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Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Theo 279 Roman Catholicism

Spring 2014

THEO 279    ROMAN CATHOLICISM:

An Introduction to Catholic Belief

Instructor:  G. Ted Bohr, SJ

E-mail: tbohr@luc.edu

 

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO, JFRC—ROME

 

Spring 2014  Mon or Tue, 9:30 to 12:30 (Partial on-site course)

There are two sections of this class; register for only one, please.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Roman Catholic beliefs, the historical evolution of Roman Catholicism, the key Roman Catholic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices, and the main lines of current Roman Catholic debates about its identity in today's world.

 

            +Knowledge Area Satisfied: Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge

            +Skills Developed: Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions

            +Values Area: (Understanding Spirituality or Faith in Action in the World)

 

Required  Readings:

 

e-Text:  Peter Stanford. Catholicism - An Introduction

[Kindle Edition]   McGraw-Hill, 2008.   Kindle Price: $ 9.99    and

e-Text: Gerald O’Collins. Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2008. Kindle Price: $ 7.51.

Other sources:

The Holy Bible (any translation, available free online).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church [abbreviated CCC] available for free on-line at www.vatican.va/archive/ccc/index.htm_

 

Course Schedule:

Week 1 sec1 M sec2 T

 

Introduction / Syllabus

What is “Catholicism”? (PS Chs1-2 OCChs)

Jesus of Nazareth

(Mark 1-16)

 

Week 2  sec1 M sec2 T

 

What is “historical theology”?

(PS Chs 3-4)

Paul the Apostle

(Acts 15; Romans 1-8)

 

Week 3  sec1 M sec2 T

 

Reformation….

(PS Chs 5-6)

 

The Bible and Tradition (See Quadriga)

 

Week 4  sec1 M sec2 T

 

  Quiz or Paper One

Hierarchy/Priesthood

(PS Chs 7-8)

(See  Pelagian Controversy)

 

Week 5  sec1 M sec2 T

 

Women in Church

(PS Ch 9)

Sacraments

(PS Ch 10)

(See Augustine on City of God)

 

Week 6  sec1 M sec2 T  

 

Sacred and Secular

(PS Ch 11)

Dissent and Dispute

 (PS Ch 12)

Mid-Term Review

Week 7    

 

 

 

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

Week  8

 

 

 

     Mid-term  Break

 

 

Week9  sec1 M sec2 T

 

Canonization

(PS Ch 13)

 

Catholic Intellectuals

(PS Ch 14)

 

Week10 sec1 M sec2 T

 

The Enlightenment

(Do a web-search)

 

The Jesus Seminar

(Do a web-search)

 

Week11 sec1 M sec2 T

 

American Exceptionalism

(Do a web-search)

 

      HOLY WEEK

Week 12 sec1 M sec2 T

 

  Quiz or Paper Two

 

Images of Jesus in Theology and Art

 (Web-search Jesus images)

 

Week13 sec1 M sec2 T

 

Are you theologically orthodox?

(Web-search)

 

         Essay Due

 

Week14 sec1 M sec2 T

 

 

   Review for Final

 

Week 15 

 

 

 

      Final Exam  

 

 

 

 

 

Departure

From the

Eternal City

 

 

 

Course Requirements:

      Regular attendance (unless you have prior permission from the instructor, the Rome Center director, or a documented medical condition) and active participation in class discussions are expected. More than ONE unexcused absence must reduce your grade. Active participation in discussions depends on the completion of the weekly reading assignments. Class will consist of an introductory lecture and the discussion of the primary texts and secondary literature.

      Mid-term exam, plus quizzes           33 %

      The Final Examination                      33 %

      Writing assignments*                        33 %

[Writing assignments (10 pages total, bibliography not counted) are to be submitted by hard copy on the due date.]

 

Grading  Scale:  A: 94-100,  A-: 90-93, B+: 88-89, B: 83-87, etc.  Please see the JFRC Policy at:  http://www.luc.edu/romecenter_old/academics_policies.shtml

 

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Roman Catholic beliefs, the historical evolution of Roman Catholicism, the key Roman Catholic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices, and the main lines of current Roman Catholic debates about its identity in today's world.

      Determination of grades ultimately resides in the judgment of the instructor; however, if you ever feel that you have been graded inaccurately, please come to see me.

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

      Failure to comply with the standards and regulations of academic integrity will be reported and Loyola University Chicago’s policy will be enforced.

By taking this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of Roman Catholicism. By way of example, students who take this course should be able to: (1) name and discuss some of the most important Roman Catholic beliefs; (2) Articulate the general outline of the historical evolution of Roman Catholicism and, in particular, the impact of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965);  (3) Define and discuss key Roman Catholic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices; and (4) recount and analyze the main lines of current Roman Catholic debates about its identity in today's world.

The course also addresses other competencies as well.  By taking this course, for example, students should be able to analyze and interpret Roman Catholic religious texts, beliefs, and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools (competency a). For example, students should be able to analyze and interpret some papal and conciliar statements and discuss the role of these texts in the lives of believing Roman Catholics. Students taking this course will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of the central ethical teachings and perspectives of Roman Catholicism  (competency e), e.g., the role and meaning of "natural law."

Finally, students taking this course will be able to evaluate the religious perspectives of Roman Catholics (competency d) in light of what they learn about the teachings and practices that are foundational to Roman Catholicism.

Skills (Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions):

      Students will: 

      1. "comprehend, paraphrase, summarize, and contextualize the meaning of varying forms of communication." In class discussions, quizzes, and/or examinations, students will demonstrate the ability to comprehend, paraphrase, summarize, and/or contextualize a variety of religious texts, histories, and ideas, as well as scholarly arguments about those texts, histories and ideas.  

      2. develop "strategies for seeking and synthesizing information to support an argument, make a decision, or resolve a problem." In class discussions, quizzes, and/or examinations, students will be encouraged to articulate reasoned arguments about materials studied in the course or to critique arguments to which they are exposed in the class. 

      3. monitor students' own "individual thinking or behavior" in relationship to Roman Catholicism "in order to question, confirm, validate, or correct" their presuppositions and prejudgments. Class discussions will require students to reflect on their own presuppositions and correct erroneous opinions by appealing to data and reasoned argumentation.

Values Area (Understanding Spirituality or Faith in Action in the World):

      1. Students who identify themselves as Roman Catholic or claim a Catholic heritage in some way will be enabled to "demonstrate knowledge of and . . .  to articulate the foundations of one's own. . .  beliefs or faith traditions." Similarly, non-Catholic students will be enabled to "demonstrate knowledge of and . . . to articulate the foundations of . . . others' beliefs or faith traditions" (competency a). Such competency will be promoted by the required reading, class discussions, student writing, and examinations.

      2. In the Roman Catholic ethos, belief and worship are gradually but surely to shape one's way of life. Thus, a study of Roman Catholicism will enable students to "demonstrate how faith traditions or belief systems have been or can be related to intellectual and cultural life" (competency b).  Such competency will be promoted mainly by class discussions and student writing.

      3. Since Roman Catholicism focuses upon fundamental issues of personal identity and meaning, the study of Roman Catholicism in this course will "develop an ability to reflect upon the applications of one's beliefs or faith traditions to decisions in one's personal, professional, and civic life" (competency c). Such competency will be promoted mainly by class discussions and student writing.

 

   

Loyola

John Felice Rome Center · Sullivan Center for Student Services· 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660
Mailing Address: 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
800.344.ROMA · rome@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy