Systematic Theology (THEO)

THEO 303     Foundations of Christian Spirituality  (3)

This course explores the theological foundations and practices of Christian spirituality that lie at the heart of all Christian ministry, whether lay or ordained. It begins by examining the sacramental foundations of Christian identity and growth in baptism and Eucharist. It goes on to consider living in the rhythms of the church year and in the bonds of Christian community. It examines some classic disciplines of Christian discipleship such as Rule of Life and use of the rite of Reconciliation. Finally, it studies methods of meditation and personal prayer that have been developed over centuries of Christian tradition.

THEO 345     Aquinas on God, Creation, and Providence  (3)

This course focuses on the writings of medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, particularly with respect to his theology of God, creation, and providence. Primary source readings are selected from the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologiae.

THEO 348     The Body’s Grace: Religious Accounts of the Body  (3)

An exploration of the body by examining ecumenical voices and perspectives, highlighting examinations of the body as an individual, corporate, ecclesiastical, and political representation. While many of the readings in this course explore the Christian tradition in depth, students also read perspectives on the body in other faith traditions and consider the work of those who do not profess any faith tradition. This course does not serve in fulfillment of any general distribution requirement in the College but can count toward a major or minor in Religion.

THEO 360     Creation, Evolution and God  (3)

Since Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands over 175 years ago there has been much debate over whether the theory of evolution necessarily eliminates a belief in God. Even in theological circles ideas about God and how God creates and maintains the universe have been severely revised. This course will examine the Judeo-Christian understanding of creation, modern views of evolution, and current debates about God and creation, review developments of creation theology through the centuries and then move on to learn about the science of evolution. Theological sources will include the classical theism of Thomas Aquinas and the notion of emergent probability developed by Bernard Lonergan in our contemporary era.

THEO 361     Readings in Teilhard de Chardin  (3)

This course considers the major works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1995). As well as being a priest, De Chardin was trained as a geologist and did extensive fieldwork in China over a 23-year period. He wrote extensively on theology and evolution. In this course both his scientific and his theological works are addressed.