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MA and Ph.D. Course Descriptions

Note: Not all courses listed are currently available.

THEO 508 THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS: 3 credits. A study of the bases of theological thought and formulation: revelation, the transmission of revelation, experience, the magisterium, and their proper use in theological method. 

THEO 507 SACRAMENTALITY IN COMPARATIVE THEOLOGY: This course provides a substantive graduate level exploration of the notion of sacramentality from a comparative-theological perspective. The study includes introducing the method of comparative theology and the exercise of this method in the study of two religious traditions, i.e., Hinduism and Christianity. The study focuses on Ramanja (1017-1137) who developed a sacramental worldview and worship in Sri Vaishnava tradition. The course also presents a detailed examination of sacramentality from the perspective of pneumatology and grace, with specific reference to important theologians such as Karl Rahner, Jürgen Motman and various sacramental world-views in the Orthodox traditions as well as the pan-en-theistic view in contemporary theology.

THEO 509* INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT: 3 credits. A survey of Synoptics, Johannine, and Pauline theology through concentration on selected books of the New Testament.

THEO 510* INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT: 3 credits. A survey of Pentateuchal, Prophetic, and Wisdom theology through concentration on selected books and passages of the Old Testament.

THEO 520 CHRISTOLOGY: 3 credits. A study of central questions in Christology: Jesus' identity (divinity and humanity) and his saving work. Special attention is given to the themes of New Testament Christology, as well as the Christological councils, in light of contemporary theological scholarship.

THEO 524: ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN THE LONG 19TH CENTURY (1789-1914): When the long nineteenth century (1789-1914) is studied by historians of Christianity, it is commonly examined as a period in which an aggressive secularization marginalized religious practice in society, when the rise of historical consciousness called into question long held assumptions about the Christian past, and when the emergence of scientific positivism displaced appeals to revealed truth. This course explores how Catholics in this period responded to these challenges. Central to the theme of this course is the question: Why did challenges to the Catholic faith result in expanded claims for papal authority, and contribute to the Romanization of the Catholic Church around the world?

THEO 531 ECCLESIOLOGY: 3 credits. A study of the Church in its origin and its subsequent historical-theological developments, with particular attention given to post-Vatican II perspectives.

THEO 538 THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENTS: 3 credits. An analysis of the origin and development of the notion of sacramentality and of the seven rites that the Catholic tradition recognizes as sacraments; an evaluation of the various Christian meanings of "grace" in relation to sacrament.

THEO 539 THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY: 3 credits. An analysis of the concept of ministry including the meaning of the term and its historical expressions; issues in ministry in Roman Catholicism and other Christian churches; theological reflection in ministry; "new" ministries in the church.

THEO 541 FOUNDATIONS OF MORAL THEOLOGY: 3 credits. A study of the principles of moral conduct based on the New Testament and on the teachings of the Church; special treatment of the human-divine relationship, the place of Christ in human life, human freedom, conscience and self-determination, sin, conversion; analysis of the pluralism of ethical methodologies in Christian moral theology.

THEO 543 CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT: 3 credits. An examination and evaluation of Catholic Church teaching on major social issues in the papal encyclicals, conciliar documents and Episcopal pronouncements from Leo XIII to the present day.

THEO 577 INTRODUCTION TO CATECHETICS: 3 credits. An overview of the history of catechetics and the modern catechetical movement, together with an examination of recent catechetical documents of the church and contemporary issues and approaches.

THEO 579 CATECHESIS OF ADULTS: 3 credits. A study of adulthood and catechesis to include: documents of the Church regarding the catechesis of adults, adult learning theories, the educational needs of adults, types of adults, and the types of responses possible to meet those needs on the parish level.

THEO 589 SUPERVISED MINISTRY: 3 credits. A two-semester, structured, supervised ministry experience that is focused by the goals and objectives of each student's learning covenant. Students engage in ministerial activities, receive individual supervision, and participate in biweekly seminars with peers. Emphasis is placed on the development of disciplined theological reflection; additional elements of focus include spiritual formation, professional ethics and identity, Catholic social teaching and Spiritan identity as these relate to ministry.

THEO 590 DIRECTED READINGS IN THEOLOGY: An opportunity to work with a faculty member in his/her field of competence on a tutorial basis, in order to explore a theological theme chosen by the student which would serve as a vital complement to his/her program. Maximum permitted is 3 credit hours.

THEO 592 DIRECTED RESEARCH:FOUNDATIONS IN THEOLOGY: A study of the bases of theological thought and formulation: revelation, the transmission of the revelation, experience, the magisterium and their proper use in the theological method

THEO 599 THESIS: 0-6 credits

THEO 600: RESEARCH AND TEACHING METHODOLOGY IN THEOLOGY: Research and Teaching Methodology in Theology gives graduate students an opportunity to explore the two primary professional practices that academic theologians employ in disseminating disciplinary knowledge. In half of the semester, students investigate theological research practices including research methodologies, the publication process, and writing strategies to promote a successful writing career as theologians. In the second half of the course, students explore the role of the theologian as a teacher by considering general pedagogical principles in higher education and theologically specific pedagogical approaches. The focus of the course on research and teaching prepares graduate students as theologians in the teacher-scholar tradition of Duquesne University.

THEO 607 SACRAMENTALITY IN COMPARATIVE THEOLOGY: This course provides a substantive graduate level exploration of the notion of sacramentality from a comparative-theological perspective. The study includes introducing the method of comparative theology and the exercise of this method in the study of two religious traditions, i.e., Hinduism and Christianity. The study focuses on Ramanja (1017-1137) who developed a sacramental worldview and worship in Sri Vaishnava tradition. The course also presents a detailed examination of sacramentality from the perspective of pneumatology and grace, with specific reference to important theologians such as Karl Rahner, Jürgen Motman and various sacramental world-views in the Orthodox traditions as well as the pan-en-theistic view in contemporary theology.

THEO 619 NEW TESTAMENT SEMINAR: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 649: THEOLOGICAL ETHICS IN GLOBAL CONTEXT: "The Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations...at the same time, the Church, sent to all peoples of every time and place, is not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life recent or ancient. Faithful to her own tradition and at the same time conscious of her universal mission, she can enter into communion with the various civilizations, to their enrichment and the enrichment of the Church herself" (Gaudium et Spes, 58). In this course, students will have the opportunity to explore Christian theological ethics from multiple cultural perspectives. We will attend to the creative tension that arises as theologians endeavor to inculturate the ethical teachings of Christianity into diverse time periods and cultures.

THEO 650 MORAL THEOLOGY SEMINAR I: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 667: MARION'S THEOLOGICAL TURN IN PHENOMENOLOGY: This course will provide students with an overall perspective on the importance of phenomenological ways of theorizing and their overall contribution to postmodern, specifically Continental, theological conversations. Using the thought of Jean-Luc Marion, the course will show the contemporary nexus between philosophical and theological theorizing with their respective boundaries and the concomitant ambiguities between the two discourses. Special attention will be paid to Marion's notion of saturated phenomenality.

THEO 671 THEOLOGY OF GOD: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 675 MORAL THEOLOGY SEMINAR II: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 677 DOCTRINE SEMINAR II: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 690 INDEPENDENT STUDY: Topic to be chosen by the student in consultation with a professor.

THEO 692-01 THEOLOGIES OF MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY: This seminar will explore theologies of marriage and the family. It will pay careful attention to official teaching since Vatican II with a special emphasis of the recent synod on the family and the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The official Roman Catholic teaching will be interfaced with contemporary challenges and debates such as same sex marriage, birth regulation, cultural diversity of practice, pre martial sexual behavior, etc.

THEO 693-61 RECEPTION OF BIBLICAL THEOPHANIES AND THE MAKING OF A CHRISTIAN BIBLE: The course will introduce students to a number of biblical texts in the Hebrew Bible narrating the appearance of God to various individuals or communities, and discuss their history of interpretation from inner-biblical interpretation, to the Septuagint translation, and the latter's exegesis in early Christianity. After exploring the place of theophanies in the religious imagination of biblical Israel, students will analyze the various interpretive strategies by which these texts were, first, linked into a coherent textual and exegetical "tissue" and, later, became the lens through which the Hebrew Bible came to be appropriated as the "Old Testament," the scriptural basis for articulating early Christian identity.

THEO 694-01 CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF JUSTICE: The publication of John Rawls' Theory of Justice in 1971 stimulated a renewed interest in the meaning of justice among Anglo-American moral, political, and social philosophers that has continued into the present moment. This seminar will examine several representative thinkers in contemporary debates about justice, including Rawls himself. We will also ask whether and how insights from these recent debates might be incorporated into Christian perspectives on the subject and how, conversely, insights from the Christian tradition can contribute to contemporary debates about justice.

THEO 695: THEOLOGICAL ETHICS: A study of Roman Catholic moral theology and health care, with attention to issues of theory and method, and some attention to Jewish health care ethics.

THEO 696 EMMANUEL LEVINAS: Course topic to be chosen by the professor.

THEO 697 THE CHURCH: ICON OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD: We will investigate some of the most important aspects of contemporary Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiologies, e.g. laity, communion, liturgy, women's ordination, church and state, papacy, and Christian unity. The class will have a phenomenological approach; it will focus on the experience and the expectation of the Kingdom in the Church, to present the Church as icon (sign instrument) of the Kingdom of God.

THEO 700 THESIS THEOLOGY

THEO 701 DISSERTATION

*These courses are required for the M.A. in Religious Education and do not fulfill the other M.A. degree requirements in Scripture.