Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Theo 279 Roman Catholicism Session II

Summer 2014 - Session II

Roman Catholicism: In Monotheistic Context


This course serves as an introduction to both Judaism and Christianity, with special attention given to Roman Catholicism.  We will spend the first two weeks exploring Judaism as it emerged historically and persisted into the 20th century in Rome.  We will spend the last two weeks exploring the rise of Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism and Italian devotion to Mary.

There will be a field trip fee of approximately 40 euro.  The final fee will depend on the number of students enrolled in the class.


Required Texts (tentative):

    JUDAISM, by Michael Fishbane

   CHRISTIANITY, by Sandra Sizer Frankeil

   Text Selections on Sakai



1. Participation/preparedness (10%). You are expected to be present for every class, including the field trips. You are expected to be prepared.  On days that we are discussing reading, you should have finished all the reading before coming to class.  You earn points by contributing to class discussions; if you attend class but do not ever speak up, you will not earn participation points.

2. TWO field trip papers (4 pages each), due the class after the field trip (15% each = 30%).  The papers should follow the following format.  You might need to do a bit of research on your own and listen carefully to the guides on our tours. And be sure to included references to sources, including internet sources, pamphlets, the guides, and so forth.  (1)  What is this site?  Who built it?  Why/when was it built, and for what reasons?  (about 1 page).  (2)  Describe the site.  What are the most significant factors in the physical setting/layout, and why are they significant?  What is the meaning of this site to members of the religious community in question? (about 2 pages).  (3) What drew your attention in particular?  Why?  What is significant about this factor? (about 1/2 page).  (4) What is most striking to you about your own experience of this site?  Explain.  (about ½ page).  

NOTE: If you do not go on the field trip, you cannot turn in a field trip paper and hence will receive a zero.  I will not accept papers based on trips you do on your own, since you will not have the benefit of the guide we have chosen to lead us.  The only exceptions made will be for excused absences (please see below).  If you have to miss a field trip because of illness or another legitimate reason, you will then in fact have to do the trip on your own. However, I cannot refund field trip fees, as they are based on group rates.

3. Two exams (30% each = 60%):  These will consist of objective, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and/or essay questions on materials covered in the course.

Attendance policy in this class follows the official Rome Center rules: “In order for a student to be excused from class, he/she must present to the professor of each of his/her classes a written note of excuse…. The only authorized notes are those from a Doctor, the Director, the vice director, the assistant Director, or the Associate Dean of Students.”  A doctor’s or nurse’s note is necessary for excused absences due to illness.  Travel is NOT considered a valid excuse for missing classes or turning in late assignments.



Schedule of Classes


Week ONE

Monday, June 30th: Introduction to the class; start discussion of Judaism

Wednesday, July 2: Judaism, continued

Reading due:  FISHBANE, 11-82; view “The Chosen People”


Week TWO

Monday, July 7: FIELD TRIP to the Roman Ghetto and Synagogue

 Reading due:  FISHBANE, 83-113

Wednesday, July 9:  Finish Judaism; Judaism in modern Italy; Jews and Christians in Rome; watch “The Garden of the Fitzi-Continis”

* field paper due  (15%)

 Reading due:  selection from The Most Tenacious of Minorities  (98-106) (Sakai)



Monday, July 14:   EXAM ON JUDAISM (first 90 minutes, 30%):   Start Christianity

Wednesday, July 16:  Christianity/Roman Catholicism

Reading due:  Frankiel, 1-89



Monday, July 21:  Vatican field trip

Reading due:  Frankiel, 90-126

Wednesday, July 23rd:  Catholicism in modern Italy; Madonnas that Maim; view “Rome, Leeds and the Desert”

* field paper due (15%)

Reading due:  chapter from Madonnas that Maim (Sakai)

Friday, July 25th:  EXAM ON CHRISTIANITY (30%)