Loyola University Chicago

Catholic Studies


See below a full list of the courses that will count toward your Catholic Studies Minor:

Catholic Studies Courses Spring 2023

Featured courses for Spring 2023:


PHIL 288-009: Philosophical Foundations of Catholic Social Thought
Instructor: Jeffrey Fisher
MWF 1:40-2:30 pm

In this course students will learn the political and philosophical perspective put forward within Catholic Social Teaching. In fulfilling this general purpose, the course will 1) give students a systematic understanding of Catholic Social Teaching, and 2) demonstrate the viability of the political and philosophical perspective provided by Catholic Social Teaching—a perspective which is a plausible, intriguing, and attractive alternative to the political perspectives characteristic of contemporary political culture. Readings will be drawn primarily from Aristotle, Aquinas, papal encyclicals, and church documents.

  • Satisfies the Tier 2 Philosophy Core Requirement
  • Counts as a Catholic Studies Lower-Division Elective Course


PHIL 319: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature: Dante
Instructor: Andrew Cutrofello
Tu/Th 1:00-2:15 pm

In this course we will read Dante’s Divine Comedy from a philosophical point of view. We will focus on Dante’s metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics as these are presented in the poem. Dante began to write the Comedy after abandoning his unfinished Convivio (Banquet), a prosaic exposition of his philosophical views. He seems to have felt that the philosophy he was expounding was both too prosaic and too secular. In the Comedy he gives free rein to his poetic imagination to exhibit his Catholic faith. In so doing he switches from discursive argumentation to the presentation of aesthetic ideas that can stimulate the mind or soul of the reader. This makes the poem less didactic than Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura, another great philosophical poem, or Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, with which Dante engages in a dialogue.


FNAR 349: Art and the Catholic Tradition
Instructor: Rebecca Ruppar
MWF 1:40-2:30 pm

Ancient sanctuaries. Miraculous icons. Soaring cathedrals. Medieval Yoda? 
This course will explore the interplay between art, architecture, and the development of Catholic faith since its early centuries to modern times. We will examine diverse monuments and artifacts within their theological, social, material, and historical contexts, and consider how these works continue to shape Catholic experience today.  


CATH 296: All Things Ignatian
Instructor: Fr. James Murphy, S.J.
Tu/Th 8:30-9:45 am

  • Engaged Learning
  • 300-level Theology Elective
  • Catholic Studies Cornerstone Class

The Course will

  • Explore the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola
  • Introduce the Spiritual Exercises, a highly refined and adaptable method of prayer with a focus on contemplation, love for others, and justice in the world.
  • Examine Ignatian Spirituality as a practical resource for addressing critical issues in the Church and the world.
  • A variety of other Ignatian topics such as the importance of theological reflection, scholarship, social justice, the arts, creativity, engagement with cultures, interreligious dialogue, and personal freedom. 
  • Engaged Learning Opportunity
    Service Learning with opportunities in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
  • Weekend retreat in the Ignatian Tradition at LUREC.
  • Field-work experience at one of the many colloquia on campus, museum exhibitions, or live performances.





Catholic Studies Courses Fall 2022

Featured Courses:

ENGL 287: Religion and Literature
Instructor: Michael Murphy
MWF 11:30–12:20

This course has a twofold objective: 1) to explore the many ways which religious ideas and practices appear in various genres of literature, and 2) to examine how literary, poetic, dramatic, and cinematic texts serve as a “sites” for religious inquiry, phenomena, and mystery.  By contemplating ancient, classic, and contemporary works, students will encounter a broad array of literary art shaped by the religious experience—in impulse, imagination, reflection, and vision. While the course is focused significantly on texts inspired by Catholic Christianity (as this is the professor’s scholarly competence), ample attention will be devoted to literary texts in the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions as well. No specialized knowledge of any of these traditions is presumed and necessary background will be presented in both the lectures and discussion sessions. The course will also provide an introduction to theories in the interdisciplinary field of religion and literature and develop further vocabularies for constructive engagement in both literary and textual studies as well as discourses in theology. 

  • Satisfies the Tier 2 Literary Knowledge Core Requirement
  • Counts as a Catholic Studies Lower-Division Elective Course


HIST 300D: Sanctity and Society
Instructor: Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Teilhard de Chardin Fellow
Wednesday 2:15–4:45

This course uses canonization, the process by which the Catholic Church recognizes saints, to explore change over time in the history of both the Catholic Church and the United States. Drawing upon a cast of characters that includes saints and sinners, martyrs and missionaries, patriot priests and unruly women, we will explore how conceptions of sanctity and holiness have been shaped by popular devotion, papal power, gender, race, sexuality, nationalism, and commercialization. 

  • Counts as a Catholic Studies Upper-Division Elective Course


PHIL 288-03E: Philosophy and Biology for the Future
Instructor: Joe Vukov
TTh 11:30 am-12:45 pm

The future is a minefield of technological challenges and the moral quagmires that accompany them. The looming specters of human-driven climate change, corporate- controlled artificial intelligence and virtual reality, genetic engineering, artificial cognitive and moral enhancement, new developments in health care, and a host of other nascent topics present us with major hurdles to overcome in the near future. 

In this course—taught in conjunction with BIOL395E—we will tackle problems of the future from both philosophical and biological perspectives, focusing especially on new issues in health care. In PHIL288E, we’ll be paying special attention to the way the Catholic Intellectual Tradition may provide us with distinctive resources. In both classes, we’ll be pairing with community partners to bring our work beyond the university community. What’s more: we’ll be framing our units using some of our favorite science fiction texts.
Note that PHIL288E is an engaged learning course and must be taken concurrently with BIOL395E. BIOL282 (Genetics) is a recommended (but not required) prerequisite. Contact the instructor to register.




PHIL 380: Platonism and Catholicism
Instructor: Naomi Fisher
Thursday 4:15–6:45 pm

In this course you will explore the Platonic and Neoplatonic traditions and the ways in which these traditions have been integral to Catholicism. This will provide a framework which can serve as a way of seeing and an approach to the Catholic intellectual tradition. We will begin with Plato and Neoplatonism, and then address medieval Christian Neoplatonism in figures like Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Eriugena before moving through Renaissance Neoplatonism (Nicholas of Cusa and Ficino) into some more contemporary, 20th century texts. You will come away from this course with a broad understanding of how Platonism has both influenced and been shaped by Catholic asceticism, mysticism, metaphysics, and doctrine.

  • Counts as a Catholic Studies Upper-Division Elective Course


Catholic Studies Courses Spring 2022

Featured Courses:



Catholic Studies Courses Fall 2021

 Featured courses: 

Course website: scienceforhumans.com




Spring 2021 Courses

Featured courses: 


Fall 2020 Courses

Spring 2020 Courses

Fall 2019 CS Courses

Spring 2019 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses

Spring 2017 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses