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
This course serves as an introduction to peace and justice studies. It is the foundational course for students intending to minor in Peace and Justice. In this course we will examine the critical concepts, methods, and challenges facing individuals who aspire to help bring peace to persons whose lives are marked by injustice. 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. 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. 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-216: The Catholic Church in Latin America
This study travel 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-235: Science, Faith, and Knowledge
This course will provide an interdisciplinary theoretical and practical introduction to scientific literacy in the natural, human, and behavioral sciences. It aims to assists students in the construction of intellectual frameworks based in sound reason with which to consider the dynamic relationships among empirical scientific research, philosophical commitments, and theological beliefs. Students will be challenged to engage and assess scientific data as well as critically reflect on its practical, personal, and pastoral applications. This course is cross-listed as L.PHI-235. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.PHI) that a student registers for and completes. 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-250: Introduction to the Old Testament
This course introduces students to the different kinds of writing in the Old Testament, to the different methods for interpreting that writing, and to the historical sequence of events that lent it meaning. Students will be asked to think reflectively about how the material they read in the Old Testament relates to the world today. 3 credits.
L.REL-252: God’s Literature-AA
The New Testament is comprised of the foundational documents of Christian faith. This course surveys these writings as literature that is crafted to communicate God’s revelation and to shape the faith and action of Christian communities. Exegesis will be employed to interpret the New Testament texts as literature in historical context and to think critically about the texts’ meaning for our present context.
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: Communication for Communion-AC
In diverse ways throughout its history the Roman Catholic Church has sought to create a culture of communion. This communion has many aspects including the union of the human and the sacred; the union of church members with each other; and the union of the church with the broader world. In order to critically examine this culture and its changing expressions over time, this course compares the means and content of the church’s communication in the Italian Renaissance with that of modern/postmodern periods. This course is cross-listed as L.CTL-260. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.CTL) that a student registers for and completes. 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-262: Little Less Than a God-AC
This J-Term travel course to Italy focuses on religious conceptions of the human person across time and place. It will offer a comparative analysis of distinct perspectives on the human person as expressed by Christians of different eras, locations, and theological perspectives, as well as the cultures in which Christianity is rooted. By studying the cultural histories, theological perspectives, and works of art and architecture, students will encounter the diverse influences that have given shape to the self-understandings and religious imaginations of Western Christians today. This course is cross-listed as L.CTL-262. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.CTL) that a student registers for and completes. 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-263: 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. This course is cross-listed as L.CTL-263. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.CTL) that a student registers for and completes. 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-264: Catholicism Encounters Modernity-AC
This course will investigate attributes of the cultural landscape, from the time of the French Revolution until the present, which influenced the Catholic Church’s self-understanding and its articulation of its relationship to the wider world. We will explore the customs, rules, and language that shaped the Catholic Church’s internal discourse and influenced its exchange with the world outside its boundaries. We will visit sites in Paris, Lyon, and Rome that provide insight into the Church’s posture toward modernity throughout the 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries. This course is cross-listed as L.CTL-264. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.CTL) that a student registers for and completes. 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-271: Catholic Social Teachings
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-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-301: Foundations of Ethics
This course will examine the basic questions of morality and the answers that have been developed within the Western philosophical and Christian theological traditions. Important historical and contemporary primary source material will be examined. This course is cross-listed as PHI 301. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.PHI or L.REL) that a student registers for and completes. Course not available to first year students. 3 credits.
L.REL-310: Biblical Prophets-AC
In this course, we study Biblical prophecy as an ancient cultural tradition and we examine the ways historical events shaped the words and deeds associated with this tradition. In order to gain a more thorough understanding of how complex Biblical prophecy is, we apply different methods of Biblical interpretation to prophetic books of the Bible and we relate our findings to the world today. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.
L.REL-316: Pilgrims in Their Own Land-AI
Explore the religious traditions, communities, beliefs, and practices that together constitute “religion” in the United States. During the semester, students compare and contrast traditions and relate these traditions to their own lives. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB130, 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 the formation of Christian doctrine, the interaction between social/cultural manifestations and Christian faith, and 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.LIB220. 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.LIB220. 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. This course is cross-listed as L.CTL-277. The courses are identical but transcripts will reflect the course number (L.REL or L.CTL) that a student registers for and completes. 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 and 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
Students in this course will engage in approved volunteer work and integrate their experiences and research into the study of Catholic social thought and 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-354: 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-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. 3 credits.
L.REL-399: Religious Studies and Theology Process Writing
Students in the class will work individually, collaboratively, and with an advisor, to refine their research methods and formal writing. Throughout the semester they will substantively revise a previously written essay from one of their Religious Studies and Theology classes. This course, offered on a pass/fail basis, will help prepare students to write their Senior Capstone: Thesis or Practicum. Junior Religious Studies and Theology majors only. 1 credit.
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