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Undergraduate Studies Catalog


Lake Shore Campus:
Crown Center 302
Phone: 773-508-2350
FAX: 773-508-2386

Water Tower Campus:
Lewis Towers 900
Phone: 312-915-6111
FAX: 312-915-8593

Professors Emeriti: E.R. Carroll, O. Carm, M. DeCock, BVM, T. Foley, W. Hill, J. Powell, S.J., R. Talkin, S.J., F.J. van Beeck, S.J., E.A. Weis, S.J.

Professors: J. Haughey, S.J., U.C. von Wahlde, J. White

Associate Professors: E. Breuer, P. Chmielewski, S.J., R. Costigan, S.J., W. Cotter, C.S.J., R. DiVito, W. French, M. Hermansen, P. Jung, D. Martin, J. McCarthy (chairperson), M. McIntosh, G. McCulloh, M.P. McGinty, C.S.J., J. Nilson, J. Phelps, O.P., T. Pintchman, T. Ranck, S. Ross, M. Schuck, T. Tobin, S.J., P. Viviano, D. Williams

Adjunct Professors: J. Kilgallen, S.J., T.J. Overbeck, S.J.


The program of the Department of Theology is designed to provide students with resources for analysis of religion; for investigation of the sources, historical development and contemporary practice of particular religious traditions; and for critical appropriation of personal faith and sympathetic appreciation of the beliefs of others. Although these resources are drawn principally from the Roman Catholic tradition, attention is directed to other Christian traditions as well as Judaism, Islam and eastern religions.

Core Curriculum in theology is divided into four areas which represent the principal fields of study in contemporary theology: (1) doctrine; (2) Biblical literature; (3) religious traditions; and (4) Christian life and practice. A student must select three courses from at least two of the four areas to complete the core requirement of nine hours in theology. Detailed descriptions of individual sections of a course are available from the department at the time of registration each semester.

Major in Theology features an approach with opportunity for both breadth and depth. The major is declared by application to the director of undergraduate programs. The major consists of 36 hours (12 three-credit courses). The Theology Department offers two options within the major, one emphasizing a core of studies in the Christian theological tradition and one emphasizing the contemporary field of religious studies. A minimum of five courses at the 300-level is required. Students are encouraged but not required to take up to two courses outside the department with prior approval for the theological studies option and three for the religion studies option. Theology majors receive faculty advising to facilitate their progress through the major.

Option 1: theological Studies

The theological studies major option has four components:

  1. Entry-Level Courses: one course from each of the four areas in the core curriculum: a) doctrine; b) Biblical literature; c) religious traditions; and, d) Christian life and practice.
  2. Compulsory Courses: two to four compulsory courses (depending on choices at entry-level) to fulfill these criteria: a) a Biblical course focused on whichever of the two Testaments (Old or New) was not studied at entry-level; b) one 300-level course in the History of Christian Thought (THEO 317, 318); c) one course in a religious tradition other than Christianity (if not studied at the entry-level); d) one ethics course (if not studied at the entry-level).
  3. Elective Courses: four to six additional courses to complete coursework for the major (36 total credits required).
  4. In the senior year, majors write a paper, usually developed from a 300-level course that was part of their program, usually under the direction of the professor who taught the course.
Although not a requirement for the completion of the major, the candidate will normally be expected to take part in a colloquium arranged by the Theology Department in the candidateís final semester. The colloquium will consist of a single event in which graduating majors and faculty members from the Theology Department and other departments which have contributed to the majorís program will be invited to discuss the results of the majorsí papers. Such an event is understood to be consistent with the values of collegiality and academic investigation which mark this major.

Option 2: Religious Studies

The religious studies major option has five components:

  1. One course on the Christian traditions from the following: 100, 103, 104, 112, 171,173, 175, 179, 181, 317 and 318;
  2. Three courses on non-Christian traditions from the following: 195, 196, 197 and 198;
  3. Two courses on religious comparisons or themes from the following: 170, 174, 177, 178, selected 180 courses including "Women and Religion in India," "Religion and Psychology," "Ancient Community and Values," "Gender and Values," 192, 353 and 393;
  4. Five elective courses which include any other courses offered by the Theology department, any courses not yet taken from the above listings, as well as up to three courses from other departments focusing on religious traditions or dimensions of religious life, if approved in advance by the studentís advisor. Examples of these courses might be "Sociology of Religion," "Philosophy of Religion," "Asian Philosophies" and "Medieval Pilgrimage." In addition, two of the studentís courses may be taken at the 400 level. In all, at least five out of the twelve courses must be taken at the 300 level or higher.
  5. One required Majorís Seminar, namely Theology 353, "Studies in Religious Traditions." This course will focus on the methodological approaches to the study of religion.
Minor in Theology requires six courses: any three at the core level from the four areas of doctrine, Scripture, life and practice and religious traditions; and three electives done at the 300-level. Each studentís program is individually tailored to fit his/her plans in consultation with the director of minors.


Core Courses: Area 1 (Doctrine)

100. Introduction to Christian Theology.
This course covers studies and sources of Christian religious tradition. A selection will be made from the following topics: revelation, inspiration, sacred scripture, Christ and God, authority and the Church, the nature of religious affiliation, its logic, its method and its purpose.

101. Theology of Faith.
This course studies the various dimensions of the nature of religious faith. Included are topics such as the various forms this faith takes, the human predispositions for faith, the problems posed by the modern world for the traditional understanding of faith, the relationship between psychological development and faith, a contemporary basis for faith.

103. The Christian God.
This course studies the trinitarian God of Christians. It includes the study of how we come to know God and how we try to name, share, and celebrate that experience.

104. Jesus Christ.
From among many approaches to the study of the person of Jesus Christ (through the New Testament, the fathers, great theologians of the past and present, spiritual writers), teachers of this course will select one according to their specialization and its aptitude for the religiously liberating goals of the humanities curriculum.

105. Church in the World. (CATH 105)
This course focuses primarily on the identity of the Roman Catholic Church and its relation to the secular world; Protestant and Orthodox traditions may also be included. Possible topics are the historical processes which have helped to shape the Churchís self-understanding, the significance of Vatican II, and contemporary challenges facing the Church.

106. Theology of the Sacraments. (CATH 106)
Liturgical celebrations of the Christian community express and enable a Christian way of life in a pluralistic and secularized society. A study of the origin, historical development, and contemporary practice of Christian rituals provides valuable insights into the meaning and significance of liturgy and symbolism in Christian life.

Core Courses: Area 2 (Biblical Literature)

110. Introduction to the Bible.
Introduction to the literature and thought of both the Old and New Testaments. Among the issues treated are the appropriate methods used for interpreting the Bible. The course also examines the major theological themes of both Testaments.

111. Old Testament. (RCS 111)
Literary and historical study of the Old Testament, its cultural background and main themes. Relationship of literary form and interpretation in selected passages from the Pentateuch, historical and prophetic books, and wisdom literature.

112. New Testament. (RCS 112)
Introduces the student to the study of the New Testament. Included will be a study of topics such as: the origin of the writings, their formation and development, the various types of interpretation, the distinctive theological views of the New Testament writers about Jesus, his life, teachings, death and resurrection.

Core Courses: Area 3 (Religious Traditions and Practices)

170. Introduction to the Study of Religion. (RCS 270)
The course explores religion as a significant part of human experience and introduces the student to the description and analysis of various forms of religion.

171. Great Christian Thinkers.
Portraits of six to eight Christian writers who by their ideas and lives offer examples of fundamental Christian beliefs, virtues, and aspirations, with attention to how each person both reflected and shaped the church and society in which her or she lived. The degree of emphasis on ideas as compared to biography will vary depending on the instructor.

172. Introduction to Classical Judaism. (RCS 272)
An investigation of the central affirmations of Judaism: monotheism, the covenant peoplehood of the Jews, the revelation of the divine commandment, the ideas of the prophets, as well as the study of the Sabbath, the festival observances and ritual. The course will also include a study of modern Judaism_the orthodox, conservative, reform and reconstructionist traditions.

173. The Orthodox Christian Tradition. (INTS 273) (RCS 273)
A historical-doctrinal examination of the eastern Church, supplemented by a consideration of Orthodox spirituality. From the Council of Chalcedon to the early twentieth century, attention to the relations between the eastern and western churches.

174. Religion in America. (RCS 274)
A survey of the contribution of religion to the history of the American people, including theological issues that have been a part of the development of religious freedom, the emergence of new forms of belief and practice, and the variety of religious issues confronting American society today.

175. Contemporary Protestantism. (RCS 275)
Introduces the historical development of Protestantism in its institutions, ethos and theological insight.

176. African-American Religious Experience. (BWS 288) (RCS 276)
Beginning with the African roots of African-American religious experience, this course will trace the development of social institutions, the influence of cultural factors and the emergence of a theology unique to this religious experience.

177. World Religions. (INTS 277) (RCS 277) (ASIA 277)
An introduction to the teachings, practices, and institutions of one or more of the following great religious traditions: African, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, Islamic, Native American, and Taoist.

178. Women and Religion. (RCS 278) (WOST 278)
Explores, in the light of both eastern and western religious traditions, the nature of womenís religious experiences, the ways in which women have been perceived and described in the major religious traditions, the ways in which women have functioned as significant religious figures and the connections between cultural assumptions and attitudes toward and beliefs about women.

179. Roman Catholicism. (CATH 179) (RCS 279)
An introduction to the major elements that make up Catholicism as a distinctive form of Christianity .

180. Theology and Interdisciplinary Study.
This course explores how common issues are raised and handled within a variety of disciplines. Past offerings have included topics such as "Psychology and Theology," "Early African Christianity," "The Jesuits," and "Contemporary Issues in Judaism."

181. Christianity Through Time. (CATH 181) (RCS 281)
An introduction to the institutions, rituals, teachings, and practices of Christians across several major epochs of the Christian story. Attention will be given to major continuities as well as historical changes in the interplay between Christianity and cultures.

195. Introduction to Islam. (INTS 295) (RCS 295) (ASIA 295)
An introduction to the religion of Islam through the study of major religious ideas, movements, and figures prominent in the development of the tradition. The course covers three major phases: basic teachings of Islam, the articulation of the classical tradition, and contemporary developments. Major issues: unity and diversity within Islam, Islamic government, the role of women, Muslims in America, and Islamic movements in the contemporary world will also be featured.

196. Introduction to Hinduism. (INTS 294) (RCS 296) (ASIA 296)
An introduction to various dimensions of the religion that Western scholarship has labeled "Hinduism" organized around three spiritual disciplines recognized by the Hindu tradition (action, knowledge, and devotion). Range of topics: the concept of the person, social structures, forms of ritual, philosophical and mystical impulses, myths and images associated with the major gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, devotionalism, and sectarian divisions, the religious and spiritual lives of both men and women, and of both high-caste and low-caste Hindus.

197. Introduction to Buddhism. (INTS 297) (RCS 297) (ASIA 297)
The rise and development of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana forms of Buddhism in South Asia, Tibet, and East Asia. The life and teachings of the founder, Gautama, the establishment of the Buddhist community, the rise of Buddhist monasticism, the spread of Buddhist ideas from India to other parts of Asia, and the development of a variety of Buddhist sects. The various texts, institutions, beliefs, and practices associated with each of the three main forms on Buddhism.

198. Jews and Judaism in the Modern World. (RCS 298)
The reshaping of Judaism in response to the challenges of modernity. Focus primarily on one hundred and fifty years of European Jewish history, from the mid-eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, in order to study the foundations of religious, intellectual, and social trends characteristic of modern Judaism. Primary sources in translation will introduce seminal thinkers and writings. Lectures and class discussion will aim at providing the conceptual framework by which to address the continuities and discontinuities of Jewish life in modern times.

Core Courses: Area 4 (Christian Life and Practice)

190. Christian Worship.
A study of the origin and development of liturgical worship with particular emphasis on the Eucharist. Will include a study of the variety of Christian worship found in various religions, both in the East and West, and at various times.

192. Moral Problems. (RCS 292)
A critical examination of one or more areas of moral concern from the viewpoint of Christian ethics. May include: medical ethics, professional ethics, social justice issues, racism, environmental concerns, and war and peace studies.

193. Christian Marriage.
A study of the historical development of the institution of marriage within the Christian tradition as well as an investigation and evaluation of its condition in contemporary American society.

194. Society and Economics in Christian Thought.
The ramifications of Christian theology in the business world. Emphasis is placed on the role of Christian ethics both for those moral issues internal to business organizations and those social-ethical issues that arise for the business organization within the global community.

Elective Courses

There is a prerequisite of two theology courses for all 300-level courses, one of which may be specified below.

301. Prophetic Literature.
Prerequisite: 111.
The nature of prophecy in Israel; attention given to the historical background of the prophets and the literary aspects of their books; particular attention to the theological dimensions of the prophetic message.

302. Wisdom Literature and the Psalms.
Prerequisite: 111.
A study of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, attention to the nature of the wisdom tradition in Israel; consideration of specific wisdom texts, such as Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Ben Sirach; study of the Psalms as the prayer of Israel; a look at themes, literary structure, and theology of selected Psalms.

303. The Pentateuch.
Prerequisite: 111.
The literary structure of the first five books of the Bible; major themes such as creation, flood, the patriarchs, the Joseph story, Exodus, covenant, law; use of historical critical and literary critical methods in drawing out the theologies represented in the Pentateuch.

304. Israel From Conquest to Exile.
Prerequisite: 111.
A study of the so-called historical books of the Bible (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings); attention given to documentary and archaeological sources for the history of Israel from conquest to exile; use of historical critical and literary critical methods in delineating the theology of history found within the deuteronomistic history.

305. The Gospel and Letters of John.
Prerequisite: 112.
In-depth study of authorship, relation to the synoptics, the literary and cultural background, Johannine language, miracles and signs, key concepts, the main theology of John and some special problems.

306. The Epistles of Paul.
Prerequisite: 112.
In-depth study of the person, times and key concepts of St. Paul. Letters studied in chronological order; special attention given to the ways in which Paul develops and articulates his positions and the relationship of those positions to the history of early Christianity.

307. New Testament Greek. (GREK 267)
Prerequisite: GREK 132.
Selections from the Evangelists and/or other writers of the New Testament.

308. Biblical Hebrew I. (CLST 101)
The sound, forms and grammar of biblical language. Selected readings from the Old Testament.

309. Biblical Hebrew II. (CLST 102)
Prerequisite: 308.
Further study of biblical language. Selected readings from the Old Testament.

310. The Parables of Jesus.
Prerequisite: 112.
Study of parables as a literary genre, as an example of the figurative use of language in theology. Old Testament and rabbinic parables are studied as a comparative base for interpreting Jesusí parables. Attention will be focused on the manner in which the parables embody the Kingdom of God.

311. The Meaning of Jesus Christ.
Interpretations of the person and work of Jesus. The role of culture and situation of the church in shaping the variety of portraits of Jesus, the dogmas of his constitution, and the doctrines of his salvation. Will include biblical, patristic, and contemporary materials.

313. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Prerequisite: 112.
An in-depth analysis of the development of the synoptic tradition (the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke). The literary relationship of the three gospels to one another. Attention will also be given to the theologies of the three gospels and, in particular, to how their understandings of Jesus are to be compared and contrasted.

315. Mary and the Church. (CATH 315)
The biblical teaching on Mary; the role of Mary, the new Eve, as developed in patristic literature and tradition; Mary and the Church in contemporary theology, especially in ecumenical aspects.

317. Christian Thought: Ancient and Medieval. (CATH 317) (MSTU 360)
The development of various Christian doctrines in light of their historical milieu during the first fourteen centuries of Christian thought. The doctrines examined may include: God, Christ, grace, anthropology, ecclesiology, soteriology, scriptural exegesis, Mariology, eschatology, and sacraments. The major ecumenical councils of the early Christian centuries (e.g., Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Lateran) and their teachings on theological issues will be considered.

318. Christian Thought: Reformation and Modern.
The development of various Christian doctrines in light of their historical milieu during the last six centuries of Christian thought. The doctrines examined may include: God, Christ, grace, anthropology, ecclesiology and sacraments. The major ecumenical councils of the later Christian centuries (e.g., Constance, Florence, Lateran V, Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II) and their teachings on theological issues will be considered.

330. Liberation Theology. (INTS 330) (LASP 330) (PAX 332) (RLS 330)
An introduction to the contemporary theologies of liberation emerging in Latin American, African, and Asian Christian reflection on social injustice and the need for the Church to stand in solidarity with the poor and the oppressed. The scriptural and Marxist influences on liberation theology will be examined and its general impact will be explored.

331. Theology of Secularization.
An exploration of the history of secularization and the context it establishes for American Christianity. Focus on practical issues of Christian living.

332. God in the Modern World.
Study of modern scientific, intellectual and practical atheism as reflected in particular authors, e.g., Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Comte, Marx, and Dostoyevsky, evaluating their influence on todayís world.

340. Foundations of Christian Morality.
A survey of theological and philosophical issues which shape the articulation of specific moral principles. Among the topics to be discussed: the nature of the moral agent, the implications of the scriptures and systematic theology for the moral life, the teaching function of the Church, the relationship of Christian ethics to philosophical ethics.

342. Perspectives on Life and Death.
Genetic experimentation, human transplants, abortion, new medicinal processes, new situations in living and dying. Necessity for exploring our perception of the life range for possible reevaluation and rearticulation, in view of modern scientific developments.

344. Theology and Ecology. (ESP 344)
An exploration of ecological, ethical and theological analyses of humanityís relationship to the natural world by examining issues of air and water pollution, endangered species, nuclear warfare, and the moral claims animals and future human generations have upon us. Ancient Greek, Jewish, Christian, Enlightenment, Marxist, and feminist views on our "domination" of nature will be consulted.

345. Roman Catholic Social Thought. (CATH 345)
This course presents the argument of Roman Catholic social thought as articulated in the wide array of papal and episcopal documents. The philosophical and theological principles of this thought are outlined and related to various social and institutional contexts.

347. Creative Ministry.
This course is intended to meet the needs of those who seek to move beyond ordinary ministry into the area of professional and pastoral work. It will examine the philosophy and theology of this field and a variety of forms that can be expected to grow from the future lifestyle of the Church.

348. Supervised Ministry.
This course provides a focused experience for students interested in the integration of theological understanding and practical experience in ministry. The course will involve a preparatory session, placement in a ministerial position, on-site supervision, and biweekly individual or group meetings with the course director. A comprehensive paper or case study will demonstrate the studentís ability to articulate and integrate theory with actual ministerial practice.

350. Topics in Islam. (INTS 387) (RCS 350) (ASIA 350)
A deeper and more focused study of significant aspects of the religion of Islam. Varying content, with topics such as: Islamic mysticism, the South Asian Muslim experience, women and gender in Islam, the Qurían, and Islamic ethics.

351. Topics in Hinduism. (INTS 388) (RCS 351) (ASIA 351)
A deeper and more focused study of significant aspects of Hinduism. Varying content, with topics such as: Hindu devotional traditions, ethnographies of Hindu experience, world renunciation in Hinduism, women in the Hindu tradition, and Hindu ethics.

352. Topics in Buddhism. (INTS 352) (RSC 352) (ASIA 352)
A deeper and more focused study of significant aspects of Buddhism. Varying content, with topics such as: Zen Buddhism, Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Buddhist biographies, women in the Buddhist tradition, and Buddhist ethics.

353. Studies in Religious Traditions.
This course will investigate the historical, social, ritual and reflective positions of one or more religious traditions. It will likewise develop the studentís abilities to use contemporary methods of historical, theological, and social scientific analysis of religious traditions.

356. Topics in Judaism. (RCS 356)
An interdisciplinary seminar course that explores various themes and issues in the history of Judaism, alternating between rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. Topics may include Rabbinic interpretations of Scripture, Medieval Jewish Literature, Jewish philosophy, and modern Jewish thought.

379. Ecumenism in the Twentieth Century. (CATH 379)
Investigation of the principles of ecumenism as formulated in Vatican II. Study of the agreed statements of bilateral discussions between Christian communities.

381. Readings in Theology.
Study of representative and significant theologians of various theological persuasions, e.g., Augustine, Thomas, Rahner, Lonergan. Oral and written evaluations of theologians required.

382. Readings: Liturgy.
Examination of the readings, prayers, songs, rites of contemporary liturgies. Comparison of these materials with those of traditional liturgies and evaluation of the underlying principles.

383. Theology, Arts and Literature.
Study of theological and religious symbols and themes in modern literature and/or in the arts. This course will focus on one or more artistic mediaópoetry, novels, painting, music to examine how the selected writers or artists view the human condition, sin, and possibilities for redemption.

384. Protestant Theologians.
Various Protestant theologians, e.g., Tillich in his mediation of faith and culture, Barth and his biblical confrontation with the world, and Bonhoeffer and his concept of the church in the world.

385. Readings: Theology and Philosophy.
Influence of major philosophical systems, both ancient and modern, on theology.

386. Readings: Theology and Psychology.
Study of general scientific methods of psychology and their relationship to Christian anthropology.

393. Seminar.
An undergraduate seminar course for majors and minors in the Theology department; variable content, addressing topical issues that are not covered by the regular offerings at the 300 level.

395-397. Theology Tutorials.
Tutorials for seniors on selected topics in biblical, systematic, historical or moral theology.

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