Fall 2011 Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2011 Undergraduate Courses

THEO 20103 - Section 01: One Jesus & His Many Portraits (CRN 14213)
Long Title: The One Jesus and His Many Portraits: The Various Images of Jesus in the New Testament and Beyond
Professor John Meier

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: U.S. Latino Spirituality (CRN 12375)
Professor Virgilio Elizondo and Professor Timothy Matovina

Course Description:
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 20213 - Section 01: Following Jesus (CRN 18094)
Professor Brian Daley

Course Description:
Christian faith is a matter not just of ideas, but of discipleship: recognizing in Jesus the "anointed one" sent by God to fulfil the hopes of Israel, and trying to conform one's desires and way of living to his. In this course, we will consider some of the major documents (beginning with the Gospels) in which Christians have reflected on who Jesus is, and on what his presence in our humanity promises us and demands from us, as a Church and as individuals. We will ask: what is the way of Jesus? what might it mean for us to walk on his way?


THEO 20233 - Section 01: Called to Holiness:Santctn (CRN 19547)
Long Title: Called to Holiness: Sanctification in the Christian Tradition
Professor Daria Spezzano

Course Description:
"Be holy, as I am holy" (Lv 11: 45): God calls human persons, created in the divine image but damaged by sin, to become holy and so to share in the happiness of God's own life. What is holiness, and how does God call and sanctify human beings? What kind of personal transformation is required? And, how have Christians over the ages responded to God's call? This course will explore the Church's understanding of sanctification in its varied expressions from Scripture through patristic, medieval and Reformation periods, to Vatican II and post-conciliar papal teaching. Ways in which Christians have lived out the call to holiness will be examined (e.g., martyrdom, monasticism, ministry), while sanctification itself will be considered in relation to central aspects of Christian doctrine: the Trinity, Christ and his sacraments, theological anthropology, grace and justification, ecclesiology, and eschatology. A primary goal of the course is to offer students the opportunity to reflect in a theological way on God's call to sanctification in their own lives, in conversation with Scripture and the writings of holy men and women through the ages.


THEO 20401 - Section 01: Church and Worship (CRN 15301)
Professor Michael Driscoll

Course Description:
An analysis of the church as a community of believers and a social institution, and a study of church liturgy and sacraments. This course will center around three key areas, namely (1) Anthropology: As humans, why do we feel the need to express ourselves and our relationship to God through ritual activity? (2) Theology: What are the Christological and ecclesiological underpinnings for the sacraments? (3) History: What is the historical development of each of the seven sacraments? What has remained constant in spite of the historical mutations?


THEO 20419 - Section 01: Intro to Sacramental Theology (CRN 15876)
Long Title: Introduction to Sacramental Theology
Professor Yury P.  Avvakumov

Course Description:
In its historical dimension, theology is the history of ideas deeply interwoven with the history of institutions. This interrelationship becomes perfectly evident in the study of sacramental theology. Standard information in the Catechism about the sacraments, like: "There are seven sacraments", "Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination cannot be reiterated", "The Eucharist is a sacrament of Christian unity" etc., are the result of a long and sometimes difficult intellectual and institutional development, which left its impact on different facets of life and thought in Christian cultures - from logic and the philosophy of nature to the way society and human beings were understood. The development of sacramental theology and its impact on other spheres of life and thought throughout history will be the subject of this course.


THEO 20605 - Section 02: Intro to Catholic Moral Theo (CRN 16303)
Long Title: Introduction to Catholic Moral Theology
Professor David Clairmont

Course Description:
This course will be structured into three sections, addressing respectively, biblical foundations, fundamental topics, and selected contemporary ethical questions. The biblical section of the course will study some of the key ethical perspectives and teachings of the Scriptures, primarily the Gospels and the Pauline letters. This section will be followed by an introduction to several fundamental topics in moral theology including (1) the theology of grace; (2) the orientation of ethics toward the achievement of happiness; (3) the development of the moral and theological virtues as capacities that enable us to act well; (4) the relation between moral truth and authentic human freedom; (5) the natural law, and (6) the stages and analysis of moral action. The third section of the course will consider some contemporary ethical questions in the context of this biblical and systematic framework. The course will draw primarily upon the classical Catholic tradition, as represented especially by St. Thomas Aquinas. We will also read selected sections of recent encyclical letters by Pope John Paul II including his "Veritatis Splendor (On the Splendor of the Truth), Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)" and "Fides et Ratio (On Faith and Reason)." Students will be expected to write a summary of a short reading for each class, write one five-page paper for each of the first two sections of the course, write a final 10-page paper applying what has been studied to a particular ethical question, and present a summary of this paper to the class.


THEO 20619 - Section 01: Rich, Poor, and War (CRN 18096)
Professor Todd Whitmore

Course Description:
This course examines the interrelationships between economic injustice and violence. It begins by investigating the gap between rich and poor both in the US and worldwide. We also look at the history of Christian thought on wealth and poverty. We then address the ways in which economic disparity intersects with the problem of violence in both domestic (violence against women) and political realms (war and revolution). Next, we canvass Christian thought on the use of violence. This raises the question of whether Christianity itself contributes more to violence or to peace. Finally, we pose the question of whether forgiveness for violence is advisable or feasible.


THEO 20625 - Section 01: Discipleship: Loving Action (CRN 14214)
Long Title: Discipleship: Loving Action for Justice
Professor Margaret Pfeil

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Science and Theology (CRN 18097)
Professor Matt Ashley

Course Description:
Both science and religion generate assertions that are held to provide true descriptions of the world and our place in it. Both science and theology subject these assertions to disciplined inquiry and testing within specific communities. In societies (like ours) in which both science and religion are vital forces, the ways that this inquiry and testing happen overlap and interrelate in complicated ways, resulting at times in conflict and at times in mutual enrichment. This course will investigate these interrelations by means of careful study of two case-studies: the Galileo affair and conflicts over evolution in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Finally we will consider current issues in environmental theology and ethics.


THEO 20643 - Section 01: The Askesis of Nonviolence (CRN 14909)
Long Title: The Askesis of Nonviolence: Theology and Practice
Professor Margaret Pfeil

Course Description:
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 20801 - Section 01: Theo, Disability, and Dependen (CRN 19382)
Long Title: Theology, Disability, and Dependence
Michael Mawson

Course Description:
This course explores theological understandings of and approaches to physical and mental disability. On the one hand, it explores ways in which an 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 20802 - Section 01: Prayer and Theology (CRN 19384)
Andrew Prevot

Course Description:
Although prayer and theology can be distinguished, and although they have become largely disconnected in the modern world, they nevertheless belong to the same search for an ever-deepening awareness and love of God. This course offers an introduction to several classical texts that are both prayerful and theological in order to shed light on this connection and to explore its significance. By engaging these texts, students will be able to consider important spiritual and intellectual developments in the history of Christianity, while reflecting on many of the central mysteries of the Christian faith. Representative figures of the patristic, medieval, reformation, and modern periods will be studied in survey fashion. The course requirements are as follows: prepare the readings for each class, write three short (2-3 page) essays, one longer (6-8 page) essay, and take two exams (midterm and final).


THEO 20822 - Section 01: What Catholics Believe (CRN 12583)
Professor Gene Gorski

Course Description:
A theological exploration of the basic content and practice of the Catholic faith. The focus is on the fundamentals that form the foundation of Catholicism and against which everything else is explained or judged. The aim of this course is not simply to educate students about Catholicism. Rather, it intends to facilitate their personal appropriation of the Catholic tradition: that is, to challenge and help them reason critically for themselves about the meaning and practical implications of their faith. Some of the questions students will ponder concern God, Jesus Christ, the church, Christian spirituality, and moral behavior. But since we raise these questions in an attempt to come to terms with the meaning of our own lives, we begin with the question of our own human existence: Who am I or who are we? The course is based on the conviction that all theological questions start with us as the ones who pose the questions in the first place. While the approach taken will be one that appeals immediately to critical reason rather than to conversion of the mind and heart, the aim ultimately is to help students discern, respond to, and be transformed by the presence of God in their lives, and to work for the continuing renewal of the world in light of this discernment of God.


THEO 20825 - Section 01: World Religns & Cath in Dialg (CRN 13634)
Long Title: World Religions and Catholicism in Dialogue
Professor Gene Gorski

Course Description:
To explore Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and to examine the Christian theological appraisal of the other world religions. This course is a study in comparative theology and will enable students to gain a deeper understanding of Christianity by "passing over" into and experiencing as well as appraising the different major religious traditions of the world.


THEO 20828 - Section 01: Christianity & World Religions (CRN 14207)
Long Title: Christianity and World Religions
Professor Brad Malkovsky

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Islam Challenge Christian Theo (CRN 18098)
Long Title: Regarding the Islamic Challenge to Christian Theology
Professor Gabriel Reynolds

Course Description:
While many Christians have described Islam as a Christian heresy, many Muslims consider Christianity to be an Islamic heresy. Jesus, they maintain, was a Muslim prophet. Like Adam and Abraham before him, like Muhammad after him, he was sent to preach Islam. In this view Islam is the natural religion--eternal, universal, and unchanging. Other religions, including Christianity, arose only when people went astray. Therefore Muslims have long challenged the legitimacy of Christian doctrines that differ from Islam, including the Trinity, the incarnation, the cross, the new covenant and the church. In this course we will examine Islamic writings, from the Qur'an to contemporary texts, in which these doctrines are challenged. We will then examine the history of Christian responses to these challenges and consider, as theologians, how Christians might approach them today.


THEO 20847 - Section 01: Chrstny & Chalng of Buddhism (CRN 18099)
Long Title: Christianity and the Challenge of Buddhism
Professor Rob Gimello

Course Description:
In 1997 Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, made the controversial suggestion that in the future Buddhism, rather than Marxism, would be the principal challenge to the Church. He has also, of course, often and fully endorsed the declaration of the Second Vatican Council (Nostra Aetate) that the Church "rejects nothing that is true and holy" in other religions, including Buddhism. Against the background of these two judgments - which may seem, but really are not, mutually contradictory - this course will consider:
- The fundamental differences between Christianity and Buddhism, both in matters of doctrine and in matters of spiritual and moral practice.
- The reasons why - despite, or perhaps because of, those differences - Buddhism today attracts increasing interest in cultures once shaped chiefly by Christianity.


THEO 40101 - Section 01: Introduction to Old Testament (CRN 14760)
Professor Gary Anderson

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Historical Jesus (CRN 18101)
Professor John Meier

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Introduction to Judaism (CRN 18107)
Professor Tzvi Novick

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Christian Theological Tradtn I (CRN 13267)
Long Title: The Christian Theological Tradition I
Professor Michael Heintz

Course Description:
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 40207 - Section 01: Christ. Spirit & Tranf Hist (CRN 18108)
Long Title: Christ, Spirit, and Transformation History
Professor Gustavo Gutierrez

Course Description:
This course will look at the relationships between embracing an authentic Christian spirituality and working to transform society and history. We start from the observation that while "spirituality" is currently very popular in the United States, it is often extremely individualistic and presented as a haven or oasis in which to escape a harsh world. The thesis of this course is that this is an impoverishment or distortion of authentic Christian spirituality. To investigate this we will begin by looking at how spirituality is presented in the Bible, with particular attention to its relationship to conversion and evangelization, as expressed in and through people's involvement in their particular cultures and histories. Then we look at certain important figures in the development of a spirituality that is transformative of history, including (among others) Bartolome de las Casas and Henri Nouwen. Finally, we look at recent texts from the magisterium, beginning with texts of Vatican II and proceeding through select papal writings ("Pacem in Terris, Evangelii Nuntiandi"), and concluding with an analysis of John Paul II's insistence on the transformation of history as an integral part of a "new evangelization" of culture. Requirements: Two papers and a class presentation


THEO 40226 - Section 01: Christianity in Africa (CRN 18110)
Professor Paul Kollman

Course Description:
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 40278 - Section 01: Russian Religious Thought (CRN 18121)
Professor Yury Avvakumov

Course Description:
This course provides an overview of Russian religious thought from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Students will be introduced to its main personalities, topics and ideas, discussed against the background of the general religious history of Russians, 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 that religious thinkers and theologians from the Ukraine played in the intellectual history of the Russian Empire. The main part of the course will be based on readings and discussions of excerpts from the works of religious thinkers from the 19th and the 20th centuries in translation, such as Aleksey Khomyakov, Ivan Gagarin, Vladimir Solovyov, Leo Tolstoy, Pavel Florensky, Sergey Bulgakov, George Florovsky, Nicolay Berdyaev, and others.


THEO 40279 - Section 01: Theology and Film (CRN 18128)
Professor Francesca Murphy

Course Description:
This course is about the theological interpretation of film. It will examine a number of films, from the secular to the explicitly religious, with a view to considering how to examine film and the medium of film from a Christian theological perspective. The course will pay special but not sole attention to the films of Andrej Wadja, Majid Majidii and Clint Eastwood.


THEO 40403 - Section 01: The Catholic Sacraments (CRN 18140)
Professor David Fagerberg

Course Description:
"Lumen Gentium" says that in the Church, "the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and was glorified" (7). This course will look at the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church as the means whereby Christians are mystically united to the life of Christ. Although we will use a historical framework to organize our material, the main focus of attention will be on the theological dimensions of each sacrament. This will give us the opportunity both to examine particular questions that conditioned the development of current sacramental theology, and the content of each rite as it exists today. Some attention will be paid to the nature of sacramental symbol in general, but the course's primary focus is on the sacraments as liturgical rites by which Christian life is celebrated.


THEO 40805 - Section 01: Christian Anthropology (CRN 18147)
Professor Catherine Hilkert

Course Description:
This course will explore contemporary perspectives on how Christians understand human life in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The theological anthropology of Gaudium et spes (The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) supplemented by the theological anthropology of Karl Rahner will serve as the foundation for an exploration of the mystery of being human in an evolutionary world. In addition, each section of the course will include other theological perspectives which focus more directly on the reality of human suffering in its personal, interpersonal, and social dimensions and the relationship between human persons and the rest of creation.

Questions to be considered in the course include: What does it mean to be a human person? Do we have a vocation and destiny? How is human life related to the rest of creation? What is human freedom? What is the impact of sin on human freedom and on the rest of the cosmos? What does it mean to be called to communion with God and with all of creation? In what sense can human life be called a sacrament? In a world of increasing violence, suffering, and ecological devastation, how can Christians understand what it means to be created in the image of God, impacted by original sin but also redeemed, called to divinization, and promised a future that includes resurrection of the body and a new creation?


THEO 40827 - Section 01: Comparative Spiritualities (CRN 18150)
Professor Brad Malkovsky

Course Description:
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 - Section 01: Meaning: Vulnrbilty&Humn Ident (CRN 15623)
Long Title: Meaning, Vulnerability and Human Existence
Professor Vittorio Montemaggi

Course Description:
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 40850 - Section 01: The Theology of Benedict XVI (CRN 16309)
Professor Cyril O'Regan

Course Description:
The aim of the course to give an overview of the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, as this expressed both in his encyclicals and other recent writings, but also in his theological reflection as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. The course has essentially three foci. Roughly equal treatment means that each topic will receive a week of treatment. The first of the three foci concentrates on the Papal encyclicals God is Love, Charity in Truth, Saved in Hope. The second of the three foci looks at the work of the present Pope as instructional and catechetical. Here we will concentrate on Jesus of Nazareth, God's Word, and Ten Commandments for the Environment. The third and last of our three foci concerns the Pope as a public intellectual, specifically as intervening in the public square to provide a sense of what the church has at stake in the modern world, what it can and must do in terms of dialogue, what it must do in terms of identity and continuing to be a witness. Among the texts that we will read are Truth and Tolerance, The Regensburg Lecture, and Values in a Time of Upheaval. Requirements include involvement in discussion, and either two eight page papers or one 15 page paper


THEO 46001 - Section 01: Directed Readings (CRN 13078)

Course Description:
This course consists of research and writing on an approved subject under the direction of a faculty member.


THEO 48002 - Section 01: Ph/Th Thesis Writing (CRN 10163)

Course Description:
Under the direction of a faculty member, students define a topic, undertake independent research, and write a thesis. This course is largely for the joint THEO-PHIL major who chooses to write the senior thesis in theology. It may be used in other special circumstances.


THEO 48005 - Section 01: Honors Research (CRN 13053)

Course Description:
Students who are accepted to the theology honors program research their topics during fall semester under the direction of a faculty advisor.


THEO 48006 - Section 01: Honors Colloquium (CRN 13054)

Course Description:
Students who are accepted to the theology honors program meet as a group in colloquium during fall semester, led by a faculty member.