Each first-year student is enrolled in a 1-credit academic course that meets during the first semester. The University Life Course, taught by the mentor with assistance from the peer adviser, meets once a week for 50 minutes. The objectives are: to provide an academic context for resolving and planning academic and personal success; to integrate computer technology into regular classroom instruction; to familiarize students with University resources and opportunities; to improve reading and writing skills as well as analytical thinking; and to help meet the mission at Seton Hall University in “forming students to be servant leaders in a global society.”
This first signature course in the University CORE, generally taken by first year students in the Fall semester, seeks to forge a community of conversation inspired to explore perennial questions central but not exclusive to the Catholic intellectual tradition. People throughout the different cultures and traditions of the world strive to understand the transcendent mysteries of the human journey that are addressed by the world’s religions, philosophies, art, music and literature. The first signature course invites students into this conversation via some of the great texts and other cultural artifacts that focus on transformative journeys as they are portrayed in Catholic, Greek, Islamic, Hindu and other traditions. Students are asked to reflect upon their own transformative experiences and envision their personal journeys. Classes meet twice a week for 75 minutes.
This course is taken by second year students in the Spring semester as part of the University Core. CORE 2101 considers the relationship between Christianity and culture through an approach based on principles of dialogue, development, and community. Texts from the Christian tradition paired with texts from non-Christian traditions demonstrate direct connections across cultures that influence the development of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The course seeks to foster the development of a community of conversation through a focus on key questions and significant texts that address these questions.
Sub-Title-Art of St.Peter's The course explores the physical fabric and artistic embellishment of Saint Peter¿s and the Vatican from early Christian times through the twentieth century as a way of assessing the development of Catholicism¿s distinctive and powerful visual language. Among the topics to be considered: the transformation of the legacy of classical antiquity into one of the first Christian basilicas at Old Saint Peter¿s; Michelangelo¿s Sistine Ceiling, and the Vatican within the urban context of Rome as the capital of modern Italy. Cross-listed with Art, Music and Design (ARTH 3101)
Sustainability in the marine environment involves synchronizing human activities with the rhythms of nature. Students learn the theory of sustainability from the perspectives of marine biology and resource management, religious values, and socio-economic constraints, and study the application of these concepts in a particular geographic setting, Campobello Island, at the US-Canada border. This “travel and learn” course is offered in the summer term, and includes travel and residence for one week on Campobello Island, off the coast of Maine. The course fulfills the University Core Signature 3 requirement.
Students examine the inter-relationships of organisms with their environment, including the influences of human activities. Through reading, research, class discussion, computer simulations, field experiences, and contemplative exercises, students explore their roles within the Earth community in the context of both the natural sciences and the Catholic tradition of Saint Francis of Assisi and Bernard Lonergan.
This course is concerned with the development of the experimental sciences (viz., physics, chemistry and molecular biology) within the western tradition and the influence that the Church and science have exerted upon each other since the beginning days of Christianity.
Sub-Title Ancient Encounters with Death, the Afterlife, and the Divine This course highlights some of the most fundamental and important concepts in the Catholic intellectual tradition, specifically death, the afterlife, and the nature of God. Classical texts will be compared with biblical texts. The heart of the course is to examine the way that the ancient texts have contributed to, or disagree with biblical ideas. Cross-listed with Classical Studies (CLAS 3300)
The course will begin with a close reading of Homer’s Odyssey, focusing on the character of Odysseus and moral questions raised by the trickster figure. We will then examine the literary tradition inspired by the Odyssey, including adaptations made by classical, Christian and modern authors, such as Sophocles, Vergil, Dante, James Joyce, and Margaret Atwood. <br> Cross-listed with Classical Studies (CLAS 3291)
The course entails a political, historical, and ethical exploration of discursive and visual propaganda. As a form of mass persuasion, propaganda has long been a vital constituent of both religious discourse and the rhetoric of warfare. The course begins with an examination of the emergence of propaganda as a strategic concept in the 17th Century Vatican¿s response to the Protestant Reformation. It then combines analytical and ethical perspectives on propaganda with a detailed examination of propaganda-like practices throughout history. Such perspectives enable an ethical evaluation of war-related propaganda efforts, such as those enacted by governments in World War I and World War II, as well as more recent propaganda relating to the 9/11 attacks and to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, students will be able to assess propaganda as a political practice, with an emphasis on communication ethics. Cross-listed with Communications(C(COST3101)
In theatres throughout Ireland, the Irish stage presents the collective voice of Irish Catholic playwrights. Steeped in myth, ritual, and history, these authors used their plays to examine the rich texture of life woven together by faith, politics, family, and community and, by whose intersection, results in conflicts and choices that reflect a deeper, transcendent meaning. Through the readings of Thomas Merton and examples of ritualistic theatre found in the Bible, the course builds on the lessons of CORE I and II to explore further Catholic principles and intellectual Catholic traditions expressed by themes found in Irish drama. As a CORE III course, students will read Irish plays, view their performances and discuss the common themes of belief, choices and the flaws of motivated reasoning that form biases in poor decisions versus transcendent ones that are the foundation of Irish drama. This course is cross-listed with COTR 3642.
Sub-Title-Europe in the Middle Ages This course will explore representations of and responses to illness from the perspective of those suffering from it (the patients), those helping the sufferers (doctors, nurses, spouses, siblings, children, parents, and so on), and those living in a society ravaged by epidemic, such as the Black Death. We will read literature from three traditions--the western secular literary tradition, the Catholic tradition, and the Jewish tradition¿to deepen our understanding of what illness does to individuals and their society, and to strengthen our resources as future patients, caregivers (personal or professional), and individuals for dealing with the spiritual as well as practical crisis that illness generates. Cross-listed with English (ENGL3370)
This course examines questions of meaning central to the Catholic intellectual tradition in connection with the study of literature. We will focus on works of fantasy, specifically the fiction of C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their predecessors. The course will examine the implications for social action, morality, heroism, and sacrifice in these works.
This course will explore a literary world where religious piety includes visions of toads, lovers encountering magic ships and talking deer, madness means running around naked in the woods and eating food without salt, and not serving the good wine to guests means you might get vomited to death. We’ll meet green knights, people with giant legs they use as umbrellas, berserkers, Chaucer, Dante, knights and ladies, carrier swans, and loyal pet lions. We’ll explore manuscript making, whether they really ate nothing but mud and peas, and whether the sun actually ever shone in the Dark Ages.
This course explores representations of the body in early American literature, including the place of the body in a variety of religious traditions. More than just its physical form, the body can be read sexually, scientifically/medically, religiously/spiritually, economically, legally, aesthetically, culturally, politically, and philosophically. Readings will begin with explorer and Native American oral narratives, will include texts from a variety of New World settlements, and will go through the literature of the early Republic.
Spiritual Writing is a reading and writing-intensive course in the genres that make up spiritual non-fiction: spiritual autobiography, spiritual memoir, spiritual/travel narrative, the nature essay and others. Students will study and engage in dialogue with some of the great historical and contemporary spiritual writers of the world, such as St. Augustine, Thomas Merton, Viktor Frankl, Mother Teresa, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Joseph Campbell, Martin Luther King Jr., Carlos Castaneda, Annie Dillard, Anne Lamott, Black Elk, and others. Students engage in figurative and literal dialogue not only with Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general but with other spiritual faith traditions, including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Native American spirituality, and others.
The genre of spiritual writing, broadly defined, is not just abour religious beliefs or doctrine but about experience that is transformative and has the capcity to transport us to another dimension. This course will focus on classic and contemporary readings that demonstrate how writers from a variety of traditions, both western and non-western, have used writing to explore, understand, and represent their spiritual experiences. Writing assignments invite students to analyze issues related to spirituality and the rhetoric of spiritual writing.
This course introduces students to the genre and sub-genres of travel writing, focusing on early 20th century British and American travel texts, often set in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as late 20th century texts, in the context of an actual trip to a site outside the United States. Primary purpose is students’ writing of their own travel essays and accounts.
This course explores 20th-century Irish writers publishing in the English from the Celtic Revival through the formation of the Irish Free State and the civil war, “The Troubles“ of the 1960s-80s, to the present day. Beginning with background in Yeats and Joyce, the course will survey writers in all three major genres including dramatists J.M. Synge, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, Marina Carr, poets Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Paula Meehan; and fiction writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Sean Ó’Faoláin, Edna O’Brien, Patrick McCabe, and Roddy Doyle.
Victorian writers characterized their era as, among other things, an age of faith and doubt, and their writings—essays, autobiographies, hymns, novels, poems, sermons, non-fiction prose—consistently vacillate between or concurrently exhibit what they called “the critical spirit” and “the will to believe.” This course addresses the fundamental importance of the dialectic of faith and doubt, as well as Anglican theological debate, the Bible, and the Catholic intellectual tradition to nineteenth-century Britain.
Through texts by and about English Catholic women composed between 1660 and 1800, students in this course will learn about the challenges and opportunities facing these women and the ways – textual and practical – in which they faced them. Students will explore how text, whether private or public, provided 17th and 18th century English Catholic women with a means for negotiating the opportunities and limitations they faced as women, as Catholics, and as Catholic women.
This study abroad course introduces students to a selection of major Irish fiction writers and dramatists such as Maria Edgeworth, Sheridan Le Fanu, Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, Sean O’Casey, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean O’Faolain, and Edna O’Brien, then exposes them to contemporary Irish writers through travel in Ireland and attendance at literary festivals offering performances, readings, lectures, and interviews.
Role of Catholics and the Church in the United States from colonial beginnings to the recent past, focusing on internal developments on relations with the wider society.
Sub-Title-Europe in the Middle Ages Crosslisted with HIST 3230(formerly HIST 2230) Formation of medieval civilization in the so-called Dark Ages and its transformation between the 11th and 14th Centuries
Sub-Title - Early Modern Ireland Crosslisted with Hist 3254(formerly HIST 2254) Political, economic, and social history of Ireland from the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 to the Great Famine of the 1840s.
Examination of the forces of Ireland’s recent past that account for her present condition.
This course treats the history of Italy from the early Middle Ages to the Council of Trent. Emphasis is placed on the dramatic changes in peoples, state institutions, religion, the economy and society that occurred during these centuries. The abiding and sometimes determinant role of geography in Italian history is a subject that receives particular attention. All areas of the peninsula are discussed, with special attention to relations between peripheral or provincial areas and cultural or administrative centers. Major intellectual, religious, social and political developments are explored through primary and secondary readings, and a mixture of lecture and class discussion.
This course considers how race, region, and gender have shaped Americans’ understandings of families in poverty in the twentieth century. We will consider the solutions to poverty proposed by reformers and policymakers alongside the lived experience of poor families themselves. Our goal will be to think critically about the sources of poverty as well as about how ideas about social justice, poverty, and poor families themselves have changed over time. 3
Leo Tolstory's Anna Karenina is an epic tale of passion, intrigue, betrayal and redemption. It is also a penetrating and encyclopedic portrayal of Russian life in the period following the Great Reforms of the 1860's. This course uses Anna Karenina as the starting point for a multifaceted investigation of nineteenth century Russian history and culture. 3 credits
This course treats the history of Italy from the Baroque Age down to contemporary events. Emphasis is placed on the dramatic changes in peoples, state institutions, religion, the economy and society that occurred during these centuries. The abiding and sometimes determinant role of geography in Italian history is a subject that receives particular attention. All areas of the peninsula are discussed, with special attention to relations between peripheral or provincial areas and cultural or administrative centers. Major intellectual, religious, social and political developments are explored through primary and secondary readings, and a mixture of lecture and class discussion.
This course surveys medieval European political, legal, social, economic, cultural and religious history from circa 300 to circa 1000. Through discussion of a wide range of primary sources, students in this course will analyze the processes through which early Europeans amalgamated elements of Roman, "barbarian," and early Christian cultures to create a new civilization in western Europe.
Students will explore the ways in ways in which religious ideas and practices have shaped political, social, cultural and economic experiences in the region of Latin America from the 16th through the 18th centuries.
The beginning of modern Europe as the renewal of trade is followed by rediscovery of the ancient world, discovery of the New World, changes in art, literature and thought and the division of Christianity by the Protestant movement.
An exploration of the interrelated ways in which race and nation have been defined in Latin America from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. The course traces both historical differences and links between understandings of race and nation across the hemisphere and between peoples and movements that challenge racial and national paradigms.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the experiences of women varied widely. Focusing on four broad categories – queens, wives, religious women, and women of ill-repute – this course looks at the broad scope of women’s roles in medieval Europe. How did a woman’s marital status affect the expectations of her role in society? What was life like for women in towns versus peasant women? What did medieval families look like, and what were the roles of family members? What legal rights and obligations did women have, and what recourse did they have in resolving disputes? What limitations and opportunities existed for women in the Middle Ages? Why did women become prostitutes? How and when were women able to wield very real political power? Readings will include primary sources such as letters, literature, legal documents, saints’ lives, histories, handbooks, and other contemporary writings.
This course is a survey of the Crusades. Beginning with a brief overview of biblical ideas of holy war and the political situation in Europe around the end of the eleventh century, it will examine the course of this movement from Pope Urban II’s first call to the Crusades in 1095 through the Crusades of the thirteenth-century via the accounts of Christians, Muslims, and Jews who experienced these movements first-hand. This course will also consider how the Crusades continue to influence modern politics as well as how they are presented in popular media, and will grapple with the idea of what is at stake when history is misreprented.
This course will explore the major approaches to thinking about another religion. We will focus on Jewish texts as textual examples but we will also discuss in every lecture the parallel Christian material. Some of the lectures will focus on the Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist parallels. The objective of the course is to gain a sense of how Judaism might conceive its relationship to other religious traditions beyond the poles of pluralism or rejection. This is a crucial task in our era of globalization and post-secularism.
Sub-Title - Robotics and The Mind This course explores the relationship between Catholic theological reflection and scientific evidence on the question of what it means to be human. Theoretical discussion will be accompanied by physically constructing and programming a variety of robots. Cross-listed with Psychology, and Mathematics & Computer Science, PSYC3698, CSAS 3085
Sub-Title - T-The Journey of Emigration- Meeting the Other How do we ethically deal with cultural and ethnic difference? Students will read excerpts from twentieth century philosophers whose theories explore how difference and identity may coexist. We will read numerous shorter literary writings describing the Immigrant and Outsider experience from different perspectives. Cross-listed (MOLG3321)
This course explores the various paradigms of the natural world that have been developed over the course of the Catholic intellectual tradition, broadly understood. These paradigms have had enormous influences on the ways that we in the west have thought about, organized, and acted upon in the natural world. These paradigms include significant descriptions and norms about the relationship of humans to the natural world. During this course we analyze and evaluate these dimensions of the paradigms of nature as well as human relationships to the earth. The course fulfills the University Core Signature 3 requirement.
Sub-Title - Ethics, Religion, and Postmodernity n this course we will begin by outlining the prominent features of the ¿postmodern condition¿ as they emerge from ¿radical¿ critiques of modernity. We will then examine and critically evaluate normative responses to the postmodern condition and highlight the impact of these movements on Christian ethics and the Catholic intellectual tradition. Cross-listed with Philosophy (PHIL 3593)
Explores the relationship between faith and reason, theology and philosophy, revelation and natural knowledge. Considers whether faith and reason are similar, separate, opposed or complementary. Prerequisites: 6 credits of philosophy at the 2000 level.
Sub-Title - Catholics in the Political Process This course is designed to examine the appropriate roles of the institutional Catholic Church, its citizens, and its political candidates within in the American political process today. It will explore traditional Christian political theory; the Church¿s relevant major social teachings, and the challenges that confront Catholicism and its adherents in the current, American public arena. In the long term, this course will encourage students to make judgments about both the moral agenda and political policies of the Church, particularly as they impact the behavior of Catholic citizens and political actors in their quest for the common good. Cross-listed with Political Science (POLS3101)
This course will examine the influence of Christianity on the development of philanthropy from early Christianity through the twenty-first century. Philosophical tenets from Gospels and from the writings of St. Benedict, Gregory the Great, Aquinas, Luther, Ignatious, Catherine of Siena and others from the Christian tradition provide clues to understanding the role of Christianity in the formation of societal expectations around philanthropic giving and receiving. Students will also be encouraged to examine and discern the ultimate purposes of philanthropy in our daily lives. Travel through Italy to explore firsthand the influence of Christianity on the practice of philanthropy in various communities.
This PSYC/CORE 3 course is designed to provide a deeper understandiing of the origins and development of thoughts and belliefs in humans, both at individual and collective community levels. Each unit will focus on a 'big question' that has played an important role in how humans think of ourselves and others. Literature from developmental psychology will be interspersed with those from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to provide an in-depth examination of the two levels of development in parallel.
This course will explore the intersection between religious experiences and neuropsychology. We will discuss what the fields of neuroscience and theology can learn from each other based on current research on the neurobiology of religious experiences.
The course examines the interaction of the Bible, film and popular culture by considering how stories, ideas, and themes from the Bible have been portrayed in Hollywood movies. Specific biblical texts will be analyzed in their historical context and in their depiction in popular films. The course will address such questions as: How has the Bible shaped the way the stories told in film? How has popular culture shaped the way the Bible is read or understood? In particular, the course will focus on ideas of how religion, faith, the God/human relationship, and gender roles are shaped in the intersection of the Bible and popular culture. The aim of the course will be to develop the students’ ability to think critically about biblical interpretation and religious experience more generally, is shaped by cultural context, both past and present.
Sub-Title - Catholicism and Ecumenism This course provides a great service to dialogical or ecumenical critical thinking. The course situates the Catholic modern ecumenical movement in the larger context of Christian history, allowing students to understand the contemporary dialogues in relation to the history of doctrine. Cross-listed with Religious Studies. Crosslisted with RELS 3201
Sub-Title - Race, Politics and Theology This course explores questions of race, ethnicity, and political community. More specifically, is a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society viable? Alternatively, is a post-racial society more preferable? What might it mean to ¿recognize¿ and value one¿s ethnic or racial identity? Should one¿s ethnicity or race be recognized at all? If so, then how? What, then, are the political implications? Questions such as these underscore the larger question of difference and cultural pluralism: in what normative sense can difference and cultural pluralism be considered public goods¿what is the limit and extent of these goods? We will pursue this question through a theological-ethical perspective that is in dialogue with contemporary issues in American politics, constitutional law, and moral philosophy.Crosslisted with RELS 3503
Modern Christian Thought This course examines the development of Christian thought from the reformation to modern times. Topics include: Early attempts at Church reform; the Protestant reformation in Germany, Switzerland and England; the Council of Trent and the Catholic Reformation; the Orthodox Churches; the Peace of Westphalia and the religious settlement; the challenge of rationalism and the Christian response in modern times. We will explore the relation of free will and grace, clashes between religion and politics on a variety of fronts, including the Peasant Revolt and the French Revolution, the rise of nationalism, and Enlightenment and Romantic views of religion. The course will be grounded in close examination oftheological texts, but will also include works of art, poetry, historical accounts, and film. (Cross-listed with RELS2222 and CAST 2223)
The course traces the relationship between faith and commitment in a “theology of marriage.” Past and present Christian understandings of the marital relationship in light of Scripture and sacramental theology. Insights about marriage based on knowledge from psychology and anthropology. Christian marriage as promise, symbol and vocation.
The course invites students to reflect intellectually on the problem of human suffering. To facilitate this reflection we will survey a range of ancient religious, literary and philosophical texts that respond in different ways to suffering. We will read texts from the biblical, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions. Throughout the course, these ancient texts will provide an analytic framework for the student to reflect on responses to the problem of suffering in our contemporary world.
The course traces the involvement of the Popes, especially after Vatican II, in the ecumenical movement. Because of this movement, which has been developing during the last century (since 1910), the relationships between the different Christian churches, long divided from one another, have changed and continue to change significantly. This course seeks to interpret the reasons why Christianity divided centuries ago, and the ways in which the churches are seeking to remedy those divisions today, seeking to restore the unity of the Church, showing especially the contributions of the Popes to that movement.
Emphasizing the Catholic social encyclical tradition, the course investigates the theoretical and practical relationships between Christian belief and thought, and social and economic life (involving issues of economic justice, peace, race, gender, family, etc.). In so doing, we explore the lives of those who have worked to shape Christian social justice movements, and other concrete contemporary applications of Catholic social teaching.
Chesterton, Lewis and the Sacramental Tradition - This course examines the works of two of the most prominent 20th century British Christian writers. Although both authors are renowned as apologists, the course focuses upon their imaginative writings and how these served as invaluable expressions of their thought and spiritual vision. Works considered include Chesterton's novel The Man Who Was Thursday and Lewis' novels Out of the Silent Planet and Till We Have (Cross-Listed with Catholic Studies, CAST3320)
Sub-Title- Catholic Classics and Interiority - This course flows from the new Seton Hall University core curriculum and endeavors to flesh out the meaning of ¿the Catholic intellectual tradition.¿ Its aim is to analyze the Catholic classics in the light of human interiority, particularly the human passion for meaning, for the good and for God. (Cross-Listed with Catholic Studies, CAST 3940)
Drawing from a variety of sources (historical, literary, philosophical and theological) this course examines the origins and nature of Christian culture, exploring in particular the value of culture itself as an aspect of revelation and incarnation. The course offers some answers from the contemporary Christian tradition to the ancient questions: How am I meant to understand the world? How am I meant to understand myself? This course is part of the Catholic Studies foreign study tour program.
This course will treat the life and work of the Canadian philosopher/theologian Bernard Lonergan from his early days to his later manuscripts on economic theory. It will outline the early influences on his thought – Newman, Plato, Augustine, Aquinas – as well as the influence of the modern sciences and historical scholarship. It will present the broad outlines of his theory of consciousness with an emphasis on self-appropriation. The relevance of his thought to the fields of education, philosophy, history, economics and theology will be highlighted.
Catholic writers have been expressing, exploring and communicating the mystery of “the Word made flesh” for two thousand years in every genre of the literary arts. The course will examine this legacy of “artful theology” in its many variations and in its constant features. Representative authors and works from different epochs will be examined both in their socio-historical context and for their enduring theological and spiritual significance.
The course examines the lives and struggles of famous Saints as seen through the lens of contemporary film-makers and playwrights.
This course explores the distinctive characteristics of non -western forms of Christianity in the Middle East and Egypt, Africa, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India, China and Latin America and the recent spread of western forms of Christianity into non-western cultures from an interdisciplinary, historical and theological perspective.
Catholicism is not only an inextricable part of Latin American history and identity, but the region’s experience of the Faith has a profound influence on the universal and future life of the Church. This course examines in particular Catholicism in Latin America, which embraces a rich ensemble of the humble and the heroic, the struggles for human dignity and the miraculous.
The course focuses on the philosophical-theological thought of John Henry Newman, tracing Newman’s views from his early life to his conversion to Roman Catholicism.
This course examines the historical interaction between Christianity and Islam in light of pertinent themes in Christian-Muslim encounters. It explores contemporary positions in interreligious dialogue between Christianity and Islam from interdisciplinary, historical and theological perspectives.
A comparative examination of faith and reason within the Islamic and Christian (primarily Catholic but not exclusively) theological and ethical traditions. The course focuses on how Islam and Christianity approach the nature of scriptural authority, the role of experience, history, and community in religious reflection, the prospects for a common morality (i.e., revealed knowledge versus natural knowledge), and the shape and significance of revelation and grace.
This course examines the ethical dimensions of war and peace as presented in the Christian theological and moral traditions. The following areas will be examined: biblical reflections on love and violence, the formation of just war theory in the early Church and its maturation in medieval and post-medieval theology and moral and legal philosophy; the tradition of non-violence and pacifism, and modern Catholic social teaching and contemporary Protestant and philosophical-secular formulations on the use of force. Major thinkers in theological ethics such as Augustine, Aquinas, Reinhold Niebuhr, and John Courtney Murray, SJ, will be considered as well as the writings of influential contemporary thinkers such as Lisa Sowle Cahill, George Weigel, Fr. Bryan Hehir, Paul Ramsey, and John Howard Yoder.
In this course students will explore and examine the Catholic Tradition and Spirituality through the analogy of sports. Students will examine how human beings encounter the Holy in the midst of everyday life with emphasis on athletic experiences as both an athlete and a “fan”.
Italy enjoys a pre-eminence as a spiritual center for the Christian world alongside its importance in the development of Western civilization’s art, music, architecture and political thought. The course will examine the interplay between Italy’s profound spiritual heritage and cultural achievements, focusing on the contributions of such key figures as the Apostles Peter and Paul, Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Ignatius of Loyola. This course is part of the Catholic studies foreign study tour program.
The course looks at the age-old question, what it means to be a human person. The course explores this question by analyzing three views:  the human person in the image of God in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition,  the human person in the image of self, as defined by other schools of thought, and  the human person in the image of fashion (person as portrayed by the fashion media). We will look at fashion images as a visual language, and evaluate what it communicates about men and women. The course will also explore the impact of the three views or personhood on culture at-large.
This course is designed to help students to understand and to explore the experience of voluntary conversion in the Catholic tradition. Beginning with conversion even before Christianity with the story of Moses, moving through the New Testament and St. Augustine to later converts like John Henry Cardinal Newman and Dorothy Day, the course examines the nature of conversion, what led to it in each case, and the impact on the life of the converted and his or her society,
Study of Christianity from Jesus and the apostolic preaching to the end of the great ecumenical councils. Emphasis on the development of theology, the structure of the Church and its interaction with society and culture, including Christian art and literature.
This course will explore the experiences of both patient and healthcare provider and the relationship between the two. The healthcare encounter (e.g. doctor-patient, nurse-patient) is privileged, unique and multidimensional. The groundwork will be set by study of the human condition and the structure of the healthcare delivery system; students will examine how humans live and how they die revealed by a consideration of disease, socioeconomics, psychology and religion. Our study will be advanced using the tools of art, literature, science and theology.
This course will examine the products of interrelations between West African religions and Catholicism as they met via the slave trade and forced relocation of Africans to the New World. It will also view contemporary versions of those interrelations. We will discuss continuities and changes, syncretism, resistance, and divergence between and among African derived religious practice and the religious and cultural forms that people of African descent encountered in the New World. The main focus will be social-scientific. Among the topics to be considered: Mexican, Cuban, Haitian, Trinidadian, Brazilian, and U.S. traditions, including discussions of Catholic Saints, slave Baptisms, the Inquisition, folk Catholicism, sacred drumming, trance possession, and Santería. Prerequisites: SOCI 1101 or ANTH 1202.
Roman Catholic, Cistercian monk, civil rights and anti-war activist, cultural critic and poet, Thomas Merton (1915- 1968) was among the first pioneers of what it means to be a Roman Catholic and simultaneously “interreligious”. Through the lens of Cultural Anthropology, this course will provide: an examination of Merton’s approach to other religious traditions which in many ways was ethnographic despite the fact that he was not an anthropologist; a broad exposure to the writings of Thomas Merton; an appreciation for the continued relevance of his work in the increasingly religiously pluralistic 21st century and beyond; an understanding of what it means to be interreligious without having to abandon one’s original religious tradition; and a firsthand experiential appreciation of the value of contemplative practice (sacred silence) and its importance in the fast-paced and fragmented world of technology and information overload in which we find themselves.
Models of integration and tension between Catholicism and the various sciences of human behavior are examined in their historical contexts. Main controversies – the relationship between facts and values, essentialism vs. anti-essentialism, voluntarism vs. determinism, and relativism vs. objectivism – are examined from a Catholic perspective that emphasizes how theology and the human sciences “implicate” each other. A Catholic theology of the human sciences is applied to modern and postmodern conditions of life, and contrasted with other Christian as well as non-Christian theologies. Prerequisite: SOCI 1101.
In what way does being Christian also signal civic belonging? When conversion to Catholicism occurs in contexts of large colonial projects, often spanning generations or centuries, what happens to the belief systems central to the lives of native or indigenous peoples before colonization? This course will focus on social formations and knowledge systems that shaped native peoples’ actionable responses to projects of conversion, nation and empire. Students will unpack persistent ideological constructs concerning native peoples from the 1500s to the present century, and read works that seek to present a view “from below.”
Amidst the ongoing global realities of social and political polarization, racial reckoning, and health and environmental crises, what does it mean to work for justice? How can Catholic Social Thought (CST) and social work core values help foster the building of a more global, just beloved community? The See, Reflect, Act Circle of Insight paradigm, inspired by CST core principles, provides the framework for the exploration of global justice at the intersection of CST and core social work values, including: a belief in the inherent dignity of all persons; solidarity; self-determination; subsidiarity; service; centering those most vulnerable; and working for social justice. A case study approach is utilized to examine stories of individuals and communities motivated by CST and social work principles in their work to promote and practice justice globally. Case studies examined include the work and insights of: social workers and Nobel Peace Laureates Jane Addams and Jody Williams; international social worker and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the Polish Solidarity movement; social worker and Secretary of Labor in the FDR administration, Frances Perkins; Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement; Martyr and Saint from El Salvador, Oscar Romero; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate from Northern Ireland; and Fathers Phil and Dan Berrigan and the Catonsville 9, who used napalm to burn draft files in protest of the Vietnam War, inviting nations to beat swords into ploughshares. The course invites deeper understanding of the intersection and confluence of CST and core social work values. It also explores creative tensions at this intersection. Finally, it invites constructive, creative, faith-inspired application of these values and principles in the fierce urgency of now.
The thrust of this course is to develop “global business literacy” in students. The focus is on trends and forces that shape international commercial activity and their impacts on business decisions. The topics covered stem from the broad viewpoint of international trade, economics, finance, political and economic geography, risk management, marketing, ethics and international law. These topics are presented from the perspective of a generalist. (The faculty strongly recommends that students complete this course before taking other international business courses in the Stillman School curriculum.) Offered: Fall, Spring.
This course has two central objectives: (1) to provide students with an understanding of the evolving role of religion in Latin American politics, with a primary emphasis on the role of Catholicism and the Catholic Church from the period of the Second Vatican Council until the present; and (2) to provide students an opportunity to reflect on the normative questions of how religious beliefs and religious institutions should affect politics and of how different political systems and state policies should affect the practice of religion. The major themes, to be examined through both Catholic and nonCatholic perspectives, include the institutional relationship between the Catholic Church and the state, the different political expressions of Catholicism (from those inspired by Liberation Theology to supporters of Christian Democratic or Conservative political parties), the persecution of the Church under certain authoritarian regimes and the Catholic response, the rise of religious and political pluralism, and the role of religion in contemporary politics and public policy.
This course will examine wars of religion and religious views of war. We are living through an era fraught with religious warfare – wars animated by religious conflict and wars that use religious abuse as weapons to demoralize and subdue the enemy. The course will focus on three major religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and set in dialogue their respective views of war, assess their contributions to the contemporary laws of war, and examine particular historical episodes of religious conflict – as well as contrary episodes of religious toleration.
The course focuses on the question of what it means to be women of faith, by considering the example of several Catholic women who have lived exemplary, faith-filled lives in a way that has challenged conventional expectations of women on the part of society. In view of their examples, students are encouraged to identify and consider the characteristics of an authentic, faith-filled, Catholic feminism.
This course seeks to deepen a student's understanding of the relationship between the Catholic theology of creation and contemporary empirical science. Topics to be covered include the birth of science, the historical-philosophical environment of this birth, the interventions of recent Popes on the issue, the specificity of the cosmos as shown by current science, the unity of the cosmos and its beauty, the importance of philosophical realism, the doctrine of creation, the theory of the Big Bang, the theory of evolution, and the fundamental of climate science. Primary sources will be emphasized. This course will show how early Christian thought built upon the accomplishments of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Islamic, Chinese, Indian, and Mesopotamian insights into the natural world and how modern empirical science emerged. It will also show how the development of empirical science in Europe is the direct result of the fruitful dialog of Aristotelian metaphysical and epistemological insights and the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo et cum tempore. It references the Old and New Testaments, the proceedings of Ecumenical Councils, the writings of pre-Christian civilizations in Mesoamerica, India, Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and the Arab world.
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