L.REL-112: Introduction to Theology & Religious Studies
How do the arts, social and physical sciences, philosophy, and daily human life raise religious questions about meaning, truth, values, faith, identity, community and mystery? How does Christian theology respond to these questions? This class helps students better understand both the questions and the answers. 3 credits.
L.REL-113: Introduction to the Bible
An introduction to the methodology and importance of biblical studies, which includes a survey of the history and theology of the Old and New Testaments. 3 credits.
L.REL-115: Introduction to Peace and Justice
The course will provide a foundational exploration of social justice concepts, issues, and remedies thereby developing the necessary analytical tools and information to assess injustice and inequality and to suggest changes that need to be made to better these situations. Typical issues included in the course are poverty and the distribution of resources, gender and racial discrimination, war and other forms of violent behavior. 3 credits.
L.REL-210: World Religions: An Introduction
An introductory study of the great world religions, particularly Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The class invites students to compare and contrast the search for meaning that defines each tradition. 3 credits.
L.REL-212: Roman Catholic Sacred Spaces
How are individuals formed by the physical spaces that surround them? How do the spaces in which Roman Catholics worship inform their understanding of the Church and God? How can substantially different understandings of the Church and God be reconciled within a single Church? And how might these differences not simply be overcome, but embraced. This course involves travel to a variety of Catholic churches and the analysis of the theological function of those spaces that emerges according to their form. 3 credits. January term.
L.REL-213: Foundations for Ministry
Frederick Buechner described vocation as the intersection of one’s deep joy with the world’s deep needs. This course explores theological frameworks for ministry and the ministerial needs of the church today. In addition, the course engages students in theological reflection aimed at discernment and development of the personal skills necessary for effective ministry. Prerequisite: L.REL-112. 3 credits.
L.REL-214: Islam in America
This is an in-depth study course that examines the history of Islam in the United States, with particular attention given to a period that begins at the end of the nineteenth century and continues into the contemporary period. 3 credits. January term.
L.REL-215: Eastern Christianity: Then and Now
This study travel course aims to explore the general nature and essential features of Eastern Christianity by focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church in Ukraine. Site visits, interviews, and guest lectures will help students to understand the nature and history of the key sacred spaces, rituals, liturgical practices, and people (both religious and laity) associated with the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church in Ukraine. Students will also be given opportunities to become acquainted with other Christian religious traditions in Ukraine. 3 credits. January term.
L.REL-216: The Catholic Church in Latin America
This study travel January term course covers the history of the Catholic Church in Latin America and the current issues it faces. The course will primarily focus on Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, liberation theology, and the contemporary period. For part of the course, students will travel to Peru and experience historical reminders of the Catholic Church’s past, but also experience first-hand the issues facing the Church in Latin America today. Prerequisites: L.LIB-130 or L.LIB-135. 3 credits. January term.
L.REL-231: Catholic Social Teaching
This course will examine those official documents of the Catholic Church, spanning from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891) to the present, that make up Catholic social teaching. This course will study CST’s guiding principles, how the modern popes and the Second Vatican Council applied them to the social, political, and economic problems of our time, and what continuing relevance they have for Catholics and all persons of goodwill. 3 credits.
L.REL-239: Jesus & the Gospels
A critical study of the content of the Four Gospels of the New Testament, as well as their literary, historical, social, and theological contexts. We will compare and contrast their portraits of Jesus, their messages for ancient Christians, and their relevance for modern readers. 3 credits.
L.REL-243: Wisdom of the Prophets
A survey of the writings of the prophets, with main emphasis on the texts and how they were written, on the historical situations which they addressed, and on their continuing importance today. Special attention is given to the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. 3 credits.
L.REL-248: Seminar on the Letters of St. Paul
Using a seminar format, this course studies the letters of St. Paul in the order in which they were written, to facilitate an understanding of the author’s theological development in terms of the changing problems he faced. We pay attention to the literary form of the public letter in Paul’s day, his own use of that form, the people and positions he found himself arguing against, and his emerging theological synthesis. 3 credits.
L.REL-251: Does The Land Belong To Israel-AC
The Land promised Israel is both a central faith symbol for Judaism and a constant geopolitical problem. Using this problem as passport into the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), the course will survey the main moments of the Israel’s story, its struggle to remain faithful, and the writings produced in that struggle. These, in turn, will be read for evidence of present day claims to the territory of Palestine. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-252: God’s Literature-AA
The New Testament is a library of the foundational documents of Christian faith, shaping our lives even today. The course surveys these writings in a series of two-week modules, each entertaining a new problem to solve. To assist in this task we will look at the texts in terms of their various literary forms as well as those occasions, both religious and political, that prompted their writing. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-260: Martyrs, Mendicants & Masterpieces-AC
The course is a January term study abroad opportunity in Italy. The course focuses on the culture of pre-Constantinian Christian Rome, medieval Franciscan Assisi, and Renaissance Florence. We will study the customs and artifacts of each period to determine how they affected the development of Christian thought and practice. We will examine how cultural traditions formed and changed, and how these traditions affected social organization, religion, and everyday life. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits. January term.
L.REL-261: Christ & Culture-AC
Jesus of Nazareth has been the most important figure in western culture for twenty centuries. This course examines his legacy by negotiating themes of continuity and change in a wide range of cultural artifacts, from symbols and images to historical accounts and fictional narratives. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-270: Introduction to Christian Values-AV
This course will examine the basic questions of morality and the answers that have been developed by Christians to answer such questions: What are good and evil? What makes an action good or evil? What makes a person good or evil? How should we make moral decisions? Much of the course will involve an examination of important voices from the Christian tradition who grappled with these questions. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-272: Christian Sexual Morality-AV
This course will examine the Catholic Church’s official teachings on sexual morality, looking both to traditional formulations and to more recent ways of thinking about issues of sexual morality. It will also examine some contrary positions proposed by Catholics and non-Catholics. The course will also consider human sexuality, marriage, and family life as paths for growth in the Christian spiritual life. Prerequisites: LIB-100, LIB-105, LIB-110, and at least one course from LIB-130, LIB-135, or LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-316: Pilgrims in Their Own Land-AI
Explore the variety of religious traditions, communities, beliefs, and practices that together constitute “religion” in the United States. During the semester, students map their own journeys, recording the interactions they have with people and places on and off campus. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-318: Councils, Creeds & Culture-AC
This course will examine three periods in the course of Christian history: (a) the time of the “Christological councils” (325-451), (b) the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and (c) the time of the Second Vatican Council (1962-present), to investigate (a) the formation of Christian doctrine, (b) the interaction between social/cultural manifestations and Christian faith, and (c) the interaction between politics and Christian religion. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-320: Sacraments: Catholic Identity in Community-AI
The Christian theological enterprise involves the study of Scripture, past theological work, contemporary culture, and other disciplines which engage the believer. But above all, theology must engage the life of the community in which an individual’s faith is mediated, nurtured, and developed—the sacramental life of the Church. How do we understand Christian faith from the past and present celebration of the sacraments? Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-325: Roman Catholic Liturgical Music in Theology & Practice-AA
This course explores the artistic nature of Roman Catholic liturgy by focusing on one of its most recognizable artistic elements, liturgical music. Liturgical music is vital because it fundamentally impacts the experience of worship; by extension, it directs the theological vision that is developed by the liturgy itself. Students will explore the ways in which liturgy and liturgical music enrich, shape, and express the Christian spirit. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-335: Belief, Unbelief & the Good Life-AV
The course examines arguments for and against the existence of God and studies how these arguments affect a comprehension of the moral life and the value of human behavior. The course will begin with a study of “virtue ethics” and will use this ethical theory as a basis for dialogue with the ethics of the non-Christian belief systems of Feuerbach, Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. Students will develop the tools to make ethical decisions about critical issues facing the human community. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-345: Issues in Christian Ethics-AV
This course will look at the intersection of faith public policy debate, as well as the basic principles that shape the Catholic Church’s positions on public issues. It will examine different sides of important public issues such as abortion, immigration, and the war on terror, as well as how Catholic principles relate to these issues. Prerequisites: LIB-100, LIB-105, LIB-110, and at least one course from LIB-130, LIB-135, or LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-348: Social Justice Practicum
Engaging in approved volunteer work and integrating it with one’s research and study of the theology of liberation. 3 credits.
L.REL-350: Bible & Literature
No religious tradition survives without the help of writers who celebrate, challenge, and even transform its beliefs and practices. This course reads Biblical writings for their beauty and artistry and then examines how the Bible has inspired others to compose poetry, fiction, and drama. 3 credits.
L.REL-391: The Catholic Heritage
An examination of defining characteristics of Catholicism, and their manifestation in theology, spirituality, philosophy, history, economics, politics, literature, film and the arts. An integrative course for the Catholic Studies minor. Prerequisite: L.LIB-130 or L.LIB-135. 3 credits.
L.REL-491: Thesis Writing
Review of theological research, the identification, use, and citation of sources, and the composition and writing of the thesis paper. The thesis is part of the portfolio required for religious studies majors. Open only to seniors. 3 credits.
L.REL-493: Practicum for Parish Ministry
Background information and provisions for field experience in various practical aspects of parish ministry, especially parish operation and religious education techniques. Open only to seniors. 6 credits.
RELATED COURSES: Catholic Studies, Philosophy