THEO 150 – Catholic Theological Perspectives (3 credits)
What does it mean to live in the world as a Christian and as a Catholic? How does it make sense to believe in a creator God, in Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us, and in the church as the living body of Christ? Especially in this day and age, how does it make sense to hope for the coming of the kingdom of God – a world in which justice and righteousness reign and there is no more suffering and no more tears? This course examines central Catholic hopes and beliefs and explores how to engage them in the joys and sorrows of the contemporary world. In this work, the common ground between Catholicism and other Christian communions is highlighted.
THEO 151 – Biblical Sources: Old Testament (3 credits)
This course studies the principal themes, historical framework, geographical setting, and literary background of the Old Testament. The development of the faith of Israel, from its beginnings in the earliest tribal migrations to the emergence of Judaism just prior to the time of Jesus will be discussed.
THEO 152 – Biblical Sources: New Testament (3 credits)
This course studies the writings of the New Testament with special focus on the Four Gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, and the Pauline Letters. The course also covers the history and methods for interpreting the New Testament, especially in light of the Sec-ond Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (1965). Theological themes, historical framework, geographical setting, text criticism, and literary background will be explored.
THEO 153 – Biblical Themes (3 credits)
The Bible tells the story of the beginnings of the relationship between God and human beings, but it does so by telling many different stories from many different times. This course provides an introduction to the Bible by examining central theological themes that connect these stories, such as creation, covenant, sin, prophecy, and salvation, as well as the historical roots of these stories, such as the Exodus, the Davidic Monarchy, the Exile, and the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth.
THEO 154 – Mystery of God: Belief and Unbelief (3 credits)
This course addresses the serious option facing modern people: to believe in God or not. It addresses a number of questions: Can we know if God exists? What is the differ-ence between “the God of the philosophers” and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Is it reasonable to believe in God? Is belief the product of psychological factors in the individual? What is the relationship between God and morality? Does believing benefi t the person in any way? Students will both study answers given by major philosophers, theologians, and novelists and develop their own answers.
THEO 155 – The Church (3 credits)
This course studies the origin and development of the church; its doctrinal struggles, sacramental practices, and a variety of the contemporary challenges it faces. Particular attention will be given to the theology of the Church (and its ecumenical implications) expressed in the thought of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and by contemporary theologians and Christian churches.
THEO 157 – Who is Jesus? (3 credits)
This course explores the many answers to the question Jesus asks his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Christians call Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the King, and the Savior of the World, among many other titles. Jesus is also a fi gure of enduring fascination in cultural history. To gain a fuller theological understanding of Jesus, stu-dents will study such topics as Jewish Messianism, New Testament depictions of Jesus, theological understandings of the Son as the second person of the Trinity, Jesus’ two natures as God and human, explanations of how Jesus saves humanity from sin, and the historical Jesus. Other topics could include non-Christian perspectives of Jesus or Jesus in art, literature, and music.
THEO 158 – Spiritual Practices/Spiritual Quests (3 credits)
While some people explore faith primarily in terms of theological concepts, other people explore through spiritual experience and practice. Spiritual searchers and practitioners seek to experiencee relationship with God and with life itself in ways that can seem to transcend ordinary concepts and perceptions. Such religious experiencee is often central to the development of faith and moral commitment. Spiritual practice can yield powerful sensations, from ecstasy to fear, and it can also produce signifi cant questions, from how to understand such experience, to how to teach, evaluate, criticize, or change it. Different versions of this course will take different approaches to spirituality, from considering historical forms like the “Mystical Tradition,” or thematic topics like the “spirituality of the body,” or “spiritual autobiographies.” This course will typically consider some important examples of Catholic spiritual quests and practices, and some different perspectives, such as those from different cultural contexts or different religious faiths.
THEO 159 – Topics in Systematic Theology (3 credits)
This course will take up a focused topic in systematic theology. A course could focuson a particular theme in systematic theology, like grace or eschatology, or couldfocus on a particular type or period of theology, such as medieval mysticism or the ecumenical movement.
THEO 160 – Christian Ethics (3 credits)
Christian Ethics is the discipline of thinking critically about how best to embody the Christian way of life in particular places and times. This course investigates concepts such as narrative, practice, character, virtue, law, and liturgy and the ways they inform the Christian moral life. These notions will be applied to concrete moral questions of contemporary relevance.
THEO 163 – Christian Marriage (3 credits)
This class is an exploration of the Christian tradition on the issues of sexuality, gender, marriage, and the family.
THEO 164 – Christian Social Ethics (3 credits)
The course will present a general view of how the Christian tradition understands and approaches moral issues that relate to social and political life. Both theoretical and practical questions will be confronted. The course features an ecumenical approach to Christian social ethics, but will attend in particular to Catholic social teaching beginning with Rerum Novarum.
THEO 165 – Environmental Ethics (3 credits)
This course studies how Christian theological perspectives have and should shape per-sonal and social responses to “nature” and to problems arising from the human-nature interaction. Biblically-based religious traditions will be compared with other religions in order to clarify the religious dimensions of our ecological dependencies. Current environmental problems and policy debates will be selectively treated to establish the relevance of Christian refl ection on the environment.
THEO 168 – Theology and Service (3 credits)
The call to service is a central Christian teaching. This course explores that call to service, both by studying it, and by enacting it. Students taking this course will be required to perform community service, according to class guidelines, as part of the requirements for this course. Studying the call to service will include exploring some of the theologi-cal sources and argument for service, as well as refl ecting on issues and communities through service in the local community. Courses might explore the way service can help bridge differences between cultural and religious communities.
THEO 169 – Topics in Moral Theology (3 credits)
This course will take up a focused topic in moral theology. A course could focus on a particular theme in moral theology, like war, forgiveness, or work, or a course could focus on a particular type or period of moral theology, such as virtue ethics. Past course titles have included War in Christian Tradition, Theology of Work and Theology of Service.
THEO 270 – Christian Worship (3 credits)
This course studies the Christian worship in terms of its foundations in human ex-perience and the Christian theological tradition. Special attention will be focused on the renewed rituals of Christian initiation, Reconciliation, and Eucharist as they have developed from their theological and historical traditions.
THEO 271 – Protestant Christianity (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to Protestant Christian thought and practice. Both his-toric and contemporary forms of Protestant thought, organization and activity will be examined. The dialogue between Protestantism and Catholicism will be a featured topic in the study.
THEO 272 – Eastern Christianity (3 credits)
This course studies the history, spirituality, worship and distinctive customs of the Eastern Christian churches. Recent ecumenical developments are discussed. This course offers insight into the richness and variety of Christian faith.
THEO 273 – Jewish Thought and Life (3 credits)
This course investigates the beliefs and practices that constitute the historic Jewish faith: e.g., God, Torah, Israel. Modern trends, including the orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed movements are studied, as well as the Jewish festivals and institutions. The course will attend in particular to the ongoing dialogue between Judaism and Christianity.
THEO 288 – Bioethics (3 credits)
This course is a critical examination of developments in medicine and the other applied biological sciences in light of the Christian tradition and especially the Christian way of life. Questions to be discussed might include the effects on human health of indus-trialism and environmental degradation, food manufacturing and distribution, assisted reproductive technologies, abortion, the care of severely handicapped newborns, hu-man experimentation, and care for persons at the end of life. Cross-listed as PHIL 174.
THEO 350 – Historical Theology: Early and Medieval (3 credits)
This course will cover important issues and theologians of the early and medieval church, up to about the year 1500. Students will become familiar with the development of the creeds and some of the central Christological and Trinitarian disputes, the early martyrs and the early monastic movement, and the division of the church into East and West. Major theologians like Athanasius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, and Catherine of Siena will receive careful attention. Students will be taught good practices of theological research as they work to complete a research paper.
THEO 450 – Historical Theology: Modern and Contemporary (3 credits)
This course will begin with the new theologies of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic counter-reformation. It will move through the theologies of the 18th and 19thcentury and their concern to engage the great developments of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It will also study some of the new movements in modern theology, such as Catholic Social teaching, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and political, liberation, and feminist theologies. Students will be taught good practices of theological research as they work to complete a research paper. THEO 350 is not a prerequisite for this course.
THEO 460/461/462 – Seminars in Biblical Studies (3 credits)
These seminars are topical studies of current biblical scholarship attending to particular books or portions of scripture. The specifi c topic is announced at pre-registration.
THEO 470/471/472 – Seminars in Moral Theology (3 credits)
This seminar is a topical study of some area of moral theology and/or certain moral questions, with particular emphasis on their relationship to public and professional life. Specifi c topics will be announced at pre-registration. Cross-listed as PHIL 470.
THEO 490/491/492 – Seminars in Systematic Theology (3 credits)
These seminars are detailed studies of the scriptural, patristic, and conciliar sources of particular Christian doctrines such as Christology, Trinitarian theology, and the theology of grace. Specifi c topics will be announced at pre-registration.
THEO 495 – Volunteer Community Service (1 credit)
This course is a practical investigation of the experience of poverty and suffering that exists all around us, and the responsibility these ills place upon us to serve those in need. Selections from the Church’s social teaching will be studied in the very early part of the course, but the major learning will come from ten weeks of actual service to the poor in the local fi eld placement. Grading: Pass/Fail.
THEO 499 – Theology Internship (3-6 credits)
A one or two semester supervised experience in an area related to church activities and ministries. Placement can be in youth ministry, religious education, social justice, and other similar experiences. Supervisory sessions and topic meetings will be arranged.