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Church History


General Courses

CHUR 501 The First Millennium: Patrology (3)
A survey of church history from Apostolic times to the Gregorian Reform. The course focuses on the development of the institutional church, with particular emphasis on the theological, political, and pastoral controversies that occasioned growth. Accented throughout the course will be how the lives and writings of the Fathers of the Church contributed to the growth of the church. Moreover, each student will be required to read primary source materials from several key Fathers of the Church. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for the Church History concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

CHUR 502 Medieval and Renaissance Church History (3)
A survey of church history from the Gregorian Reform to the Council of Trent. The course will continue the story of church development begun in CHUR 501, again centering on theological, political, and pastoral controversies occasioning growth. Accented throughout the course will be the influence of the lives and writings of great medieval thinkers on the growth of the church. Especial attention will be given to how the tradition established by the Fathers of the Church is nurtured throughout the Middle Ages. Moreover, each student will be required to read primary source materials from several key medieval Christian authors. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for the Church History concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

CHUR 601 Modern and Contemporary Church History (3)
A survey of church history from the Council of Trent to the present day. The course concludes the sequence of church history courses, CHUR 501 and CHUR 502, tracing the development of the institutional church through its  theological, political, and pastoral controversies. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for the Church History concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

CHUR 80 History of the Church in the United States (3)
A study of selected themes, topics and persons in the development of the church in the United States from Spanish and French explorations through Americanism and Modernism. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for the Church History concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

Elective Courses

M.A. (Theology) degree candidates concentrating in Church History, concomitant with the elective requirement, take an additional one-credit directed research course for inclusion in the Research Projects Portfolio required for the degree.

CHUR 901 Topics in Church History (2)
This course concentrates on the early history of the Bible. The focus is on how the Bible was brought together, how it was studied, and how it was transmitted across the early Christian and medieval worlds. While the central concern will be the Bible itself, both as a collection of texts and as a physical artifact, we will also engage principal Christian thinkers who significantly advanced the Christian appreciation for an study of the Bible. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies. Recent topics included the history of the Bible in patristic and Medieval worlds (fall 2010)

CHUR 906 The Church in the Twentieth Century (2)
A study of the church in the 20th century. Emphasis is given to the pontificates of Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.

CHUR 908 The Black Catholic Experience (2)
A seminar designed to increase the students’ awareness of the past relationship between the churches and black communities, beginning with the failed Christianization of West Africa. Black American bishops, religious orders and pioneer parishes are given particular study.

CHUR 909 Medieval Hagiography (2)
An exploration of a genre of literature central to the tradition of the Church. In the early and medieval church, hagiography was crucial for transmitting doctrinal and, especially, moral information from one generation to the next. Through the course of the semester students will read and discuss crucial "bestsellers" of early church hagiography as well as popular texts in order to understand both the core content and broad range of the tradition. Particular attention will be paid to which ideas seem to endure over time and across cultures and which ideas change and develop. While Latin Christian material (in translation) will be the bulk of the reading, Jewish, Islamic, and Byzantine works will be read for enrichment and comparison.

CHUR 910 Medieval Mystagogy or What Did RCIA Look Like in the Early Church?
In this course we will look at the catechetical programs of important early Christian leaders, west and east, such as St. Augustine and St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Students will read how luminaries of the early church organized their thoughts on Christianity for dissemination to the people. In addition to what was communicated, students will consider how Christian doctrine was communicated to initiates. The general purpose of the course will be to introduce students to the pastoral wisdom and activities of the Fathers of the Church. The particular purpose will be to explore how Church fathers made the mysteries of the faith both accessible and persuasive to new Christians.

CHUR 911 Research Seminar: History of the Church in the USA (2)
Training in oral history skills in addition to visits to prominent sites of American ecclesiastical import.

CHUR 912  History of the Church in Latin America (3)
A study of Latin American church history from colonial times to the present day. Emphasis is given to contemporary issues such as liberation theology, basic Christian communities, shortages of priests, growth of lay leadership, and the Medellín, Puebla and Santo Domingo Conferences. Cross-listed as PATH 912.

CHUR 913 Hispanics and the Church in the USA (3)
A study of the importance of the Hispanic factor in the church in the United States. Emphasis is given to the richness of the Hispanic cultures, past and new movements of immigration, and the manner in which the church is attempting to meet Hispanic needs. Cross-listed as PATH 913.

CHUR 914 American Catholic Culture (2)
The particular context of the Catholic Church in the United States will be studied through two modes of art and architecture, demographics, drama, ethnicity, language and idiom, literature, poetry, and popular religiosity.

CHUR 917 The History of Religion in the USA (2)
In guest lectures, site visits and research reports, the history of churches in the United States will be explored. Special attention will be given to those denominations that find their origins here.

CHUR 918-919 Topics in the Fathers of the Church (2)
The texts and themes of this course will vary from semester to semester. Specifics will be decided upon in consultation with the students, the church history department, and the academic dean. In each case special attention will be given to the living tradition of the Church as exemplified by the lives and writings of the Fathers and as understood through the theological thought of the Fathers. The course will be primary source driven and discussion intensive. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies. Recent offerings have included Patristic Seminar: Preaching in the Work of Augustine and Gregory the Great (fall 2011); The Four Fathers of the Latin Church: Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great (spring 2010); and CHUR 920 Jews, Christians, & Muslims in the Middle Ages.

CHUR 921 History of Heaven (2)
An examination of how Christians have understood and imagined heaven down through western history. here are three goals: first, to understand the development of Christian teaching on man's final end; second, to try to plot the range of interests in and devotions concerning heaven found in Christian tradition; third, consider how presentations of heaven, either in writing or in art, create opportunities for catechesis. The course will consist of lecture and discussion.

 
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