Fall 2022

Fall 2022

THEO60884 (CRN21051): The Trinity
Professor: L. DeLorenzo
The doctrine of the Trinity represents the uniquely Christian conception of who God is and how God is related to the world. Recent theological reflection has recognized that an authentic appropriation of Christian faith must consider Trinitarian doctrine not merely as an exotic appendix to Christian confession but as the "summary of Christian faith" (Rahner). This course follows this approach by analyzing how Trinitarian doctrine contains a comprehensive interpretation of the entirety of Christian existence, and especially involves a conception of Christian salvation as participation in God’s own life (deification). (required)

THEO60881 (CRN21050): Faith and Science
Professor: C. Baglow
This course investigates the relationship between the Catholic Faith and modern science for the sake of an integrated worldview in which they are brought into a "relational unity," i.e. a dynamic interchange in which their distinct perspectives and methods are carefully respected. We will begin with historical, philosophical, biblical and theological resources for engaging science from the perspective of faith. These will be brought into dialogue with modern cosmology, evolutionary biology and the sciences of human origins in an attempt to forge a holistic perspective in which science, philosophy and theology are treated as distinct but mutually enriching paths to truth. Specific topics will include the conflict model of science and religion, the Galileo Affair, the biblical creation accounts, the doctrines of divine creation and divine providence, and the human person as the image of God. (elective)

THEO60202 (CRN21421): Christian Prayer
Professor: I. Gerdon
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray the “Our Father,” he was not simply giving them a talisman or spell to summon the power of divinity: rather, he provided words for them to understand their relationship with the one God, that God’s plan of salvation for the world, and how they should think about their lives and needs in that world. It’s hardly surprising, then, that one of the first great spiritual theologians of Christianity, St. John Cassian, described the goal of Christian devotion as the mind’s daily elevation to God, “until one’s whole way of life and all the yearnings of one’s heart become a single and continuous prayer.” Although prayer is only one of the three fundamental practices Jesus prescribes in the Sermon on the Mount, it is better able than fasting and even almsgiving to capture the whole arc and destination of the Christian pilgrimage. In this class, we will study the theologies and practices of Christian prayer. To do this, we will look especially at foundational writings on prayer by early Christians like Tertullian, Clement, Origen, Evagrius, Cassian, and Augustine. Then we will see how prayer developed differently in the Eastern and Western traditions during the Middle Ages, leading to such practices as icons and the “Jesus Prayer,” on the one hand, and the deeply intimate prayer of the medieval mystics, on the other. Finally, we will examine how prayer is understood today in connection with contemporary theological concerns and the papal teachings of both Francis and Benedict. Throughout, we will attend especially to the distinctive roles of the Our Father and the Psalms in Christian prayer, and to how prayer interacts with Christian understandings of God’s providence and the practices of Christian life, both individually and socially. The course will have a biweekly synchronous component, scheduled by the instructor in consultation with the students.