Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

COURSE TITLE: Foundations of New Testament Theology

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6010.01 

COURSE DAY/TIME: T 7:15-9:45

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Judy Yates Siker

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

This course examines the writings of the New Testament through multiple lenses, including historical, literary, social, multi-cultural, and theological. Students are encouraged to examine these Christian writings with particular attention both to the contexts of the writings themselves and to the religious claims and questions that arise out of these writings.  In addition to gaining a strong working knowledge of the content of the New Testament students will be challenged to analyze how the text has been used in addressing contemporary issues.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  1. Students will know the content and contexts of the writings of the New Testament and the range of interpretive approaches to the New Testament.
  2. Students will be able to conduct analysis and exegesis of the New Testament texts as they unpack the various worlds behind, in, and in front of the texts.
  3. Students will learn the connections between Christian faith and practice as exemplified in the New Testament writings themselves and in subsequent interpretation of the New Testament and begin to understand critical and constructive approaches to theologizing on the basis of the NT writings.

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

None 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (or other modern English translation)
  • Aland, Kurt, ed., Synopsis of the Four Gospels (English Edition). New York: American Bible Society, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1585169429
  • Brown, Raymond, An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0300140163
  • Gorman, Michael, Elements of Biblical Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010. ISBN-10: 0801046408

(All additional readings will be found on Brightspace at My LMU Connect.)

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

In addition to weekly reading assignments and class participation, coursework includes a mid-term exam, one class presentation, two brief papers, and a final paper.

 

TERM: Fall 2017

COURSE TITLE: Foundations of New Testament Theology

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 600-02

COURSE DAY/TIME: Wed. 7:15-9:30 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. David A. Sánchez 

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

The course is designed to introduce students to 1) the historical-critical analysis of the New Testament as an entrée to a more textured understanding of the political, historical, social, cultural, and theological/pastoral dimensions of the text(s); and 2) the role social-location plays in both the historical and contemporary interpretation of texts (history of interpretation). As a result, students will consider their individual (private) and community’s (public) engagement of the New Testament (texts reading texts) in the processing and actualization of biblical interpretations (“scripturalization”). 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Through their exposure and immersion into both text and textures of Bible and biblical interpretation, students should gain a more complex understanding of the basic contours of the New Testament; begin to assess how culture, race, gender, sexual-orientation, class, and ethnicity impact theological reflection; and the social implications and/or ramifications for constructed interpretive practices. This course is designed to empower students to conduct critical research and write intelligently and persuasively on both Bible and biblical interpretation as socially—conditioned and –located readers. Finally, this course is designed to prompt students to evaluate the role biblical interpretation(s) play in promoting an acute sensitivity to living (i.e. interpreting) responsibly in a culturally diverse world thereby promoting justice and service of faith. 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Wayne A. Meeks, Gen Ed., The Harper-Collins Study Bible, ISBN-10: 0060786841; ISBN-13: 978-0060786847 
  • Raymond Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, ISBN-10: 0300140169;ISBN-13: 978-03001401633. 
  • Thomas Rausch, Who Is Jesus?: An Introduction to Christology, ISBN-10: 0814650783; ISBN-13: 978-08146507834. 
  • Pamela Eisenbaum, Paul Was Not A Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle, ISBN-10: 0061349917; ISBN-13: 978-0061349911  
  • Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore, eds., Mark & Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies, 2nd Edition, ISBN-10: 0800638514; ISBN-13: 978-0800638511

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

  • Preparation of all assigned readings
  • Informed and respectful contributions to class discussions
  • Consistent class attendance and promptness
  • Completion of a two tri-term exams (take-home) @ 4-6 pages each, and a final paper @ 15 pages

COURSE TITLE: U.S. Latino/a Theology

COURSE NUMBER: THST 6034

COURSE DAY/TIME: ORANGE SATELLITE CAMPUS

INSTRUCTOR:  Cecilia González-Andrieu, Ph.D. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

This course examines the diverse origins and theological expressions of Latino/a/Hispanic Christian communities in the U.S. with a special emphasis on the Catholic tradition.  The course develops and employs a newly developed Latino/a theological methodology to travel from the question of “why do this?” (por qué?) to the final question of “toward what goal?” (hacia qué?).  Meant to problematize and contextualize the situation of Latino/a Christianity in what today is the United States, the course aims to expose students to foundational Latino/a theological developments in tandem with urgent contemporary questions.  Students are invited to inhabit the challenges posed by a Latino/a ecclesiological focus by engaging in researching a local Latino/a community, and to develop original theological approaches to the pastoral challenges presented to the church and the nation by the many communities grouped under the term “Latino/Hispanic.”

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • The student will analyze and interpret primary foundational texts to contextualize the origins of Latino/a theological reflection.
  • The student will critically examine a range of theological concepts arising out of Latino/a religious practices and experiences and assess their contribution to Christian Theology.
  • The student will analyze and judge pertinent contemporary issues and data.
  • The student will formulate and articulate strategies to meet the challenge posed to the church by the needs and gifts of the community through their own particular area of interest (pastoral ministry, ecumenism, ethics, liturgical practices, religious education, etc.)

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

This course is for Theology and Pastoral Theology Majors in the Theological Studies Graduate Program. 

REQUIRED TEXTS

  • Daniel G. Groody, Border of Death, Valley of Life: An Immigrant Journey of Heart and Spirit, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0742558908
  • Elizondo, Virgil, The Future is Mestizo: Life Where Cultures Meet, University Press of Colorado, 2000. ISBN: 978-087-815768.
  • González, Justo L. Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective. Nashville : Abingdon Press, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0687230679.
  • D. Groody and G. Campese, A Promised Land, A Perilous Journey: Theological Perspectives on Migration, ISBN-13: 978-0268029739. $23.00
  • Electronic Reader: To complement these texts, additional articles and chapters will be assigned and made available online.
  • Research packet:  In order to keep the issues of the course as timely as possible, students may also be assigned a “Research Packet” online featuring cultural, current events, creative and other materials. 

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

  • Engagement with all course readings evidenced in active participation in class discussions.
  • Regular class attendance.
  • Field research with a local community.
  • Reading: All readings and research packet materials are to be done prior to the class meeting.
  • Writing and presentations: Several short papers, discussion questions prepared every week, a final research paper or project.

COURSE TITLE: Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6053.1

COURSE DAY/TIME: Monday, 7:15-9:45 PM

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

This course explores the psychological aspects of pastoral ministry, and in particular, the ministry of spiritual direction as a helping relationship.  The focus in this course is the cultivation of the communication skills needed to be an effective pastoral minister and spiritual director.  Principal topics to be covered include the following:  a generic helping process for spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, and formation in various pastoral settings; the importance of self-knowledge and personal awareness on the part of ministers; the nature of empathic understanding and its relationship to psychological and spiritual growth; basic listening skills.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the difference between spiritual direction, pastoral counseling and psychotherapy by describing the process of spiritual direction in facilitating spiritual development and the role of the spiritual director in that process.
  • Students will demonstrate the skills of active listening, empathic understanding, and facilitative intervention in the helping relationship through structured classroom experiences.  
  • Students will deepen their self-knowledge by reflecting on their personal traits, attitudes, and characteristics that relate to their effectiveness as spiritual directors and pastoral ministers

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMMENDED BACKGROUND:

For those concentrating in Spiritual Direction in the Master’s in Pastoral Theology, THST 685, The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction, is a prerequisite for this course.

REQUIRED TEXT:

  • A Course Reader (To be purchased on the first day of class)
  • Urgings of the Heart: Toward a Spirituality of Integration by Noreen Cannon and Wilkie Au (Paulist Press, 1995).
  • Transforming Our Painful Emotions by Evelyn F. Whitehead and Janes D. Whitehead (Orbis Books, 2010)
  • How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integrationby David Richo (Paulist Press, 1991)
  • Care of Mind, Care of Spirit: Psychiatric Dimensions of Spiritual Direction by Gerald May, M.D. (Harper and Row, 1982)

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATONS:

  • All students will be expected to do the required reading, turn in a weekly summary/personal reflection paper on that week’s assigned reading, and participate in both class discussions and structured classroom experiences.
  • All students will be expected to have a weekly (30 minute taped) listening praxis outside of class and to keep a weekly journal of reflections on each experience.    Further explanation of this assignment will be given during the first class meeting.
  • All students will be expected to write a final 10-page integrative paper that articulates their reflections and insights gained during the semester from both  cognitive and experiential aspects of the course.
  • All students will give a class presentation based on their final integrative paper. 

Due to the experiential nature, structure and personal participation of this course each student is expected to attend each class and to arrive on time. 

 

COURSE TITLE: Foundations of Pastoral Theology

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6070. 01

COURSE DAY/TIME: Tuesday 4:30 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Michael P. Horan, Ph.D.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Through the readings, papers and seminar sessions we will consider the nature, tasks, style and purpose of pastoral theology in relation to other branches of theology. In an effort to do this, the course will be grounded in the biblical, historical, sociological and theological sources for constructing a theology of pastoral ministry appropriate to various settings (churches, pastoral care and ministry to various persons and cohorts/age groups). Through this course we will consider various “models” of pastoral theology as we consider the theological issues beneath the practice of pastoral ministry today.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand and situate within the history of Christian theology and ministry the pastoral/ministerial nature of theology, and the theological activity implicit in pastoral ministry.
  • Appreciate more fully and articulate clearly the importance of the relationship between academic theology and the pastoral life of the church.
  • Construct a theology of ministry that is faithful to the biblical and historical heritage of ministry, and adequate to the contemporary experience of lay and ordained ministers today, with special attention to the Catholic context for pastoral ministry to various groups and cohorts. 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Gula, Richard M. Just Ministry. New York: Paulist, 2006.
  • Hahnenberg, Edward P.  Ministries: A Relational Approach.  New York: Herder and Herder, 2003. 
  • Osmer, Richard. Practical Theology: An Introduction.  Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2008. 
  • Simon, William E., Great Catholic Parishes. Notre Dame: IN: Ave Maria Press, 2016.

COURSEWORK EXPECTATIONS AND MODES OF ASSESSMENT:

30%  Active participation in Seminar discussion; this includes leadership for discussions, and preparation for full participation in the discussions, to be elaborated in the syllabus.

50% The preparation of brief written analyses of the readings, usually in the form of responses to Focus Questions (unless otherwise stipulated in the syllabus).  This includes 5 typewritten papers (Each paper is 3 pages in length)

20% Final Integrating Essay (functions as a take home exam)

 

COURSE TITLE: Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6074-01

COURSE DAY/TIME: Monday 4:30-7 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Brett C. Hoover

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

This course focuses on understanding and cultivating spiritual practices to maintain a holistic spirituality capable of balancing self- possession and self-transcendence, contemplation and action, self-care and the care of others in the context of pastoral ministry. The course explores spiritual practice in a variety of Christian spiritual traditions. The course will include theoretical and experiential learning, including group prayer experiences as well as critical group reflection on spiritual dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context ministry.  Students are required to be under the care of a spiritual advisor or director for the duration of the course.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will be able to:

  • Define and describe what spiritual practice is in the context of the Christian tradition;
  • Describe and critically consider the spiritual practices and ideas raised by different Christian spiritual traditions, placing those traditions into dialogue with at least one non-Christian tradition;
  • Make sense of their life history and contemporary life and ministry experiences in light of Christian spiritual traditions;
  • Engage in Ignatian and other forms of Christian discernment, with attention to the history of grace and sin in their own lives;
  • Formulate their own approach to spiritual practice, considering their own context and life state, and evaluating that approach in dialogue with Christian spiritual traditions. 

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

None

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon, The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian Path (Mahwah, New Jersey:  Paulist Press, 2006).
  • Philip Sheldrake, Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014).
  • Peter Tyler and Richard Woods, eds. The Bloomsbury Guide to Christian Spirituality (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012).
  • Claire E. Wolfteich, American Catholics Through the Twentieth Century: Spirituality, Lay Experience, and Public Life (New York: Crossroad, 2011).

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

Expectations for this class include journal entries, a scaffolded spirituality portfolio including critical analysis of a spiritual practice, research on a particular tradition of Christian spirituality in dialogue with a non-Christian tradition, and autobiographical reflection in the light of Christian spiritual traditions. All students must be engaged in spiritual advising or direction.

 

COURSE TITLE: Comparative Mysticism  

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6082/YGST 6082

COURSE DAY/TIME: Monday 4:30 to 7 p.m.

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

In this class we will explore the inner or mystical life as articulated in the life and practice of various religious traditions. We will begin with a study of a modern classic: The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, the pre-eminent American philosopher and psychologist as well as the key ideas of Carl Jung. We will then examine the Jewish and Islamic mystical traditions, as well as key writers in the emerging field of contemplative Christian ecology. Yoga and mysticism will be examined through the writings of 20th century philosopher Sri Aurobindo. 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will be familiar with the psychological approaches to religious experience as found in William James and Carl Jung. Students will learn the principles and practices of mystical theology from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Yoga traditions. They will be versant with primary figures. They will also be able to write about and discuss this topic.

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

Graduate status

REQUIRED TEXTS

  • William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
  • Joseph Campbell, ed., The Portable Jung
  • Douglas Christie, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind
  • Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts
  • Chapple, ed., Antonio deNicolas: Poet of Eternal Return
  • Anne Marie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam
  • Debashish Banerji, Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo 

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

Students will be required to complete two projects. The first will be a summary paper and presentation based on a portion of one of the books listed above. This will provide students with an opportunity to summarize a segment of an assigned text and present its main ideas succinctly. The second project will be a research project pertaining to mysticism and/or spirituality, particularly in its relationship to one or more specific theological traditions. Suggested topics might include the life and work of various individual mystics (Rumi, Kabir, Lalla, Hildegard of Bingen, George Fox, Al-Junayd, Patanjali, etc.) or a study of the general philosophical and theological issues that surround the study of mysticism, drawing from literature by contemporary writers such as Nasr, Katz, Stace, Underhill, and others. This paper must be thoroughly researched with at least seven print sources. It must be a minimum of fifteen pages, double spaced. It must in some way draw conceptually from the course material. 

 

COURSE TITLE: Graduate Pro-Seminar

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6090-01

COURSE DAY/TIME: Tuesday 4:30-7 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Brett C. Hoover

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

Christian theology is disciplined reasoning through the questions raised by human beings as a result of their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Studying theology is neither catechesis (formation in Christian faith) nor apologetics (defending Christian faith). It means joining an ongoing historical dialogue (occasionally an argument) that Christians call tradition, analyzing and critiquing how and why diverse Christians from the past and present have expressed their relationship to God as they have, but also continuing to seek adequate ways to do so today. This course will also explore some of the foundations of religious studies, that is, the discipline that considers religious traditions irrespective of one’s personal faith commitments. In short, the proseminar course prepares students for further graduate study in Theological Studies. It introduces some of the vocabulary, background knowledge, methodologies, and skills necessary for such study, including theological reading, research, and writing. The seminar includes input and exercises that will expose students to the basic subfields of theology (including biblical studies, historical theology, ethics, systematic or constructive theology, pastoral theology, liturgy, spirituality, and comparative theology). Students will explore methodological questions and procedures appropriate to each. 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will be able to:

  • Say what Christian theology is;
  • Demonstrate that they know and can make use of the foundational mechanics of theological study at the graduate level (critical theological reading and writing, research, and citation);
  • Understand theological arguments, offering analysis and critique, learning to make their own theological arguments;
  • Define and use the disciplinary vocabulary of Christian theology and religious studies;
  • Understand and make critical use of theological methodologies from different sub-disciplines of Christian theology;
  • Describe how theological ideas, practices, and methodologies occur in response to the questions and challenges of different historical eras and different cultures. 

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

None

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Gonzalez, Justo. Mañana: Christian Theology from the Hispanic Perspective. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.
  • McFarland, Ian A. et al, eds. The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • McGrath, Alister. The Christian Theology Reader, 5th edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
  • Rausch, Thomas. I Believe in God: A Reflection on The Apostles Creed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
  • Yaghjian, Lucretia B. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers (New York: Continuum, 2006). 

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

Expectations for this class include argument summary papers, glossary contributions, reading response blog, oral presentations in class, midterm and final examinations. 

 

COURSE TITLE: Comprehensive Exam Seminar         

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6092.01

COURSE DAY/TIME: Tuesdays 4:30pm-7:00pm

INSTRUCTOR: Tiemeier

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

This is the required comprehensive exam seminar for all MA in Theology students. While drawing on students’ previous course work, the seminar also requires students to study additional sources that will help them integrate their theological education and provide a foundation for their research projects. The comprehensive exams are administered as a part of the course requirements.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Review and assess major Christian thinkers
  • Articulate and analyze major theological themes
  • Construct theological arguments
  • Integrate theological studies

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

36 units of course work completed.

Students with at least 30 units may petition the Graduate Curriculum Committee for permission to enroll.

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Athanasius, On the Incarnation
  • Augustine, De Trinitate
  • Anselm, Cur Deus Homo
  • Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (Prima Pars)
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book One)
  • Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation
  • Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is
  • Peter Phan, Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue
  • M. Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being

Additional books chosen in consultation with the instructor.

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

  1. Seminar Discussion and Presentations (Oral examination occurs in class)
  2. One general exam in theology (10 page take-home exam)
  3. One disciplinary exam in theological studies (Chosen in consultation with the instructor--e.g., biblical theology, spirituality, history of religions, liturgy, ethics, comparative theology, historical theology, philosophy of religion, faith and culture, moral theology, ritual studies, etc. (10 page take-home exam)
  4. One research proposal (10 page proposal of research seminar project)

TERM: Fall 2017

COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Bioethics

COURSE NUMBER: BIOE 6000

COURSE DAY/TIME: M 7:15-9:45

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Roberto Dell'Oro

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon in the canon of newly emerging disciplines. Although an established academic field, it stills struggles to find a formal and coherent methodology for the analysis of ethical problems triggered by advances in medicine and the life sciences. The course introduces students to the historical, theoretical, and thematic dimensions of bioethics. More specifically, the course looks at historical contributions of theologians and philosophers to bioethics; it addresses the theoretical challenges of bioethics as an interdisciplinary field, with an emphasis on dominant theories in bioethics; and, finally, it touches upon the main topics of bioethics, including medical experimentation, assisted reproductive technologies, genetics, transplantation, assisted suicide and euthanasia. 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Understand the basic problems, methods, and approaches to the field of bioethics.
  • Familiarize with the main ethical theories of bioethics and identify the philosophical components of the public discussion on bioethical issues.
  • Engage in the critical analysis of bioethical questions and articulate their theoretical and practical dimension
  • Appreciate the importance of ethical dialogue across different philosophical traditions

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

Undergraduate degree 

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

This graduate course is a combination of lectures and student participation. Students are invited to come to class having done all the readings assigned for the day. Additional assignments include 1 in class presentations, a midterm and a final exam. 

 

TERM: Fall 2017

COURSE TITLE: Bioethics at the Beginning of Life

COURSE NUMBER: BIOE 6100/THST 6998

COURSE DAY/TIME: T 7:15-9:45

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Roberto Dell'Oro 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The question of the beginning is central to our understanding of the human condition. To be born is to be given to be by a source we do not control, released into life by life itself, a miracle that escapes self-determination and control, while calling, at the same time, for responsibility and care. How do we articulate the difficult balance between reverence for life and stewardship for the conditions that make it more livable, indeed, more human? The course examines bioethical questions that concern the beginnings of life. Topics include the ethics of abortion, maternal fetal conflicts, ethical problems in neonatology, as well as the ethical judgment on the entire field of assisted reproductive medicine -- from in vitro fertilization, to surrogate motherhood, gamete storage techniques, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Engage in the critical analysis of bioethical questions at the beginning of life and articulate their theoretical and practical dimensions
  • Appreciate the importance of ethical dialogue between theology and philosophy
  • Understand the interplay of morality and law in relation to bioethical issues at the beginning of life
  • Become familiar with the clinical context of medicine and recognize the ethical challenges facing health care professionals and their patients today

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

Undergraduate Degree

REQUIRED TEXTS:

A complete list of required texts will be provided

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

This graduate course is a combination of lectures and student participation through discussion sessions. Assignments include in-class presentations, essays, and a research paper (15-20 pages) by the end of the semester. 

 

THST 6998.4:  Catholicity in the 21st century

Wednesdays 7:15 - 9:45pm

Instructor: Karen B. Enriquez, Ph.D.

 

Course Description

“Catholic” is understood as one of the four marks of the Church, and yet it also has a broader sense that has to be do with wholeness and fullness.  The word Catholic, as Richard McBrien reminds us is derived from the Greek adjective, katholikos, meaning “universal,” and from the adverbial phrase kath’holou, “meaning on the whole.”   And yet, the lived experience of some Catholics, of a Church that seems fractured or divided, may seem to contradict such claims.  For example, in 1996, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin wrote “Called to be Catholic: Church in a Time of Peril” looking at the challenges to American Catholicism near the end of the 20th century.  Now, at the beginning of the new millennium, we will continue to explore some of the issues discussed in that statement as well as continued challenges of catholicity for the Church today.  This course seeks to clarify what “catholic” actually means for the Church and discuss issues including how the church might live out its catholicity more authentically.  Some key themes/topics that we will explore include:

(1)  grounding “Catholicity” in writings from Scripture and official Church teaching (including Vatican II documents) the writings of John Paul II and Pope Francis, and theologians such as Karl Rahner, Avery Dulles, etc.

(2)   Leadership and roles within the Church (including questions about authority, the role of women, and the role of the laity)

(3)  Catholicity and Globality (including readings on Latino/a, African and Asian Catholicism)

(4)  Catholicity and Religious Pluralism (including readings on theologies of religions, interreligious dialogue and comparative theology) 

 

We will look at these themes through a variety of lenses: historical and critical analysis, texts from scripture, and Church teachings and contemporary theologians, and an attention to narratives and popular practices.  This exploration of Catholicity will be done in a spirit of critical inquiry and generosity that seeks to deepen and broaden an understanding of the richness and diversity of global Catholicism.   

 

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain an understanding of theological ideas, historical events, major figures that shaped the understanding of Catholicity today.
  2. Students will learn to identify and articulate debates on Catholicity today in order to shape their own reflections on such issues. 
  3. Students will learn to use the technical vocabulary and sense of development of doctrinal positions to address contemporary issues of social, cultural, political and personal concerns.
  4. Students will learn to communicate, both orally and in writing, with greater clarity.   
  5. Students will cultivate a sense of the richness and diversity of the Catholic Tradition through an examination of the doctrines and practices of the tradition, and lived experiences of Catholics throughout the world. 

 

Required Texts

  • Richard Gaillardetz, By What Authority? A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful (Collegeville, MN:  Liturgical Press, 2003).  ISBN 0-8146-2872-9
  • Other readings will be posted on Brightspace 

 

Prerequisites/recommended background:  Graduate status

 

Course Work/Expectations

  1. Class participation and 1-2 page weekly papers
  2. Oral presentations and leading class discussions
  3. Final Paper

TERM: Fall 2017 

COURSE TITLE: Foundations of Theological Ethics: A Comparative Analysis

COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: BIOE 6600 01

COURSE DAY/TIME: W 7:15–9:45 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Nicholas R. Brown

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

In a 2012 article entitled “In Defense of Irreligious Bioethics” published in The American Journal of Bioethics Timothy Murphy writes, “The task of bioethics can be understood, in a sense, as enlarging the prospect for society’s informed consent about its choices, by showing what various religious experiences, creeds and commitments mean in relation to other options. To enjoy the benefits that flow from adversarial engagement, the most valuable approach to religion is to repudiate in all its manifestations the idea that there is a transcendent reality to which the immanent world is beholden.” (8) Murphy’s negative appraisal of religion gives voice to a common if not a prevailing question within the field of bioethics, namely to what extent (if at all) is its project philosophically, conceptually and normatively compatible with the study and practice of religion? The purpose of this course is to engage this question further and sketch out some preliminary answers. Toward that end, it is structured as follows: In the first part of the course, we will take up a meta-ethical analysis of different approaches to religious ethical inquiry and identify what unique metaphysical and normative contributions they offer. As part of this analysis, we will also explore the different historical and intellectual forces that have suppressed religious perspectives within the evolution bioethics and relegated it to the periphery. Next, we will examine, compare, and contrast how bioethics is framed within the context of three different formative religious traditions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Lastly, we will survey how each of these traditions evaluates significant bioethical principles issues at the beginning of life, end of life and health care. 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Upon completion of the course students should master the following competencies, as should be demonstrated in the in class article and précises presentations, class participation and discussion, and in the research paper: 

  • Systematic analysis of the nature of bioethics in Judaism, Christianity or Islam, (b) applied analysis, and (c) comparative analysis.
  • The ability to critically reflect upon the nature of bioethics in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam and question representations of these religions in bioethical discussions in general and in bioethical literature in particular.
  • The capability to succinctly and convincingly formulate arguments about applied bioethics in Judaism, Christianity or Islam.
  • The capacity to critically compare and explain bioethical attitudes in different religions. 

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: 

Undergraduate degree 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

Electronic books 

  • Dariusch Atighetchi, Islamic Bioethics: Problems and Perspectives (Dordrecht: Springer, 2007) *Ebook*
  • Eric Blyth and Ruth Landau, Eds., Faith and Fertility: Attitudes Towards Reproductive Practices in Different Religions From Ancient to Modern Times (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2009)
  • H. Tristram Engelhardt, The Foundations of Christian Bioethics (Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, 2000)
  • M. Therese Lysaught and Joseph Kotva, Jr., Eds., On Moral Medicine: Theological Perspectives in Medical Ethics, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012)
  • Iris Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good (New York: Routledge, 1971)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, Marion Farber, trans. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007) 

Electronically scanned chapters 

  • Yechiel Michael Barilan, Jewish Bioethics: Rabbinic Law and Theology in Their Social and Historical Contexts (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • David E. Guinn, Handbook of Bioethics and Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • John F. Peppin, Mark J. Cherry, and Ana Iltis, Religious Perspectives in Bioethics (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2004)
  • William Schweiker, Ed., The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics (Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 2005)
  • Allen Verhey, Religion & Medical Ethics (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996) 

Additional readings will be submitted over the course of the semester.