Course Descriptions

Fall 2012     Spring 2013    Fall 2013    Spring 2014

All course information is subject to change. Please refer to InsideND for current data.

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

For current course information please check insideND.

THEO 60003 - Section 01: Elementary Hebrew II (CRN 21836)

This is the second of a two-semester introductory course in Biblical Hebrew; under normal circumstances, the student must complete the first in order to enroll in the second. In addition to the completion of Lambdin's elementary grammar, students are introduced to some (modified) Biblical texts.

 

THEO 60018 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew II (CRN 25536)

This fourth-semester course in Biblical Hebrew will continue and build upon THEO 60006/83001. Our efforts will be focused on reading and translating selected biblical (and on occasion, post-biblical) passages. Some time also will be devoted to consolidating and nuancing students? Knowledge of Biblical Hebrew grammar and rhetoric.

 

THEO 60102 - Section 01: New Testament Introduction (CRN 24244)

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the writings in the New Testament in their ancient literary, historical, theological, and cultural contexts. The course is interested why these books were written, the problems faced by followers of Jesus, and the development of key theological ideas in the early church. The student will acquire skills for analyzing texts in their ancient context and using this information both to engage difficult Biblical passages and to answer hard questions faced by contemporary Christians.

 

THEO 60111 - Section 01: Synoptic Gospels: Mark (CRN 29160)

This course will explore the Synoptic Gospels in the larger context of gospel literature. Intensive work on the gospel of Mark and issues of method and context will lead to briefer treatment of Q, Matthew and Luke. Special attention will be given to the image of Jesus that each gospel seeks to convey Christology, and to method. In addition to questions of genre, source, form and redaction, narrative techniques, sociological analysis, description of the communities for which the gospels were written, the function of prophecy in the formation of the tradition, and questions of gender and class will all be addressed.

 

THEO 60169 - Section 01: Creation & Liturgy (CRN 29724)
Long Title: Creation and Liturgy

A detailed exegetical and theological examination of the doctrine of creation and the origins of the Divine Liturgy in the Bible.

 

THEO 60210 - Section 01: Topics in Early Christianity (CRN 29633)
Long Title: Topics in Early Christianity: Prayer and Mysticism in the Early Church

This course will be an examination of traditions of biblical interpretation in the early church. Since the greatest proportion of exegetical literature in the early church was homiletic, this course will also entail an examination of traditions of preaching. We will devote considerable attention to ancient allegorical schools of interpretation (Origen), to reactions against it ("Antiochene" exegesis), and to Western exegetes (Augustine, Gregory the Great). We will also look at the uses of the Bible in ascetical literature (desert fathers and mothers, etc.).

 

THEO 60236 - Section 01: Reformation Theo: Topics (CRN 29161)

This course will examine the development of Christian theology from the time of the Reformation through the Enlightenment, with particular emphasis on the understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ throughout this period. We will begin by examining the understandings of Christ developed in the Reformation by Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, and will then move to a consideration of the revised understandings of Christ based on critical reason, including Benedict de Spinoza, John Locke, Samuel Reimarus, and Immanuel Kant. We will conclude with an examination of Christ from the perspective of the affections of the heart, including Blaise Pascal, Nicholas Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf, and Jonathan Edwards. The course will be a mixture of lecture and seminar discussion of the readings. Evaluation will be based on class participation and five comparative papers analyzing the readings assigned for the course.

 

THEO 60246 - Section 01: U.S. Latino Catholicism (CRN 29162)
Long Title: U.S. Latino Catholicism

Latina and Latino Catholics have lived their faith in what is now the continental United States for almost twice as long as the nation has existed. This course explores the origins and development of Latino Catholicism in the United States, particularly the theological contributions of contemporary Latinas and Latinos.

 

THEO 60290 - Section 01: Love and Wisdom (CRN 29163)
Long Title: Love and Wisdom in Medieval Theology

The high middle ages (the 12th century through the early 14th) witnessed great vitality and creativity in the doing of theology, and high medieval theological work has proven to be of continuing significance and interest. This course provides an advanced orientation to the high medieval theological achievement, by identifying the main kinds of medieval theological work, as well as principal settings and genres, and by introducing some of the more renowned scholastic, monastic, and, lay spiritual theologians. To give focus to the course, special consideration will be given to the themes of love and wisdom, as these play out in medieval theological discussions of Trinity and creation, Christ, the human journey to God as end, and, Mary. Among the theologians who will figure prominently in the course are Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Duns Scotus.

 

THEO 60401 - Section 01: Sacramental Theology (CRN 29725)

This course presents an integrated overall view of the history, theology and pastoral praxis of sacrament in a modern, multicultural world. In Addition to readings, one paper will be required.

 

THEO 60403 - Section 01: Christian Initiation (CRN 29164)

This course will trace the development and interpretations of the Rites of Christian Initiation in East and West from the New Testament period to the modern period of ecumenical convergence. In light of this historical investigation some modern forms of these rites (e.g., RCIA, LBW, BCP, etc.) will be considered critically. Requirements include two take-home exams, short papers on assigned questions, and an oral presentation on a selected modern rite.

 

THEO 60425 - Section 01: Mary, Sts in Liturgy, Doct Lif (CRN 29165)
Long Title: Mary, Saints in Liturgy, Doctrine and Life

This course explores the evolution and theology of Mary and the saints in their liturgical and doctrinal expressions in an attempt to discern, evaluate, and articulate their proper place within Christian liturgy, doctrine, and life today in relationship to the central mediatorial role of Christ. Issues of popular piety, "models of holiness," and ecumenical division, dialogue, convergence, feminist critique, and liturgical renewal will also be examined. Requirements include several short papers/seminar-style presentations, and a research paper.

 

THEO 60457 - Section 01: Hymnology (CRN 29166)

The major types and genres of Christian hymnody from the New Testament to the present. The leading theologian-hymnodists, their historical context and theological positions. How to do hymn research on texts, authors, and melodies. The history of hymnals and the liturgical year. Students should be able to read modern music notation.

 

THEO 60601 - Section 01: Foundations of Moral Theology (CRN 24248)

This course introduces the history and patterns of thought that provide the foundations for contemporary discussions about moral theology in the Roman Catholic Church. Its central aim will be to position moral theology as a practical and pastoral expression of Christian faith, but also as a tradition of inquiry relevant to wider discussions about moral matters in the academy and in society. Topics to be considered include: sources for moral theology, genres of moral writing, the nature of the human person and her relationship to the community of disciples, the dynamics of moral action, and the topics of freedom, experience, authority, virtue, and forgiveness. Course requirements include two short reflection papers and a final research paper, which may be customized to students ongoing pastoral and/or academic questions.

 

THEO 60612 - Section 01: Human Rights & Christian Ethic (CRN 29167)

Alasdair MacIntyre once famously remarked that universal human rights have the same status as witches, the point being that neither one exists. Until recently, most moral philosophers and many Christian ethicists would have agreed with him. However, the pressures of an increasingly interconnected global society have generated new interest in developing a doctrine of universal human rights. Christian ethicists and theologians have been at the forefront of these efforts, and at the same time, they have also been among the most stringent critics of rights oriented approaches to our common life. In this course, we will examine the doctrine of universal human rights from a variety of perspectives, with a particular focus on recent theological defenses or criticisms of this doctrine. Particular attention will be given to debates over human rights in the context of feminism, economic justice, and international relations.

 

THEO 60614 - Section 01: Catholic Social Teaching (CRN 23634)

The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with the tradition of Catholic social teaching with a view toward developing skills for critical reading and appropriation of these documents. We will examine papal, conciliar, and episcopal texts from _Rerum novarum_ (1891) up to the present time, identifying operative principles, tracing central theological, ethical, and ecclesial concerns, and locating each document in its proper historical context. We will also hold recurring themes in conversation with the broader theoretical framework of Catholic social thought and relevant secondary literature.

 

THEO 60705 - Section 01: Modern Islam (CRN 29168)

This course analyzes Islamic thought and practice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through an engagement with the histories, politics, institutions, cultures, and intellectual developments, as well as the relations of these aspects of Islam to non-Muslims in modern times. We will reflect on how the Western impact and Muslim internal dynamics have contributed to the rise of modern Islamic renewal and revival movements, including Salafism, and how Muslims have responded to major global events. Rather than looking at modern Islam as a break from the past tradition, we will conceptualize the various expressions and manifestations of modern Islam in terms of discursive tradition, which conceptualizes human history as a continuum of renewal, revival and reform. This will be done through a critical reading of the works of Muslim intellectuals and artists not only in the Arab Middle East but also in South and Southeast Asia. Our goal is to explore and study the great ideas and conflicts over them within Islamic societies.

 

THEO 60823 - Section 01: Feminist&Multicltrl Theologies (CRN 29169)
Long Title: Feminist and Multicultural Theologies

An exploration of how the voices of women have helped to reshape theological discourse and to bring to light new dimensions of the Christian tradition. The course will focus on the significance of gender and social location in understanding the theological vocation and task, theological anthropology, Christology/soteriology, the mystery of God, and women's spirituality. Readings will include selections from theologians who identify their work as feminist, womanist, Latina, mujerista, African, Asian, or from the global South or Third World.

 

THEO 63301 - Section 01: Truth, Language, Love (CRN 29855)
Long Title: Truth, Language, Love: The Theology of Dante's Comedy

Taught in English, and requiring no prior knowledge of Dante, this course is intended for any graduate student wishing to spend a semester studying one of the greatest works in the Western tradition. We will concentrate on three aspects of Dante's work: 1) Dante's understanding of the divine, or 'truth'; 2) the conception of language and poetics underlying his presentation of our journey towards truth; 3) his notion of love as the fullest expression of both truth and language. We will reflect on these three things and on their interrelations with a specific focus on the narrative dynamics of Dante's text, and especially on its portrayal of human encounter. In doing so, we will have the opportunity to engage in detail with one of the greatest existing examples of the fusion between theological seeking and poetic experimentation.

 

THEO 67001 - Section 01: MTS Colloquium (CRN 23239)

Required for all M.T.S. students. (Every Fall and Spring semester)

Return to top

Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

THEO 60002 - Section 01: Elementary Hebrew I (CRN 12039)

This is a two-semester introductory course in biblical Hebrew; under normal circumstances, the student must complete the first to enroll in the second. The fall semester will be devoted to learning the grammar of biblical Hebrew. The spring semester will be divided into two parts. For the first six weeks we will finish and review the grammar. In the remaining part of the course we will read and translate texts from the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, and Rabbinic literature. The course will focus on developing reading and comprehension skills in biblical Hebrew through the study of biblical texts. In addition, students will learn how to use reference grammars, concordances, and apparatus to the Biblica Hebraica. The course encourages students to think about the grammatical forms and their implications for biblical interpretation.

 

THEO 60006 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew (CRN 11946)

The primary focus of this course is on reading the text of the Hebrew Bible, at first prose narratives, then poetic sections and consonantal (unpointed) texts. There will be a review of the grammar of Biblical Hebrew, as well as development of vocabulary and skills in using lexicons and concordances of the Hebrew Bible. The course should speed your reading of Hebrew and help prepare you to teach an Elementary Hebrew course. There will be quizzes, a mid-term, and a final exam. Elementary Hebrew is required. Readings:Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (1st or 2nd ed.).F. Brown, S. Driver, and C. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon.L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.

 

THEO 60103 - Section 01: Introduction to Judaism (CRN 18905)

This course surveys the major practices and beliefs of Judaism. Our focus is on Judaism as a religious tradition, one that links its adherents across time even as it changes in response to new circumstances. We begin by examining the foundational religious categories that crystallized in antiquity, such as the commandments and Torah study. We then turn to transformative developments in later periods, among them the flourishing of philosophy and mysticism inmedieval Judaism, religious reform movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Holocaust, and Zionism.

 

THEO 60105 - Section 01: Introduction to Old Testament (CRN 14076)
Long Title: Introduction to the Old Testament

This course provides an overview and critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures in their literary, historical, and theological contexts. The focus will be principally on reading and gaining an informed understanding of the biblical text, but this will be done against the background of the history, literature, and religions of the magnificent civilizations in the ancient Near East. Further aspects include analysis and use of the tools of historical-critical scholarship; ancient mythology; the processes by which the Scriptures were composed; Old Testament theology; and contemporary theological issues. The course is designed to prepare students both for graduate biblical studies and for intelligent effectiveness in the contemporary church.

 

THEO 60105 - Section 02: Introduction to Old Testament (CRN 17273)
Long Title: Introduction to the Old Testament

This course provides an overview and critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures in their literary, historical, and theological contexts. The focus will be principally on reading and gaining an informed understanding of the biblical text, but this will be done against the background of the history, literature, and religions of the magnificent civilizations in the ancient Near East. Further aspects include analysis and use of the tools of historical-critical scholarship; ancient mythology; the processes by which the Scriptures were composed; Old Testament theology; and contemporary theological issues. The course is designed to prepare students both for graduate biblical studies and for intelligent effectiveness in the contemporary church.

 

THEO 60121 - Section 01: Early Christianity (CRN 18906)
Long Title: Early Christianity: An Introduction

This course will explore the history and thought of the first five hundred years of the Christian church. Our approach will be both theological and social historical. We will read our texts to discover not only the background and context of the major theological debates but also the shape and preoccupations of "ordinary" Christian life in late antiquity: the pastoral situations and issues that called theological debates into being. The bulk of our reading will thus be a selection of primary texts taken from the writings of our early authors.

 

THEO 60168 - Section 01: Life, Letters, Legacy of Paul (CRN 18907)
Long Title: The Life, Letters and Legacy of St. Paul

This course will examine the heritage, writings, and legacy of the Apostle Paul. It is divided into five unequal parts: 1) Introductory Issues; 2) Paul in His Pre-Christian and Early Apostolic Years; 3) The Letters of Paul; 4) The Letters of Paul?s Followers; and 5) Pseudo-Pauline Works and Ancient Views of Paul. Most of the course is devoted to Paul?s letters (Part III). Opportunities for student response and discussion will be provided during each session of the course. The course has four main objectives: (1) to provide an introduction to the letters of Paul and the apostle himself; (2) to provide insight into the cultural, religious, and philosophical dimensions of the Greco-Roman world in which Paul lived; (3) to acquaint the student with some of the various ancient and modern interpretations of Paul; and (4) to introduce students to the major scholarly methods used to interpret Pauline literature.

 

THEO 60235 - Section 01: Christianity in Africa (CRN 18908)

Few places on earth exhibit the dynamism of contemporary Christianity like Africa. Such dynamism creates new challenges and opportunities for the Catholic Church and other ecclesial bodies, and also shapes African life more generally. Through novels, historical studies, and present-day reflections from a variety of perspectives this course will explore Christianity in Africa, beginning with the early Church but with heightened attention to the more recent growth of Christianity on the continent. It will also examine Christianity's interactions with Islam and forms of African ways of being religious that predated Christianity and Islam, many of which have ongoing vitality. Attention will also be paid to African Christian theology, carried out formally and informally, as well as the implications of the spread of African Christianity for world Christianity.

 

THEO 60269 - Section 01: Three 12th-Century Cistercians (CRN 18909)
Long Title: Three Twelfth-Century Cistercians

Contemporaries of one another, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), William of St. Thierry (1085-1148), and Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) each contributed with passion and genius to the great twelfth-century Cistercian reform of Benedictine spirituality. They did so in complementary ways, reflecting their unique temperaments, backgrounds, geographic surroundings, mystical experiences, and missions. In this course we will read the principle writings of each, comparing and contrasting their approaches to the central Cistercian themes of self-knowledge, charity, and reform (personal and communal). Emphasis will be placed on their common engagement with Augustinian theology and their novel insights into its richness as a mystical way.

 

THEO 60298 - Section 01: Light and Darkness (CRN 19625)
Long Title: Light and Darkness in Medieval Thought

The symbolism of light and darkness has played an enormous role in the histories of European philosophy, theology, ad literature. Taking the Book of Genesis and Plato's Republic as the twin starting-points of the tradition, this course will mark out the main contours of this history of symbolism during the western Middle Ages first, by isolating key texts or parts of texts (from Augustine's Soliloquies, Confessions, and commentaries on Genesis, and from Dionysius the Areopagite's Hierarchies and Mystical Theology at one end of the period to Robert Grosseteste's De Luce and other writings of the Scholastic period at the other, together with the numerous relevant Carolingian and twelfth-century cosmologists and Dionysian commentators in between). Secondly, we will distinguish the many different applications of the symbolism of light and darkness in the contrast between good and evil, in the identification of darkness paradoxically with both ignorance and transcendent vision, in the association of light with fire and love, in the identification of darkness and nothingness, and so forth. Knowledge of Latin is useful but not essential for participation in the course. The written requirement is one final essay on a relevant topic of the student's choice that is approved by the Instructor.

 

THEO 60299 - Section 03: Boethius & His Commentators (CRN 19626)
Long Title: Boethius and His Commentators

The first part of this course will provide an introduction to Boethius' life and works, and to his relation to the earlier Greek and Latin traditions. Although we will consider De Consolatione Philosophiae to be his most important text, devoting some weeks to the reading of the work sequentially through its five books, some attention will also be paid to Boethius' theological opuscula and to his writings on logic, rhetoric, music, and arithmetic. The second part of the course will be devoted to the tradition of Latin commentary on Boethius during the western Middle Ages between the early Carolingians and the thirteenth century with special reference to the writings of Eriugena, Remigius of Auxerre, Bovo of Corvey, and William of Conches. Again, the primary emphasis will be placed on the afterlife of De Consolatione, although there will also be some opportunity to consider the commentaries on the theological treatises, and also the numerous Boethian citations and resonances in literary, theological, and philosophical works that are not "commentaries" on this author in the strict sense. Students may write their required final essays on Boethius himself or on the Latin or vernacular traditions of Boethian reading.

 

THEO 60402 - Section 01: Liturgical History (CRN 12811)

Survey of liturgical history and sources with regard to both Eastern and Western rites. Fundamental liturgical sources including basic homiletic and catechetical documents of the patristic period. Basic introduction to the methodology of liturgical study. Requirements will include short papers and exams. (Fall)

 

THEO 60404 - Section 01: Eucharist (CRN 10376)

The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church. A biblical, historical, systematic and liturgical treatment of the Eucharistic liturgy with a special emphasis on pastoral considerations.The goal of this course is a comprehensive understanding of the nature and development of the Christian Eucharist. In order to accomplish this end an examination of both the structure and the content of the eucharistic liturgy will be undertaken. A positive theological method will be employed whereby the Eucharist will be studied from an historical perspective, after which a systematic theological reflection upon various aspects will be undertaken with a commentary on contemporary theory and practice.

 

THEO 60422 - Section 01: Liturgical Prayer (CRN 18910)

A study of the theology and practice of liturgical prayer in the Christian tradition past and present.

 

THEO 60445 - Section 01: Music in the Medieval West (CRN 19384)

This graduate seminar is about how music was recorded, changing modes of transmission, and the interactions between the performer, the notator, the poet/dramatist, the patron, and the scholar throughout the Middle Ages. The work begins in the early Christian period and ends in around 1400, providing an overview of the development of music in its historical contexts. The first half of the course, focuses upon repertory during and after the monumental changes of the Carolingian period. As the church controlled the means of book production, all that survives is sacred music, most of it is liturgical. Students will prepare transcriptions for use in our work and to do this, expertise in a variety of subjects will be well-received, from composition and music theory, to music performance, to Latin studies, history, and liturgics. A class project at mid-term will involve the reconstruction of a medieval Vespers service from the manuscripts we have been studying, including a Carthusian diurnal written in Paris in the thirteenth century, but preserving a tradition that is far older. This work will be filmed as part of a project supported by the Mellon Foundation: "Performing the Middle Ages." The second half of the course will focus on rhythm, music and poetry, and dramatic and narrative structures, ending with the performance of scenes from Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, a musical play that will drawn on a variety of student expertise, from the theological to the musical, the art historical to the digital. Student will have an opportunity to engage with a digital reconstruction of Hildegard's musical cosmos. The course is open to graduate and professional students, as well as to advanced undergraduates in Theology and the MI. The inter-disciplinary nature of the subject precludes prerequisites; all are welcome, and musical expertise is not required. Individual projects and presentations will be tailored to each student's training, interests, and expertise.

 

THEO 60609 - Section 01: Christn Ethics & Pastrl Pract. (CRN 18911)
Long Title: Christian Ethics and Pastoral Practice (MT)

Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior has practical implications for the way believers construe the world and organize their lives. What these implications are for Christian life in some specific areas of life and the tensions which arise from the attempt of the Christian community to remain faithful to the teachings of the Lord Jesus while trying to live a fully human life - this is at the core of our course.

 

THEO 60639 - Section 01: Practical Theology (CRN 19627)
Long Title: Practical Theology: Pragmatism, Praxis and Ethics

How is theology related to the practical concerns of the Church? What place does the experience of the faithful play in identifying and articulating the Church?s response to the great moral challenges of our day? How do differences in culture and socio-economic location among the faithful impact how we interpret those challenges? Are these differences aids or hindrances to cooperative work among Christians who seek justice? How does the experience of faith in Christian families relate to the evangelical mission of the Church? This course will consider these and other questions in ecumenical perspective by exploring the historical development and contemporary expressions of the theological movement known as ?practical theology.? In the first half of the course, we will introduce the field of practical theology and examine the work of two Catholic thinkers of praxis and ministry (the Dominican theologians Gustavo Gutiérrez and Thomas O?Meara) in conversation with a key Protestant thinker in the practical theology movement (Don Browning). In the second half of the class, we will examine the work of contemporary practical theologians on three important social issues in the United States: racism, marriage, and the care of children. Theologians considered in the second half of the class include Catholics Diana Hayes and Lisa Cahill and Protestants Bonnie Miller-McLemore and Victor Anderson.

 

THEO 60640 - Section 01: God, Science, & Morality (CRN 19922)
Long Title: God, Science, and Morality

Recent advocates of biologicizing the study of morality claim that theological accounts of ethics are either superfluous or erroneous. After examining the evidence presented by scientists and philosophers who support this movement, students will then test the strength of the evidence against various scientific, philosophical, and theological critiques. Students will also evaluate constructive appropriations of the same biological findings by moral theologians. Course readings survey the fields of neuroscience (Joshua Greene, Jonathan Haidt), primatology (Frans de Waal, Marc Hauser), evolutionary psychology (E. O. Wilson, Stephen Pinker), philosophy of science (G. K. Chesterton, Michael Polanyi, Stephen Jay Gould, Philip Kitcher), philosophy of religion (Sarah Coakley, Timothy Jackson, John Hare), and natural law (C. S. Lewis, Jean Porter, Stephen Pope). Students will write a series of essays that culminate in a statement of their own theological response to these biological accounts of morality.

 

THEO 60701 - Section 01: Seeing Christ, Seeing Buddha (CRN 19385)
Long Title: Seeing Christ and Seeing the Buddha: Religion and the Visual Arts in Christianity and Buddhism

Until only recently, and in all the world's cultures, religion has been the chief inspiration and patron of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, etc.). Religious traditions have generally gloried in the arts they have inspired and fostered, celebrating them for the ways in which they stimulate faith, enhance piety, and even shape theology. And yet, at various crucial times in history, the arts have become objects of religious suspicion and disdain, sometimes even to the point of being condemned or forbidden by religious authorities. This course will examine the complex relations between religion and the visual and plastic arts with an eye especially towards discerning what kinds of value religions have found in them and what reasons they have sometimes had to be wary of them. Focusing on two religions, Christianity and Buddhism, on the close study of selected masterpieces of the arts of both, and on their discourse about the arts, this course will treat of the significance of the arts in religion and the significance of religion in the arts. Please note that no prior study of Buddhism is required.

 

THEO 60702 - Section 01: Improvising Peace (CRN 19386)
Long Title: Improvising Peace: Toward a Theology of Peacebuilding

From a Christian theological point of view, peace is both a gift and a mission. Using life stories of exemplary Christian peace builders from around the world, the course will highlight five practices and disciplines: scriptural imagination, lament, hope, advocacy and spirituality, which define the Christian vision and practice of peace. The course is meant to serve as an extended argument for why and how the church matters for peace in the world, but also to display that the pursuit of peace is not the reserve of a few experts (peacebuilders), but the gift and mission of every Christian - "anyone in Christ."

 

THEO 60801 - Section 01: Fundmntls Systematic Theology (CRN 11364)
Long Title: Fundamentals of Systematic Theology

This course is a graduate level introduction to the nature, tasks, and methods of systematic theology. The primary focus of the course will be an analysis of the contributions of diverse 20th and 21st century theologians and theological movements to an understanding of the theological enterprise. Among the fundamental issues to be considered in the first half of the course are the following: the possibility and form of revelation; an understanding of faith and the relationship between faith and reason; the sources of theology and the interrelationship of scripture, tradition, and experience/praxis; the development and interpretation of doctrine; and the roles of the hierarchical magisterium, theologians, and the community of the baptized in preserving and handing on the authentic Christian tradition. The second half of the course explores a broad survey of contemporary methods of doing systematic theology.

 

THEO 60801 - Section 02: Fundmntls Systematic Theology (CRN 17275)
Long Title: Fundamentals of Systematic Theology

This course is a graduate level introduction to the nature, tasks, and methods of systematic theology. The primary focus of the course will be an analysis of the contributions of diverse 20th and 21st century theologians and theological movements to an understanding of the theological enterprise. Among the fundamental issues to be considered in the first half of the course are the following: the possibility and form of revelation; an understanding of faith and the relationship between faith and reason; the sources of theology and the interrelationship of scripture, tradition, and experience/praxis; the development and interpretation of doctrine; and the roles of the hierarchical magisterium, theologians, and the community of the baptized in preserving and handing on the authentic Christian tradition. The second half of the course explores a broad survey of contemporary methods of doing systematic theology.

 

THEO 60835 - Section 01: Canon Law (CRN 11678)

Note: M.A.-M.Div. students only. The purpose of this course is to provide students studying for ministry with an introduction to the law of the Roman Catholic Church. General principles for the interpretation of canon law as well as its history, and its relationship to theology and pastoral praxis are discussed. Although attention is given to the laws and canonical jurisprudence concerning marriage, other selected canonical topics of value to those in ministry are considered as well. (Fall)

 

THEO 60845 - Section 01: Comparative Spiritualities (CRN 18913)

This course provides a first introduction to some of the more influential spiritualities practiced by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Eastern Orthodox Christians down through the ages and seeks to determine their significance for contemporary Roman Catholic spiritual praxis and theology. In order to properly understand the practices of Hindu yoga and bhakti, of Buddhist vipassana and Zen, of Muslim salat/namaz and Sufism, of the Eastern Orthodox Jesus Prayer/Hesychasm and the accompanying place of human effort in asceticism and morality, it will be necessary to examine underlying convictions about the nature of the human person and the supreme Reality, of Divine presence and grace, as well as the declared ultimate goal of spiritual endeavor, whether it be expressed more in terms of a communion of love or of enlightened higher consciousness. During the semester we will not only study important spiritual texts of other religions, but we will also practice meditation, visit a local mosque for Friday prayers and sermon, and be instructed by expert guest speakers who represent religious traditions other than our own. Students will be required to give at least one presentation on a class reading and write two five-page reflection papers and one ten to twelve-page research paper.

 

THEO 60846 - Section 01: Christology (CRN 15181)

"Christology" undertakes a critical study of [1] the origins of belief in Jesus Christ, [2] the Church's teachings concerning the "person" of Christ, [3] the Church's teachings concerning the "work" of Christ, and [4] current issues Christology. The primary texts for the course are the Bible and "Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus (NY: Oxford University Press, 2009) by Gerald O'Collins, S.J. The course requires students to write three essays and a reflection paper which is discussed in an oral examination at the end of the course.

 

THEO 60849 - Section 01: Christian Spirituality (CRN 19914)

This course will first set out some general principles of Christian spirituality, using Scripture and materials from Cunningham and Egan's Christian Spirituality: Themes From the Tradition. We will then consider some selected "classics" from the tradition of the Christian East (principally the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches) and the Christian West, including select writings from the Desert Fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Pseudo-Macarius, Symeon the New Theologian, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory Palamas, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, modern Russian spirituality, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Gustavo Gutierrez. Class participation, the timely submission of some short reflection papers, an occasional test, and a final research paper are required.

 

THEO 60887 - Section 01: Faith, Reason, & the Church (CRN 18914)
Long Title: Faith, Reason, and the Church

This course will study Catholic teaching and theology on the relationshp between faith and reason. We will consider faith and reason in magisterial and conciliar documents (Trent and Vatican II), and in representative theologians of patristic, medieval and modern times such as Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Pascal, Newman, deLubac, and hans Urs von Balthasar. We will link the different magisterial and theological views of the relationship between faith and reason to ecclesiology.

 

THEO 60962 - Section 01: Common Good Initiative Seminar (CRN 14538)
Long Title: Common Good Initiative Seminars

The Christian Gospel message and Catholic Social Tradition have from their inception defended the life and dignity of the human person, promoted the divine call to participation in family and community, fostered the dignity of work and the rights of workers, and called for solidarity with the poor and marginalized of society and stewardship of creation. Consequently, the Church's mission, as an extension of the Gospel imperative to work for justice, is rooted in Christ-centered love that expresses itself in compassionate care for the poor and vulnerable, as well as in sustained efforts to transform violent, oppressive, and unjust systems so often aligned with the causes of poverty and human suffering. Students preparing for ecclesial ministry are thus called to incorporate the teachings and practices of charity and justice ever more fully into their pastoral leadership development. The Pastoral Leadership Practicum is designed to assist students in their integration of theological study and pastoral praxis by means of community-based learning through immersion trips (1-2 weeks) located in regional, national, and international sites. Prior to, during, and after their on-site learning, students engage in theological reflection and social analysis so as to further develop those pastoral leadership skills necessary for every area of ministry within Roman Catholic ecclesial life, most especially within social justice ministry. In addition to their community-based work, students will explore the theological foundations of social justice ministry from five theologically and methodologically distinct areas of scholarship. Students will also examine the cultural context of poverty and systemic oppression and will integrate their experiences through facilitated dialogical sessions, a follow-up retreat, and 5 page integrative paper.

 

THEO 60963 - Section 01: Common Good Initiative Seminar (CRN 14540)
Long Title: Common Good Initiative Seminars

The Christian Gospel message and Catholic Social Tradition have from their inception defended the life and dignity of the human person, promoted the divine call to participation in family and community, fostered the dignity of work and the rights of workers, and called for solidarity with the poor and marginalized of society and stewardship of creation. Consequently, the Church's mission, as an extension of the Gospel imperative to work for justice, is rooted in Christ-centered love that expresses itself in compassionate care for the poor and vulnerable, as well as in sustained efforts to transform violent, oppressive, and unjust systems so often aligned with the causes of poverty and human suffering. Students preparing for ecclesial ministry are thus called to incorporate the teachings and practices of charity and justice ever more fully into their pastoral leadership development. The Pastoral Leadership Practicum is designed to assist students in their integration of theological study and pastoral praxis by means of community-based learning through immersion trips (1-2 weeks) located in regional, national, and international sites. Prior to, during, and after their on-site learning, students engage in theological reflection and social analysis so as to further develop those pastoral leadership skills necessary for every area of ministry within Roman Catholic ecclesial life, most especially within social justice ministry. In addition to their community-based work, students will explore the theological foundations of social justice ministry from five theologically and methodologically distinct areas of scholarship. Students will also examine the cultural context of poverty and systemic oppression and will integrate their experiences through facilitated dialogical sessions, a follow-up retreat, and 5 page integrative paper.

 

THEO 67001 - Section 01: MTS Colloquium (CRN 10443)

Required for all M.T.S. students. (Every semester)

Return to top

Spring 2013 Courses

THEO 60003 - Section 01: Elementary Hebrew II (CRN 21956)

Course Description:
This is the second of a two-semester introductory course in Biblical Hebrew; under normal circumstances, the student must complete the first in order to enroll in the second. In addition to the completion of Lambdin's elementary grammar, students are introduced to some (modified) Biblical texts.

 

THEO 60018 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew II (CRN 26404)

Course Description:
This fourth-semester course in biblical Hebrew will continue and build upon THEO 60006/83001. While the latter was devoted to the reading of biblical prose, this installment of Intermediate Hebrew will introduce students to the beauty of biblical Hebrew poetry. Our efforts will be focused on the preparation, oral reading, and translation of selected biblical passages. But time also will be spent continuing to review basic grammar as well as developing an appreciation of syntax and poetic structure (e.g., parallelism) in this powerful medium of prayer, prophetic revelation, and the quest for Wisdom in ancient Israel.

 

THEO 60102 - Section 01: New Testament Introduction (CRN 24548)

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the writings in the New Testament in their ancient literary, historical, theological, and cultural contexts. The course is interested why these books were written, the problems faced by followers of Jesus, and the development of key theological ideas in the early church. The student will acquire skills for analyzing texts in their ancient context and using this information both to engage difficult Biblical passages and to answer hard questions faced by contemporary Christians.

 

THEO 60106 - Section 01: Prophets (CRN 28895)

Course Description:
We expect to cover the historical development of prophecy in Israel and early Judaism inclusive of early Christianity. Our method of work combines survey by means of set readings and "close readings" of selected prophetic texts. Attention will be given to comparative material in ancient and other cultures and to the sociological coordinates of prophetic phenomena, including ecstasy. Participants will be invited to reflect on the theological significance of prophetic mediation and the place of prophecy in Christian life today. (Alternate spring)

 

THEO 60113 - Section 01: The Gospel of John (CRN 28896)
Long Title: The Gospel of John (BS)

Course Description:
The purpose of this summer course is to introduce the student at the Master's level to present-day study of the Gospel of John. The Gospel will be covered by the interaction between class lectures on specific disputed topics or pericopes on the one hand and the reading of a Gospel commentary on the other. The major methods employed will be those of source, form, and redaction criticism, though recent literary theories will also be considered. Since this course is offered in the Department of Theology, the emphasis of the lectures will be on a synthetic overview of the theology of John's Gospel, divided into major themes, rather than on an exegesis of the whole Gospel in order. An overview of the whole Gospel in the order in which it was written will be gained by reading the commentary, quizzes on the readings, and discussions following the quizzes.

 

THEO 60120 - Section 01: Women & Christian Origins (CRN 28897)
Long Title: Women and the Origins of Christianity

Course Description:
The course is a survey of the New Testament and other literature from its context from a feminist perspective. It will delineate patterns of gender in the theology and structure of these works, attempt to retrieve the participation of women in the movements behind them, and consider the impact of the texts and their contexts in gender relations, sexual politics and arrangements of race and class in the 21st century. Participation, three short or one short and one longer paper.

 

THEO 60154 - Section 01: The Tabernacle/Temple Isrl (CRN 28898)
Long Title: The Tabrnacle/Temple in Ancient Israel

Course Description:
This course will begin with a detailed consideration of the literary and theological function of the Tabernacle pericope in the books of Exodus and Leviticus -- the longest extended literary unit in the Pentateuch. From there we will turn to related stories about the building and eventual destruction of the Temple at the hands of the Babylonians. The course will conclude with the visions of a new Temple that take root in the exilic period (Ezekiel and Isaiah among others), the relationship of those visions to the second Temple itself and the importance of all this literature for the way in which the New Testament and early Church understands the identity of Jesus.

 

THEO 60213 - Section 01: Eucharist in the Middle Ages (CRN 28899)
Long Title: The Eucharist in High Medieval Religion, Theology and Society

Course Description:
The Eucharist stands at the heart of western European Christianity in the high middle ages. The insistence of church officials on regular reception of the Eucharist; the numerous scholastic treatments of the theoretical issues associated with the Eucharist; the recourse by spiritual authors, especially women, to the Eucharist to express their most profound religious and devotional insights; the pointed reference to the Christ Eucharistically-present to establish Christian identity and to distinguish the members of Christ from others, both within and outside of western Europe; the development of new rituals focused on aspects of the Eucharist; the burgeoning of artistic representations of Eucharistic themes all testify to the centrality of the Eucharist in medieval theological and religious consciousness. Through the close reading of representative texts by a wide variety of 13th-century authors, and, the study of the different kinds of 'Eucharistic' art, this course examines the uses made of the Eucharist by a broad spectrum of high medieval Christians. A special concern of the course is the relation between Eucharistic doctrine and religious practice to what extent have teachings about transubstantiation and real presence shaped religious expression? How has religious experience itself occasioned the refinement of these doctrines?

 

THEO 60228 - Section 01: Patristic Exegesis (CRN 28900)

Course Description:
This course will be an examination of traditions of biblical interpretation in the early Church. Since the greatest proportion of exegetical literature in the early Church was homiletic, this course will also entail an examination of traditions of preaching. We will devote considerable attention to ancient allegorical schools of interpretation (Origen), to reactions against it ("Antiochene" exegesis), and to Western exegetes (Augustine, Gregory the Great). We will also look at the uses of the Bible in ascetical literature (desert Fathers and Mothers, etc.).

 

THEO 60278 - Section 01: Popes, Patriachs, and Councils (CRN 28901)
Long Title: Popes, Patriarchs, and Councils: Medieval Ecclesiology West and East

Course Description:
This course examines medieval theological thinking about the Church, her unity, her boundaries, the variety of cultural traditions within her, her place in the world, and the ways the Church should be structured and governed. We shall base our discussions upon the reading of the medieval Latin texts in translation from the time of the Gregorian Reform in the 11th century to the age of Conciliarism and the Pre-Reformers in the 15th century. The course will also provide an introduction into the main texts, figures and tenets of Byzantine ecclesiological thinking from the 11th century up to 1453 (about one third of the course material). We shall also explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges medieval thinking poses to contemporary ecclesiological discourse.

 

THEO 60283 - Section 01: Early Christian Jerusalem (CRN 28902)

Course Description:
How did Christians appropriate and create traditions about the holy land and city of Jerusalem? Early Christianity, emphasizing its other wordly and international mission, contained differing opinions about the importance of these places. This course explores various early Christian traditions about Jerusalem and the land of Israel -- their holiness for Christians as the land of promise, the site of the ministry and passion of Jesus, and, from the third to the seventh centuries, a center for pilgrims and monastic establishments. It also considers the role of the bishops of Jerusalem in theological controversy, imperial largesse and building programs and the ongoing importance of Jerusalem for ancient Judaism. The course also explores the adjustments among religious communities invested in the city and the land during the first centuries after the arrival of Islam.

 

THEO 60421 - Section 01: Liturgical Year (CRN 28903)
Long Title: Liturgical Year (LS)

Course Description:
An exploration of the origins, development and present significance of Sunday and Ordinary Time; Lent, Paschal Triduum and Easter Season; Advent, Christmas and Epiphany; feasts of Mary and the Saints. Special attention will be paid to comparing and contrasting the third typical edition of the Missal of Paul VI, which is the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, with the 1962 Missal, now recognized as the extraordinary form. Though academic, the course provides a highly desirable foundation for pastoral practice and spirituality. Required Reading: Adolf Adam, The Liturgical Year instead of Thomas Talley's, Origins of the Liturgical Year as the required reading. Other Requirements: Three reflection papers on required reading, each three pages in length, and a fifteen minute oral exam on selected class lectures at end of course.

 

THEO 60601 - Section 01: Foundations of Moral Theology (CRN 24553)

Course Description:
This course introduces the history and patterns of thought that provide the foundations for contemporary discussions about moral theology in the Roman Catholic Church. Its central aim will be to position moral theology as a practical and pastoral expression of Christian faith, but also as a tradition of inquiry relevant to wider discussions about moral matters in the academy and in society. Topics to be considered include: sources for moral theology, genres of moral writing, the nature of the human person and her relationship to the community of disciples, the dynamics of moral action, and the topics of freedom, experience, authority, virtue, and forgiveness. Course requirements include two short reflection papers and a final research paper, which may be customized to students own ongoing pastoral and/or academic questions.

 

THEO 60614 - Section 01: Catholic Social Teaching (CRN 23888)

Course Description:
This course involves close reading of the official documents of Catholic social teaching from Rerum Novarum to Centesimus Annus. Emphasis is on intense seminar discussion. Students do a number of shorter analyses of the documents.

 

THEO 60622 - Section 01: Christ Political Theo & Ethics (CRN 28904)
Long Title: Christian Political Theology and Ethics

Course Description:
Christians of all types are currently locked in intense debates over the extent to which moral convictions held by Christians may or must be enforced by political authority and over the question of whether contemporary liberal democracies are consonant with what Christian faith requires of the political order. This course examines the fundamental question behind these questions, namely, what are the theological and ethical criteria for a morally legitimate social and political order? For over a century Christian thinkers have attempted to derive those criteria from natural law, the teachings of Jesus, and the lordship of Christ. We will examine these efforts in writings by Catholic thinkers including Pope Leo XIII, Jacques Maritain, John Courtney Murray, Gustavo Gutierrez, David Hollenbach, and John Paul II; Protestant writers including Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, Martin Luther King, Jr., Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder, Oliver O'Donovan, and John Milbank; and secular writers such as Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt, and John Rawis.

 

THEO 60638 - Section 01: Restorative Justice (CRN 28905)

Course Description:
This course will begin by exploring the theoretical concept of justice in general and from the perspective of virtue ethics. Against that background, it will address various kinds of justice, including economic, social, racial, gender, environmental, and criminal justice with a view toward cultivating a restorative perspective. Legal concerns as well as theological insights from the Christian and other faith traditions will shape the courses developing account of restorative justice. Primary practices of restorative justice (circles, conferencing, and victim-offender dialogue) will receive sustained attention, along with issues challenging the implementation of restorative justice. This is a community-based learning course, requiring students to perform 20 hours of work in the local community at pre-arranged sites as part of the course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. Graduate and law students will be required to produce 3 short papers and a 25-page paper based upon their fieldwork and related research. Undergraduate students will produce a portfolio totaling 15 pages, in addition to 2 short papers and an integration notebook.

 

THEO 60806 - Section 01: Ecclesiology (CRN 29161)

Course Description:
This course examines the development of the Church from both theological and historical perspectives. It seeks to assist students in constructing and refining critical principles of interpretation that apply directly to the mystery, mission, ministries and structure of the Church. Of central concern are the questions of how the Church has understood its mission at various points in its history and what developments have impacted this understanding. Strong emphasis is placed on the theological developments that have occurred before, during and after the Second Vatican Council as these periods saw critical development in the Church's self-understanding.

 

THEO 60833 - Section 01: Islam & Muslim Christian Dialo (CRN 28906)

Course Description:
In our course we will consider Christianity? Encounter with Islam, from the Islamic conquests of the 7th century to the internet age. The first section of the course is historical. We will examine how various historical contexts have affected the Christian understanding of Muslims and Islam, from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to September 11 and beyond. The second section of the course is systematic. How are Christians today to respond to Islam, in light of recent world events and recent Church teaching? In addressing this question we will analyze primary theological sources that express a range of responses, from pluralism to dialogue to evangelism. Students in this class will be introduced to the Quran, to the life of Muhammad, to the difference between Sunni and Shiite Islam, to Church teaching on Christianity? Eelationship with Islam, and to trends in the theology of religions.

 

THEO 60838 - Section 01: Orders and Ministry (CRN 22192)

Course Description:
This course looks at a theology of Christian ministry, both ordained and lay. The relevant official documents will be read, as well as secondary sources that articulate the sacrament of ordination, hierarchy, the lay apostolate and baptismal priesthood of all Christians, and current definitions of Lay Ecclesial Ministry. Both seminarians and lay divinity students should develop the concepts necessary to understand their particular ministry in the light of Church teaching and as a service to the people of God.

 

THEO 60880 - Section 01: Nineteenth Century Theology (CRN 28908)

Course Description:
This Master's level course will attempt to give a survey of the nineteenth century theology, while having a specific focus in the intersection of philosophy and theology. The course will in the main attend to the German trajectory from Kant to Nietzsche, with Schleiermacher and Hegel being the two figures that will receive most attention. The non-German representative on the course will be John Henry Newman. Here we will concentrate on Newman's religious epistemology. Texts that will be read in the course include Kant's Religion within the Bounds of Reason Alone, Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Schleiermacher's The Christian Faith, Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals, and Newman's A Grammar of Assent.

 

THEO 60891 - Section 01: The Worlds of Buddhism (CRN 29740)

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide a thematic introduction to the pan-Asian (i.e., South, Southeast, Central Asian, and East Asian) Buddhist tradition. While exploring in some depth the fundamentals of Buddhist doctrine (its creeds, philosophical concepts, ethical principles, cosmologies, etc.) we will also sample major Buddhist practices (systems of meditation, liturgies, clerical institutions, canon formation, etc.) and will consider selected features of the religion’s role in the formation of the larger social, cultural, material, and political traditions of Asia. Visual as well as textual materials will be used throughout the term.

 

THEO 60892 - Section 01: Theology of Migration (CRN 29162)

Course Description:
Immigration is a complex issue that is changing the face of cultures and churches around the world. So extensive is this issue, and so significant its impact, that some have called our own times the age of migration. Though people have migrated since the beginning of time, the scope and scale of the issues are unprecedented. And while migration has been analyzed from virtually every academic discipline, much of the theology of migration has been undocumented. This course will explore the contours of a theology of migration. We will ground our discussion of an adequate understanding of the social, political and economic dimensions of migration, and we will study 1) the Church’s response to migrants, 2) the spirituality of migrants, and 3) a theology of migration. In particular we will explore the integral connection between the narratives of migrants today, the narratives of the Christian tradition and the Eucharist. We will examine ways they mutual inform and transform our understanding of faith in movement that seeks a more just and peaceful society.

 

THEO 67001 - Section 01: MTS Colloquium (CRN 23451)

Course Description:
Required for all M.A. and M.T.S. students. (Every semester)

Return to top

Fall 2012 Courses

THEO 60002 - Section 01: Elementary Hebrew I (CRN 12151)

Course Description:
This is a two-semester introductory course in biblical Hebrew; under normal circumstances, the student must complete the first to enroll in the second. The fall semester will be devoted to learning the grammar of biblical Hebrew. The spring semester will be divided into two parts. For the first six weeks we will finish and review the grammar. In the remaining part of the course we will read and translate texts from the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, and Rabbinic literature. The course will focus on developing reading and comprehension skills in biblical Hebrew through the study of biblical texts. In addition, students will learn how to use reference grammars, concordances, and apparatus to the Biblica Hebraica. The course encourages students to think about the grammatical forms and their implications for biblical interpretation.

THEO 60006 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew (CRN 12052)

Course Description:
The primary focus of this course is on reading the text of the Hebrew Bible, at first prose narratives, then poetic sections and consonantal (unpointed) texts. There will be a review of the grammar of Biblical Hebrew, as well as development of vocabulary and skills in using lexicons and concordances of the Hebrew Bible. The course should speed your reading of Hebrew and help prepare you to teach an Elementary Hebrew course. There will be quizzes, a mid-term, and a final exam. Elementary Hebrew is required. Readings:Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew (1st or 2nd ed.).F. Brown, S. Driver, and C. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon.L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.

THEO 60007 - Section 01: Elementary Aramaic (CRN 18783)

Course Description:
An introduction to the grammar of one dialect of Standard Literary Aramaic, viz., that represented in the Targum of Onqelos. Toward this goal we will work through the (yet unpublished) grammar by T. Lambdin and J. Huehnergard, An Introduction to the Aramaic of Targum Onqelos (Cambridge, MA 2002). In addition, attention will be paid to the place of Aramaic within the Semitic-language family, especially by way of a(n inductively based) comparisonof the Aramaic material with that found other Semitic languages, especially Hebrew.

THEO 60020 - Section 01: Advanced Readings in Syriac (CRN 19592)

Course Description:
This course consists in reading Syriac texts by major authors from the classical period, such as Aphrahat, Ephrem, Philoxenos. It is expected that participants will have mastered the essential grammar of Syriac. In addition to preparing a variety of unpointed texts for reading and translation, participants will be expected to discuss ideas and concepts expressed by the authors that distinguish the unique theological vision of Syriac Christianity.

THEO 60105 - Section 01: Introduction to Old Testament (CRN 14331)
Long Title: Introduction to the Old Testament

Course Description:
This course provides an overview and critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures in their literary, historical, and theological contexts. The focus will be principally on reading and gaining an informed understanding of the biblical text, but this will be done against the background of the history, literature, and religions of the magnificent civilizations in the ancient Near East. Further aspects include analysis and use of the tools of historical-critical scholarship; ancient mythology; the processes by which the Scriptures were composed; Old Testament theology; and contemporary theological issues. The course is designed to prepare students both for graduate biblical studies and for intelligent effectiveness in the contemporary church.

THEO 60020 - Section 01: Advanced Readings in Syriac (CRN 19592)

Course Description:
This course consists in reading Syriac texts by major authors from the classical period, such as Aphrahat, Ephrem, Philoxenos. It is expected that participants will have mastered the essential grammar of Syriac. In addition to preparing a variety of unpointed texts for reading and translation, participants will be expected to discuss ideas and concepts expressed by the authors that distinguish the unique theological vision of Syriac Christianity.

THEO 60105 - Section 01: Introduction to Old Testament (CRN 14331)
Long Title: Introduction to the Old Testament

Course Description:
This course provides an overview and critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures in their literary, historical, and theological contexts. The focus will be principally on reading and gaining an informed understanding of the biblical text, but this will be done against the background of the history, literature, and religions of the magnificent civilizations in the ancient Near East. Further aspects include analysis and use of the tools of historical-critical scholarship; ancient mythology; the processes by which the Scriptures were composed; Old Testament theology; and contemporary theological issues. The course is designed to prepare students both for graduate biblical studies and for intelligent effectiveness in the contemporary church.

THEO 60146 - Section 01: Gospel of Matthew (CRN 18784)

Course Description:
The purpose of this lecture course is to introduce the Master's level student to historical-critical exegesis of Matthew's Gospel, while at the same time incorporating insights from more recent methods of criticism (narrative, reader-response, etc.). After a brief survey of major introductory questions (sources, time and place of composition, etc.), the major sections of the Gospel will be exegeted in order. In major pericopes, notice will be taken of significant differences found in the parallel passages of Mark and/or Luke. The ultimate goal will be a comprehensive understanding of the redactional theology of Matthew. A major commentary on Matthew will be read in tandem with the class lectures.

THEO 60167 - Section 01: Martyrs and Martyrdom (CRN 19362)

Course Description:
This class deals with the origins, emergence, and theology of martyrdom from its roots in Second Temple Judaism and Greco-Roman philosophy to the peace of Constantine. It will deal with (1) methodological questions such as definitions of martyrdom, identification of persecution, and the dating of texts and (2) themes in the study of martyrdom such as gender, the construction of Christian identity, readings of scripture, ideas about sacrifice and salvation, violence, and eschatology.

THEO 60205 - Section 01: Intro to Medieval Theology (CRN 18787)
Long Title: Introduction to Medieval Theology

Course Description:
The high middle ages witnessed tremendous creativity in theology, and the writings of theologians as diverse as Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, and Mechthild of Magdeburg have proven to be of enduring significance. This course examines the high medieval achievement in theology, both scholastic and spiritual, through close study of selections from many of the most important theologians from the 12th through the early 14th centuries. While considerable attention will be given to doctrinal development and intellectual disagreement, cultural as well as literary questions will also receive their due - to what extent did institutional and educational changes stimulate theological progress? Why did theologians employ such a broad range of genres, and are different genres better suited to certain theological tasks? How do earlier writings, both Christian (scriptural, patristic, and early medieval), and, non-Christian (especially, but not exclusively, Aristotelian), figure in the high medieval theological enterprise? Heavy emphasis will be placed on the analysis, both oral and written, of primary texts. Thematic continuity will be provided by focusing on medieval discussions of 'theology' as science and as wisdom; the understanding of Scripture; providence and predestination; and, Christology. To facilitate future research, students will also be introduced to the principal scholarly resources for the study of medieval theological history.

THEO 60229 - Section 01: Thos Aquinas & Pursuit of Wisd (CRN 18788)
Long Title: Thomas Aquinas and the Pursuit of Wisdom

Course Description:
This course offers an orientation to the theology of Thomas Aquinas through his account of "wisdom", which in Thomas refers to the contemplation of divine things and the ordering of all else in that light. The theme of "wisdom" threads its way through the entire range of Thomas's theology, and attention to "wisdom" will make clear many of Thomas's most important convictions-about the nature of the theological enterprise; the interrelated doctrines of God, and, of Christ; and, the specific character of Christian discipleship.

THEO 60250 - Section 01: Intro. Early Christianity (CRN 18789)
Long Title: Introduction to Early Christianity: Cultures, Beliefs, and Teachings

Course Description:
From its origins in the Judaism of first-century Palestine, early Christianity spread quickly into Aramaic-, Greek-, and Latin-speaking communities of the Roman Empire. This course will introduce the institutions created by Christianity as it separated from Judaism, as well as its interaction with the cultures into which it spread around the Mediterranean basin and into Mesopotamia and the Caucasus. From these interactions came an articulated church structure, with literary and liturgical cultures specific to particular territories, and a cluster of beliefs both shared with and differentiated from Graeco-Roman and eastern cultures. Along with the history of these cultures, the course will consider the book cultures of early Christianity and its catechists, who gave rise to a web of teachings modulated in controversy and ecumenical councils. The resultant theology, particularly teachings about the divine nature of Jesus and the related doctrine of the triadic godhead, is an important philosophical legacy of early Christianity, and will be the focus of inquiry as the course progresses.

THEO 60402 - Section 01: Liturgical History (CRN 12974)

Course Description:
Survey of liturgical history and sources with regard to both Eastern and Western rites. Fundamental liturgical sources including basic homiletic and catechetical documents of the patristic period. Basic introduction to the methodology of liturgical study. Requirements will include short papers and exams. (Fall)

THEO 60404 - Section 01: Eucharist (CRN 10438)

Course Description:
The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church. A biblical, historical, systematic and liturgical treatment of the Eucharistic liturgy with a special emphasis on pastoral considerations.The goal of this course is a comprehensive understanding of the nature and development of the Christian Eucharist. In order to accomplish this end an examination of both the structure and the content of the eucharistic liturgy will be undertaken. A positive theological method will be employed whereby the Eucharist will be studied from an historical perspective, after which a systematic theological reflection upon various aspects will be undertaken with a commentary on contemporary theory and practice.

THEO 60407 - Section 01: Liturgical Theology (CRN 18790)
Long Title: Liturgical Theology -Word and Sacrament

Course Description:
Liturgy is not a branch of esthetics, it is the root of theology. We will explore the proposition that lex orandi establishes lex credenda in three ways. Frist, we will examine the purpose and method of liturgical theology as expressed by various authors, but especially Schmemann, Kavanagh, and Taft. Second, we will examine the difference this approach makes when treating traditional theological subjects (e.g. worship, ecclesiology, eschatology, sacrifice, the relationship between church and world, etc.). Third, we will especially consider how liturgical theology bears on sacramentology. This course will thus be useful to M.A. and M.T.S. students as an introduction to the discipline, and to M.Div. students for a coherent understanding of sacraments expressing the life of the Church.

THEO 60636 - Section 01: Theol Ethics & Human Sciences (CRN 19363)
Long Title: Theological Ethics and the Human Sciences

Course Description:
Over the last 50 years, Christian ethics has become more interdisciplinary, more cross-cultural, and has examined an ever wider array of practical issues. Yet these changes have also returned Christian ethicists to reflect again on basic methodological questions that ground their work. Two of these are particularly important: (1) How, if at all, are modes of knowing other than theological ones related to theology when it comes to understanding the human good and to making judgments about complex moral problems? (2) How does a theological engagement with individual and collective human experience, particularly the experience of culture, impact the work of moral understanding and judgment? In the first part of the class, we will examine several models for relating studies in the human sciences to work in Christian ethics, concentrating especially on the work of H. Richard Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, David Tracy, Paul Ricoeur and Don Browning. In the second part of the course, we will examine recent work in Christian ethics that have drawn from insights in the human sciences and cultural studies to explore issues in sex and gender, race and violence, politics and power, and family and child-rearing. Authors in the second half of the course will include Lisa Sowle Cahill, Emilie Townes, Christine Firer Hinze, and Cristina Traina.

THEO 60637 - Section 01: Theo Ethics for a World Church (CRN 19364)
Long Title: Theological Ethics for a World Church

Course Description:
This course explores core methods, principles and texts in Christian theological ethics. In addition to providing an overview of classical moral theology, with attention to questions such as the relationship of freedom and agency, the sources of moral authority, and the role of law and virtue, we will consider the challenge of an increasingly global world view for identifying, reflecting upon, and addressing moral issues.

THEO 60801 - Section 01: Fundmntls Systematic Theology (CRN 11457)
Long Title: Fundamentals of Systematic Theology

Course Description:
This course is a graduate level introduction to the nature, tasks, and methods of systematic theology. The primary focus of the course will be an analysis of the contributions of diverse 20th and 21st century theologians and theological movements to an understanding of the theological enterprise. Among the fundamental issues to be considered in the first half of the course are the following: the possibility and form of revelation; an understanding of faith and the relationship between faith and reason; the sources of theology and the interrelationship of scripture, tradition, and experience/praxis; the development and interpretation of doctrine; and the roles of the hierarchical magisterium, theologians, and the community of the baptized in preserving and handing on the authentic Christian tradition. The second half of the course explores a broad survey of contemporary methods of doing systematic theology.

THEO 60808 - Section 01: Mystery of God (CRN 18791)

Course Description:
The general aim of the course is to introduce the student to the Catholic tradition of reflection on the triune God who always remains mysterious even in, or precisely in, his revelation in history and in our lives. The pedagogic aim is familiarity with the tradition that is the church's common possession. (Spring)

THEO 60820 - Section 01: Hindu & Christian Interaction (CRN 18792)

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to some important recent literature in comparative theology. We will attempt to evaluate the possible significance of theological ideas and religious experiences from Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam for Christian thinking on God, christology, grace and eschatology. Requirements: Class presentations and two research papers.

THEO 60835 - Section 01: Canon Law (CRN 11777)

Course Description:
Note: M.A.-M.Div. students only. The purpose of this course is to provide students studying for ministry with an introduction to the law of the Roman Catholic Church. General principles for the interpretation of canon law as well as its history, and its relationship to theology and pastoral praxis are discussed. Although attention is given to the laws and canonical jurisprudence concerning marriage, other selected canonical topics of value to those in ministry are considered as well. (Fall)

THEO 60846 - Section 01: Christology (CRN 15736)

Course Description:
"Christology" undertakes a critical study of [1] the origins of belief in Jesus Christ, [2] the Church's teachings concerning the "person" of Christ, [3] the Church's teachings concerning the "work" of Christ, and [4] current issues Christology. The primary texts for the course are the Bible and "Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus (NY: Oxford University Press, 2009) by Gerald O'Collins, S.J. The course requires students to write three essays and a reflection paper which is discussed in an oral examination at the end of the course.

THEO 60886 - Section 01: Spiritual Biography & Autobiog (CRN 18794)
Long Title: Spiritual Biography and Autobiography

Course Description:
This class will explore the spiritual writings of contemporary figures and the dimensions that shaped their understanding of lives before the mystery of God. Through a study of their essential writings, we will look at the foundational religious experiences, major metaphors, operative theologies, formative influences and overall contributions to the Church and the field Christian spirituality. These will include figures such as Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Gustavo Gutierrez, Therese of Lisieux, Abraham Heschel, Flannery O'Connor and others. In addition to exploring the biography of these authors, and drawing from these influences and others, students will be asked to write on their own journey of faith and the aspects that have helped form, inform and transform their walk with God and outreach to their neighbor in need.

THEO 60889 - Section 01: What Does It Mean to Do Theo? (CRN 19365)
Long Title: What Does It Mean to Do Theology?

Course Description:
This course considers the sources, methods and goals of doing Christian theology, beginning with an historical overview and concluding with a discussion of contemporary issues in theology.

THEO 60890 - Section 01: Women in Religion (CRN 19731)
Long Title: Women in Religion Investigates Women's Issues in Religion and Theology

Course Description:
This course will examine the contribution of women in the task of interpreting the Christian tradition (doctrines and dogmas of the church) and enriching theology through the lens of women?s critical thinking as found in the writings of feminist, womanist, Mujerista, Asian and other women theologians. The course will explore the importance of historical experience and tradition in the development of theological theory relative to women?s role in church and society. Topics to be studies include: 1) the variety of women?s experience, 2) the historical roles of women in the bible, church and society, and 3) the contribution of women theologians to key themes in theology: theological anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology, the mystery of God, and Spirituality.

THEO 60945 - Section 01: Pastoral Administration (CRN 12025)

Course Description:
A basic introduction to the administrative dimensions of pastoral ministry, including staff development, planning, programming, and finances. This is a required skills course for second-year M.Div. students. (Fall)

THEO 60946 - Section 01: Liturgcl Celebration/Minstry I (CRN 10869)
Long Title: Liturgical Celebration and Ministry I

Course Description:
A study of the structure of the Eucharistic Rite and the Liturgy of the Hours with emphasis on ministerial roles. (Fall)

THEO 60948 - Section 01: Preaching I (CRN 10510)

Course Description:
An introduction to homiletics. Students will learn the nature and purpose of the liturgical homily, strategies for preparation and a basic methodology, especially from the U.S. Bishops' statement, Fulfilled in Your Hearing. Students will practice public speaking skills, proclamation of Scripture, and give two practice homilies.

THEO 60949 - Section 01: Preaching II (CRN 11456)

Course Description:
A continuation of Preaching I, this course treats exegesis for preaching, methods of homily preparation and delivery. (Fall)

THEO 60952 - Section 01: Fundamentals of Pastoral Care (CRN 11775)

Course Description:
Self-assessment of skills for ministry. This is a required course for first year M.Div. students. (Fall)

THEO 60962 - Section 01: Common Good Initiative Seminar (CRN 14883)
Long Title: Common Good Initiative Seminars

Course Description:
The Christian Gospel message and Catholic Social Tradition have from their inception defended the life and dignity of the human person, promoted the divine call to participation in family and community, fostered the dignity of work and the rights of workers, and called for solidarity with the poor and marginalized of society and stewardship of creation. Consequently, the Church's mission, as an extension of the Gospel imperative to work for justice, is rooted in Christ-centered love that expresses itself in compassionate care for the poor and vulnerable, as well as in sustained efforts to transform violent, oppressive, and unjust systems so often aligned with the causes of poverty and human suffering. Students preparing for ecclesial ministry are thus called to incorporate the teachings and practices of charity and justice ever more fully into their pastoral leadership development. The Pastoral Leadership Practicum is designed to assist students in their integration of theological study and pastoral praxis by means of community-based learning through immersion trips (1-2 weeks) located in regional, national, and international sites. Prior to, during, and after their on-site learning, students engage in theological reflection and social analysis so as to further develop those pastoral leadership skills necessary for every area of ministry within Roman Catholic ecclesial life, most especially within social justice ministry. In addition to their community-based work, students will explore the theological foundations of social justice ministry from five theologically and methodologically distinct areas of scholarship. Students will also examine the cultural context of poverty and systemic oppression and will integrate their experiences through facilitated dialogical sessions, a follow-up retreat, and 5 page integrative paper.

THEO 60981 - Section 01: Formation for Lay Ministry (CRN 19571)
Long Title: Human and Spiritual Formation for Lay Ecclesial Ministry Candidates

Course Description:
This course seeks to develop the lay ecclesial minister?s human qualities and character, fostering a healthy and well-balanced personality, for the sake of both personal growth and ministerial service. Additionally, we will focus on spiritual formation as it aims to arouse and animate true hunger for holiness, desire for union with the Father through Christ in the Spirit, daily growing in love of God and neighbor in life and ministry, and the practices of prayer and spirituality that foster these attitudes and dispositions. Openness to the fundamental conversion that places God, and not oneself, at the center of one?s life, is a prerequisite for fruitful formation.

THEO 60983 - Section 01: Retreat Creation and Direction (CRN 19570)

Course Description:
This interactive 1-credit course will introduce students to a dynamic method of creative retreat design and direction, utilizing a variety of sources and artistic mediums, intended to engage the intellectual, spiritual, and human/communal areas of faith formation for a variety of constituents. Over the course of six weeks, students will be asked to draw upon their own ongoing formation as they employ this incremental design process in the creation of a retreat experience for a group of their choosing.

THEO 60984 - Section 01: Discernment (CRN 19632)
Long Title: The Art of Discernment

Course Description:
This course will be an introduction to the art of discernment.

THEO 60994 - Section 01: Leadership and Authority (CRN 12356)

Course Description:
Note: Third-year M.Div. students only. Through supervised field experience and seminars, students treat issues inherent in their exercise of authority. In particular they analyze the theology displayed by their actions. Students are required to write a contract, case study, two-page book review, weekly journal, and end-of-year report of field placement. Course requirements include four to six hours weekly at placement site, journal, etc. as above, weekly supervisory sessions of 30 minutes, attendance at weekly field education seminars, and three interviews with instructor. (Fall)

THEO 65931 - Section 01: Images & Models of Ministry I (CRN 12355)
Long Title: Images and Models of Ministry I

Course Description:
Note: First-year M.Div. students only. Through supervision and seminars, the tools of field education will be developed. Focus will be on diagnosing skills, clarifying goals, concretizing objectives, identifying methods of learning, and understanding theology implied therein. Students are required to keep a ministry journal; write a contract, a critical incident, and a two-page reflection paper on readings; and the end-of-the-semester evaluation of field placement. (Fall)

THEO 65933 - Section 01: Articulating Faith I (CRN 11776)

Course Description:
Note: Second-year M.Div. students only. In conjunction with supervised ministerial placements, students examine operative ecclesiologies, pastoral strategies, and practical theologies of ministry. (Fall)

Return to top

Spring 2012 Courses

THEO 60003 - Section 01: Elementary Hebrew II (CRN 22085)
Brandon Brunning


Course Description:
This is the second of a two-semester introductory course in Biblical Hebrew; under normal circumstances, the student must complete the first in order to enroll in the second. In addition to the completion of Lambdin's elementary grammar, students are introduced to some (modified) Biblical texts.
 
THEO 60009 - Section 01: Biblical Languages: Coptic (CRN 28485)
Professor Greg Sterling

Course Description:
This course introduces students to Coptic, the final descendant of ancient Egyptian. Coptic is important for an who are interested in the historical Jesus, Gnosticism, textual criticism of the New Testament, asceticism, or early Christian history. We will work our way through a grammar, and then read a selection of texts including excerpts from the Gospel of Thomas and some fragments only from the Martyrdom of Polycarp. The course is designed to enable students who have no previous training in Coptic to read simple to moderately difficult texts. Its serves to fulfill the third ancient language requirement for Ph.D. students in CJA. (Spring)

 

THEO 60018 - Section 01: Intermediate Hebrew II (CRN 28920)
Professor Tzvi Novick

Course Description:
This fourth-semester course in biblical Hebrew will continue and build upon THEO 60006/83001. While the latter was devoted to the reading of biblical prose, this installment of Intermediate Hebrew will introduce students to the beauty of biblical Hebrew poetry. Our efforts will be focused on the preparation, oral reading, and translation of selected biblical passages. But time also will be spent continuing to review basic grammar as well as developing an appreciation of syntax and poetic structure (e.g., parallelism) in this powerful medium of prayer, prophetic revelation, and the quest for Wisdom in ancient Israel.
THEO 60019 - Section 01: Readings in Syriac (CRN 28921)
Professor Joseph Amar

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to literature in the Syriac dialect of Aramaic. It will introduce students to the variety of alphabets, vocalization systems, and genres of literature produced during the first five Christian centuries. The primary work of the course will consist in vocalizing and translating Syriac texts for reading in class. The instructor will provide background to authors and place them in historical context. The goal is to give students an appreciation of Syriac as a major Christian language and the role of Syriac Christian literature in the articulation of a distinct Semitic Christianity.
THEO 60102 - Section 01: New Testament Introduction (CRN 24957)
Professor Mary R. D'Angelo

Course Description:
An intensive presentation of all the major areas of study pertinent for the understanding and study of the literature of the canonical New Testament in its historical, social and literary context, as well as an introduction to the various methodologies which have been applied to the study of the New Testament, including historical criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, source criticism, textual criticism, canon criticism, narrative criticism and social science criticism. Modules on developments and trends in the history of New Testament research and on various developments in the discipline of New Testament theology from the Enlightenment to the 21st Century will also be included. The course will involve intensive reading and the writing of four short papers (4-5 pp.) during the semester, and will also include a midterm and final examination.
 
THEO 60108 - Section 01: Wisdom Literature/Psalms (CRN 28486)
Professor James VanderKam

Course Description:
This course will examine writings found in the Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha that scholars commonly assign to the wisdom genre. The primary canonical exemplars of this type of literature are Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. To this group, some have added Esther and the Song of Songs. Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and (in the opinion of certain commentators) Judith -- all of which are extra-canonical works -- also belong to this genre. In addition to these books, the presence of wisdom motifs has also been detected in other parts of the Bible (e.g., Genesis, the Psalter, and Daniel).
 
THEO 60165 - Section 01: Theological Exegesis (CRN 28487)
Professor Gary Anderson

Course Description:
This course will concern the distinctive character of the Church's two-testamented Bible. In particular the leading question will be the relationship of the Old to the New Testament (and conversely, the New to the Old Testament). I will pick a dozen or so biblical texts from the OT that we will consider on their own terms and in relationship to the NT and early Christian exegesis. Some of the topics will be: the election of Israel, sacrifice of the first-born, law, God's indwelling of the temple, Israel's Messiah, suffering servant and so on. The goal of the course is to develop an approach to the Christian Bible that both respects its discrete historical origins but pushes forward to see how they are related to the book's status as divinely inspired.
 
THEO 60238 - Section 01: God and Human Suffering (CRN 28922)
Long Title: God and the Problem of Human Suffering
Professor Randall Zachman

Course Description:
This course will examine theological responses to the problem of human suffering in the Christian tradition, with an eye towards developing our own theological responses to this problem. We will begin by examining the relationship of suffering to prayer by means of the commentaries on the psalms of lament by Augustine of Hippo and John Calvin, in order to see how each author understands the way prayer can give voice to unutterable suffering. We will then turn to the relationship between God and suffering in the theology of Soren Kierkegaard and Hans Urs von Balthasar, in order to explore the relationship between the love of God in Jesus Christ and human suffering. We will conclude with a theological consideration of the problem of suffering for women and the poor by means of the writings of Kristine Rankka and Gustavo Gutierrez.Students will be asked to write one reflection paper each week based on the assigned readings for that week. These papers should engage the readings in an attempt both to understand the authors' positions, and to develop the student's own theological understanding of God and the problem of human suffering in light of the authors we read.
THEO 60246 - Section 01: U.S. Latino Catholicism (CRN 28488)
Long Title: U.S. Latino Catholicism
Professor Virgil Elizondo and Professor Timothy Matovina

Course Description:
Latina and Latino Catholics have lived their faith in what is now the continental United States for almost twice as long as the nation has existed. This course explores the origins and development of Latino Catholicism in the United States, particularly the theological contributions of contemporaryLatinas and Latinos.
 

 

THEO 60265 - Section 01: Rel. & Lit:In Lght of Job (CRN 28489)
Long Title: Religion and Literature: In the Light of Job
Professor Vittorio Montemaggi

Course Description:
A study of religion and literature through the works of Gregory the Great, Dante, Shakespeare and Primo Levi.
 
THEO 60287 - Section 01: Spiritual Masters: Early Chris (CRN 28923)
Long Title: Spiritual Masters of Early Christianity
Professor Robin Young

Course Description:
An examination, through primary sources and selected interpretive studies, of the lives and works of ten accomplished male and female guides to the life of prayer and contemplation. The class will study their social contexts, sources and disciples as well as their formation in communal worship.Requirements: attentive reading and note-taking on each author, with notes submitted bi-weekly; one paper; one in-class presentation.
THEO 60289 - Section 01: Scrmntl Mystry in Med Theo (CRN 28490)
Long Title: The Sacramental Mystery of Medieval Theology: West and East
Professor Yury Avvakumov

Course Description:
The course will provide an overview of the history of sacramental theology in the Middle Ages, on the basis of the reading of primary texts. We shall start from St. Augustine's ideas on the sacraments and follow the formation of the a systematic treatise on the sacraments in the Early Scholasticism of the 12th century. Special attention will be given to the most important theologians of the High Scholastic period, such as Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus. The students will also be introduced to the main personalities of the Byzantine theological interpretation of the liturgy, ritual and mysteries of the church, in particular Nicolaos Cabasilas and Symeon of Thessalonike.
 
Long Title: Philosophical Women Theologians: Edith Stein and Simone Weil
Professor Ann Astell

Course Description:
This course pairs two extraordinary Jewish women philosophers of the World War II period who died during the period of Nazi persecution - Stein (1891-1942) in Auschwitz, and Weil (1901-1943) in England. Both studied under (and with) noted male philosophers - Husserl, Heidegger, Scheler, Von Hildebrand, and Alain, among others - and they developed their original insights on empathy and education (Stein), decreation and affliction (Weil) partly in response to their teachers. Both women struggled with their Jewish identity - Weil exemplifying an unconventional Christian Platonism and mysticism, Stein becoming a Catholic nun and canonized saint. Both wrote (auto)biographies. Literary and artistic criticism, meditations on mystical writings and experiences, and creative expressions (poetry and plays), as well as important essays on politics, philosophy, and theology belong to their fertile writings. Their lives and letters have inspired, in turn, the creative expressions of others: novels, plays, and poetry. Their intellectual quests in the shadow of the Holocaust led them to take up theological questions, studying St. Thomas Aquinas, Dionysius the Areopagite, St. John of the Cross (Stein), St. Francis, Bernanos, Marx, and Pascal (Weil). The answers they gave to God and others testify to the heroism and brilliance of their spiritual searches for truth and help to explain their continuing influence within the Church.
 
THEO 60403 - Section 01: Christian Initiation (CRN 21847)
Professor Maxwell Johnson

Course Description:
This course will trace the development and interpretations of the Rites of Christian Initiation in East and West from the New Testament period to the modern period of ecumenical convergence. In light of this historical investigation some modern forms of these rites (e.g., RCIA, LBW, BCP, etc.) will be considered critically. Requirements include two take-home exams, short papers on assigned questions, and an oral presentation on a selected modern rite. (Fall)
THEO 60425 - Section 01: Mary, Sts in Liturgy, Doct Lif (CRN 28491)
Long Title: Mary, Saints in Liturgy, Doctrine and Life
Professor Max Johnson

Course Description:
This course explores the evolution and theology of Mary and the saints in their liturgical and doctrinal expressions in an attempt to discern, evaluate, and articulate their proper place within Christian liturgy, doctrine, and life today in relationship to the central mediatorial role of Christ. Issues of popular piety, "models of holiness," and ecumenical division, dialogue, convergence, feminist critique, and liturgical renewal will also be examined. Requirements include several short papers/seminar-style presentations, and a research paper.
THEO 60601 - Section 01: Foundations of Moral Theology (CRN 24965)
Professor David Clairmont

Course Description:
In response to Vatican II's call for the renewal of moral theology, this course examines the history and developments of moral theology in the Catholic Church, with an eye to contemporary discussions and applications. Simultaneously a practical and pastoral expression of Christian faith, as well as a discipline of practical reason, moral theology serves the community of disciples and engages larger academic and social conversations concerning ethical matters. Topics to be considered include: sources for moral theology, fundamental moral concepts, spirituality and the moral life, the human person and the Christian community, moral method, and the dynamics of moral action. Themes including freedom, experience, conscience, authority, forgiveness, and rights and duties intersect within this structure and contribute to the community's search for moral truth and the conducting of its moral discernment.

 

THEO 60614 - Section 01: Catholic Social Teaching (CRN 24192)
Professor Margaret Pfeil

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the tradition of Catholic social teaching with a view to developing skills for critical reading and appropriation of these documents. We will examine papal, conciliar, and episcopal texts from Rerum novarum (1891) up to the present time, identifying operative principles, tracing central theological, ethical, and ecclesial concerns, and locating each document in its proper historical context.
THEO 60617 - Section 01: Love & Sex Christian Tradition (CRN 28493)
Long Title: Love and Sex in the Christian Tradition
Professor Jean Porter

Course Description:
Christian reflections on sexuality comprise one of the richest, yet most controversial aspects of the Christian moral tradition. In this course, we will examine Christian sexual ethics from a variety of perspectives through a study of historical and contemporary writings. Topics to be considered include Christian perspectives on marriage and family, the ethics of sex within and outside of marriage, contraception, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality. We will be especially concerned with recent debates on these topics within the Catholic community, but we will also be considering voices from Protestant and other traditions. We will give special attention to the practical implications of Christian sexual ethics in pastoral and educational contexts. Course requirements will include regular participation in class discussions and three short papers.
 
THEO 60633 - Section 01: Evangelization (CRN 28924)
Professor Michael Connors

Course Description:
This seminar will seek to sketch the parameters of Catholic theology and praxis of "spreading the Good News." Beginning from Scriptural foundations and a brief look at the history of Christian mission, we will examine recent important developments, including the following: Vatican II (especially Dei Verbum, Ad Gentes, Nostra Aetate and Gaudium et Spes); Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi; John Paul II and the "New Evangelization;" Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini (2010). Special attention will be given to issues of inculturation and the relationship between evangelization and interreligious dialogue. Students will also have the opportunity to study various contemporary programmatic approaches of their choosing. Texts will include: Bevans & Schroeder, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today (2004); and A. Shorter, Toward a Theology of Inculturation (1988).
 
THEO 60635 - Section 01: Environmental Ethics (CRN 28494)
Professor Ceila Deane-Drummond

Course Description:
This course will focus on different aspects of environmental ethics, including broader ethical questions surfacing as a result of climate change and questions around sustainability and development, as well as the Gaia hypothesis. We will also discuss more specific examples of habitat destruction, species loss, species invasion, food ethics and associated animal ethics, ecological restoration and genetically modified organisms. The primary focus of this course will be on the philosophical and theological interrogation of these matters at a local and global level, rather than the factual basis of the problems, though the scientific basis for the issues under discussion will also be considered in order to provide an adequately informed background to this approach. Plans are also underway to include a field trip to a local organic farm. We will also discuss the impact of public theology in matters relating to environmental concern, and the different strategies used by different theologians, including the impact of Roman Catholic social teaching.

 

THEO 60838 - Section 01: Orders and Ministry (CRN 22345)
Professor David Fagerberg

Course Description:
This course looks at a theology of Christian ministry, both ordained and lay. The relevant official documents will be read, as well as secondary sources that articulate the sacrament of ordination, hierarchy, the lay apostolate and baptismal priesthood of all Christians, and current definitions of Lay Ecclesial Ministry. Both seminarians and lay divinity students should develop the concepts necessary to understand their particular ministry in the light of Church teaching and as a service to the people of God.
 
THEO 60885 - Section 01: Prophets of Suspicison: (CRN 28925)
Long Title: Prophets of Suspicion: Marx, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard
Professor Cyril O'Regan

Course Description:
This course examines the seminal moment in nineteenth century thought in which religion became the object of a mode of scrutiny that had little to do with its ability to provide empirical and argumentative warrants. Marx and Nietzsche offered respectively sociological and psychological critiques of Christianity that represented a new kind of challenge to Christian apologetics, at once being harder and easier to rebut. Marx's sociological critique owes much to Feuerbach's critique of Christianity and Hegel's thought as its philosophical carrier and justification, but fairly quickly he moves beyond Feuerbach whom he still regards as infected with religious nostalgia. In the course we will read Feuerbach as well as the early Marx, but will also read from the later Marx who elaborates his view of the economic base of all of reality. Nietzsche offers a genealogy of Christianity which constructs it as a millennial thought-form constituted by resentiment and frustrated will to power. Among texts to be covered in class are The Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spake Zarathustra, and The Gay Science. Kierkegaard represents an entirely different form of suspicion. If in the case of Marx and Nietzsche Christianity has proved essentially self-refuting from the point of view of human being defined either socio-historically or in terms of existential completeness, Kierkegaard thinks that the deformation of Christianity is accidental and lies in its accommodation to a bourgeois modernity. Kierkegaard defines a moment in the suspicion of Christianity in which the hope of self-correction is held out as a possibility. Texts to be read include Either-Or, Repetition, and Sickness unto Death.

THEO 60877 - Section 01: Mercy and Justice (CRN 29658)
Professor Cathleen Kaveny

Course Description:
Explores the meaning of mercy, particularly in its relationship to justice. Examines four major topics: (1) mercy in its relation to retributive justice, focusing on the role of mercy or clemency in the case of criminal sentencing, as well as broader questions of retribution and wrongdoing such as whether there can or should be criteria for the exercises of mercy, whether mercy can be exercised unjustly, and the relationship of forgiveness to mercy; (2) mercy in its relation to distributive justice, focusing on the corporal works of mercy and issues such as the relationship between justice and "private charity"; (3) mercy in its relationship to social justice or the social face of mercy, and (4) divine mercy, focusing on the various ways theologians have attempted to reconcile divine mercy and divine justice. Readings for the class will be interdisciplinary, and will include materials from legal, philosophical and theological sources.
THEO 60886 - Section 01: Spiritual Biography & Autobiog (CRN 28495)
Long Title: Spiritual Biography and Autobiography
Professor Dan Groody

Course Description:
This class will explore the spiritual writings of contemporary figures and the dimensions that shaped their understanding of lives before the mystery of God. Through a study of their essential writings, we will look at the foundational religious experiences, major metaphors, operative theologies, formative influences and overall contributions to the Church and the field Christian spirituality. These will include figures such as Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Gustavo Gutierrez, Therese of Lisieux, Abraham Heschel, Flannery O'Connor and others. In addition to exploring the biography of these authors, and drawing from these influences and others, students will be asked to write on their own journey of faith and the aspects that have helped form, inform and transform their walk with God and outreach to their neighbor in need.
 

 

THEO 60887 - Section 01: Faith, Reason, & the Church (CRN 28926)
Long Title: Faith, Reason, and the Church
Professor Francescan Murphy

Course Description:
This course will study Catholic teaching and theology on the relationshp between faith and reason. We will consider faith and reason in magisterial and conciliar documents (Trent and Vatican II), and in representative theologians of patristic, medieval and modern times such as Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Pascal, Newman, deLubac, and hans Urs von Balthasar. We will link the different magisterial and theological views of the relationship between faith and reason to ecclesiology.
THEO 60888 - Section 01: Science, Faith and Reason (CRN 30116)
Professor Raoul Rasoulipour

Course Description:
The twentieth century, and particularly the second half of it, saw not only the increase in findings of natural science, but also the rise of claims that in certain areas scientific findings have supplanted traditional metaphysical reasoning. This amounts to the claim that in the debate between faith and reason the role of reason is taken by science. Faith, if it does not completely atrophy, is faith in science and not faith in God. The latest debates between faith and scientific reason, often of an extremely speculative turn, are new phases to old debates over the perennial question: Is the universe just there, or is there some explanation for its physical character, and for its very existence?In this course we will examine the literature of both classical Christian and classical Islamic theology and philosophy in order to see how these traditions address the relationship between science, faith, and reason. The goal of the course is neither religious dialogue nor a comparison of the two traditions. Instead we will consider what resources both traditions offer intellectuals today who see science, religion and philosophy as partners in the quest to understand human existence and the natural world. No prior knowledge of Islam is needed in order to take this course. This course will be conducted with the help of extracts from original works of medieval and contemporary Christian and Muslim writers on some scientific topics (mathematics, medicine, chemistry, astronomy, physics, etc.) in addition to classical treatments of faith and reason (whether from Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, Tertullian's The Prescriptions against the Heretics, Ghazali's Deliverance from Error, and The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Aquinas' Summa Theologica or John Paul II's Fides et Ratio and the writings of Muslim "neo-Mutazilites").
 

Return to top