Fall 2020 Course Descriptions

Select a course title below to view the description.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2020

     

    COURSE TITLE: Foundations of New Testament Theology

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6010 (01)

     

    TIMES/DAYS: T 7:20-10:20pm 

     

    INSTRUCTOR: Roy Fisher

     

    CORE AREA: INT: n/a

     

    FLAGGED: n/a

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

     

    This course is designed to introduce students to both 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 the role social-location plays in both the historical and contemporary interpretation of texts (history of interpretation).

     

    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.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: NONE

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

     

    Class time will involve lecture, discussion, group readings, and online content. Attendance will be taken. Students will responsible for reading the assigned material and coming to class prepared to discuss what the assigned readings and/or videos or to ask questions. Class discussion will be emphasized and to have quality discussions we need to develop a body of shared knowledge. Students will also be expected to participate in weekly online groups discussions.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2020

     

    COURSE TITLE: Foundations of Historical Theology

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: 45556 THST 6020  

     

    TIMES/DAYS: M 16:10-19:00

     

    INSTRUCTOR: Anna Harrison

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    This is a course in medieval theology and spirituality. We focus on the life and writings of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). We consider Bernard’s own sense of self as a monk committed to stability and the contemplative life yet ever-on-the-move, immersed in the major matters of his time relevant to church and state. We examine his contribution to launching the Second Crusade and the development of the monastic military orders as well as his involvement in contemporary controversies about art and architecture. We will study, in addition, his understanding of God, Mary, the human being, and union with God.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Students who complete this course successfully will gain an understanding of the complexity of Bernard’s thought and some of the major contemporary spiritual and theological concerns. They will come to value learning about the religious ideas and experiences of people who lived in a world very different from our own. They will learn about the process of reading complicated texts from the distant past and writing responsibly and creatively about them.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    There is no prerequisite.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    Students will access readings through BRIGHTSPACE.  

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS This is a demanding course. Careful reading and writing will require a significant amount of time. Be aware that you will probably need to read assignments several times. This is as expected. Much of the material we are reading is complicated and treats of topics and concerns about which you may not be accustomed to thinking in a sustained way. To help you prepare for class and to provide me with a sense of how you are reading the texts, you will have quizzes almost every class. I make available to you questions about the day’s assignment. Keeping these questions in mind as you prepare your assignments will help ready you for the quizzes. There are, furthermore, midterm and final examinations. I expect you to be consistently active participants during class. Participation requires attendance and preparation. I will always assume you have done the reading and thought about it before coming to class. 

     

  • COURSE TITLE:  THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:  THST 6051.1

     

    TIMES/DAYS: Mondays 7:15-9:45

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Fr. Jim Clarke Ph.D.

     

    CORE AREA/FLAGGED: n/a

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

         This course will study the theory of spiritual direction and offer the student the opportunity to practice the art of spiritual direction with directees. Principal topics covered will include: contemplative listening, discernment, Christian disciplines, spiritual growth and development, images of God and necessary skills for spiritual direction.

     

     STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

     

      Students Will:

    • Read about contemporary models of spiritual direction.
    • Experience the process of spiritual direction.
    • Identify desired qualities in directors, directees, and spiritual direction relationships.
    • Explore contemplative listening.
    • Develop some skills in assisting others to notice and talk about their ongoing experience with God.
    • Explore how gender, racial, generational and cultural qualities can influence the practice of spiritual direction.
    • Describe how other Christian disciplines and particularly the directee's prayer life become part of spiritual direction conversations.
    • Analyze elements that influence discernment in the director, directee and spiritual direction meetings.
    • Reflect upon evaluating spiritual experiences.
    • Become acquainted with possible fruits and potential hazards resulting from participation in the Christian discipline of spiritual direction.
    • Identify appropriate accountability and supervision relationships for directors.
    • Discern whether they feel called to the ministry of spiritual direction. Do you desire to continue studying and become involved as a director?  Is spiritual direction a discipline you feel called to pursue as a directee? 

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

     

    THST Graduate Students Only

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

     

    Reader (purchased on the first night of class)

    Janet Ruffing, Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings

    Wilkie Au, The Enduring Heart: Spirituality for the Long Haul

    William P. Young, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

    William Barry and Willian Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction (Revised)

    Joan Borysenko and Gordon Dveirin, Your Soul’s Compass: What is Spiritual Guidance

    Jeannette Bakke, Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction

    Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

     

                 Class attendance and active class participation

                 Weekly 1 page reflection paper

                 Course project and final paper

  • SEMESTER:  FALL 2020

    COURSE TITLE:  Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:  THST 44969

    TIMES/DAYS: Monday  7:20 p.m.- 10:00 p.m./ M 1920-2210

    INSTRUCTOR: Sr. Carol Quinlivan, Ph.D.

    CORE AREA: N/A

    FLAGGED: N/A

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    This course will seek to further the student's understanding of Ignatian spirituality by:

    (1) a study of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, (2) a study of a commentary on the text,  and (3) learning from the actual experience of the group during the semester.  With regard  to (3), the hypothesis entertained by the instructor is that some of the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises can be experienced within a group setting when a person engages in a critical and prayerful  approach to the exercises.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the structure and dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Ignatian wisdom of discernment and the ability to apply it to their own lives.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of Ignatian forms of prayer.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND N/A

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

          Au, Wilkie, and Cannon, Noreen, The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian  Path.  Paulist Press, NY, 2006; ISBN 0-8091-4372-0

     

           Brackley, Dean, The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times: New Perspectives on the Transformative Wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola. Crossroad Publishing, NY, 2004; ISBN 0-8245-2268-0 

     

           Dyckman, Katherine, Garvin, Mary, & Liebert, Elizabeth, The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women. Paulist Press, NY, 2001; ISBN 0-8091-4043-8

     

            Fleming, David, Draw Me into Your Friendship: A Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, 2008 Fourth Printing. The Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis. ISBN 1-880810-20-4.

     

            Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality.  Loyola Press, Chicago 2007. ISBN 0-8294-1366-9. Latest Edition.

     

    Course Reader

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Each Week Within Class: Attendance and Active Participation.

    Students are expected to attend all classes and to be engaged in both small-group and large-group settings.

     

    Each Week Outside of Class:

    Complete the assigned reading.

    Students engage in an hour of Praxis and are expected to submit a one-page description/reflection of the experience.

                                        

    A 5-page final integrative paper

     

    10 min. class presentation of your integrative paper

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2020

    COURSE TITLE: Foundations of Theological Ethics

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6060 01

    TIMES/DAYS: M 4:10-7:00pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Grace Y. Kao

    CORE AREA:

    FLAGGED: N/A

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

    This course provides a systematic introduction to the field of Christian theological ethics. We will read diverse selections from classical and contemporary Christian thinkers as we engage two key methodological questions: (1) how should Christians draw upon the sources of wisdom in Christian theology for moral guidance; and        (2) what general approach to ethics should they take (i.e., one that is deontological, teleological, aretological, liberationist and explicitly contextualist—or some combination of the above)? In the second half of the course, we will move from normative ethical theory to applied ethics in our critical assessment of selected topics (viz., war and peace, economics, the environment, and bioethics). Students will also be pressed to consider the distinctiveness of Christian ethics from other (secular) philosophical or religious traditions of moral inquiry as well as areas of overlap they may share with these other accounts.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

     

    By the end of this course, students should be able to

     

    • know the main sources of Christian ethical reflection; key Christian ethical principles, norms, and virtues; and major approaches in Christian theological ethics.
    • acknowledge the diversity of positions Christians have taken—and continue to take—with respect to some perennial moral questions and issues.

     

     

    • reach and defend normative judgments about selected contemporary ethical issues by applying the main sources of and approaches to Christian ethical reflection as informed by key Christian ethical principles, norms, and virtues.
    • Robin Lovin, An Introduction to Christian Ethics: Goals, Duties, and Virtues (Abingdon Press, 2011)
    • Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, reprint ed. (Beacon Press, 1996)
    • David L. Clough and Brian Stiltner, Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War (Georgetown UP, 2007)
    • William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (Eerdmans, 2008)
    • Charlie Camosy, For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action (Franciscan Media, 2013)
    • Margaret Farley, Changing the Questions: Explorations in Christian Ethics (Orbis, 2015)

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: for MA in Theology/Pastoral Theology students 

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

     

    *This list is subject to change; other required readings will be made available  

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

     

    Regular attendance | weekly reading | online discussion boards | active classroom engagement | two take-home midterm exams | three short papers

  • SEMESTER: FALL 2020

     

    COURSE TITLE:  Foundations of Pastoral Theology

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:   THST 6070.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS: Tuesdays 4:10 – 7:00 p.m.

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Michael P. Horan, Ph.D.

     

    CORE AREA:  M.A. PATH, course is open to all M.A. students in THST

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS:

     

    What is Pastoral Theology, and how are theology and practice related? Foundations of Pastoral Theology (THST 6070) is a course that explores and analyzes the practice of Christian ministries, with emphasis (though not exclusively) on Catholic lay and ordained ministries.  Ministry practices offer the context for examining the nature, tasks, style and purpose of pastoral theology, and provide the background to understand pastoral theology in relation to other branches of theology (biblical theology, historical theology, moral theology, etc.). Through this course we examine various theories and analyze the theological issues beneath select practices of pastoral ministry today.  Students who take this graduate course are not required to be engaged in ministry currently, but ministry experience helps to enhance the learning experience.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Students who complete this course will be able:

     

    To locate the place and particular function of pastoral theology in the larger theological matrix, that is, the theological discipline and its various subfields (biblical, historical, etc.) that they study at LMU;

     

    To understand and articulate selected theological issues beneath the practice of pastoral ministry today, with special attention to the Catholic context for pastoral ministry;

     

    To reflect on their experience of online learning and consider the potential of online communication and learning to “reach” the people they seek to serve in their current or anticipated ministries;

     

    To construct and defend their own statement of a theology of pastoral ministry, using material from the course as rationale for their constructive statement. 

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

     

    Students who take this graduate course are not required to be engaged in ministry currently, but ministry experience helps to enhance the learning experience.  The course will refer to the practices of lay and ordained ministers in churches, with special (though not exclusive) attention to Catholic ministerial questions.

     

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS:

     

    TBD – stay tuned for updates

     

     

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

     

    5 discussion and reading analysis papers (3 pages each)

    Mid term take home exam

    Final Portfolio of Semester Work submitted with Take Home Final Exam

  • Title:  Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Course Number:  THST 6074-01

    Section Times/Days:  Tuesdays, 7:20-10:10 pm, University Hall 3786

    Instructor:  Dr. Brett C. Hoover

     

    Description: This course focuses on understanding, analyzing, 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 from the perspective of various Christian and other spiritual traditions. Students are invited to participate deeply in practice but also to retain a critical eye, as all spiritual practices and traditions have their lights and shadows. The course approaches spirituality with both a theoretical and an experiential lens. Students engage in group spiritual practices together as well as in critical group reflection on spiritual dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context of ministry. Students are asked to meet with a spiritual advisor or director for the duration of the course.

     

    Student learning outcomes: Students will be able to …

    • Make sense of their own life histories as a spiritual journey, with special attention to their concrete life and ministry experiences, their commitments to particular spiritual traditions, and their own regular spiritual practices;
    • Define and describe what spiritual practice is in the context of Christian tradition;
    • Articulate their own commitment to spiritual practices including developing strategies to address what gets in the way, thus formulating their own critical approach to spiritual practice;
    • Describe in depth and critically consider the spiritual practices they encounter in real life, showing how they are connected to Christian and secular or non-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.

     

    Pre-requisites:  None.

     

    Textbooks:

    • Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon Au, Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration (New York: Paulist, 1996).
    • Lauren Winner, The Dangers of Christian Practice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018). Available free as e-book via library.
    • Wilkie Au, and Noreen Cannon Au, The Discerning Heart (New York: Paulist, 2006).

     

    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.

  • This course provides a review of the historical roots of the current situation of religious pluralism. It examines and evaluates relevant methodological proposals for comparative theology and clarifies the relationship of comparative theology to interreligious dialogue, the history of religions and the Christian theology of religions. It also offers an opportunity to engage in the practice of comparative theology through the interpretation of texts.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2020

     

    COURSE TITLE: Comparative Mysticism

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:   THST 3082.01; YGST 3082.01 and YGST 3082.02

     

    TIMES/DAYS: Mondays, 4:30 to 7 p.m., U Hall 3328

     

    INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Chapple

     

    CORE AREA: Graduate Studies FLAGGED: N/A

     

    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 and the elemental meditations found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. 

     

    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 students only, various disciplines.

     

    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

    Anne Marie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam

    Chapple, Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas

    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.  The second project will be a research paper pertaining to mysticism and/or spirituality, particularly in its relationship to one or more specific theological traditions.  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.  It must keep in mind the four hermeneutical approaches of Vico, in this way interpreted as 1) reportage on and/or accurate description of a concept or person  2) indication of how this idea or person fits in the flow of cultural history and religious tradition  3) the broad implications for the insights examined  4) one’s personal appropriation and/or response.  Please develop your own voice in the writing of this paper.

  • COURSE TITLE: Graduate Pro Seminar

     

    COURSE NUMBER: THST 6090

     

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS:  Section 1, Tues 4:10-7:00pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR: Cecilia González-Andrieu, PhD.

     

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

     

    Christian theology is disciplined reasoning through the questions raised by human beings as a result of the realities of their lives and their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Studying theology is neither catechesis (formation in Christian faith) nor apologetics (defending Christian faith). It means joining the ongoing 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, and continuing to seek ways to do so in response to the challenges and insights of each new generation. This course also explores some of the foundations of religious studies, understood as the discipline that considers religious traditions irrespective of personal faith commitments. The Pro-seminar 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, spirituality, pastoral theology, liturgy, and comparative theology).

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

     

    Students successfully engaged in this course will: a) Know the foundational mechanics of the graduate study of theology, such as critical reading, research and academic writing.  b) Know and develop proficiency in being challenged, synthetizing insights and formulating probing questions. c) Be able to define and use the disciplinary vocabulary of theology and religious studies. d) Be able to actively engage and reflect upon the complexity presented by context, social location, gender, race and other markers affecting intellectual inquiry. e) Actively try their hand at engaging methodologies in several subfields of theology and religious studies as theological writers and thinkers.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    This course is restricted to graduate students.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    1. Gonzalez, Justo L. Essential Theological Terms.  Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2005. Available on Kindle.
    2. Johnson, Elizabeth A. Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2018. Available through LMU Library as an e-book.
    3. Rausch, Thomas. I Believe in God: A Reflection on The Apostles Creed.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008. Available through LMU Library as an e-book.
    4. Yaghjian, Lucretia B. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers (New York: Continuum, 2006).  Available as an e-textbook.
    5. Other diverse readings through BRIGHTSPACE.

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

     

    1. Reading: All readings are to be done prior to the class meeting.

    2. Participation: In class discussions and processes.

    3. Writing and presentations: Multiple short papers and a variety of written assignments for every class session, as well as short oral presentations and other projects as assigned.

  • Title:  Pastoral Synthesis Seminar

    Course Number:  THST 6091-01

    Section Times/Days:  Thursdays 4:30-7 pm (irregular meeting pattern)

    Instructor:  Dr. Brett C. Hoover

     

    Description: This course supports pastoral theology students in the development and execution of their final capstone project, the pastoral synthesis project or PSP. Taken in the final year of study, in this course students review pastoral theological methodologies studied in earlier courses and use one of those methodologies 1) to carefully study a contemporary pastoral problem or challenge (inside or outside of church ministry), 2) to articulate theological foundations for understanding and addressing that problem or challenge from a Christian perspective, and 3) to develop a preliminary proposal for how one might address the problem or challenge. The theological analysis forms the largest section of the PSP, intended to demonstrate a comprehensive sense of the student’s theological knowledge bases and skills, including the responsible use of Scripture, systematic/constructive theology, and other theological subdisciplines. Students attend periodic sessions with other students and work independently with a faculty director to complete the PSP by the end of the semester.

     

    Student learning outcomes:

    Students will be able to:

    • Assess pastoral situations from a critical stance;
    • Reflect on ministerial practice in and perfect ministry skills for a culturally and religiously diverse society;
    • Perform biblical exegesis with attention both to historical contexts and contemporary pastoral contexts
    • Reflect critically on the praxis of faith and of justice within an ecumenically-minded Roman Catholic context
    • Situate contemporary theological developments and pastoral practice in light of historical trajectories;
    • Interpret the work of seminal thinkers in Christian ethics and analyze contemporary moral problems;
    • Establish strategies and habits for the integration of one’s own faith, pastoral practice, and theological expertise.

     

    Pre-requisites:  THST 6070 Foundations of Pastoral Theology, THST 6000 or 6010 (New or Old Testament), THST 6030 Introduction to Systematic Theology (may be concurrently enrolled).

     

    Textbooks:  None

     

    Work expectations:

    Expectations for this class include a PSP proposal, the articulation of a pastoral challenge, drafts of each of the four sections, and a final draft.

  • SEMESTER:  Fall 2020

     

    COURSE TITLE:  Comprehensive Exam Seminar

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:    THST6092.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS: Wed 4:10 – 7:00 pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Nancy Pineda-Madrid

     

    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

     

    At the end of the course, students should be able to . . . 

    - Review and assess major Christian thinkers

    - Articulate and analyze major theological themes

    - Appreciate the importance of recognizing an integral relation between theory, practice, and context.

    - Exercise skill in “the art of doing theology” and skill in serving as a resource for communities and persons in their endeavor “to think and act theologically” in a life-giving manner for the common good.

     

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

     

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

     

    Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching   

    Augustine, Confessions

    Anselm, Cur Deus Homo

    Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (Prima Pars)

    Bernardino de Sahagun, Colloquios y Doctrina Cristiana.

    Jean Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion.  (Book One)

    Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, El Divino Narciso

    Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith

    David Tracy, Plurality and Ambiguity

    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

     

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

     

    1. 25% Seminar Discussion

    2. 25% One general exam in theology (20-page take-home exam)

    3. 25% 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 prepared essay)

    4. 25% One research proposal (10-page proposal of Spring research seminar project)

  • FALL 2020

    COURSE TITLE: FOUNDATIONS OF PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS

    COURSE NUMBER: BIOE 6700.01-THST 6998.05

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: M 7:20-10:10 – UH 4511 (BIOETHICS CONFERENCE ROOM)

    INSTRUCTOR: DR. ROBERTO DELL’ORO

    OFFICE HOURS: MW 4-7

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION

    The course introduces students in bioethics to the theories and problems of moral philosophy, comprising both a historical and a systematic component.  Main versions of ethics will be studied, including natural law and virtue ethics, deontological and consequentialist theories.  Students will understand the function and importance of ethical frameworks for the articulation of bioethical problems. Although the course’s interest is ultimately on the bioethical implications of foundational approaches to ethics, the focus will be theoretical in scope.  Classical texts from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Mill, and others will be studied.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    1.     Familiarize with the main theories and paradigms in the history of ethics, and identify the philosophical roots of contemporary discussion on ethical issues.

    2.     Engage in the critical analysis of ethical questions, identify the historical and systematic components of ethical debates, and articulate their theoretical and practical dimensions.

    3.     Appreciate the importance of ethical dialogue across different philosophical traditions

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    Undergraduate Degree

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    • Tom L. Beauchamp, Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, 3rd edition (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2001)
    • Robert B. Talisse, Engaging Political Philosophy: An Introduction (New York and London: Routledge, 2016)
    • Alasdair MacIntyre, A Short History of Ethics (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1966)

     

    SUGGESTED TEXTS

    • William Desmond, Ethics and the Between (New York: SUNY Press, 2001)
    • Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989)

    Additional texts from classical philosophers:

    ▪Plato, The Republic

    The Republic of Plato, trans. by Francis MacDonald Cornford (London: Oxford University Press, 1945)

    Also at http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

    Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

    Ethica Nicomachea, transl. by W.D.Ross, in The Basic Works of Aristotle, edited by Richard  McKeon (New York: Random House, 1941),  pp. 927-1112

    Also at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html

    St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Teologiae, Ia, IIae., q. 55 and qq. 90-94

    Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, edited by Anton C. Pegis (New York: Random House, 1948)

    Also at http://www.newadvent.org/summa/

    Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan

    Hobbes, Leviathan, edited by Edwin Curley (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994)

    Also at http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/hobbes/Leviathan.pdf

    David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morality

    At http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=4320

    Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

    Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, transl. by James W. Ellington (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1981)

    Also at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=5682

    John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism and On Liberty

    The Utilitarians: Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday: 1973)

    Also at  https://www.utilitarianism.com/mill1.htm and https://www.utilitarianism.com/ol/one.html

     

    Additional References:

     

    • Lawrence C. Becker and Charlotte B. Becker, eds., Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition (New York/London: Routledge, 2001)
    • Warren T. Reich, ed., Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 2nd edition (London: Simon & Schuster, 1995)
    • Stephen G. Post, ed., Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd edition (New York: Thomson, 2004)
    • Peter Singer, ed., A Companion to Ethics: Blackwell Companions to Philosophy (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1991)
    • John Skorupski, ed., The Routledge Companion to Ethics (London: Routledge, 2010)

                            _______________________

    Students are encouraged to rely on the internet for the retrieval of the material relevant to the course.   The following pages are suggested for content:

     

    →THE STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY at http://plato.stanford.edu/

     

    →PHILOSOPHERS ALPHABETICAL INDEX at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~worc0337/philosophers.html

     

    →ETHICS UPDATES at http://ethics.sandiego.edu/

     

    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 2 in class presentations, midterm, and final exams.  Additional information on the exams will be provided.

     

     

  • Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon in the canon of newly emerging disciplines. Although an established academic field, it still 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 contribution 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.

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