Summer 2012 Course Descriptions

Summer 2012 Course Descriptions

Summer Session I Courses
  • THST 609 - Paul the Apostle
  • THST 650 - Liturgical Theology
Summer Session II Courses
  • THST 620 - Foundations of Historical Theology
  • THST 663 - Issues in Bioethics: Genetics & Medical Technology
  • THST 681 - Comparative Religious Ethics
  • THST 698 - SS: Aquinas

February 2012: Please note that Course Descriptions for Summer Sessions I & II are not yet available.  We apologize for any inconvenience as they will be published at a later date.

Summer Session I Courses
(Please Note: Summer Session I Courses are scheduled from May 14, 2012 to June 22, 2012)

THST 609 - Paul the Apostle
CRN: 12476; 3 Semester Hours
Class Time: Mon/Wed 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Instructor: J. Siker
Location: STR 353

In this course we explore the person, ministry, and message of the apostle Paul from historical, literary, social, and theological perspectives, with attention to our own interpretive contexts as well. The principal topics of the course include:


-the various worlds that shaped Paul's context (social, historical, religious)

-the content and contexts of the letters in the New Testament written by Paul, as
-well as to the debate over letters written in Paul's name
-the depiction of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles
-the presentation of Paul in non-canonical writings after the NT
-the significance of Paul's letters for the development of Christianity
-modern interpretation and discussion of Paul in relation to various ethical and
-theological debates (sexuality, women in the church, church and politics, et al)
-the place of Paul's writings in current debates about Jewish/Christian relations
-critical undersanding of developments in scholarship about Paul 






1) Students will know the content of Paul's letters and the contexts that shaped them.
2) Students will be able to engage in critical exegesis and evaluation of Paul's letters and the theological debates about these letters.
3) Students will value the significance of Paul in the shaping of the Christian tradition and in the ongoing debates about Christian identity.

- preferable for students to have had THST 600 (Foundations of NT Theology)

-A Bible (modern translation)
-M.J. Gorman, Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.
-V.P. Furnish, The Moral Teaching of Paul: Selected Issues. 3rd edition. Nashville: Abingdon, 2009.
-J.D.G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle.Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.


-two exegetical papers (5-7pp each)
-midterm exam
-seminar participation
-final paper (15-02pp)


THST 650 - Liturgical Theology
CRN: 12481; 3 Semester Hours
Class Time: Tues/Thurs 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Instructor: N. Denysenko
Location: UNH 4766

Lex orandi, lex credendihas become a famous phrase in post-modern theology. Liturgical theology contains numerous schools of thought on how liturgy, as a gathering of Christian people who encounter God in prayer and worship, serves as a primary source for all theology. This course examines the ways in which liturgical rites, texts, contexts, history, hermeneutics, and art make a significant contribution to the theological enterprise. The course covers the history and pioneers of the liturgical movement, the method of liturgical history, and the methods of discovering and articulating liturgical theology. Students will read the works of classical liturgical theology from Christian antiquity, the theories of liturgical theology by leading contemporary experts, and will learn the methods of researching, presenting, and interpreting liturgical theology.

THST 650 is an online course which is mostly asynchronous. Course materials such as recorded lectures will be delivered via Blackboard. Regular, frequent, and substantive participation in the online discussion board on Blackboard and required and crucial for attaining learning outcomes.


-Students will become acquainted with the diverse approaches to and methods of liturgical theology.
-Students will become versed in the hermeneutical principles of studying liturgical history.
-Students will practice the methods of articulating liturgical theology by closely examining primary texts and contexts, such as architecture, language, and music.
-Students will become familiar with ancient and contemporary articulations of liturgical theology.
-Students will be able to express the place and contribution of liturgical theology to the academic study of theology as a whole.
-Students will be able to critically reflect on the relevance of liturgical theology in the lived experience of communities and their people.  

Prior graduate coursework in theological studies. 

David Fagerberg, Theologia Prima: What is Liturgical Theology?
Edith Humphrey, Worship on Earth as In Heaven

Regular and frequent participation in online discussion board.
Three critical analysis papers (5 pages each)
One Critical Book Review (5 pages)
One research paper/presentation, with 360 feedback (15-20 pages)

Summer Session II Courses
(Please Note: Summer Session II Courses are scheduled from June 25, 2012 to August 3, 2012)

THST 620- Foundations of Historical Theology
CRN: 22042; 3 Semester Hours
Class Time: Tues/Thurs 7:10 PM - 10:10 PM
Instructor: A. Harrison
Location: UNH 1401

This course provides an introduction to major topics in the history of Christian theology with a focus on the Western Christian tradition from its origins through the modern era. Among the topics we take up are: faith, God, creation, salvation, church, sacraments, and eschatology. We will read from a variety of primary texts and scholarly articles and books.

Students who complete this course successfully will gain an understanding of the variety and complexity of western Christian theology from its inception. They will come to value religious ideas and experiences of people who lived in a world very different from their own. Students will learn how to write historically responsible analyses of religious texts significant to the history of Christianity.


Alister E. McGrath, Theology: The Basic Readings
Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction
(This list is subject to revision.)

Students are required to read carefully all assigned texts before class and to contribute regularly and thoughtfully to class discussions. Students are required to complete a number of short (1-2pp) writing assignments and to prepare a final project (no more than 10pp). (Students should be aware that all written assignments will be evaluated for correct grammar and style as well as for the content of ideas.) Attendance is required. More than two unexcused absences will lower the student’s grade one full mark.

THST 663.01: Issues in Bioethics: Genetics & Medical Technology
Summer II: MW 5:30-8:30 p.m.
James J. Walter, PhD

This course will study two different topics in contemporary bioethics. The first topic will be concerned with an analysis of three related areas in modern genetic medicine: the Human Genome Project, human therapeutic and reproductive cloning, and human embryonic stem cell (hES) research. All three areas will be studied from scientific, ethical and religious viewpoints. The second topic will be concerned with a controversial discussion of the forgoing or withdrawal of a medical technology that provides artificial nutrition and hydration to patients who are diagnosed in a permanent vegetative state (PVS). This topic will be analyzed from a medical, ethical and specifically Roman Catholic religious viewpoint. The course will proceed through both lecture and discussion/seminar formats, and films will be used to highlight the scientific and medical issues related to the various topics.

To understand the scientific and ethical issues related to modern genetic medicine and technologyTo understand how religious reflection on bioethical topics can shape & inform ethical judgmentsTo apply the scientific, ethical and religious viewpoints to genetic enhancement technologies

Thomas A. Shannon and James J. Walter. The New Genetic Medicine: Theological and Ethical Reflections (New York: Sheed & Ward, 2003) ISBN: 0-7425-3171-6.
President’s Council on Bioethics. Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness (2003). Online at
Ronald Hamel & James J. Walter, ed. Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient: The Catholic Debate (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2007). ISBN: 978-1-58901-178-6.

A class discussion of the scientific, ethical and religious implications of the readings will be held on a regular basis. Students should be prepared to discuss these implications and to raise questions about the material under discussion.

The students will be divided into 2 groups on the first day of class. Each group must present to the class an argument either for or against the development and use of genetic enhancement technologies for patients. These debates will be considered graded exercises.

Each student individually must research and present to the class an analysis and a position on a topic related to either genetic medicine or to medical technology. The topic must be chosen in consultation with the Professor. The presenter will also facilitate a discussion of the topic, and the participants in the course must engage the presentation with questions and informed judgments.

If you plan to enroll in this course, please contact Dr. James Walter at

THST 681 - Comparative Religious Ethics
CRN: 22045; 3 Semester Hours
Class Time: Mon/Wed 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Instructor: C. Chapple
Location: UNH 3328

This course will begin with a comparative survey of ethics as found in several of the world's religious traditions. Specific issues will be discussed from a global perspective, including environmental ethics, animals ethics, and concerns regarding the end of life.

Students will become versant with the primary categories and methods for making ethically informed decisions from the perspectives of the prophetic monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as well as several Asian traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Confucianism.

Graduate student standing.

Ethics in World Religions. Edited by Joseph Runzo and Nancy Martin.
A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, & Ethics. Edited by Paul Waldau and Kimberley Patton
Religion, Death, and Dying: Perspectives on Dying and Death. Edited by Lucy Bregman.

Students will be expected to summarize and present a chapter from the books listed above, attend and participate in all class sessions, and write a 15 to 20 page research paper, applying an ethical system of their choosing to a contemporary issue.

THST 698 - SS: Aquinas
CRN: 22042; 3 Semester Hours
Class Time: Tues/Thurs 7:10 PM - 10:10 PM
Instructor: C. Kaczor
Location: UNH 1404


This course focuses on one of the most famous and influential theologians in the Catholic tradition, Thomas Aquinas. We will study Thomas’s "five ways" to argue for God’s existence, as well as his answer to the question, "How can an all-good, all-powerful God allow evil in the world?" We will also discuss Thomas’s understanding of how we can speak about God, God’s own nature as knowing and loving, as well as Thomas’s conception of other characteristics of the God. The second half of the course will turn to Thomas’s understanding of the great theological virtues—faith, hope, and love—as well as his discussion of other virtues—practical wisdom, temperance, justice, and courage—needed for human happiness and a just communal life.

At the end of this course, students will understand Thomas Aquinas’s:
1) Conception of the relationship between faith and reason
2) Five ways for arguing for God’s existence
3) Vision of the Divine Intellect, Will, Goodness, and Happiness
4) Teaching on the theological virtues
5) Teaching on the cardinal virtues, especially justice


St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, book one University of Notre Dame Press, 1975.
Christopher Kaczor, ed., Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love. Sapientia Press, 2008.
Christopher Kaczor and Thomas Sherman, S.J., eds., Thomas Aquinas on Justice, Temperance, Courage, and Practical Wisdom. Sapientia Press, 2009.
Edward Feser, Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide. 2009.

One research paper (circa ten pages) on a topic in the course is required as well as active participation in class meetings.