Off-Site Courses

Engage in courses away from Notre Dame's main campus:

Auditing a course is not permitted during the summer sessions. Those students who take courses in Tucson, AZ or Israel at the Tantur Institute and would like to audit those courses must receive specific permission from the course instructor and will be subject to paying the full tuition amount rather than the reduced summer rates. The University does not allow for exceptions to this situation.

Courses in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jan. 16-17, Feb. 27-28, April 17-18
Theo 64825 :"The Theology of Grace"

Matthew J. Ashley

Course Description:  This course considers the origin and development of the doctrines and theology of grace, beginning with its roots in Scripture, and continuing with important figures and texts in its ensuing development, including: Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, Martin Luther, and the documents of the Council of Trent. It then considers how the classical doctrine is reinterpreted for a modern context in the works of Karl Rahner, Gustavo Gutiérrez, and Flannery O'Connor. Two take-home exams and a final combination written and oral exam. 

Location: This course will be at the Mary Knoll Catholic Center in Fort Wayne

Courses in Tucson, Ariz.

tuscon_2013_2014

Dec. 27, 2014-Jan. 7, 2015
THEO 64835 : Buddhist and Christian Visions of the Contemplative Life

Prof. Robert M. Gimello

Course Description: In the fields of comparative theology and the theology of religions, and in the actual conduct of dialogue among religions, it is often held that spiritual practice has greater claim upon our attention than do other elements of religion like doctrine, scripture, ritual performance, institutional organization, history, or even ethics. It is commonly assumed, in other words, that if we are to learn whether or not there can be genuine unity, or harmony, or complementarity among religions — if we are to come to know, for example, whether or not more than one religion may be deemed salvificly efficacious — we must pay special attention to the interior lives of their most esteemed adherents. We may all easily agree that religions differ, sometimes quite markedly, in their metaphysics, their epistemologies, their social and ethical visions, there aesthetic canons, and their various forms of outward behavior, but we are told that if we would know whether such differences are merely superficial, rather than essential, we must look especially to the inner experiences of paragon believers as they pursue practices variously labeled prayer, meditation, or contemplation. Such inner precincts of the religious life, it is maintained, are the final court of judgment on the possibility and validity of unity and concord among religions.

This course will be a comparative exploration of the inner landscapes of two religious traditions — Christianity and Buddhism — that are often chosen for special comparative scrutiny both by those who would insist on fundamental difference or incommensurability between religions and those who see the possibility of the deep interreligious convergence.

The first third of the course will introduce the major methods of Buddhist meditation whereas the second third will treat of exemplary forms of the Christian contemplative life.  Our focus throughout these first two weeks will be chiefly on primary sources — i.e., on translated texts of moderate length drawn from the archives of traditional Buddhism and Christianity. The final third of the course will be given over to consideration of the controversies among modern theologians, contemplatives, and non-theological scholars about the similarities and/or differences between Christian and Buddhist contemplation and about the criteria by which similarity and or difference can be determined.

Readings:  We will read and discuss much of the material included in:

  1. William Harmless, S. J., Mystics (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) — ISBN 978-0-19-530039-0.
  2. Other required readings — selections from both primary and secondary sources — will be provided by the instructor in the form of pdf files.

Students who are entirely new to the study of Buddhism may find it useful to consult in advance, as preparatory or background reading, a general introduction to the religion. For this purpose I especially recommend:

  1. Rupert Gethin. The Foundations of Buddhism (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) — ISBN 0-19-289223-1.  Not quite as good, but still serviceable and a much quicker “read,” is:
  2. Damien Keown. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) — ISBN 0-19-285386-4.

 

         Requirements: The only formal requirement of the course, part from conscientious and informed participation in class discussions, will be a single paper, on a relevant  topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The paper should be 20-25 double space pages (i.e., approximately 5,000 to 6,250 words) in length and must be submitted within three weeks of the conclusion of the course.

A detailed syllabus — listing particular meeting topics and dated reading assignments — will be distributed in at least a moth before the course begins.  For further information feel free to contact Prof. Gimello at Gimello.1@nd.edu.

Location: Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona: desertrenewal.org

All are welcome to attend this course as degree seeking or non-degree seeking students. Students are responsible for paying & arranging travel.  For further information please call Hermalena Powell, Administrative Assistant for M.A Program at 574-631-4256.

Courses in Israel

Coming soon....