Spring 2023 Preview

Spring 2023 course offerings are being finalized. This page will be updated as additional details are determined.

Catholic Studies Faculty Courses

Course NumberCourse TitleDetails
CATH 205

I Believe: Principles of the Catholic Faith

Instructor TBD
TR 9:25 - 10:40 AM

The center of the Catholic faith is Jesus Christ, who as the eternal Son of God become human, reveals who God is and the meaning and goal of human existence. The Church's reception of his revelation is articulated in the ancient statements of faith known as the creeds. Using the Apostles' Creed as our guide, this course will explore the basic principles of the Catholic faith and explicate the thinking which they entail.

3 Credits

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH Majors: Meets Major Requirement

CATH 266

Health, Disability, and Justice

Dr. Elizabeth Cochran
TR 12:15 - 1:30 PM

This course draws on resources from Christian theology, philosophy, and psychology to explore the meaning and scope of “health” in relation to the human species, with particular attention to how disability and mental health are understood. Students will engage historical and contemporary accounts of human flourishing and discern how taking health and disability into account generates competing understandings of what it means for human beings to flourish. The course concludes with a consideration of how to advocate for just treatment of persons with disabilities. Students will identify practices and social structures that inhibit flourishing for people with disabilities, and reflect on what sorts of practices might best promote justice.

3 Credits

Bridges: Ethical Reasoning & Moral Responsibility

Bridges: Social & Historical Reasoning

CATH 281

Rule-Breakers: A New Look at the Ten Commandments through Film

Dr. Kenneth Parker
R 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Rule-Breakers takes as its centerpiece the internationally acclaimed film series, "Dekalog," a set of related narratives exploring the consequences of transgressing divine norms found in the Ten Commandments. Through these masterfully crafted stories, we will explore perennial questions about the human condition and consider what it means to live out of harmony with God and other humans.

We will divide our time into three parts: first, engage in student-led introductions to the night's topic, based on assigned readings; second, watch the 50-minute film together; and in the final hour discuss the subtleties of the film narrative and its implications for our understanding of the commandment being explored.

3 Credits

Bridges: Meets Theology Requirement

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH 315

Internship

Earn 1-3 Catholic Studies academic credits. Engage in social outreach, teaching, or ministerial experiences in and outside the Pittsburgh area. Available for spring, summer, or fall semesters.

1-3 Credits

CATH 353

The Apocalypse and the Bible

Dr. William Wright
TBD

A study of apocalypticism as found in biblical texts from both the Old and New Testaments, especially the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. Attention will also be given to major ways in which biblical apocalypticism has been received throughout its history of interpretation, including major instances in music and the arts.

3 Credits

Bridges: Competencies Pending

CATH 395

Development in the Life of the Church Seminar

Dr. William Wright
TBD

A project-based seminar experience that will mix joint and individual projects with guided reading focused on a theme established by the instructor.

3 Credits

CATH 452

Marion & Phenomenology (PHL 489, PHL 589)

Dr. James Swindal
TR 3:05 - 4:20 PM

Jean-Luc Marion has moved phenomenology in new directions with his development of the notion of saturated phenomenon. Criticizing the grounding of phenomenology in objects (Husserl) and Being (Heidegger), and building from insights of Derrida and Merleau-Ponty, he posits the principle that “the more reduction, the more givenness.” On this basis he does a phenomenology of “being given” that is far more receptive to what is nonintuitive, in excess of conceptuality, and theological. The course will explore the genesis of saturated phenomenon, the problem of epistemology that it engenders, and how it has been taken up by Catholic and non Catholic theologians both positively (Levinas, Henri, Mackinlay, Chrétian) and critically (Janicaud).

3 Credits

Bridges: Meets Philosophy Requirement

EQ 132

Is Care for the Planet My Responsibility?

Dr. Chris Cimorelli
MW 3:00 - 4:15 PM

With the stakes of climate change already high and ever rising, this essential-question course considers various levels of responsibility-personal, societal, global-for the ecological crisis facing humanity. The consideration of one's own responsibility will be facilitated by an engagement with myriad resources both within and outside of Catholic Christianity treating issues of ecology, care for the planet, and a renewed understanding of creation and faith informed by dialogue with the natural sciences.

3 Credits

Bridges: Essential Questions Seminar

Cross-Listed Courses

Course NumberCourse TitleDetails
CATH 121

Interpersonal Communication (COMM 103)

TBD
MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM

TBD
M 6:00 - 8:40 PM

Introduces interpersonal communication praxis (theory-informed action) in personal and professional relationships. The course develops communication skills in a variety of personal and professional relationships, including friendships, romantic relationships, work relationships, and family relationships and explores how interpersonal justice, a requirement for social justice, both stemming from and contributing to its action, requires reflection and care.

3 Credits

Bridges: Communication & Creative Expression

CATH 125

Spiritans & the Catholic Faith in a Global Environment (IR 125)

Fr. William Cleary
MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM

This course seeks to survey the history, charism, and spirituality of the Spiritans and the wider presence of the Catholic Faith within the context of their global presence. Catholic Social Teaching and the ministry of the Spiritans will be considered in the face of changing global challenges.

3 Credits

Bridges: Cultural Fluency & Responsiveness

Bridges: Social & Historical Reasoning

CATH 221

Sociology of Catholicism (SOCI 233)

Dr. Sarah MacMillen
TR 9:25 - 10:40 AM

This course draws upon the Catholic Intellectual Tradition from the time of the Early Christians and Church Fathers, through medieval and Counter-Reformation moments, into the modern and postmodern age through the lens of sociological and anthropological theory. It focuses on how the Catholic tradition shapes the understanding of religion, and the social realm alike.

3 Credits

Bridges: Cultural Fluency & Responsiveness

Bridges: Social & Historical Reasoning

CATH 224

Approaches to Rhetoric, Religion, and Society (COMM 220)

Dr. Anthony Wachs
MWF 1:00 - 1:50 PM

Explores intersections between religion and public life in civic contexts through rhetorical principles and practices. The course focuses on the context of American society, history, and practice.

3 Credits

Bridges: Communication & Creative Expression

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH 253

Love and Friendship (PHIL 299)

Dr. Thérèse Bonin
MWF 1:00 - 1:50 PM

A philosophical consideration of love and friendship: the nature of love, its causes, its effects, its many manifestations, the mutual love found in friendship, the kinds of friendship, and the importance of friendship in human life.

3 Credits

Bridges: Meets Philosophy Requirement

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH 451

St. Thomas Aquinas - God and Being (PHL 421, PHIL 521)

Dr. Thérèse Bonin
MW 4:25 - 5:40 PM

This course is an introduction to Thomas Aquinas' philosophical theology through a close reading of his Summa contra gentiles - not the whole text, which would take many semesters, but as much as we can read with care. We will give special attention to the historical context of the work so as to shed light on the much discussed question of Thomas' intention in writing it, and also to the role he assigns the philosophy of nature.

3 Credits

Bridges: Meets Philosophy Requirement