Courses

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. 

groupattanturAdditional theology courses are available through ND Study Abroad programs, such as that in Jerusalem based at Notre Dame’s Tantur Ecumenical Institute.

Popular upper-level courses in theology include:

Augustine

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

Information on the Two University Requirements in Theology
Directed Readings:
Students pursuing a Directed Readings course should  have a minimum  GPA of 3.5 in their major. The  proposed  course of study may not duplicate or reflect content of regularly offered courses. The work should reflect the intellectual challenge, intensity  and time commitment reflected  in the number  of credit  hours awarded. Departments will normally limit to two the number of Directed Readings classes that may fulrill the requirements of the major.
 
A directed readings course is expected to have regular meetings with the faculty mentor and an amount of reading and writing assignments equivalent to a regular 3-credit course in Theology. Students must work with their faculty mentor to develop a specific timetable for consultations and submission or presentation of student  work. Mentors will advise  the student  on possible sources of information, provide  feedback  on a regular  basis, suggest  and  facilitate consultation with other  faculty  or sources  to assist  the student, and offer constructive criticism.  All directed readings must be approved by both the instructor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Theology Outside the Classroom

For information on the new 1 credit “Theology outside the classroom” course, please contact Prof. Francesca Murphy.

Spring 2014 Courses

Foundations of Theology (multiple listings)
This first course in theology offers a critical study of the Bible and the early Christian tradition. Following an introduction to the Old and New Testaments, students follow major post-biblical developments in Christian life and worship (e.g., liturgy, theology, doctrine, asceticism), emphasizing the first five centuries. 

THEO 20102: Gendering Christianity

This course is an introduction to feminist and gender-based approaches to Christianity. It addresses major topics of theological thinking (such as sin, salvation, images of God, Christology) relating historical development and contemporary re-readings. These topics will be considered in light of contemporary issues of gender and sexuality (eating disorders, sexual violence, the status of gays and lesbians, ecofeminism etc.). The approach will be both critical (i. e. analytic) and constructive. Course materials will include two novels as well as theological writings and videos on contemporary issues.

THEO 20103: One Jesus and 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 20206: U.S. Latino Spirituality

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the dynamic origins, development and present status of the collective spirituality of the Latinos/as living in the USA. Emphasis will be placed on the Mexican Americans since they are not only the largest group but likewise the ones who have been living in the USA the longest. Drawing on history, cultural anthropology, Christian Theology and your own experience, this course will explore the roots and development of contemporary Latino Spirituality in the United States. As we explore in depth the spirituality of a people, this course will also help you discover and explore the roots and development of your own collective and personal spirituality.

THEO 20251: The Catholic Faith

This course is a theological introduction to the basic teachings of the Catholic faith. The primary text is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This will be supplemented by theological source readings from all periods. The emphasis will be on the coherence of the system of basic Catholic teaching as a whole. The argument is that the coherence is located in the love of God which lies at the heart of all Christian mysteries. "Love alone is credible" in the words of one famous theologian of the twentieth century and it is that love, and that credibility, that we will set ourselves the task of investigating.

THEO 20257: Jewish People and the Church

Since the days of the Apostles, the relationship between the Jewish people and the Church has been full of tensions, misunderstandings and even violence. This course provides an outline to the historical development of the very special ties between Christianity and Judaism during the last 2000 years and the key issues corresponding to the conflict. It will illustrate the Jewish roots of the Christian religion in late Antiquity, the painful self-separation of the early Church from Jewish tradition and its successful establishment and transformation to be the leading force of Western-Roman civilization. For the formative period between late Antiquity and the late Middle Ages, the course will analyze the emerging role of what is called "replacement theology". Why was it so important for the Church to see itself as the new and only chosen people of God? What role did the assumption of a banned and cursed Jewish people play for the identity of the western Church in the pre-modern period? This inclination against the Jewish people lead to intellectual reactions and discourses on the Jewish side and determined their perception and theological understanding of Christianity up to now. Against this backdrop, we will try to present both Jewish and Christian perspectives on an equal footing. In the last part of the course we will deal with new and current developments regarding the relationship between the Roman Church, Protestant denominations and Jews and Judaism after World War II, especially since the Second Vatican Council.

THEO 20605: Intro to Catholic Moral Theology

This course will explore what it means to live "the good life" according to Catholic theology. We will address questions such as: Why should I be moral? What is happiness? What makes actions and people good or bad? What does God or the Church have to do with ethics? Is there an ultimate purpose to my life, and will there be an afterlife? The course itself will be structured around the moral and theological virtues that are the basis of traditional Catholic moral theology. We will cover general topics such as grace, sin, holiness, freedom, the passions, natural law, and social justice. These will lead us into concrete and controversial topics such as euthanasia, abortion, premarital sex, homosexuality, and just war. The course will draw primarily upon the classical Catholic tradition, as represented especially by St. Thomas Aquinas. The overall goal is to grasp and explain what follows from the challenging claim: "There is only one real sadness in life: not to be saints."

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 20653: Synergoi

This is a community-based learning course focusing on the interrelationship of food, justice, the sacramentality of creation, liturgy, and the place of cooperatives in the Catholic social tradition. What does it mean for human beings to become synergoi, or co-operators with God's creative activity in their own local community as responsible members of God's creation called to live sustainably? As a requirement of the course, students will work with members of the local community at the Monroe Park Grocery Cooperative and with local farmers to bring fresh, affordable food into underserved neighborhoods of South Bend through MPGC. The course will be limited to twenty-five students and will require twenty hours of community-based work over the semester.

THEO 20658: Theology of Nature

What is nature and why should we care about it? This question structures the intellectual arc of THEO 20658, a course designed to explore answers from the perspective of the Christian theological tradition. As such, relevant, subsidiary questions may provide guidance such as, "what is God's/humanity's relationship to nature?" - "are humans part of nature?" - "does Christian faith require us to protect the environment?" - "do animals go to heaven?", "does the theory of evolution conflict with Christian belief?" - "what’s for dinner?" We will trace responses to these and other questions from the Bible, the early Christian church, the Middle Ages, and from contemporary theological reflection. Since a hallmark of the American response to the environment - both inspiration from its inherent beauty and condemnation of/social action regarding its degradation by humans - can be found in the genre of literature known as nature writing, we also will correlate Christian theology with select American nature writers.

THEO 20661: Not from this World

Ever since Pontius Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews, powerful men (and the occasional powerful woman) have wondered whether the man from Nazareth threatens or endorses the political order they've worked hard to establish. In two millennia, Jesus's own followers have come to different conclusions about how the lords of mere cities, nations, and empires ought to run things while Christians await the second coming of the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Moreover, Christians have disagreed about what their citizenship in Christ's kingdom means for their participation in the politics of this world. This course will challenge students to critically examine some of these arguments and respond with their own ideas about what "Christian politics" should look like. We will comb the entire history of Christianity for answers to this question, but we will give special attention to theological issues that have profoundly marked the practice of politics in America, including divine election, liberation, natural rights, religious freedom, social justice, and eschatology. Course requirements will include active participation in discussion, written responses to readings, group presentations of case studies, a multi-stage paper, and a final exam.

THEO 20701: God in a Multicultural Context

This course explores human capacity of understanding God as the "ultimate reality" from the perspectives of multicultural and pluralistic world views, and ways of thinking. The course examines the fundamental Christian concepts such as "creation," "human nature," "time and history," and "sin and guilt" among others in dialogue with other cultural and spiritual traditions in Asia, especially East Asia. Although the course will take a comparative approach in examining these fundamental concepts and ideas, the main thrust of this douse, however, will go beyond a mere "comparison." Rather it will expound a deeper meaning of the Christian understanding of God in light of other forms of the manifest ion of the "ultimate reality" found in non-Western and non-Christian traditions such as Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shamanism, etc. The goal of this course, thus, is to enrich and enlarge the Christian experience of God in Christ by engaging in a dialogue with other spiritual traditions in order for us to reach a true meaning of "ecumenical ecumenism.

THEO 20801: Theology of Disability

This course introduces students to Christian theological reflection on the physical limitations, disabilities, and impairments of the human being. The topic will be considered in the light of Scripture, classic theological texts, relevant philosophical resources, and the apostolic witness. Students will be familiarized with contemporary theological work on disability and cognitive impairment.

THEO 20820: Christianity and 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 20861: Religion and Visual Arts in Christianity and Buddhism

A study of the ways in which religious ideas and values are conveyed in images, as distinct from the ways in which they are conveyed in language and texts. This course will examine in detail a selection of major works of art (painting, sculpture, architecture) from the Christian tradition, presented in comparison and contrast with analogous works from the Buddhist tradition. As we discuss these examples of visual religion (religion of the eye, rather than only of the ear) we will take note of the fact that some Christians and Buddhists have seen images as blessings, as instruments of salvation, or as enhancements of piety whereas others have condemned and even forbidden them as impious or heretical. We will then ask why and how such controversies have arisen.

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 20891: What Does it Mean to be Human?

What does the Christian tradition have to say about being a human person, and what does this mean for persons in the twenty-first century? This course will provide an introduction to theological anthropology, the Christian understanding of the nature and destiny of the human person. We will read a selection of ancient and contemporary thinkers in order to investigate three central questions about human personhood: Creation: What does it mean to be created, to have our existence as a gift from God and to be made in God?s image? Grace and Sin: What does it mean to be creatures both under the reign of sin and recipients of God?s grace? Salvation: What is the end for which we hope, and what does the full flourishing of human persons entail? In the last portion of the class, we will use our preceding investigations in order to think about three contemporary issues concerning personhood. We will look at current discussions about race, gender, and disability and ask how our theological resources might help us to think about these different aspects of human identity today. Requirements will include two short papers, a mid-term, and a final examination, as well as class participation.

THEO 20894: The Christian Experience: Vocation and the Theological Imagination

This course provides an entrée into the theological foundations of Christian vocation through considering the transformation of human experience by means of the theological imagination. That God calls is an objective fact of revelation. How human beings perceive and appropriate this call is an entirely different matter. Thus, this course considers both the central images of Christian salvation history from creation to eschatology, as well as how these images were appropriated in the lived experience of Christianity. This course is designed to assist Notre Dame undergraduates who are preparing to work as "Mentors-in-Faith" within Notre Dame Vision.

THEO 30043: Know Your Catholic Faith: Catholic Social Teaching and the Environment

A particular focus for the proposed course will be on the writings on the environment of more recent popes, including that of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. Pope John Paul II showed a particular affinity with the natural world that surfaced in his teaching and in his guided nature retreats. We will explore the theological issues behind such writing and the relationship between ecology and social justice. This course will take place in a retreat setting over a weekend as a way of enhancing learning, and assessment will be based on a reflective journal that you will complete during the retreat. There will be one class briefing session of one hour on campus prior to the course, and one follow up session after it.

THEO 30044: Spirituality of Pope Francis

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Pope last March and took the name of Francs, many people were surprised: not least because he is the first Jesuit  in fact, a former Jesuit high-school teacher, novice director, and provincial superior - to be elected to that office in the Society’s almost 500 years of history. Many of his statements and gestures since then have also surprised the world by their clear changes of style and emphasis from previous Papal pronouncements and practices. In this mini-course, I hope to consider some of the main features of Jesuit prayer and spirituality, and of the pastoral work traditionally done by members of the Society of Jesus through the centuries. Then, by reading some of Pope Francis’ sermons and addresses and by thinking about how he lives, I hope to point to the influence of his Jesuit background on the model of leadership he is offering to the Church.

THEO 33501: Responding to God’s Call II

This course will attend to the unavoidable tensions involved in vocational discernment, while recognizing the relationship between these tensions and certain paradoxes of the Christian faith that underlie them. Particular topics treated in the course will include human desire and passions, God’s will and human freedom, participation in multiple communities, and the responsibility to both openness and commitment in discernment. This course will take place in a retreat format, with two full-day Saturday sessions (January 25 and March 22). Students must attend each of these sessions in their entirety in order to participate in the course (approx. 9:30am to 5:30pm).

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

THEO 40108 is an introduction to the history and literature of the early Christian movement. The focus of the course will be on the writings contained in the New Testament, and an attempt will be made to understand these writings as historical documents within their social and religious setting.The purposes of the course are (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 an introduction to the contemporary critical study of the New Testament, and (4) to provide guidance in the art and methods of exegesis.The course is composed of five major segments: (1) The Jewish Matrix of Early Christianity, (2) Jewish Messianism and the Ministry of Jesus, (3) Jesus in the Memory of the Early Church, (4) Paul and the Spread of Christianity, and (5) Ethics, Eschatology, and Early Catholicism.

THEO 40125: 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 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 40238: The Transfiguration in the Fiction of C.S. Lewis

This course will look at a theme that runs throughout the works of C. S. Lewis: theosis. Christianity's ultimate end is the deification of a person. In Lewis' fiction there is a strong theme of the transfiguration of matter and the human being, and the moral/ascetical prerequisite leading up to it. This course will first use some secondary theological sources to unpack theosis in light of the Christian doctrines of creation, sin, Trinity, and Christology, and then it will turn to Lewis himself - first to his non-fiction (Mere Christianity, Abolition of Man, Weight of Glory essays), but our main time will be spent in his fiction (Narnia, Screwtape Letters, Great Divorce, The Pilgrim's Regress, Til We Have Faces).

THEO 40286: The Qur’an and its Relation to the 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 40293: Seeking Christ in the Desert

From the Church’s first centuries, men and women have felt called to an intimate encounter with the Incarnate Word through the monastic profession of obedience, stability, and life-long spiritual conversion. This course introduces students to the history of monasticism and monastic theology from its Scriptural origins to the present day. We will approach the phenomenon of Christian monasticism from several complementary perspectives. To begin, we will consider exemplary figures in the monastic hagiographical tradition, such as Antony of the Desert, Mary of Egypt, and Benedict of Nursia. Then, we will analyze the development of monastic rules of life, such as the rules of Basil, Augustine, and Benedict. Finally, we will study some of the principal exponents of monastic theology from Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich to Charles de Foucauld and Thomas Merton. Throughout, we will ask ourselves how we can apply various key elements of monastic spirituality  such as lectio divina, mutual obedience, and the balance of prayer and work to our daily lives as laypersons seeking Christ in today?s society. Our inquiry will be primarily discussion-based and will entail several exegetical papers as well as a final exam.

THEO 40294: U.S. Latino Cathoicism

Latina and Latino Catholics have lived their faith in what is now the United States for almost twice as long as the nation has existed. This course explores the development of Latino Catholicism in the United States, the ways Latinos are currently transforming the U.S. Catholic Church, Hispanic faith expressions related to Jesus and Mary, and especially the theological contributions of contemporary Latinas and Latinos.

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 40613: Catholic Social Teaching

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 40626: Politics and Conscience

Against a backdrop of large-scale society, mass movements, and technological bureaucracy, the invocation of "conscience" recalls the individual human person as a meaningful actor in the political sphere. But what is conscience, and what are its rights and responsibilities? What is it about conscience that ought to command governmental respect? Are there limits to its autonomy? What role should conscience play in questions of war and peace, law-abidingness and civil disobedience, citizenship and political leadership? And how does the notion of conscience relate to concepts of natural law and natural rights, rationality and prudence, religion and toleration? This course engages such questions through readings from the Catholic intellectual tradition (Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, Fransisco de Vitoria, Desiderius Erasmus, John Henry Newman, Karol Wojty'a/John Paul II, and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI) and other writers of the history of ethical-political thought (Cicero, Seneca, John Locke, Mahatma Ghandi, Jan Pato'ka, and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn). We consider also various contemporary reflections on conscience expressed in films, essays, letters, plays, short stories, speeches, and declarations, beginning with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and Václav Havel's speech "Politics and Conscience." This class serves as both the capstone course for the interdisciplinary minor Philosophy in the Catholic Tradition and an upper-level elective for Political Science majors and Peace Studies minors. Its format combines lecture and seminar-style discussion.

THEO 40627: Catholicism and Politics

Catholicism and Politics poses the question, both simple and complex: How ought Catholics to think about the political order and political issues within it? The first part of the course will survey major responses to this question drawn from Church history: the early church, the medieval church, and the modern church. The second part applies these models to contemporary issues ranging among war, intervention, globalization, abortion, the death penalty, religious freedom, gender issues, and economic development. The course culminates in "The Council of Notre Dame," where teams of students, representing church factions, gather to discover church teachings on selected controversial political issues.

THEO 40632: Heart’s Desire and Social Change

This course will help students to explore their deepest passions and to translate those interests into concrete action through social innovation. The process will begin with discernment about vocation, through the lenses of theology and business. Students will then engage in a design thinking process to develop their interests and determine how these social passions can connect to their work or to an entrepreneurial project.

THEO 40634: African Literatures and 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 40705: Catholics in America

This course is a senior seminar designed to facilitate in-depth research on a topic related to the study of Catholicism in America. Organized around the overarching themes of mission, migration, and modernity, the seminar will cover, among others, the following topics: martyrdom, the immigrant church, religious congregations, Catholics in film and fiction, education and social reform. Class discussions, assigned reading, and written work will is designed to encourage students to develop and complete their research projects, which ordinarily will consist of final research paper of approximately 20 pages or a creative project accompanied by a critical essay, based on primary source research.

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 40816: Philosophy and Theology of the Body

Pope John Paul II's theology of the body constitutes a thoroughgoing effort to develop an account of human sexuality and love and of the "redemption of the body" in the context of an integral vision of the human person. This vision is based on his philosophical personalism together with a phenomenological analysis of the Genesis account of the human being as imago Dei. The first half of the course addresses first the original condition of human beings according to the Creator's intention and then concupiscence as the effect of original sin. The second half of the course addresses the sacramentality of marriage and the ethos of Christian marriage in the light of the redemption of the body. The principal text for the course will be John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, (Pauline Books & Media, 2006). Besides this we will read sections from Karol Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility (Ignatius Press, 1993), his Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, and Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, as well as Pope Paul VI's Encyclical "Humanae Vitae." Course requirements include two 7-page papers and a final exam. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions.

THEO 40860: Beauty and the Eucharist

In its appearance in the host, the Eucharist is small, plain, almost nondescript. And yet, as philosopher Simone Weil has observed, the Eucharistic host has become the generative center for countless works of art not only tabernacles, churches, paintings, and altarpieces, but also musical compositions, poetry, and fiction. Above all, it has been the nourishment for lives of virtuous beauty, for mystics and saints in their encounters with Christ and their service to the poor. In this course we will take an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to understand the beauty of the Eucharist in philosophical and theological terms, but also through representative artworks (visual, musical, literary) inspired by the sacrament. In-class readings and discussions will be enriched by attendance at four additional, thematically related public lectures by invited speakers, thanks to an initiative by the Center for Liturgy at the Institute for Church Life.

THEO 40861: Sexual Renunciation and Spiritual Transformation in the Early and Medieval Church

To many, contemporary believers and non-believers the practice of sexual renunciation as a necessary, ideal, or even desired marker of one’s religious identity is difficult to imagine, let alone celebrate or embrace. Though many ordained clergy and vowed religious in the Catholic church, other Christian denominations, and other faith traditions take vows of celibacy, their numbers are dwindling; people of faith have been finding other ways to mark their religious commitments explicitly and exteriorly. But, in the history of the Christian church, from the early fourth century through the late middle ages, the celibate life was championed as the most exemplary witness to a new life in Christ; the transformation of self wrought through baptism could only be fully effected and perfected through the spiritual discipline of virginity. By means of the renunciation of one’s sexual desires, one could come closer to reclaiming humanity?s original, pure state at creation or to achieving the perfection of human nature promised at the resurrection. More significantly, the denial of sexuality invested its practitioners with significant spiritual authority, the power to overcome societal and ecclesiastical limitations placed on their gender, and sometimes even the confines of their very sexed bodies. They embodied the baptismal promise recorded in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians: For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female? (Gal 3.27-28). This course will be dedicated to providing a historical and theological account for the roots, growth, and flowering of this ascetic practice from its scriptural progenitors through its late medieval inheritors. It will focus on the primary sources related to this topic: treatises on virginity, consecration rituals, homilies, letters of spiritual guidance, martyr acts, saints lives, visionary accounts, and autobiographies, but these sources will be supplemented by relevant secondary literature. Through a variety of sources, this course seeks to understand not only the multiple and changing ways in which the discipline of virginity was theologized and practiced in the early and medieval church, but also how it empowered and spiritually authorized its practitioners to perform pastoral and liturgical acts customarily read as sacerdotal in nature, such as founding ecclesial communities, preaching, proclaiming the gospel, anointing the sick, forgiving sins, and interceding on behalf of souls in purgatory. Often irrespective of geographical location, class, gender, or prior sexual experience, men and women alike could serve as Christ for others through the spiritual transformation wrought by sexual renunciation, for they became Christ in their very flesh.

THEO 43001: Proseminar

This course gives an introduction to the study of theology. In particular, it provides: [1] an overview of theology and its disciplines / areas of specialization, [2] bibliographies of primary and secondary sources for theological research, and [3] 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: Joint Seminar In Philosophy and Theology: Augustine and Aquinas on Knowing God

In this seminar, intended as a synthetic experience for joint majors in theology and philosophy, we will read and discuss a selection of representative texts from the works of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas that deal with the possibility and the limitation of human knowledge of God, both by the use of our reason and by faith in God?s self-revelation. We will also read texts from the Greek philosophical tradition that strongly influenced the thought of these two writers on the question of human knowledge of the divine reality.

THEO 43401: Issues in Sacred Architecture

An upper-level seminar exploring themes related to issues in sacred architecture. The course is open to architecture students and students in other disciplines.

Fall 2013 Courses

Foundations of Theology (multiple listings)
This first course in theology offers a critical study of the Bible and the early Christian tradition. Following an introduction to the Old and New Testaments, students follow major post-biblical developments in Christian life and worship (e.g., liturgy, theology, doctrine, asceticism), emphasizing the first five centuries. 

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 20206: U.S. Latino Spirituality 
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the dynamic origins, development and present status of the collective spirituality of the Latinos/as living in the USA. Emphasis will be placed on the Mexican Americans since they are not only the largest group but likewise the ones who have been living in the USA the longest. Drawing on history, cultural anthropology, Christian Theology and your own experience, this course will explore the roots and development of contemporary Latino Spirituality in the United States. As we explore in depth the spirituality of a people, this course will also help you discover and explore the roots and development of your own collective and personal spirituality.

THEO 20232: On Conversion
For all believing people, faith is a journey: a lifelong movement of growth in understanding of the divine Mystery in whose presence we live, and of commitment to serving God. Christian faith begins in Jesus' call to each person to follow him as a disciple; and while the general shape of that journey of companionship is modeled in the Gospels, it takes on very different concrete features in each particular life. In this course, we will reflect on the theological importance of conversion and spiritual growth for the life of faith, and will consider the stories of several well-known Christians (Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, John Woolman, Dorothy Day, C. S. Lewis) that reveal the long-term implications of conversion to faith. We will also reflect on loss of faith as a kind of anti-conversion peculiar to modern culture. 

THEO 20254: C.S. Lewis on Sin, Sanctification and Saints
What is the path for sanctification to the beatific vision? Using the fiction of C.S. Lewis for signposts on the path, this course will consider the doctrine of sin (Screwtape Letters), sanctification as cooperating with grace (The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Perelandra), and the final formation of saints (The Great Divorce, The Last Battle). Other authors will be helpful in understanding Christian spirituality as a struggle to cultivate the virtues and overcome the passions: Augustine, Maximus Confessor, Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Dorothy Sayers, Joseph Pieper, and G.K. Chesterton.

THEO 20256: Christian Freedom
St. Paul saw freedom as at the heart of the Christian gospel. Yet he also feared that followers of Christ would fail to appreciate the true meaning of this freedom, and miss out on experiencing it (Galatians 5:1). Ever since, Christians have pondered and debated the meaning of Christian freedom, as they plumb the depths of the Christian message. What are the marks of an authentic Christian freedom, and how can one judge that that freedom is genuinely "Christian"? Is it "a freedom for" or "a freedom from," or both? What views of the human person and of God find expression in particular teachings about Christian freedom, and what does each (God, the human being) do in promoting Christian freedom? To what extent are the events of creation, fall and redemption in Christ significant in its depiction? In this course, we will encounter some of the highlights and flash points of this conversation, attending to perspectives now associated with all three major branches of the Christian tradition: Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox. After reflecting on some biblical texts that serve as the foundations for discussions to follow, we will study a number of pivotal texts from the tradition that address the theme of Christian freedom, from early Christian (e.g., Justin, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Pelagius, Maximus the Confessor), through medieval and Reformation (e.g., Anselm, Aquinas, Marguerite Porete, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and the Council of Trent), to more modern approaches (e.g, James Cone and Gustavo Gutierrez). Requirements for the course will include regular brief writing assignments on course readings, two essay tests, and a final examination. 

THEO 20422: Mercy and Chrisitian Charity
Charity, or Christian love, is the heart of Christian faith and practice, as it is found in the liturgy and ethics. Christians respond to God's merciful love in the form of the Great Commandment, to love God and neighbor. This course examines Christian charity and what makes it unique, seeking to understand how the encounter with God's merciful activity in creation and redemption makes this love distinctive and beautiful.This course has three parts. The first part explores God's mercy as it is revealed in history, described by biblical prophets up to John the Baptist, and expressed fully in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This aspect will be accompanied by the writings of saints and theologians from the patristic age to the present about their encounters with God?s mercy in the Church, and an exploration of God's forgiveness communicated in Baptism and Confession. The second part investigates the charitable acts of the Church: how the liturgy developed to form its members in charity, how charity is sacramental and a channel of mercy, how particular Christian vocations such as Marriage and Holy Orders are ordained to charity. Lastly we will follow a dialogue between God's mercy and Christian charity in the contemporary period, through analysis of Catholic Social Doctrine and the response of Christian communities to modern social problems, including technological progress, social isolation, capitalism and Marxism, and religious violence. In this we will consider charity as the guide of Christian ethical reflection, the Eucharist as an intrinsically personal and social sacrament, and the relationship between mercy, justice, and charity.Primary texts for the course include selections from the Bible, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of various theologians and saints from the patristic age to the modern. Students will be evaluated via exams at the mid-term and final points of the semester, as well as a research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor. 

THEO 20606: Theology of Marriage 
This course seeks to introduce participants to the principal elements in the Catholic Tradition on marriage by examining the sources of this tradition in sacred scripture, the work of ancient Christian writers, the official teachings of the Church and recent theological reflection. The method employed in the course is thus historical, scriptural, and thematic. The readings selected for this course are intended to expose students to contemporary discussion in moral theology apropos of these issues, and provide them with the necessary theological tools to critically evaluate a wide variety of ethical positions dealing with marriage in the Catholic tradition.

THEO 20619: Rich, Poor, and War (CRN 19345)
The course analyzes the role of economics in violence.  It first traces Catholic social teaching on the person in society in contrast with other views.  It then addresses the difference Catholic social teaching and these competing views make in understanding the role of economics in violence in the domestic, economic and international political spheres.

THEO 20625: Discipleship: Loving Action for Justice
This course is designed for students who have completed a Summer Service Project Internship (SSLP or ISSLP) through the Center for Social Concerns. The main objective is to afford students the opportunity to combine social analysis with theological reflection. The course material will span a variety of ethical issues, including education, globalization, restorative justice, racial justice, power relations, environmental justice, and structural violence. These topics will be held in conversation with the Catholic social tradition. A major component of the course will entail the presentation and analysis of student-generated research emerging from the SSLP/ISSLP.

THEO 20627: Science and Theology
Both science and religion claim to offer true descriptions of the cosmos, our place in that cosmos, and how we should act in it. Both science and theology subject these assertions to disciplined inquiry and testing within specific scientific or religious communities. In Western societies in which both science and religion powerfully shape culture in a number of different ways, these processes of making sense of the world overlap and interrelate in complicated ways, resulting sometimes in conflict and other times in mutual enrichment. This course will investigate these interrelations by focusing in the first third of the course on historical controversies, including events and issues leading up to the condemnation of Copernicanism (1616) and the trial of Galileo (1633). The second third of the course will tackle both the reception and rejection of the science of evolution in modern American society. For the latter we will consider various options, including creationism, intelligent design, the new atheism, and theistic evolution. Such an analysis offers a perspective on philosophical and methodological issues in relating science and theology in current debates. As an example of the creative interaction between science and theology we will explore in the third segment of the course alternative approaches to environmental ethics. 

THEO 20643: The Askesis of Nonviolence: Theology and Practice
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 20659: War, Peace, Revolution:
Christian beliefs ought to make a difference in the way we think about the use of violence, but it's difficult to understand exactly how? Christians over time have disagreed about which beliefs are the most relevant. This course explores two major shifts in Christian thinking about war, peace, and revolution: first, the fourth-century establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire; and second, the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. In both cases, we will read texts from before and after each shift in order to analyze how the theological emphasis changed and what practical consequences of that change were. In the last third of the course, we will read and critique more recent theological treatments of violence?focusing on WWII, Latin American revolutionary movements, and the Iraq War? Using the themes we unearthed earlier in the course. In addition to regular reading responses and a cumulative final exam, students will be asked to write a paper (5-6 pages) about both major shifts we discuss. 

THEO 20660: Theology, Biotechnology and Humanity
Technology is increasingly used to bring about improvements in physical performance (endurance, speed, strength), cognition (concentration, information processing, memory capacity or selectivity), emotion (mood control), and physiology (immunity or resistance to disease, auto-repair of injuries, increased longevity). These uses of technology raise familiar ethical questions but also theological questions about human nature and the pursuit of perfection. This course will address those questions using both contemporary and classical theological and philosophical sources as well as literature and film. 

THEO 20801: Theology, Disability and Dependence 
This course explores theological understandings of and approaches to physical and mental disability. On the one hand, it explores ways in which attentiveness to disability and those with disabilities might allow for richer and deeper theological reflection. At the same time, it explores ways in which theological concepts and insights might contribute to our understanding of disability. For this course students will be required to write several short reflections, a major paper, and take a midterm and final exam. The course will also include a practical component facilitated by the Center for Social Concerns.

THEO 20811: Jesus and Salvation
An exploration of the mystery of Jesus the Christ and the experience of salvation through examination of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus (Part I); the development of classic Christian doctrine (Part II); and selected contemporary perspectives and questions (Part III). 

THEO 20828: Christianity and 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 20830: Islam and Christian Theology 

The relationship between Christianity and Islam is absolutely unique.  According to Islamic belief Jesus was a Muslim prophet.  He was not god and he did not die of the Cross.  Christians forgot the true teaching of Jesus; the Bible is only a falsified version of an original Islamic revelation.  Muhammad came centuries later to correct the errors of Christians and to preach the same eternal religion that Jesus once taught: Islam.  By this view Islam is the natural religion; it is eternal, universal and unchanging.  In this course we examine Islamic works, from the Qur'an to 21st century Islamic websites, in which these ideas are expressed.  We will then examine the history of Christian responses to the Islamic challenge to Christianity and consider, as theologians, how Christians might approach them today.

THEO 20849: Love in Christian Theology
This course is about love in Christian theology. It considers the nature of love in Plato's Symposium, Augustine's Trinitarian theology and ecclesiology, Bernard of Clairvaux's interpretation of the Song of Songs, and Thérèse of Lisieux's Story of a Soul. The course considers modern presentations of eros and agape as opposed (Nygren) and as complementary (Martin D'Arcy). The course concludes by considering nuptial mysticism in Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, Wojtyla's The Jeweler's Shop, and in contemporary cinema.

THEO 20899: Resurrection and Christian Hope
This course will analyze the nature and scope of Christian hope. Particular emphasis will be on the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. We will look at the beginnings, historical developments, and practical implications of belief in the resurrection and how this belief shapes various dimensions of Christian hope. Central questions for the course include the following: how do we imagine the final state for which we hope? Why hope for the resurrection of the body and not just the immortality of the soul? In what sense is Christian hope social and not just for the individual? Do we hope for the betterment of this world or simply life in the next? This course will analyze the nature and scope of Christian hope. Particular emphasis will be on the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. We will look at the beginnings, historical developments, and practical implications of belief in the resurrection and how this belief shapes various dimensions of Christian hope. Central questions for the course include the following: how do we imagine the final state for which we hope? Why hope for the resurrection of the body and not just the immortality of the soul? In what sense is Christian hope social and not just for the individual? Do we hope for the betterment of this world or simply life in the next? 

THEO 30011: Know Your Catholic Faith - Mary
This course will examine Mary in the Christian Tradition, particularly the primary teachings about Mary in Roman Catholicism and the implications of those teachings for contemporary Christian faith. The course is part of the Know Your Catholic Faith series offered through the Department of Theology and as such will examine all pertinent texts on Mary from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Does not fulfill the 2nd theology university requirement.

THEO 40002: Elementary Hebrew I 
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 40004: Intermediate Hebrew I
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. 

THEO 40101: Introduction to the Old Testament 
This course will offer students an introductory-level survey of the books of the Hebrew Bible, with emphasis placed on the holistic (i.e., theological, literary, and social-scientific) study of the history, literature, and religion of ancient Israel. The implications of selected texts in Christian and Jewish theological discourse will also be explored. Required course components include the major divisions of the Hebrew Bible (Pentateuch, Prophets, and Writings), and writing spans the following research-related genres (case studies, article reviews, journal, and critical notes). Fall only.

THEO 40104: Historical Jesus
The purpose of this course (a lecture course supplemented by readings and discussion) is to introduce the student to the major historical and exegetical problems involved in the quest for the historical Jesus, especially as pursued today in the so-called Third Quest. The course will move from initial definitions and concepts, through questions of sources and criteria, to consideration of major sayings and deeds of Jesus that may reasonably be considered historical. As time allows, major areas to be treated will include Jesus' relation to John the Baptist, Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom as future yet present, his realization of the kingdom through deeds of power (miracles) and table fellowship, the various levels or circles of followers (the crowds, the disciples, the Twelve), various competing groups (Pharisees, Sadducees), his teaching in relation to the Mosaic Law, the enigma (riddle-speech) of his parables, self-designation, final days, passion, and death. Obviously, it is more desirable that students be allowed time for discussion and questions than that all these topics be covered. 

THEO 40117: Introduction to Judaism
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 40201 : The Christian Theological Tradition I
A survey of Christian theology from the end of the New Testament period to the eve of Reformation. Through the close reading of primary texts, the course focuses on Christology of such influential thinkers such as Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. How do these thinkers understand the person and work of Jesus Christ? What are the Christological problems that they tried to resolve? How do the different Christologies of these thinkers reflect their differing conceptions of the purpose and method of "theology?" Some attention will also be given to non-theological representations of Christ. How does the art of the early and medieval periods manifest changes in the understanding of the significance of Jesus. This course is obligatory for all first and supplementary majors but is open to others who have completed the University requirements of theology and who wish to gain a greater fluency in the history of Christian thought. Fall only.

THEO 40226: Christianity in Africa
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 40291: Light and Darkness
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 40292: Medieval Exegesis of the Bible
This course examines how medieval thinkers interpreted the Bible. As for early Christian authors, the Bible guided the ways medieval authors wrote about God and human beings, Judaism and Christianity and sacraments and morality. We will discuss how early (ca. 600-1000: Venerable Bede, Sedulius Scotus, Claudius of Turin, Haimo of Auxerre), high (ca. 1000-1300: Peter Lombard, Peter Abelard, Robert Grosseteste, Thomas Aquinas) and late medieval commentators (ca. 1300-1500: Nicholas of Lyra, John Wycliffe, Denis the Carthusian, Lorenzo Valla) interpreted the Bible. In this course we will learn about the historical and theological context in which these interpretations were given. We will familiarize ourselves with the methods, questions, presuppositions and rationale of their interpretations. The course will conclude by surveying the differences from and continuities with medieval exegesis in the interpretive work of sixteenth-century biblical interpreters (e.g., Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther and Cardinal Cajetan). Selections of texts will be read in English translation. No knowledge of Latin is required. 

THEO 40404: Theology of the Mass
The principle of "lex orandiI statuat lex credendi" means that the law of worship establishes the law of belief. This course will accordingly work from practice to doctrine: in order to do what we do at liturgy, what must we believe theologically? The Church's liturgical reality is unpacked by its teachings, so the course will consider traditional Catholic doctrines (Trinity, Christology, ecclesiology, anthropology, eschatology, sin, salvation) as they break surface in the Mass. 

THEO 40415: Music in the Medieval West
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 40628: 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 40629: Christian Ethics, Pastoral Practice

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 40630: Practical Theology
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 40701: Suffering and World Religions
The instructors are specialists in Chinese and world religious traditions, who will bring an interdisciplinary dimension to this team-taught course. This content of the course will be diverse with readings drawn from anthropology, art, history, media, philosophy, sociology of religion, and theology. Suffering, the feeling of dis-ease, anguish, is a cardinal and enabling principle of major world religions and ideologies such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Marxism. As well, it is a definitive experience of the seeker of truth or religious insight that proved effective in the dissemination of religion in many parts of the globe. In the industrially developed world where suffering is identified with personal harm or abuse, it is essential to avoid it. The course aims to introduce the student to a horizon of counterintuitive considerations on the universality of suffering and its effects as human agency. The course readings will consist of original texts in translation along with theoretical works that will permit the students to acquire a language of interpretation necessary to an exploration of the experience of suffering in its many forms and a consideration of the many kinds of meaning that religions have assigned to it. 
 
THEO 40702: Religion, Confict and Dialogue
This course explores comparative and cross-cultural aspects of religion; an investigation of the nature of conflict; an attempt at achieving a dialogue among religions and cultures, and understanding religious pluralism. This course is not a world religions course, a study of various religious traditions of the world. Rather, this course emphasizes the dialogical approach in examining the philosophical and theological foundation of religious pluralism and cross-cultural dialogue. 
 
THEO 40703: Religion in America
This course views the key question of American Studies. What does it mean to be an American through the lens of religion. Using two orienting themes crossing and dwelling it introduces students to the history of religion in the lands that became the United States. It focuses on how diverse peoples imagined and transformed the landscape, interacted with one another at different sites, and moved within and across borders. It is divided into four sections. We begin and end by asking: How should we tell the story of religion in America? To help students prepare to answer that question on the last day of class, and to provide a variety of sources from diaries and laws to images and films the next three sections each introduce a different way to tell the story of U.S. religion: by chronology, tradition, or theme. Section two provides an historical overview, telling the story by tracing chronological shifts, including developments since the 1960s. The third section focuses on religious traditions that have flourished in the United States: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, as well as Native American and African American traditions. In the courses final section we explore a series of topics or issues, including gender, sexuality, war, politics, literature, law, economy, science, and immigration. To accommodate different learning styles, we assess your progress in multiple ways, using both in-class and take-home assignments. Those include three short essays and an Intellectual Journal. Your last journal entry, which is your answer to the courses central question, will prepare you to contribute to our final session, when our class will collaborate to write our own account of the history of religion in America. 
 
THEO 40813: Death and Rebirth
A course on the spiritual journey through the ages: the figure Gilgamesh (the human quest of eternal life), the figure of Socrates (the sense of a deeper life that lives through death), the figure of Jesus (the I and thou with God in Christianity; how this leads to an understanding of death and resurrection, or Incarnation and Trinity), Dante and the spiritual journey (the Christian sense of a life that lives on both sides of death), Kierkegaard and the eternal self (the Christian encounter with the modern sense of selfhood), and a concluding vision (the experience of the presence of God). Requirements include a midterm and a final exam (take home exams) and a personal essay. 
 
THEO 40823: Religion and Literature
This course has as its essential context the crisis of authority of discourse in the modern period subsequent to literature gaining independence from Christianity. It focuses specifically on the three main postures literature strikes vis-à-vis confessional forms of Christianity no longer thought to have cultural capital. (1) The antithetical posture. Here Christianity is viewed in exclusively negative terms as repressive, authoritarian, and obscurantist, the very opposite of a true humanism that is literature's vocation. Readings include Voltaire and French existentialism. (2) The retrievalist posture. This posture is fundamentally nostalgic. The loss of Christianity's cultural authority is mourned, and literature is seen as an illegitimate substitute. Readings will include Dostoyevsky, T.S. Eliot, and Flannery O'Connor. (3) The parasitic posture. Here Christianity is criticized but not totally dismissed. Portions of it are savable, especially select elements of the New Testament that emphasize human being's creative capacities. Readings include Coleridge, Shelley, and Emerson. 
 
THEO 40827: Comparitive Spiritualities
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. 
 
THEO 40837: Meaning: Vulnerability and Human Existence
This course explores the contribution that the coming together of theological and literary reflection can make to our understanding of the nature of meaning. Focusing on the work of Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, Primo Levi, Dostoevsky and Shakespeare, students will address questions such as 'What is it we are doing when speaking, reading, using language?', 'How do the intellect and the imagination work in relation to literary texts?', 'How might all this relate to our ways of thinking about God, human nature, and the relationship between them?' Such questions will be addressed, in particular, through reflection on how the texts studied invite us to think about the nature of love, forgiveness, vulnerability and creativity. 

THEO 40851: Seeing Christ, Seeing Buddha
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