Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Undergraduate Course Listings

Spring 2023 Courses

Undergraduate Theology Class Offerings:

Upper Level Theology Class Offerings:

THEO 280-01E: Theology & Interdisciplinary Study:
God, Evolution, Human Origins
Engaged Learning: Service Learning
Instructor: Dr. Hans Svebakken
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:25-11:15 AM

Does the evolutionary account of human origins make belief in God obsolete? If not, how do people of faith, and Christians in particular, combine God and evolution in an intellectually satisfying way without undermining the foundations of their theological heritage? We'll consider these questions and a range of others involving science, the Bible, and the meaning of human existence in THEO 280: God, Evolution, and Human Origins. Part one of the course introduces some of the essential ideas in science and theology needed to conduct part two of the course: a detailed survey of issues and perspectives within the contemporary discussion of God and evolution. Part three of the course examines the unique challenges posed by evolutionary theory to two Christian doctrines: (1) human creation "in the image of God" (Imago Dei) and (2) "original sin." All three parts of this designated Service-Learning course will include some thematic consideration of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, allowing students to incorporate their service experience into comparing (and contrasting) evolutionary, theological, and personal accounts of disability.  

THEO 309-001: Hebrew Exegesis
Instructor: Dr. Robert A. Di Vito
Tuesday and Thursday 11:30-12:45 PM

This course is a continuation of Biblical Hebrew I/Basic Hebrew Grammar. It presents the fundamentals of classical Hebrew, i.e., the language of the Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Scriptures. Its goal is to enable students to read the biblical text in the language in which it is written. This is indispensable for a full appreciation of the Bible and for understanding the interpretations which underlie any and all modern translations of the Bible into English.  Moreover, even a rudimentary knowledge of biblical Hebrew gives one access to the enormous body of secondary literature that has developed on the Bible, since most serious scholarship presumes some basic knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet and language.

Emphasis in the course continues to fall on the acquisition of the syntax and the basic grammatical forms of the language, but in this course the focus above all is on the derived verbal conjugations. Although grammatical forms and the basic concepts of Hebrew syntax are presented analytically and deductively, students are engaged throughout the course in reading simple selections from the Bible. These readings advance the acquisition of grammar and syntax, introduce students to basic exegetical techniques currently practiced by biblical scholars, and stimulate class discussion of significant biblical themes and concepts.

Texts: C. L. Seow.  A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. (rev. ed.; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995).

THEO 318: History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern
Instructor: Dr. Josefrayn Sanchez-Perry
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:35-1:25 PM

Welcome to History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern. This course will introduce you to the history and missionary movements of the Christian religion from the 1500s to the present-day. You will read primary and secondary sources, as well as engage with primary material culture from the Art Institute of Chicago, Newberry Library, and LUC’s own Rare Books Collection. The course is set up thematically in chronological order to survey Christian expansion in the Americas and Southeast Asia, reformations of doctrine, the invention of modernity, and post-colonial interventions. Each theme and period changed Christians’ interpretation of themselves. The story this course seeks to reveal is how the Christian religion defined mission, self, and others.

THEO 350-01W: Topics in Islam
Writing Intensive
Professor Omer Mozaffar
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:20-10:10 AM

In this Writing Intensive course, we will explore the literature of the Sufis. We might regard the Sufis as a spiritual approach to Islam, but part of the exploration involves making sense of the terms “Sufi” and “Spirituality.” Our analyses will be formed from a combination of literary and theological lenses. Students will develop tools in understanding this large body of work, and this variegated body of people.

THEO 373: Religious Studies Capstone: Buddhist-Christian Dialogue 
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:15 AM
Instructor: Dr. Hugh Nicholson

Today Buddhism is not only practiced throughout Asia but also forms an irrevocable part of the religious landscape of many Western cultures.  One indication of Buddhism’s presence in the West is the fact that many people in Western societies today are more apt to be familiar with Buddhist meditational practices than the contemplative practices of the Christian spiritual tradition.  Indeed, Buddhist mediation is becoming an important strand of Christian spirituality.  Today’s dialogue between Christians and Buddhists represents a paradigmatic example of cross-cultural and interreligious encounter, and it is the topic of this year’s Religious Studies Capstone. 

The course has three parts.  The first introduces the essential teachings of both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.  The second part examines the significant historical encounters between Christians and Buddhists, including the Christian missiological critique of Buddhism in the colonial period, the emergence of “Buddhist Modernism” as an indigenous response to those critiques, and the lively current interest in Buddhism in the West.  The third part of the course examines some of the constructive fruits of Buddhist-Christian dialogue, including the Kyoto School of philosophy of religion and Christian-Buddhist comparative theology.