Greiser, David B. and Michael King. Anabaptist
Jones, J. The Holy Spirit & Christian Preaching. Epworth, 1967.
Knox, J. The Integrity of Preaching.
Mitchell, H. The
Recovery of Preaching.
Moyd, O. The Sacred Art.
Pittenger, W. Proclaiming Christ Today. Seabury, 1962. ANG
--------- Preaching the Gospel. Morehouse-Barlow, 1984. ANG
Rust, E. The Word and the Words. Macon, GA: Mercer, 1982.
Sellers,J. The Outsider and the Word of God.
Sleeth, R. Proclaiming
Taylor, G. How Shall They Preach? Progressive Baptist, 1977. BAP
Turner M. and M.
Willimon, W. Peculiar
Catholic Theologies of Preaching
--------, The Word:
Burke, J., Gospel Power.
, A New Look at Preaching. Glazier, 1983.
Church, A., The Theology of the Word of God. Notre Dame: Fides, 1970.
Danielou, J., Christ and Us.
Fichter, J., To Stand and Speak for Christ.
Grasso, D., Proclaiming God's Message.
Henry, A.M., A Mission Theology. Fides, 1962.
Hitz, P., To Preach the Gospel.
Jungmann, J.A., The Good News, Yesterday &
Kahmann,J., The Bible on the Preaching of the Word. Norbert,1965.
Miller, C., Ordained to Preach.
NCCB, Fulfilled in Your Hearing.
Rahner, H., A Theology of Proclamation.
Rahner, K., ed., The Renewal of Preaching.
Rahner, K. Theological Investigations (Vol IV,
Rock, A., Unless They Be Sent. Brown, 1953.
Schmaus, M., Preaching as a Saving Encounter.
Schmeiser, J., ed., Celebrating the Word. Anglican Ctr., 1977.
Semmelroth, O., The Preaching Word.
Orthodox Theologies of Preaching
the Priesthood. Trans. Patrick
Breck, John. The Power of the Word in the Worshipping
“The Sacrament of the Word,” in The Eucharist. Trans. P. Kachur;