Notre Dame’s Department of Theology is home to a diverse and brilliant faculty capable of offering a great variety of courses. From the ancient world to contemporary issues, from metaphysics to mysticism, you will find many courses suited to your theological interests.
Students enjoy courses with our world-class faculty, including Prof. Larry Cunningham
Popular upper-level courses in theology include:
- Chesterton and Catholicism
- Christianity in Africa
- Death and Rebirth
- Major Roman Catholic Thinkers: John Henry Newman
- Spirituality and Discipleship
- The Theology of Benedict XVI
- The World of Buddhism
Know Your Catholic Faith
The Department of Theology, in cooperation with the Office of Campus Ministry, offers a series of one-credit courses under the title “Know Your Catholic Faith (KYCF).”
Each one-credit course in the series is focused on a central feature of the Catholic faith so that students learn what the Church teaches on these topics and gain a basic theological and personal understanding of them. The courses are based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus other pertinent texts, supplemented by personal reflection and experiential learning where appropriate.
These courses should meet the needs of those students who know little or nothing about the faith, as well as those who are familiar with the faith but want a firmer grasp of Catholic doctrine.
The University of Notre Dame enjoys extraordinary worldwide presence, a good portion of which is mediated through its network of Global Gateways. The current five Global Gateways—located in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, London, and Rome—provide academic and intellectual hubs where scholars, students, and leaders from universities, government, business, and community gather to discuss, discover and debate issues of topical and enduring relevance. Find more information at international.nd.edu.
Spring 2017 Courses
THEO 20103 One Jesus & His Many Portraits
This course explores the many different faith-portraits of Jesus painted by various books of the New Testament: e.g., from suffering servant abandoned by God through high priest interceding with God to Godself. In each case, the course will ask how this particular portrait did or did not have an impact on subsequent Christian faith and what it may say to faith in Christ today. The course will combine a lecture format with discussions, readings, and reflections on the readings.
THEO 20246 Fr. Bernard to Bernadette
This course traces the development of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception and its theological significance today. The course proceeds in four units. It first explores Christian teaching on Original Sin (the sin from which Mary is believed to have been preserved). It then examines key primary texts (Anselm, Aquinas, Duns Scotus) in the development of the Marian dogma. Third, it focusses on the Marian apparitions in 1858 at Lourdes, which occurred four years after the promulgation of the dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Fourth, it studies the contemporary significance of the dogma for Christian anthropology, ecclesiology, and ecumenism. The teaching on Mary's Immaculate Conception is shown to be interconnected to the Church's beliefs about human nature (creation, Fall, sexuality), Christ, redemption, the sacraments, and sanctification.
THEO 20251 The Catholic Faith
This course is intended to serve as a resource for catechists and religious educators. It provides a basic theological introduction to the material represented in Pillars I and II of the Catechism of the Catholic Church : the Creed and the Sacraments. The course is specifically designed to cover this material in a way that will provide facility in teaching it in a variety of contexts. Readings will come not only from the Catechism , but from various primary sources, both traditional and contemporary illustrative of the theology that forms its background. The course will be especially useful for anyone wishing to acquire an understanding of the basic doctrines of the Catholic faith and of the theological integration of these doctrines.
THEO 20260 The Trinity
This class will trace the development of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Christian tradition, with special emphasis on its scriptural basis and the classic formulations of this doctrine in the early and medieval Church. The goal of this historical overview is to appreciate the existential relevance of this doctrine in relation to other aspects of Christian faith and experience. Course requirements include regular quizzes.
THEO 20619 Rich, Poor, and War
This course examines the economic dimensions of violence in light of Catholic social teaching and Western political and economic thought. After an in-depth overview of Catholic social teaching in relation to alternative social theories, we bring them to bear on the issue of violence in three social spheres: the domestic (domestic abuse and sexual assault), the economic (sweatshops), and the international political (war). In each case we will examine Catholic responses to the problem.
THEO 20625 Discipleship: Loving Action
This course is designed for students who have completed a Summer Service Project Internship (SSLP or ISSLP) or Social Enterprise Microfinance Internship (SEMI). It affords students the opportunity to re-engage their immersion experiences. Students will employ tools of social analysis, theological reflection, and rhetoric relative to both topics such as hunger, homelessness, poverty, incarceration, and immigration, and themes such as freedom, solidarity, mimesis, power, and the preferential option for the poor. The goal of the course is to develop a theology of discipleship to which justice is integral, including considerations of worship, sustainability, social reconciliation and restorative justice.
THEO 20626 Theology and Ecology
We live and act in an ecological theater created by God that includes all other living organisms and their ecosystems within the biosphere. Urgent questions abound today about what our relationship is to the rest of the natural world. What is our place in the world? This course investigates the Christian understanding of God as Creator, creation, and our human relationship to God, one another, and the natural world. We will examine the theology of creation beginning with Scripture and the Creed and progressing through the Early Church, Medieval, and modern time periods. We will also discuss theological anthropology in terms of our identity and mission within our ecological home. To this end, we will apply Pope Francis? notion of integral ecology to the specific case of the Great Lakes watershed in which we live, examining topics such as biodiversity, water, agriculture, and energy. As ecological citizens and creatures of God, we will also address the connection between liturgy and ecology. This course will have a special appeal to students interested in the intersection of theology and science, especially ecology and environmental studies.
THEO 20643 The Askesis of Nonviolence
This course will explore the theology and practice of nonviolence as a form of askesis, or spiritual discipline. The material will include readings from Scripture, the early Christian tradition, and Catholic social teaching. Religious sources outside the Christian tradition will include Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Badshah Khan. This course will use the method of community-based learning and will require 20 hours of service at particular sites in the South Bend area.
THEO 20666 Intro to Christian Ethics
Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior has practical implications for the way believers construe the world, organize their lives and engage with the world. In this course students will be introduced to the basic elements in Christian moral thinking and decision making. We will look at nature of ethics in general and of Christian ethics in particular. We will cover questions related to the specificity of Christian ethics, Jesus and moral thinking, the human (Christian) person as moral agent, and the different methods employed in making ethical decisions. This course is therefore a foundational course which is meant to prepare students for further studies in moral theology and ethics or for life as responsible Christian men and women who are reasonably well equipped to face up to the implications of their faith for life in the world.
THEO 20667 Does Fido Go to Heaven?
This course examines the understanding of animals in Scripture and the Christian tradition. Thinkers examined include Augustine (early Church), Sts Francis and Thomas (medieval era), and contemporary theologians including Pope Francis. The course will also dialogue with contemporary developments in ethology and theological anthropology to identify the theological-ethical contours of the human relationship with nonhuman animals.
THEO 20805 Racism & Human Dignity
This is a course on the Christian nature of the human person with respect to the modern sin of racism. The course will investigate the past and present status of racism in the modern world, tackling major questions like: What is racism? How did racism develop within human history? What has the Church's response been to racist actions and ideas, both in the time of Colonialism and chattel slavery, as well as in the 20th and 21st centuries? What does the Catholic Church say about racism now? What does theology have to do with ending racism?The first half course will begin with a brief analysis of ancient forms of slavery and bias, move into the dawn of modern racism in the 15th-17th centuries, and finish with a discussion of chattel slavery in the United States. Throughout the historical analysis, we will look at how the Church responded to the many examples of human inequalities, with special focus on the problem of Christians as both slaves and slave-owners in the 18th and 19th centuries. The second half of the course will turn attention to modern investigations, analyses, and proposals for ending racism. In this part of the course, we will try to answer the question: what is the role of the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches today in the fight against racism and human inequality, especially in the United States? The course will finish with discussions of Christian approaches to the modern Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and the growing anti-Muslim sentiment over the last few years. The course will culminate with a project that seeks to contribute to the Christian anti-racist movement in a novel way by employing language and methods discussed throughout the course. A selection of authors we will read: Shawn Copeland, Bryan Massingale, Chris Pramuk, James Cone, Howard Thurman, Dawn M. Nothwehr, and multiple Catholic documents from Popes and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
THEO 20828 Christianity & World Religions
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the basic teachings and spiritualities of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. We will approach these religions both historically and theologically, seeking to determine where they converge and differ from Christianity on such perennial issues as death, meaning, the nature of the ultimate Mystery, the overcoming of suffering, etc. We will also examine some traditional and contemporary Catholic and Protestant approaches to religious pluralism. Our own search to know how the truth and experience of other faiths is related to Christian faith will be guided by the insights of important Catholic contemplatives who have entered deeply in the spirituality of other traditions. By course's end we ought to have a greater understanding of what is essential to Christian faith and practice as well as a greater appreciation of the spiritual paths of others. Requirements: Short papers, midterm exam, and final exam.
THEO 20843 The Church and Empire
The formation of Christians' communal identity, theological imagination, and social practices have always been worked out - whether implicitly or explicitly - in relation to empire. This course explores this complex theological and historical relationship between Church and empire with particular attention to the ways Christian communities have attempted to resist the onslaught of pre-modern and modern imperialism in order to preserve the integrity of various aspects of the gospel of Christ. In the process of this exploration we will attempt, as a class, to discern some general characteristics of a counter-imperial Catholic ethos or spirituality by paying close attention to the ways the Church has compromised, negotiated, or resisted empire concerning images of Jesus, the effects of baptism, the scope of Christ's Eucharistic presence, and the legitimate modes of evangelization at the Church's disposal.
THEO 20883 On Developing Character
This course moves in the direction of three broad questions: "What are you looking for?", "What do you love?", and "How will you live?". By attending to how these questions arise, why they are important, and how one responds to each, we will study how the Christian tradition provides an account of the meaning, dignity, and destiny of the human person, particularly in relation to the prospects for moral and spiritual growth. As the course unfolds, students will not only grow in the ability to account for the development of character in a theological framework, but also practice applying this wisdom to specific moral issues in their own lives as well as in contemporary culture.
THEO 20886 Christian Spirituality
This course is offered as an introduction to the Christian spiritual tradition, from its roots in the Old and New Testaments, to representative figures of the Christian East (Orthodoxy) and Christian West (Catholic and Protestant). Particular attention will be devoted to the notion of "stages" of the spiritual life, culminating in what many saints have described as "mystical union." Other than the Scriptures, figures to be read include Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Thomas Merton.
THEO 20890 God and Dialogue
The course will explore the relationship between God and humanity through a variety of theological lenses. The asymmetrical relationship will be considered as a form of dialogue and as a path to finding new approaches to a dialogue of cultures viable today. Sources will include the Old and New Testament, St. Augustine, medieval Christian writers like St. Anselm of Canterbury, Ramón Llull, St. Catherine of Siena, and Nicholas of Cusa, Bartolomé de la Casas, Jewish thinkers like Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas, Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Pope Paul VI, Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, Robert Schreiter, Virgilio Elizondo, María Pilar Aquino, Alejandro García-Rivera, the monks of Tibhirine, and Emmanuel Katongole.
THEO 20894 The Christian Imagination
"And the Word became flesh" (Jn 1:14): the Catholic imagination grows from this definitive action of divine love but never exhausts the possibilities for reflecting on this mystery. This course studies the space, the shape, and the content of the Catholic imagination. We begin with a general diagnosis of the prevalent modern quasi-religious and consumer imagination. Next, we attend to the images of salvation in the symbol of the creed and in the sacramental character of the Church, where the meaning of persons-in-communion is signified and made present. The course then moves to contemplate works of art that emerge from an imagination so formed, whether as the witness of saints or as literary creations. As a whole, this course seeks to enable students to perceive and interpret the meaning of the Christian life according to the "Spirit richly poured out for us through Jesus Christ our savior" (Titus 3:6).
THEO 30052 Know Your Catholic Faith: Prayer
In the midst of life's busyness and hype and noise, how do you authentically connect with the God of the Universe? How do you find a single second in the thick of the pressures of coursework to breathe and ponder and reflect on the One-to- Whom-We- Belong? In this hands-on course, for five Mondays in Lent, we will take the time to do that: We will lament with those who got gritty with God, the prophet Jeremiah and John of the Cross; we will breathe with the hescychasts of the desert. We will contemplate with Teresa of Avila. We will delight in creation with Pope Francis and Ignatius. We will ponder the fervor of Jesus' own prayer life. If you feel like you're faking it in your prayer life, come and dig deeper. If you feel like you're doing pretty well, but hunger for more, come and dig deeper. If you'd simply like others to pray with, come and dig deeper. If "none of the above" describes you or you know almost nothing about prayer, come and check it out.
THEO 40003 Elementary Hebrew II
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 40005 Intermediate Hebrew II
This fourth-semester course in biblical Hebrew will continue and build upon THEO 40004. 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 40108 New Testament Introduction
This course offers a critical introduction to the New Testament that aims (1) to provide insight into the cultural and religious matrix of early Christianity, (2) to develop a basic knowledge of the New Testament writings with respect to their literary and theological characteristics, (3) to provide guidance in the art and methods of exegesis, and (4) to introduce students to the contemporary critical study of the New Testament.
THEO 40127 The Bible & Modern Politics
How have Jews and Christians used the Bible to respond to politics? Whether to fight for equal civil rights, to justify engagement in war, to regulate reproductive practices, or to defend environmental policies, modern Jews and Christians have used the interpretation of the Bible to participate in contemporary political debates. By examining biblical commentaries, sermons, and scholarship composed over the past two centuries, this course explores how scriptural interpretation has been used to speak to pressing political concerns.
THEO 40202 The Christian Tradition II
The course will examine the development of the Christian tradition from the time of the Reformation to the present, with special attention to the confessional division of the western Christian tradition during the Reformation, and the responses that post-Reformation Christian traditions make to the secularization of Western culture. The objective of this course is to develop an ecumenical understanding of contemporary Christian traditions. Class time each week will consist of two lectures and one student-led discussion. Evaluation will be based on discussion, four short papers, and a final exam. Spring only.
THEO 40278 Russian Religious Thought
The course highlights a series of topics, personalities, and ideas of Russian religious thought from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. The overview is provided against the background of religious history of Muscovy and Russia, with its wide, and often neglected, variety of denominations and spiritual movements ? Orthodox, Old-Believing, Sectarian, Catholic and Protestant. Special attention will be given to the role religious thinkers and theologians from Ukraine played in the intellectual history of the Russian Empire. The course is based on reading and discussion of primary texts in translation. The students will be introduced to the works of Feofan Prokopovich, Hryhory Skovoroda, Piotr Chaadaev, Aleksey Khomyakov, Vladimir Solovyov, Feodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky, Georges Florovsky, and Alexander Schmemann. Thematically, the course material is focused on topics of political theology, theology of history, theology of culture, theology of ritual, and issues of Christian unity.
THEO 40286 The Qur'an Relation to Bible
To most Muslims the Qu'an is the eternal, uncreated Word of God. For them the Qur'an is not an inspired scripture like the Bible. Instead it is like Christ: a divine Word descended from heaven. It is perfect in regard to its literary qualities, its accounts of nations and prophets, and its scientific references. Islamic reverence for the Qur'an is seen in the way Muslims kiss the book before opening it, and are careful never to place another book on top of it. From the perspective of academic scholars, however, the Qur'an is a poorly understood text. Scholars are divided over the precise historical context in which the Qur'an emerged, its connection to the life of Muhammad, and its relation to the Bible and other religious literature. In this course we will examine the Qur'an itself, traditional Islamic teaching on the Qur'an, and academic controversies over the Qu'an. In addition we will examine the connection of the Qur'an to Christian theology. Indeed it should be remembered that the Qur'an is fundamentally concerned with the great figures of Biblical tradition, including Abraham, Moses, Mary, and Jesus. Moreover, the Qu'an repeatedly refutes Christian doctrine. Thus it is an important text for anyone interested in the relationship between Islam and Christianity, or the relations between Muslims and Christians, in past centuries or in our age. No prior knowledge of Arabic, the Qur'an, or Islam is expected of students in this course.
THEO 40405 Mary and the 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 40431 Betrothal & Marriage Rites
This course studies the history and theology of the sacrament of marriage. It begins by considering ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman beliefs about marriage and examines the ways ancient peoples of the Mediterranean world formed and celebrated nuptial unions. It then considers early Christian thought on marriage and analyzes the earliest evidence for Christian marriage ritual. The course explores the development of marriage rites across various Christian traditions of East and West through the Middle Ages to today, and compares the theological visions expressed in these rites. In addition to texts, students will engage with visual and material sources for Christian marriage in different periods and cultural contexts.
THEO 40613 Catholic Social Teaching
This seminar will introduce students to the key texts that make up Catholic social teaching. Students will read one document each week and ask how the document's ideas relate to our own present lives and planned futures. The course concludes with asking what would our anticipated professional vocations look like if informed by Catholic social teaching. For instance, what would a law firm or health clinic look like if they were formed by ideas such as the common good and the option for the poor.
THEO 40628 God, Science and Morality
This course is taught by a professor with training in the sciences, philosophy, and theology; students from any of these disciplines are welcome to enroll, for I will give serious attention to that which each of these fields can contribute to our understanding of morality. Participating in this course will provide you an occasion to contemplate how diverse academic disciplines address the stringency of the moral demand and the possibilities for social mammals to fulfill that demand. I will motivate this inquiry by introducing you to the work of several authors who advocate that recent discoveries in primatology, neuroscience, and evolutionary history provide a strictly biological "basis" for morality that leaves theology irrelevant to ethics. You will evaluate this literature in class discussions and written essays by using the tools of historical comparison, philosophy of science, and theology of nature. I will help equip you for this task by introducing you to a wide variety of texts on the ethical implications of biological evolution, by taking you on special excursions to the Notre Dame Museum of Biodiversity and the Center for Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and by hosting distinguished guest professors from the departments of Biology, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Theology. Previous participants in this course report that they gained a newfound appreciation for both the scientific character of Christian theology and the theological significance of the natural sciences.
THEO 40632 Heart's Desire & Social Change
Beyond financial prosperity and material gain, many people today speak about the hunger to find purpose and meaningful work that has lasting impact on society, culture, and the global community. We not only want to find lucrative employment but to discover a way of life that resonates with the deepest part of ourselves. When we experience a consistent flow between our life's energies and our daily tasks, we are the most alive, engaged and at peace. But how can we find a way to integrate our inner and outer lives? This course will help students clarify their deepest passions in life that facilitate personal formation and social transformation. At its core it will explore the process of self-awareness and self-development that lead ultimately to self-gift. Some of the major themes we will look at include: values, spirituality, discernment, identity, true self/false self, justice, flow, freedom, Catholic Social Teaching and mission.
THEO 40634 African Literatures and the Moral Imagination
To imagine is to form a mental concept of something which is not present to the senses. Imagination therefore deals with "framing". Like everyone else, Africans ponder over their condition and their world on the basis of their experience, history, social location and other realities which provide the "frame" through which they construct and address reality. In this course, through the study of some significant African literary works and some literary works about Africa we will study the self-perception of the African and the way the African has ethically viewed his / her reality and tried to grapple with it over a period of time (colonialism, post colonialism, apartheid) with regard to various issues on the continent (political challenges, religion, war and peace) and over some of the social questions (class, urbanization/ city life, sex and sexuality, relationship of the sexes), etc. We will read such authors as Joseph Conrad, Amos Tutuola, Chinua Achebe, Athol Fugard, Wole Soyinka, Cyprian Ekwensi, Chimamanda Adichie, Syl Cheney-Coker, Tsitsi Dangaremga, Nawal El Sadawi, Ferdinand Oyono , and some others. Using these and many authors we will ask questions about what constitutes the moral imagination, how such an imagination is manifested in or apparent in the social, personal and religious lives of the various African peoples or characters portrayed in these literary works; to what extent the moral sense has helped/ conditioned or failed to influence the lives of these peoples and characters. We will also inquire into the extent and in what ways the writers in our selection have helped to shape the moral imagination of their people.
THEO 40716 Christianity in Central Asia
Through readings of primary sources in translation, such as histories and travel narratives, letters, and doctrinal texts (Christian and otherwise), as well as secondary sources, this course will follow Christianity in Central Asia - roughly from (modern day) Afghanistan to the eastern edge of the Taklamakan desert (now western China) - up to the beginning of the Mongol period (13th century). We see in Central Asia a continuing presence of many languages, writing systems, and peoples, among and alongside which groups of Christians lived, wrote, translated, and worshipped in the vicinities of - depending on time and place - Zoroastrians, Manichaeans, Jews, Muslims, and/or Buddhists. Among other topics, we will consider the bevy of languages and writing systems in Central Asia, textual evidence (religious and otherwise) for the region, shifts in political authority, Manichaeism and its relationship to "orthodox" Christianity, the spread of Buddhism, and religious identity.
THEO 40810 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 living Christian tradition. Using writings of feminist, womanist, Latina, mujerista, Asian, and "Third World" theologians, the course will focus on the significance of gender and social location in understanding the nature and sources of theology, theological anthropology, Christology/soteriology, the mystery of God, and women's spirituality.
THEO 40824 Hindu & Christian Interaction
This course will provide a survey of the main events, human figures and theological models which have characterized Hindu-Christian interaction, especially since the beginning of the 19th century, a period that marks a turning-point in Hinduism's understanding of itself. We shall attempt to determine how each of the two religions has undergone transformation in its theology and spirituality, either through the enrichment or through the challenge which the other tradition has presented. Theologically we shall examine such issues as revelation and history, divine grace and human freedom, personhood of the deity, Hindu and Christian views of Christ, theistic and non-dualistic metaphysics.
THEO 40831 Chesterton and Catholicism
G. K. Chesterton was a man with many sides, but this course will confine itself to only one, and that is his theological front. About his conversion to Catholicism he wrote to a friend, "As you may possibly guess, I want to consider my position about the biggest thing of all, whether I am to be inside it or outside it." We will consider his position by reading primary works in theology that led up to and followed his decision, among them "Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man," biographies of St. Thomas and St. Francis, "The Thing," and "What's Wrong with the World." In these we will follow his own advice that "To become a Catholic is not to leave off thinking, but to learn how to think. It is so in exactly the same sense in which to recover from palsy is not to leave off moving but to learn how to move."
THEO 43001 Proseminar
This course gives an introduction to the study of theology. In particular, it provides:  an overview of theology and its disciplines / areas of specialization,  bibliographies of primary and secondary sources for theological research, and  information about internships and career opportunities for theology majors. The course meets once each week for 50 minutes throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend every class. Two short papers are required at the end of the semester. Required of all Theology majors.
THEO 43203 Seminar in Theology and Philosophy: Stein and Wojtyla
Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005), better known as Saint Pope John Paul II, studied philosophy at Jagiellonian University, where he wrote his Habilitation thesis on the ethics of Max Scheler (1874-1928), a noted philosopher in the circle of early phenomenologists. That circle, gathered around ?the Master,? Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), included Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1997), Roman Ingarden (1893-1970), and Edith Stein (1891?1942), later canonized as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. The tragedy of World War II was an experience shared by Stein, murdered in Auschwitz, and the young Wojtyla, a quarry worker and clandestine seminarian in occupied Poland. Through Ingarden, Wojtyla later became acquainted with the life and writings of Stein, with whom he shared interests in personalism, Thomism, theatre, the mysticism of Saint John of the Cross, the history and theology of Jewish-Christian relations, the dignity of human work and of woman, and the complementarity of the sexes. This joint seminar is designed to facilitate an in-depth comparison of Stein and Wojtyla as philosophers and theologians.