Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Undergraduate Course Listings

Fall 2022

Theology 303-001 (6048)
Biblical Hebrew 1
Dr. Robert A. Di Vito, rdivito@luc.edu
Day/s and time: TTH 11:30-12:45 pm

Theology 313-001 (6049)
Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke
Dr. Edmondo Lupieri, elupier@luc.edu
Day/s and time: M 10:25-12:55

The purpose of this course is to help students to realize the diversity inside early Christianity as represented in the Synoptic Gospels and to grapple with the problems created by such diversity, with particular attention to commonalities and contrasts in the worldviews operative in Matthew and Luke. Also, familiarize the students with exegetical approaches to the Synoptic Gospels in general, with particular focus on Matthew and Luke.

In pursuit of these goals, students will become acquainted with the historical background of early Christianities, understand the unique nature of the Synoptic Problem, and acquire facility with biblical commentaries on these Gospels. By exegesis of selected passages from the two major Synoptic Gospels (and occasionally Mark and John) and the differences they represent, it is hoped students will be able to connect their contemporary experience of Christian diversity to that of the earliest followers of Jesus. To facilitate reflections on early variety among Christian groups, a guest lecturer will illustrate and discuss the Marcionite edition of the Gospel of Luke.

Theology 353-001 (6052)
Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in Global Religious Traditions
Dr. Marcia Hermansen mherman@luc.edu
Days and time: TTH 11:30-12:45 pm

Myth, magic, and mysticism: while some view these phenomena as core to human religious experience, their relationship to “official” religious teaching is often marginalized, if not outright condemned. At the same time modern theories of myth, magic, and mysticism, have been foundational within the academic study of religion and influential in fields such as psychology, anthropology, and comparative literature, as well as in the broader culture. Students taking this course will learn about methods for cultivating experiences of the sacred, charismatic powers, and encounters with unconditioned reality (the divine) across diverse religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, local African and North American practices, and the New Age. These topics open up to broader reflections on human spirituality, religious communities, and theological systems in global historical and cultural contexts.

This course fulfills the comparative religion dimension of the religious studies major and minor and serves as a capstone. Theology students would also benefit from the insights that the material offers for understanding aspects of Christian and post-Christian approaches to the sacred, while being exposed to an understudied aspect of interreligious dialogue. The topic may also appeal to Majors or Minors in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and English.

Seminal theories for the academic study of religion such as those of James Frazer, Freud, Jung, William James, Victor Turner, etc. will be introduced as part of the course.

In addition to lectures and readings, students will watch, discuss, and write analytical reaction papers about selected films or short stories that feature charismatic or mystical aspects of religious experience. An experiential element of the course consists of an assignment where students attend an event or workshop that includes practices such as meditation, centering prayer, or divination.

Theology 378-001 (6871) and THEO 378-002 (6864)
Theology and Culture: Religion and Reproductive Justice
Cross-listed with Women’s Studies/Gender Studies and Bioethics
Dr. Sandra Sullivan Dunbar, ssull1@luc.edu
Day/s and time: M/W/F 11:30-12:20 and M/W/F 12:35-1:25

Reproductive justice is a framework developed by women scholars and activists of color that attends to all aspects of reproductive lives and places reproductive ethics in a complex historical, legal and social justice context. The reproductive justice framework gives particular attention to the ways in which reproductive lives have been structured by race, gender and class—and the ways in which reproductive laws, policies, and practices have shaped and reinforced race, gender and class structures.

In this course, we will explore the reproductive justice framework in dialogue with approaches to reproduction, reproductive ethics and social justice found in several religious traditions, including diverse and nuanced approaches within religious traditions. Traditions will include various expressions of Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity (both mainline and evangelical), Judaism, and Native American religion. We will likely give brief attention to reproductive ethics in Islam and possibly one or two other traditions. This course will focus primarily, but probably not exclusively, on the U.S. context. We will also attend to the history of reproductive policies in the United States and the evolving engagement of religious groups with those policies and policy debates.

This course will engage a range of perspectives on contested issues in reproductive ethics. Likewise, it welcomes students with a range of perspectives on these issues, and respectful engagement will be expected.

Most of the readings will be available as online library resources. Students should expect to purchase the Dorothy Roberts book (list price $17.00).

Course texts will likely include portions of the following books, as well as other articles and chapters available through the Loyola library system.

  • Loretta Ross et. al., Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique
  • Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
  • Katie Watson, Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law & Politics of Ordinary Abortion
  • Rebecca Todd Peters, Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice
  • Barbara Gurr, Reproductive Justice: The Politics of Health Care for Native American Women
  • Daniel Maguire, ed., Sacred Rights: The Case for Contraception and Abortion in World Religions

Theology 393-001 (6054)
Religion and Culture: Religion, Science and Healthcare in Mesoamerica
Dr. Josefrayn Sanchez-Perry, jsanchezperry@luc.edu
Day/s and time: TTH 1:00-2:15

Welcome to Health, Science, and Religion in Mesoamerica! This seminar-style course will introduce you to the history of Mesoamerican cultures through the categories of health, science, and religion. You will read translated primary sources, access archeological evidence, and interpret social history. We will visit the Art Institute of Chicago to see ancient objects, as well as the Newberry Library to learn about Indigenous-language texts from the colonial period. The course is set up thematically in chronological order to survey how health, science, and religion were understood in the Preclassic (1000 BCE – 250 CE), Classic (250 – 900 CE), Postclassic (900 – 1521 CE), Colonial (1521 – 1820 CE), and in the present-day. The story this course seeks to reveal is how Indigenous knowledge continues to operate in the lives of Indigenous American communities from the past to the present.

Theology 393-002 (6096)
Religion and Culture: Religion in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Dr. Hugh Nicholson, hnicholson@luc.edu
Day/s and time: TTH 10-11:15

In the first half of this course we examine the transformation of religious belief and practice in the Enlightenment.  Of particular interest will be various religious responses to the “disenchantment of the world,” as well as the relationship between   religious belief and the emergence of a capitalist economy.

The second part of the course enters into largely uncharted territory as we examine the profound economic and political changes currently being wrought by the unauthorized use of personal data by firms like Google and Facebook to predict, commodify, and shape human behavior.  A hypothesis of the course is that the new digital economy threatens the idea of the autonomous agent presupposed by the political, legal, and economic institutions of the Enlightenment.  Increasingly human beings inhabit “motivated spaces,” technological environments infused with intentions and agendas, not unlike the way people in ancient times lived in worlds populated by unseen agents and fields of force, both benign and threatening.