Chair: Julia A. Fleming
Department Office: Humanities Building, Room 121
The Theology Department is dedicated to the classical understanding of theology as “faith seeking understanding.” Faculty in this department represent a spectrum of theological interests including Old and New Testament studies, patristic and historical theology, moral theology, liturgical theology, and systematic theology. The theology department also has expertise in several of the world’s religious traditions. The department attracts students with diverse career goals ranging from ministry to medicine.
Major in Theology
Specific Requirements for Admission to the Theology Major
Sophomore standing and “C” average in two or more completed theology courses.
Students who think they may teach Religious Education in secondary schools must consult with the Education Department, with the Theology Department, and with the appropriate agency in the state in which they intend to teach.
Associate Degree in the College of Professional Studies
This department offers the following associate degree to students in the College of Professional Studies:
Certificate Programs in the College of Professional Studies
Certificates may be available through this department to students in the College of Professional Studies.
THL 110. The Christian Tradition, Then and Now. 3 credits.
This course provides a basic introduction to the history, teachings, and practices of Christianity, and to theology as an academic discipline. Consideration of the origins and evolution of Christianity will prepare students to interpret the intellectual and the practical challenges it faces in a rapidly changing world.
THL 111. The Christian Tradition:Portraits of Christians Through the Centuries. 3 credits.
This survey of the Christian tradition focuses on the major personalities in the history of Christianity (e.g. Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther) using a case-study method. Each class examines one pivotal figure whose life and work has helped shape the history and development of Christianity.
THL 112. The Christian Tradition:Global Visions. 3 credits.
This course will introduce students to the basic teachings, history and practices of Christianity and its global inculturation. Course topics will consider the local expression of Christianity in North America, Latin America, Asia and/or Africa.
THL 113. The Christian Tradition in Dialogue. 3 credits.
From the beginning, Christianity has been in dialogue with a variety of cultures and religious viewpoints. This course studies the Christian tradition in dialogue with Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, the challenge of Islam, the struggles between eastern and western Christianities, Reformation Christianities, American Protestantism and contemporary theological concerns.
THL 114. The Christian Tradition: Exploring the Great Questions. 3 credits.
Christian doctrines emerged from addressing core questions: Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is the Church? What does it mean to be truly human? What is the human being’s relationship to non-human nature? What constitutes salvation? What is the source of evil and sin? What is revelation? This course is organized around key questions and key themes as they have evolved over the course of the history of Christianity.
THL 175. The Human Induced Climate Crisis:Origins and Solutions. 3 credits.
This course will analyze the cultural forces that allowed social, religious, and political discourse to diverge so widely from scientific discourse concerning the climate crisis. It will also reflect upon what kind of social, religious, psychological, and political transformation is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. CO: COM 101.
THL 176. Sport and Spirituality. 3 credits.
This course will focus on the intersection of sports, spirituality, religious faith practice, and social context. This course will clarify terminology for the interdisciplinary study of sport and religion and then critically examine examples of the intersection of sport and spirituality. The intent is to look at sports and atheltic competition in light of their potential to point to, substitute for, undermine, or augment personal quests for communal religious meaning and faith/spiritual significance. Co: COM 101.
THL 199. THL Transfer Credit:Magis Core. 3 credits.
THL 215. The Biblical Tradition: Ancestors and Heroes. 3 credits.
Introduction to the primary story of biblical Israel (Genesis – 2 Kings), and how to interpret the Bible critically within its literary, social, and historical contexts. Emphasis will be placed on interpreting the biblical stories through focusing on the social and literary role of the characters. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 216. The Biblical Tradition: The Human Question. 3 credits.
Students will survey selected texts of the Older Testament, for the purpose of acquiring and developing skills in reading closely, interpreting critically, and writing effectively, with an eye toward exploring the question of what it means to be human from a biblical perspective. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125).
THL 217. The Biblical Tradition: Social Justice in the Old Testament. 3 credits.
This course examines the themes of force, violence and social justice in the Old Testament and in selected New Testament texts, primarily reading the story of ancient Israel from its origins to the return from exile, along with prophetic comment on that story. Students will learn how to interpret the Bible analytically within its literary, social, and historical contexts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 230. The Biblical Tradition: Gender, Economy, and Violence. 3 credits.
Introduction to critical interpretation of the Bible, focusing on traditions in which gender, economics, or violence are prominent; includes consideration of implications for Christian theology and practice. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 235. The Biblical Tradition: Sickness and Healing. 3 credits.
Introduction to the Gospels and how to interpret them critically within their historical, social, and literary contexts. Critical interpretation of gospel traditions about sickness and healing will be a major focus. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125).
THL 236. The Biblical Tradition: New Testament. 3 credits.
A survey of selected writings from the early Christian communities, understood in their cultural and literary contexts. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125).
THL 237. The Biblical Tradition: Early Christian Community and Identity. 3 credits.
This course explores how the earliest followers of Jesus understood themselves and their communities by interpreting Biblical texts within their literary, social, and historical contexts. Emphasis will be placed on the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of the New Testament. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125).
THL 238. The Biblical Tradition: The Johannine Literature. 3 credits.
This course studies the portrait of Jesus and the good news provided by the early Christian community as preserved in the Gospel and Letters of John. Focus lays on interpreting the group’s theology and their particular contribution to the development of Christianity through their literary, historical, and social contexts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 239. The Biblical Tradition: The Synoptic Gospels. 3 credits.
This course studies the portrait of Jesus and the good news provided by the early Christian community as preserved in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, known as the Synoptic Gospels. Focus lays on interpreting the theology of the Gospels and their particular contributions to the development of Christianity through their literary, historical, and social contexts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 240. The Biblical Tradition: Messiah, Prophet, and Rabbi. 3 credits.
This course explores the expectation of a messiah in the Second Temple Period, how the earliest followers of Jesus portrayed Jesus in the New Testament texts, and how modern scholars construct the life of Jesus from a historical perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts of the New Testament. P: The Christian Tradition.
THL 270. Theological Ethics: Applying Moral Principles. 3 credits.
This introduction to fundamental ethical theories investigates Christian moral principles and how they apply to moral issues. It analyzes the role of religious faith, explores the individual and the common good and emphasizes ongoing moral development and critical thinking. P: One Magis Core Philosophical Ideas course.
THL 272. Theological Ethics: Sexual and Gender Issues. 3 credits. (Same as WGS 272)
This course investigates the nature and sources of moral obligation, moral virtue, justice, wisdom, and a good human life from a Christina theological perspective and applies this perspective to sexual and gender issues. P: One Magis Core Philosophical Ideas course.
THL 273. Theological Ethics: Moral Perception and Moral Blindness. 3 credits.
This introduction to fundamental ethical theories focuses upon ethical thought as the foundation for ethical action, and investigates the impact of religious faith, psychological awareness, and personal character upon the development of moral thinking. P: One Magis Core Philosophical Ideas course.
THL 300. Ultimate Questions: Jesus Christ, Yesterday and Today. 3 credits.
This course examines the historical Jesus, scriptural Christologies, and classical Christological teachings and their reception throughout Christian history. Contemporary integrations such as the “search for the historical Jesus,” as well as liberation and feminist/womanist theologies will be explored. P: One Philosophical Ideas course (PHL 110 or PHL 111 or PHL 112 or PHL 113 or PHL 113); one course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125); one course of The Biblical Tradition (THL 201-240).
THL 301. Divine Providence, Catholic Social Teaching, & the Problem of Climate Change. 3 credits.
This course will deal with a number of questions as they are addressed primarily by the doctrine of providence: How can one reconcile the teaching that God is the source of all that is and guides nature and history to its divine end with an evolutionary world view? How can human beings change the climate if God is all powerful and the source of all that is? What is the relationship of God to creation? While the course takes up the question of providence in relationship to human and non-human agency, it also reflects on the human being and her freedom and social responsibility in light of the fact that human beings have become geological agents, destabilizing planetary systems (most especially the climate system) with effects that will play out on geological time scales of tens of thousands to possibly millions of years. P: One Magis core Philosophical Ideas course, One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course, One Magis Core The Biblical Tradition course.
THL 309. Ultimate Questions: African Theology. 3 credits.
This course offers an introduction to African Christian theology. Topics include African traditional religion and the history of Christianity in Africa; modern theological perspectives on God, Christology, liturgy & inculturation; and contemporary ecclesiological challenges (e.g., church and state, violence and reconciliation, poverty, patriarchy, and dialogue with Islam). P: Christian Tradition, Biblical Tradition, Philosophical Ideas.
THL 315. Ultimate Questions: Theology of Christian Marriage. 3 credits.
This course covers the history of marriage in the Christian tradition, marriage as sacrament, and contemporary issues related to marriage. P: One Magis Core Philosophical Ideas course; One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; One Magis Core The Biblical Tradition course; or 200-level Scripture course; Junior standing.
THL 324. Scripture and Theology: The Birth of Christian Doctrine. 3 credits.
This course explores the emergence of the Christian religion from ancient Judaism. It studies the Christian community's successful effort to articulate a coherent understanding of God, of Jesus, and of the church. The course also considers the enduring significance of these ancient doctrines for the modern world. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 325. Catholicism: Creed and Question. 3 credits. SP
This course explores the basic beliefs and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church within the context of current theological debate. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 326. Defending the Christian Faith. 3 credits. OD
How the Christian church has defended its core doctrines and beliefs against critics both ancient and modern. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 327. Christianity and the Holocaust. 3 credits.
Christianity has been grappling for sixty years with the enormity of the Holocaust. This course will investigate the history of Jewish-Christian relations, the New Testament foundations and the articulation of central Christian doctrines that encouraged Anti-Judaism, and the efforts being made by Christians to re-think identity and doctrine vis-à-vis Judaism.
THL 330. Jesus Christ and the Salvation of the World. 3 credits.
Exploration through historical analysis and contemporary theory of a fundamental Christian doctrine: "Jesus Christ is Savior of the World." Study of some of the fundamental questions related to this doctrine. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 338. Eucharist: Liturgical Theology and Practice. 3 credits.
Study of the Eucharist from an ecumenical perspective. The course is intended for Catholic and Protestant, mainline and evangelical Christians seeking a critical, historical, and theological understanding of their eucharistic heritage. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 339. Theology of the Church and Sacraments. 3 credits.
An historical and critical analysis of the sacramental dimension of Christianity as it applies to the church. A treatment of the church as the sacrament of the risen Jesus and of the classical Christian sacraments as solemn, symbolic actions of both that church and that Jesus. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 349. Egyptian Art and Archaeology. 3 credits. OD (Same as ARH 349, CNE 349, HIS 349)
This course will explore the history, society, culture, and religion of ancient Egypt form the pre-dynastic era through the Ptolemaic period, as revealed through its artistic and material remains. Attention will be given to how sculpture, painting, architecture, and other material remains provide a window on Egyptian life and thought. P: So. stdg.
THL 350. Archaeology of Israel and Jordan. 3 credits. OD (Same as ARH 350, CNE 350, HIS 350)
A chronological survey of the archaeology of Israel and Jordan, providing a material perspective on the history of society, economy, and religion of the people from the Neolithic period to the Byzantine Period.
THL 351. Introduction To Chinese Philosophy. 3 credits. OD (Same as PHL 351)
Origin and development of Chinese philosophy. The basic doctrines and moral principles that the Chinese tradition holds. Different schools of Chinese philosophy, such as Confucianism, Daoism, and Moism. How Chinese philosophy has been practiced in daily life. The conflicts between Chinese tradition and modern China. P: One Magis Core Philosophical Ideas course, and one of the following: PHL 201, PHL 250, PHL 270, PHL 271, PHL 272, PHL 275, PHL 300, PHL 320, or PHL 399.
THL 352. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic: Anthropological Study of Religion. 3 credits. (Same as ANT 352)
This course studies the variety of ways in which anthropology describes and interprets religious phenomena. Its focus is on the phenomenon of religion within the context of specific human social groups. P: So. stdg.
THL 353. Introduction to Buddhism. 3 credits. OD (Same as PHL 353)
Origin and development of Buddhism's basic doctrines and beliefs. The different schools of Buddhist traditions, and the changes as Buddhism spread from India through China and Japan to the West. How Buddhist teachings are practiced in daily life. P: One Magis Core Philosophical course, and one of the following: PHL 201, PHL 250, PHL 270, PHL 271, PHL 272, PHL 275, PHL 300, PHL 320, or PHL 399.
THL 354. Introduction to Judaism. 3 credits. OD
Development of Jewish faith, philosophy, institutions, and peoplehood. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 357. Introduction to Islam. 3 credits. FA
The development of the religion of Islam, especially its institutions and structures, from the period of the Prophet Muhammad and the revelation of the Holy Quran up to the present. An examination of the basic doctrines of Islam along with its religious practices (including Sufism, the Islamic mystical tradition), plus an overview of Islam in several selected countries or regions (e.g., Turkey, Iran, the Indian sub-continent, the USA). P: THL 100; 200-level Scripture course, Jr. stdg.
THL 358. Critical Issues In The Study Of Native American Religions. 3 credits. OD (Same as AMS 358, ANT 358, NAS 358)
This course utilizes anthropological perspectives in the study of Native American religion. The focus of the course is non-Western, non-proselytizing religions which are coterminous with local political or kinship based social groups. The course looks at the history of the study of Native religions, the nature of Native religions as understood by a variety of disciplines, and the contemporary critique of colonialism by Native peoples specifically in regard to intellectual colonialism of Native knowledge and the practical colonialism inherent in the imitation of Native religions by non-tribal members.
THL 359. Living Religions of the World. 3 credits.
Major Eastern religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and Islam. Judaism. Christianity. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 365. Faith and Moral Development. 1 credit. FA (Same as JPS 365)
A series of three one-credit-hour mini-seminars over three consecutive semester. Each seminar will examine a theory of faith or moral development and a biography of a social justice activist such as Dorothy Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. May be repeated for a maximum of 5 credits. P: THL 250/PHL 250 and Jr. stdg.
THL 368. Christology Seminar for Majors. 3 credits.
This course proposes an intensive seminar-based study of the significance of the person and work of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament and Church Councils, and interpreted in writings of the Fathers of the Church and of theologians. It will progress along a four-part development. The first two parts include the biblical foundations for Christology followed by the Christological controversies of the early Church. Third and fourth are the specifically medieval contributions to Christology and the contemporary challenges for appropriating traditional Christology.
THL 390. History of the Christian Church. 3 credits. SP
Survey of the intellectual, ecclesiastical and political developments which shaped Christianity through two millennia. Exploration of complex relations among beliefs, institutions, and practices which constitute Christian history. P: 200 level Scripture course.
THL 391. Applied Ministry/Spirituality. 1-3 credits. OD
Offered only in the Certificate programs in Ministry and Spirituality. Experiential study chosen in consultation with adviser.
THL 415. Stories that Shape Lives. 3 credits. OD (Same as SRP 415)
This course examines both classic stories and the implicit stories embedded in contemporary cultures. By 'classic stories' is meant fables, biblical parables, and stories of holy people. By 'implicit stories embedded in contemporary culture' is meant the 'lived stories' embodied in the cultures from which our students come and in which they live. We address story (as human activity) and stories (as concrete cultural artifacts) from a variety of perspectives especially those of literary criticism, biblical exegesis, and the cross-cultural and historical study of spirituality. P: Sr. stdg. and PHL 250/THL 250.
THL 416. For the Greater Glory: The Jesuits, their History and Spirituality. 3 credits. OD (Same as HIS 416, SRP 416)
An examination of the Society of Jesus from its founding by Ignatius of Loyola during the pivotal 16th century, through suppression and recovery to the challenges of the modern, Post-Vatican II era, this course seeks to understand the Jesuits on two levels: through their controversial history, set within the context of their times and as represented by the lives of selected individuals; and through the development of their particular spirituality, Ignatian methods of prayer and discernment of spirits, as originated in the Spiritual Exercises and enhanced over time. Students will have an opportunity both to analyze Jesuit history and to experience Ignatian spirituality in their own interior lives. P: Sr. stdg. and PHL 270 or PHL 271 or PHL 272 or PHL 275 or THL 270 or THL 272 or THL 273.
THL 418. Jesus Through the Ages: Ideas and Images Toward A Coherent Christian Identity And Ethic. 3 credits. (Same as ARH 418, SRP 418)
Employing methods of the fine and performing arts and theology (historical and systematic), this course will seek the "real" Jesus amidst a plethora of images and ideas used by Christians throughout the ages to depict Jesus Christ. It will critique the historical-cultural dependencies of these images and ideas to discern which of them, if any, remain normative for Christianity, which are time-bound, which still speak powerfully, which do not--and why. In the process this course will not only inform students about the single most significant figure in human history but engage them in a personal search for an authentic Christian identity and ethic. P: Sr. stdg. and PHL 250/THL 250 or One Magis Core Ethics course.
THL 420. Science and Religion. 3 credits. OD (Same as PHL 420, SRP 420)
This course explores the relationship between science and religion from three perspectives: philosophy of science, scientific theories, and theology. Issues to be studied include: reductionism vs. emergentism, the relationship between God and world (including creation and evolution), the Galileo affair, and Darwin and design. P: Sr. stdg. and PHL 250/THL 250 or a Magis Core Ethics course.
THL 431. Jesus Christ: Liberator. 3 credits.
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Christology from the perspective of liberation asks concretely "what do we need to be liberated from in order to know and love Jesus Christ?" While "salvation" traditionally pertains to one's status in the next life, "liberation" pertains to both the present and the future. Of particular interest for this course will be the role of context and culture and how it influences belief. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; One Magis Core The Biblical Tradition course; One Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course; Senior standing.
THL 440. Liturgy, Music, and the Transformed Life. 3 credits. OD (Same as MUS 440, SRP 440)
A study of the historical development of the relationship between the Eucharist and liturgical music. How the liturgy (Eucharist, scripture reading, music, and architecture) intends the transformation of the assembly into a moral, virtuous, and just community. P: Sr. stdg. and PHL 250/THL 250 or One Magis Core Ethics course.
THL 443. Ecclesiology in Global Context. 3 credits. (Same as JPS 443)
The Catholic Church as present within various countries around the world provides unique opportunities for understanding how local churches incorporated the call of the Second Vatican Council to read the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. Immersion learning allows contact experiences with people and different realities to teach and supplement academic material in the classroom. P: One Magis Core Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course and one 100-level THL course.
THL 457. Biomedical Ethics: Philosophical and Theological Approaches. 3 credits. OD (Same as HAP 457, PHL 457)
This course explores philosophical and theological ethical theories and analyzes and evaluates select issues in biomedicine and health care policy in light of those theories. P: Ethics course; Senior standing.
THL 458. Theology and the Vocation to Health Care. 3 credits. (Same as SRP 458)
Health care in the United States is both big money and arguably the most important social justice issue in contemporary society. This course will offer an opportunity for students at Creighton to discern whether or not they are called to the vocation of caring for others through medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy, nursing or emergency medical services. P: Sr. stdg.
THL 461. The Role Of Philosophy In Theology. 3 credits. OD (Same as PHL 461)
Examination of the relation between philosophy and theology, their different ways of thinking about God and Revelation; the role that philosophy has played and can play in the development of theological thought; the impact that theological ideas have had on philosophical thought; and the interplay between faith and reason. P: PHL 107, and one of the following: PHL 201, PHL 250, PHL 312, PHL 320.
THL 463. Social Justice in Selected Global Faith Traditions. 3 credits.
Examines how global Catholic, Mainstream Protestant, Peace Church, Jewish and Muslim faith traditions inform their members in their approach to problems of social justice. Includes attention to how Ignatian charisms and values have informed efforts to enact social change. Students will critically engage a specific problem of social justice with which they have experiential contact, and will also reflect on how their own background contributes to their personal and professional development as global citizens who will be working as agents of social justice. P: One Magis Core Contemporary Composition course; one Magis Core Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course; one Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; one Magis Core The Biblical Tradition course; Sr. Stdg.
THL 468. Christianity And Power: A Russian Case Study. 3 credits. OD (Same as SRP 468, PLS 468)
This seminar challenges students to consider the link between religion and politics. Stating from the assumption that politics is fundamentally about the competition of ideas, it considers the ideals of Russian Orthodoxy and measures them against the goals and actions of the Russian state. Comparisons with other cultures and contexts, to include the American experience, are used throughout the course. P: Sr. stdg.
THL 469. Psychological and Theological Approaches to Vocation. 3 credits. (Same as PSY 469, SRP 469)
This course examines the concept of vocation from an interdisciplinary perspective using insights from psychology and theology. Research and theory from the fields of personality, motivation, and social psychology are complimented with the theology of the Incarnation, Ignatian spirituality, and relevant texts from four historical periods of Christianity. P: PHL 250/THL 250 or Magis Core Ethics course and Sr. Stdg.
THL 470. Seminar in Selected Topics. 3 credits. OD
Topical seminar with topics changing in different semesters. Course may be repeated with a different topic. P: 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 479. Communication and Theology. 3 credits. (Same as COM 479, THL 479)
This course explores communication from a Christian perspective. Christian values such as charity, justice, freedom, human dignity, reconciliation, and peace as developed in Sacred Scripture, Church documents, and by great Christian thinkers are applied critically to issues and cases from three areas of communication studies: Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, and Mass Communication. P: PHL 250/THL 250 or Magis Core Ethics course and Sr Stdg.
THL 488. Personal and Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership. 3 credits. (Same as COM 488, EDU 488, SRP 488)
The purpose of the course is to give students the opportunity to engage in introspection and examination of their personal belief and value systems related to leadership. The course begins from the assumption that leadership is "a journey that begins within" and examines the relationship between leadership theory and Christian spirituality. Biographical examples will be analyzed; biographies will be drawn from diverse fields such as health, science, business, government, sports and education. P: Sr. stdg.
THL 492. Senior Seminar. 3 credits. FA
Study of a major theme in the Christian theological tradition. Each student will write and present a major research paper related to this theme. P: 300-level Christian Theology course; Sr. stdg; One Magis Core Oral Communication course; One Magis Core Contemporary Composition course. Open to Theology majors only.
THL 493. Directed Independent Readings. 1-4 credits. OD
May be repeated to a limit of six hours.P: DC.
THL 495. Directed Independent Study. 1-4 credits. OD
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 498. Pastoral Synthesis. 3 credits. OD
Integrating project synthesizing a personal pastoral experience under faculty direction.
THL 501. The Pentateuch. 3 credits. OD
Origin and composition of the first five books of the Bible. Historical and theological traditions contributing to their formation. Emphasis on their unique theology and on the use of the books in the New Testament period.
THL 502. Old Testament Themes. 3 credits. OD
In-depth study of the themes of covenant and community as they are developed in the Pentateuch and in Prophetic and Wisdom Literature. A survey of contemporary scholarship will support a careful study of the pertinent texts.
THL 503. The Prophetic Literature Of The Old Testament. 3 credits. OD
The uniqueness of the prophetic movement. Background literary styles, relevance of the prophetic message.
THL 504. The Wisdom Literature Of The Old Testament. 3 credits. OD
Study of the patterns of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, some of the Psalms, compared with the wisdom literature of other ancient peoples.
THL 505. History of Biblical Interpretation. 3 credits.
A wide-ranging historical examination of the ways in which individuals and communities have understood and appropriated the texts of the Bible. Specific topics include theologies of Scripture, inner-biblical interpretation, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, medieval interpretation, and the study of the Bible during the Renaissance, Reformation(s), scientific revolution, and the modern period. P: THL 100 and 200-level Scripture course and Jr. stdg.
THL 507. The Gospel of Matthew. 3 credits. OD
A study of the theological vision of the text of this gospel, using all available methods and resources: redaction criticism, composition criticism, narrative criticism, etc.
THL 508. The Gospel of Mark. 3 credits. OD
A study of the first written gospel, its outline and structure, authorship, sources and influence on later New Testament writings.
THL 509. The Gospel Of Luke And The Acts Of The Apostles. 3 credits. OD
Study of Luke-Acts as a two-volume whole - a work of history, theology, and literary artistry.
THL 511. The Gospel of John. 3 credits. OD
Study of the unique witness to the meaning of Jesus in the Johannine Gospel.
THL 514. The Pastoral Epistles. 3 credits. OD
The first attempts to weld Christianity and Western humanism as initiated in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
THL 516. The Book Of Revelations (The Apocalypse). 3 credits. OD
A contemporary scholarly interpretation of the book of Revelation with reference to contemporary apocalyptic.
THL 517. The Parables of Jesus. 3 credits. OD
Stories that formed the core of Jesus' preaching. How he told them. How the evangelists retold them. How we understand them today.
THL 518. Women and the Bible. 1-3 credits. OD (Same as WGS 518, CSP 680)
Study of the representations of women in biblical narratives; attention to the construction of gender in the ancient world. Introduction to the various approaches contemporary women are taking to these biblical texts.
THL 520. The Dead Sea Scrolls. 3 credits. OD (Same as CNE 520)
Introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls and various theories about their origin. Exploration of the light they shed on the textual history of the Hebrew Bible, developments in ancient Judaism, and the early history of Christianity.
THL 523. Israelite Religions. 3 credits. (Same as CNE 523)
This course will examine the manifold expressions of Israelite religions - biblical, archaeological, and epigraphic. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of Israelite religions and the relationship of Israelite religions to the religions of her Near Eastern neighbors.P: Jr. stdg.
THL 524. History of Ancient Israel. 3 credits. OD (Same as CNE 524, HIS 524)
An examination and reconstruction of the history of ancient Israel from biblical and other ancient New Eastern literary texts, and from archaeological and epigraphic materials.
THL 525. Archaelogical Fieldwork And Analysis. 3 credits. SU (Same as ANT525, CNE 525)
The student learns the principles of stratigraphic archaeology (or underwater archaeology) by participating in an excavation for a minimum of four weeks. The student will learn stratigraphic theory and excavation strategy, basic archaeological techniques, and the basic analysis of archaeological materials recovered from the site. (Underwater archaeologists will learn basic underwater techniques in place of some terrestrial methods.) CO: THL 526.
THL 526. Archaeology Of Roman Palestine. 3 credits. SU (Same as ANT 526, CNE 526)
Study of ancient Palestine from the rise of the Herodian dynasty in the first century B.C.E. to the aftermath of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century C.E. The material of the course is the physical remains of archaeological sites throughout modern Israel, along with movable cultural remains that issued from these sites. The major focus of the course will be the interaction between Classical Mediterranean civilization on the one hand, and the Israelites and other Middle Eastern peoples on the other, in the age that yielded Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity and Islam. CO: THL 525.
THL 527. Study Tour of Biblical Israel. 3 credits. SU
Two-week guided tour of the biblical sites in Israel. Typical sites: Caesarea Maritima, Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Bethsaida, Capernaum, Tabgha, Jordan River, Sepphoris, Megiddo, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Hazor, Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Bet Shean, Jericho, Judaean Wilderness, Mt. of Olives, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Masada, and Qumran. A biblical scholar accompanies the group, supplementing local guides. Requirements include readings before trip, written reflections afterward.
THL 529. Translations of the Bible. 3 credits. (Same as CNE 529)
Various ancient translations of the Bible and their significance.
THL 530. Contemporary Catholic Theologians. 3 credits. OD
Key themes in the thought of Rahner, Conger, De Lubac, Lonergan, and other contemporary Catholic theologians.
THL 531. Studies in Early Christianity. 3 credits. FA, OD
The emergence of early Christian theology through the writing of the theologians of the first 500 years of the Church's history. Attention to some of the following themes: the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, the emergence of Classical Christology, early Christian exegesis, the thought of St. Augustine.
THL 533. Ecclesiology: Contemporary Church Questions. 3 credits.
Basic contemporary questions about the life of the church will be explored in the context of the Creed and traditional dogmatic theology. Particular emphasis on the church's transition into the third millennium.
THL 534. Introduction to Liberation Theology. 3 credits. OD
Liberation theology arose during the sixties and seventies in Latin America as a way of reflecting upon and acting out Christian faith from the perspective of those who directly experience a world of poverty, injustice and violence. Although particular to Latin America, the issues raised by liberation theology are relevant to Christianity in North America as well.
THL 535. Doctrinal Development: Christology. 3 credits. OD
Development of the Christian community's understanding and teaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
THL 536. The Mystery of God and the Suffering of Human Beings. 3 credits.
This course will treat the problem of reconciling the Christian claim that God is love, as expressed in the doctrine of providence, with the reality of human suffering.
THL 537. Doctrinal Development: Sin And Grace. 3 credits. OD
Development of the Christian community's understanding and teaching about the mysteries of grace and sin.
THL 538. Seminar in Christian Anthropology. 3 credits. OD
Study of Christian theological anthropology in eastern and western traditions.
THL 539. Seminar in Christian Eschatology. 3 credits.
Study of issues and images related to the theology of the afterlife in Christian traditions. P: 200-level Scripture Course and Jr. stdg.
THL 540. Ecclesiology: The Documents of Vatican II. 3 credits. OD
Basic contemporary questions about the life of the church will be explored through a careful study of Lumen Gentium and other selected documents from Vatican II. The Council's theology is examined in the context of the Creed and traditional dogmatic theology.
THL 541. God is Green. 3 credits.
This course explores Christian environmentalism in historical and contemporary context. Topics include the ancient church, the reformation, the impact of modern science, environmental ethics, Catholic magisterial teaching, and Christian environmental spirituality.
THL 544. Christian Celebration: The Liturgical Year. 3 credits. OD
Biblical origins and historical development of feast and season, e.g., Christmas and Easter. The theologies of the saints' days and celebrations. History and meaning of daily common prayer in the Church.
THL 545. Liturgy and Christian Life. 3 credits. OD
The historical development of Western Liturgy and its technical interpretation through the centuries. Emphasis on the saving presence of Christ and on the role of liturgy in the rest of Christian life.
THL 552. Studies in Medieval Christianity. 3 credits. SP
This course surveys the history and theology of the medieval Church, examining key religious institutions (e.g., the papacy, monastic orders, universities) and key leaders and theologians (e.g. Benedict, Gregory VII, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas). P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 553. Reformation Theology. 3 credits.
This course examines the history and theological controversies of the Reformation. Students will be introduced to: the various reform efforts of the late medieval Church; the influence of Christian Humanism; the writings of significant Protestant theologians; and the response of the Roman Catholic Church to these reform efforts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 555. Major Christian Theologian. 3 credits. SP
This course involves an in-depth study of the life and writings of a major Christian theologian, one who shaped Christian history and doctrine in a decisive way: for example, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin. This course is repeatable is taken under a different topic to a maximum of 6 credits. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 556. Christianity and Modern Humanism. 3 credits.
Comparative study of classical Christian accounts of the human condition and various modern, post-theological accounts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 560. Theology of Ministry. 3 credits. OD
Through historical investigation of the practice of ministries in the western church from earliest times to the present, this course aims to arrive at some systematic conclusions about the nature of ministry.
THL 561. Finding God In Daily Life: Prayer And Discernment. 3 credits. OD
General introduction to Christian spirituality with special emphasis on Ignatian spirituality. Goal is to deepen understanding of spirituality as well as to improve the quality of Christian living by developing practices of personal prayer and discernment of spirits. Special emphasis placed on the theology of the Holy Spirit, Ignatian spirituality and the spirituality of Thomas Merton. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; Jr. stdg.
THL 563. Contemporary Moral Problems. 3 credits. OD
A comprehensive study of one or more moral issues facing contemporary society.
THL 564. Christian Sexual Ethics. 3 credits. OD
Investigation of the historical and methodological dimensions of sexual ethics within the Catholic tradition; contemporary magisterial teachings on issues such as premarital sex, artificial birth control, homosexuality, and reproductive technologies; critical analysis of those teachings from various theological perspectives.
THL 565. Catholic Social Teaching. 3 credits. OD (Same as JPS 565)
Historical development of Catholic social teaching from the 1891 publication of "The Condition of Labor" to the present. Students are encouraged to apply the core insights of the tradition to contemporary issues.
THL 566. Catholic Social and Sexual Ethics. 3 credits.
This course investigates, compares, and contrasts the methodological foundations of Catholic social and sexual ethics using Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. It also explores and critically analyzes Catholic social and sexual teaching on issues such as poverty, immigrant rights, cohabitation, and homosexuality from various theological, sociological, historical, cultural, and biological perspectives.
THL 568. Women In The Christian Tradition. 3 credits. OD (Same as WGS 568)
Study of the outlook on man, woman, and divinity in the Bible, the Christian churches past and present, and "post-Christian" feminism. Examination of the Judeo-Christian tradition, both the pervasiveness of its patriarchal assumptions, and the liberating resources it can contribute to a healthy understanding of maleness and femaleness today.
THL 572. Ethics and Spirituality. 3 credits. OD
Consideration of the diverse spiritual traditions of Christianity to see asceticism, prayer, contemplation and discernment as categories which bridge spirituality and ethics. The traditional strands of Christian spirituality as resources for the contemporary life of faith and action. Readings from John of the Cross, Kierkegaard, Kenneth Kirk, Dorothy Day, Merton, Barth and Rahner.
THL 573. Religion and Politics. 3 credits. OD
Four Christian formulations of the relation of religion to politics: the sectarian approach, linked to liberal humanism; the natural law tradition, reformulated as basic human rights; the integration of religion and politics in liberation theology; and Christian realism with its dialectic of distance and engagement. Some of the complex interpenetrations of religious issues and political realities. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125) and a 200-level Scripture course and Jr. stdg.
THL 574. Faith and Food. 3 credits. OD
A biblical and contemporary approach to food as fellow creature, medium of fellowship, component of worship, tool of exploitation, prophetic symbol, and object of stewardship.
THL 575. Foundations of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. AY, FA, SP
Designed to introduce students to the major historic and contemporary themes, images and practices in the Christian spiritual tradition. Focus on students' integration of that tradition into their own lives.
THL 576. Introduction to Jesuit Spirituality. 3 credits. OD
Study of the life and selected writings of St. Ignatius Loyola as well as contemporary interpretation of his spirituality. Topics include Jesuit prayer, selections from the Constitutions of Society of Jesus, chief documents from the 32nd Congregation of the Society of Jesus, discernment, and the vow of obedience.
THL 577. Special Questions in Jesuitica. 1-4 credits.
Systematic and/or historical investigation of topics relating to the Society of Jesus. Content and number of credits to be specified when the course is offered. (This course offered only at the Jesuit College, St. Paul, Minn.
THL 579. Special Methods of Teaching Religion in the Secondary Schools. 3 credits. (Same as EDU 579)
Overview of the principles for communicating the Christian message effectively to different age levels with opportunities to observe and put them into practice. The course deals with the objectives and functions of religious education in terms of secondary school learning experiences. Attention is directed to the selection, organization, and presentation of meaningful learning materials and selection, use and evaluation of textbooks and related aids. P or CO: EDU 341 and EDU 342 or EDU 551 and EDU 552.
THL 585. Foundational Principles And Leadership Skills For Youth Ministry. 4 credits. OD
The foundational understandings and principles of comprehensive youth ministry; a deeper understanding for the minister of the theological foundations of Youth Ministry. Theories, skills and approaches for effective leadership in ministry.
THL 586. Fostering The Faith Growth Of Youth Through The Components Of Youth Ministry. 4 credits. OD
Exploration of adolescent spirituality, theological and spiritual foundations for engaging young people in the work of justice and service, theological understandings of faith, discipleship, and Catholic identity, and caring for young people and their families.
THL 587. Methods Of Teaching Religion In Elementary School. 3 credits. AY, FA (Same as EDU 587)
The course is designed to prepare students to effective religious educators in Catholic elementary schools. The course content will encompass the four dimensions of religious education: message, community, service and worship. Students will not only become acquainted with methods and materials for teaching religion, but they will also gain experience planning liturgical celebrations.
THL 588. Christian Ethics of War and Peace. 3 credits. OD (Same as JPS 588)
Introduction to the development and application of Christian ethical perspectives on the use of lethal force from the biblical period to the present day. Just war theory and pacifism in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Special attention given to the formation of personal conscience in reflection on public policy and world events, both historical and current. P: PHL 250/THL 250 or One Magis Core Ethics course and Jr. stdg.
THL 589. The Rwanda Genocide as a Challenge for the Church. 3 credits.
Exploration of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide in historical, theological, and political contexts with particular focus on roles played by majority Catholic Church. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125).
THL 592. Practicum in Ministry. 3-6 credits.
Supervised experience and development of skills in appropriate ministry under faculty direction.
THL 594. Special Seminar in Biblical Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours.
THL 596. Special Seminar in Historical-Doctrinal-Liturgical Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 598. Special Seminar in Christian Life Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
Professors: Julia A. Fleming, Leonard J. Greenspoon, Thomas M. Kelly, John J. O'Keefe, Todd A. Salzman, Ronald A. Simkins, Wendy M. Wright
Professor Emeritus: H. Dennis Hamm S.J., Richard J. Hauser S.J., Michael G. Lawler, Bruce J. Malina
Associate Professors: Eileen C. Burke-Sullivan, Harold Ashley Hall, Richard W. Miller, Nicolae Roddy
Assistant Professors: Dulcinea Boesenberg, Sherri Brown, Susan Calef, James Carney, Max T. Engel, Jill O'Brien