Courses

  • Each fall semester, the East Asia Institute offers four primary courses. However, students may replace primary courses with electives listed below. Please see the EAI Curriculum Rules for more information.
  • Syllabi for the below courses offered from April 2022 through March 2023 (all of the “primary courses” as well as a number of electives) can be viewed online.
  • For Fall 2022, the primary courses and electives are listed as follows. Please note that the course listing is tentative and subject to change. Please check back for the final course listings in late March. 
  • Students who need more information about the courses offered should contact the admissions office (eai@tci.ac.jp).

Primary Courses (Fall 2022)

FA320 History of Japanese Arts and Aesthetics (3 credits)

In this class, students learn about the culture of Japanese art and aesthetics from a Christian perspective. This year, we will focus on Ghibli Animation as an art and culture that will influence the world. Since the early modern period, Japan has been influenced by Western culture in every aspect. However, critic Shuichi Kato has argued that the influence of Japanese culture on the West was limited to Japanese art. Now, Ghibli Animation is attracting a lot of attention from around the world. The Ghibli movies also depict Japanese native natural religions, such as the worship of spirits in the forest. We will also watch movies featuring works of Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki of Studio Ghibli as a reference. As representative works, I would like to study “My Neighbor Totoro” “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” “Princess Mononoke” and “Sen and Chihiro no Kamikakushi” while watching them in class and discussing them. As a textbook, WE will read ‘Miyazaki World – The Dark and Light of Hayao Miyazaki’ by Susan Napier and translated by Tatsushi Naka. Finally, We will give lectures on the tea ceremony and its aesthetics and experience the tea ceremony in the school’s tea room (Kyoritsu-an). This course is provided in English and Japanese by an interpreter in conjunction with the History of Japanese Arts and Aesthetics of Act-es.

PHIL370 Japanese Religion and Philosophy (3 credits)

This course aims to understand and analyse how religion functions as social systems in contemporary Japan. Although Japan is considered as one of the least religious countries in the world, it can be argued that religion still plays a significant role in Japanese people’s private and public lives. This can be observed in the intersections of various themes such as Shinto and politics, Buddhism and views of life and death, New Religions and social engagement, and the Aum Affair and violence. Through lectures, student presentations, class discussions, and field trips, students are expected not only to gain knowledge about relationships between religion and society in Japan and achieve a necessary familiarity with the religious landscapes in the contemporary Japanese society, but to develop critical skills for examining their own views of religion itself. The course will also provide an opportunity to visit local religious sites. Class preparations and active participation constitute a major part of the student’s grade for the semester.

JPN 316 Japanese Culture and Society (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to Japanese culture and society through studying forms, patterns, and expressions of life in Japan today. Students will get a broad introduction to themes related to Japanese government, economic life, family and community life, Japanese religions and worldviews, and forms of education. While the focus will be on contemporary Japan, students will also learn about historical forms and expressions of Japanese culture that have led up to the present day. Students will learn through classroom lectures, readings, and discussions, as well as through meeting and interviewing local Japanese people about their own understanding and experiences in various areas of life, and through reflecting together on what they have seen and learned during their experiences in daily life. Throughout the course, students will have many opportunities to reflect on what it means to live as a Christian in Japan today, whether as a Japanese citizen or as a foreign resident. The course’s broader aims are for students to learn how to become critically-minded and compassionate interpreters of their own and other cultures in order to live and act in ways that lead to the flourishing of life both locally and globally.

LJA110E-210E Elementary-Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture (4 credits)

The elementary and intermediate courses help students to build a strong foundation in the Japanese language, aiming for the ultimate goal of being a true bridge person between Japan and their home countries. In order to be such a bridge person, the students should be able to use the Japanese language as their tool, being fluent in reading and writing as well. All four skills speaking, listening, writing, and reading will be covered.
Students will be assigned to the course below that best suits their level:
LJA110E Elementary Japanese Language and Culture I
JPN201 Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture I

 

Electives Courses

Elective (Fall 2022) *Elective courses vary from 1 to 2 credits.
BST370 The Pauline Epistles (2 credits)

The Pauline corpus is one of the most important areas in New Testament studies. Indeed, several key ideas of Christian theology, such as justification by faith, are directly derived from and rooted in Paul’s letters. Since the scope of the Pauline study is vast and complex, the contents of this course is inevitably selective. We shall engage with both Paul’s own writings and contemporary Pauline scholarship.
We shall focus on Paul’s major letters, such as Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans. We shall also study a hotly debated issue called The New Perspective On Paul (NPP). In this connection, we shall briefly review the views of the major proponents of NPP. At the end of this course, students are expected to present an exegetical paper on a selected Pauline text, after working on both the text itself and two or three scholarly views on the text. Therefore, students must read at least two articles that represent perspectives that are different from one another.

CCW110E Christ and the World I: Issues Facing the Church Today (2 credits)

This course guides students in identifying and understanding the most pressing conundrums and challenges the church is facing both locally and globally. With issues multiplying and modulating at a dizzying pace, this course seeks to explore ways to identify, analyze, and communicate the nature and scope of various issues, and to invigorate students’ pursuit of a Christian liberal arts education as an invaluable asset for coming to think and relate in redemptive kingdom-oriented ways that bear the life-renewing presence of Christ into His world today.

HIS320 Church History I: Early Church to the Pre-Reformation (2 credits)

This course is designed to introduce the student to the history of Christianity from Antiquity to the late Middle Ages. Its primary aim is to acquaint the student with the historical and theological developments of key figures, movements, and doctrines of the period. Students will learn about major problems faced by the church during this time, such as Gnosticism and Arianism, and influential people, such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Another goal is the development of a critical historical perspective on the Christian church and its applications to the practicalities of the modern Christian church and the Christian life. The course will proceed chronologically with a focus on eastern and western Christianity, but also with recognition of the global spread of Christianity.

JPN156 Japanese Extensive Reading and Listening(2 credits)

This course aims to help students acquire and effectively use Japanese through Extensive Reading and Listening, which we call Tadoku. A large amount of Japanese input through Tadoku makes students’ output in speaking and writing smoother and more fluent. In order for the students to be successful at Tadoku, they are encouraged to keep the following four rules: 1. Start with simple and easy materials. 2. Read without using a dictionary. 3. Skip unknown words. 4. When stuck, or when something becomes uninteresting, find something else.
<Prerequisites and Other Notes >
Ability to read Hiragana is the minimum requirement. Students must be willing to spend a large amount of time reading, listening, and enjoying a variety of materials for Japanese input throughout the term.

RGB110E Great Books I: Western Philosophy (2 credits)

Expanding students’ exposure to seminal literary works across time, space, and culture, this course focuses specifically on the major contributions to Western philosophy made by figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and John Locke. Extending from the ancient Greco-Roman era, through the medieval period, and including the Enlightenment, Western philosophy continues to shape modern patterns of thought across the world. The instructor will vary the readings for each offering of this course. Students can anticipate rigorous engagement with primary source material through close reading of assigned texts and insightful question formulation. This course adopts a Socratic-style structure for in-class discussion, so all students should be prepared for thoughtful interaction with their peers and instructor regarding the material’s original impact and contemporary relevance.

RGB120E Great Books II: Japanese Literature (2 credits)

Expanding students’ exposure to seminal literary works across time, space, and culture, this course focuses specifically on important works of Japanese literature. Selections may include works that have gained international acclaim, such as Japan’s Nobel Prize-winning literature, as well as works that — though lesser known outside of Japan — nonetheless offer unique and important insights into Japanese culture. The instructor will vary the readings for each offering of this course. Students may read the selections in English, Japanese, or any other available translation.
<Prerequisites and Other Notes >
Students should come to the first class having read the first half of Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro.

RFY110E Academic Research and Writing (2 credits)

In this course, students will learn and practice to read, analyze, and evaluate nonfiction sources and to present the results of you analyses in clear, organized, and carefully documented research papers. The course focuses specifically on discovery and critical evaluation of sources. Students will learn to identify research topics, work with sources, construct a bibliography, develop a thesis, outline a research paper, and use various forms of argument to defend the thesis. In addition, students will continue to practice good writing skills as they draft and revise a research paper. As an introduction to the craft of research, students will become familiar with the many tools available for research. Such tools include the library, reference books, and various online resources such as online databases and websites.

SGS101E Global Studies I: Intercultural Communication (2 credits)

The need to acquire the knowledge and skills in intercultural communication is growing in the globalized word. Developing the ability and competence in cross-cultural communication is not simply relevant but crucial today. This course aims to introduce the basic knowledge and skills necessary for developing healthy intercultural relationships. To archive this goal, this course will explore the fundamental concepts and variables in cross-cultural communication. In addition, students will learn cultural patterns that help students to objectify both their own and other cultural ways of communication in order to foster healthy intercultural relationships. The cultivation of positive attitudes towards different cultures is essential. The necessary components and basic skills for effective intercultural communication will be discussed. In this course, a special emphasis will be given to the intercultural communication in the Japanese context. This specific emphasis is intentional and it aims at helping students for their cultural adjustment in the Japanese culture and society.

THEO301 Systematic Theology II: Christ (2 credits)

The third in a sequence of four courses in Christian theology, and a continuation of Systematic Theology I. The main part of the course will focus on Christ – his person, work, and offices. This includes a discussion of Christ’s incarnation, life, death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascension. The course begins with the doctrines of sin and covenant, and concludes with the application of the work of Christ in the gift of the Holy Spirit and faith. The details of soteriology (justification and sanctification) will be discussed in Systematic Theology III.
There is much common ground on these topics with the Lutheran, Reformed/Calvinist, and Wesleyan/Arminian theological traditions that inform much of modern evangelicalism. Yet evangelicals even within these traditions debate many issues. The course explores the coherence and interrelation of doctrinal topics, their roots in biblical sources, and their expression and development within the wider church. The course is focused specifically on doctrine and not on practice or ethics, but with the assumption that the knowledge of God and oneself is integral to Christian living.

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