SYST 501 Revelation, Faith, and Theology (3)
This course in fundamental theology, which doubles as an introduction to systematic theology, begins with a first look at the relations that obtain among Revelation, faith, and theology. It then examines in greater detail these themes in the opposite order. First, the nature, content, methods,and history of Catholic theology as a particularly intellectual response to faith is presented. Second, faith itself is examined as the primary human response to God's personal revelation as it is present in the individual and within the Church. Finally, the sources, interpretation, transmission, and development of Revelation are elucidated. For this reason, the course, after a brief introduction, treats in turn the theology of theology, the theology of faith, and the theology of Revelation. In this way all of the classical themes of fundamental theology are addressed: Scripture and Tradition, canonicity and inspiration, creed and dogma, and Church and Magisterium. Required for the S.T.B., M.Div., and M.A. (theology) degree programs.
SYST 502 Theology of the Tri-personal God (3)
This course familiarizes students with magisterial teaching about the Holy Trinity, and the historical doctrinal errors this teaching seeks to correct. Using texts from Joseph Ratzinger (as was at publication of course materials), St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Bl. John Henry Newman the course will explore various Scriptural and theological explanations of the Church's doctrine on the Trinity. Next, this course examines speculations in Trinitarian theology from Karl Rahne, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and other contemporary trends in light of previous course material. Finally, we will briefly survey some catechetical tools and methods for teaching the doctrine of the Trinity. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs.
SYST 604 Sacraments: Baptism and Confirmation (3)
A study of the nature of sacramentality, and of the sacraments in general, and their relationship to Christ and the church. Baptism and Confirmation as initiation into the church: their biblical sources, historical and liturgical development, and contemporary questions, including catechetical considerations. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for the Systematic Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.
SYST 605 Grace I: Protology and Anthropology (3)
This course, which may also be entitles the Theology of Creation and the Human Person, employs historical, textual, and above all systematic approaches to investigate the overarching mysteries of creation and the human person as well as the ancillary teachings these mysteries imply: creation from God, the created order, providence, the human person as image of God, the sexual distinction, the original state, the relation of nature to grace, the Fall and its consequences, evil and sin, and the natural desire for God. St. Thomas Aquinas (whose presentations of these issues are available for embracing later insights of Catholic tradition, human reason, and personal experience) serves as master guide for organizing the various dimensions of these mysteries into a coherent whole. Required for the S.T.B., M.Div. and M.A. (theology) degree programs.
SYST 606 Grace II: Grace and the Theological Virtues (3)
This course studies the mystery of grace and its God-directed expressions in the graced human responses of faith, hope, and love. Both method and content, always rooted in Scripture, follow the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas which, coordinated with earlier and later insights of the Catholic tradition and human reason, serve to organize the various mysteries of grace into a coherent whole. Certain preliminary issues introduce the mystery of grace, which is addressed in questions concerning the Old and New Laws, necessity, nature, kinds, causes and effects of grace, the new life of grace offered by Jesus Christ, the relation of uncreated to created grace, the relation of grace to the sacraments, and the divine indwelling. St. Thomas' teachings are also consulted for an in-depth study of the three theological virtues as the supernatural habits that enable one to live the graced life. The divine indwelling, the infused moral virtues, ad the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are briefly introduced in this context. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs.
SYST 704 Holy Orders (3)
An historical and systematic study of Orders: the Scripture texts, patristic sources and later development of dogma. Development and theology of the three degrees of the sacrament of Orders, and emphasis on the ordained’s configuration to Christ, the Head and Shepherd of the church, in his triple office of priest, teacher and pastor. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs.
SYST 705 Christology and Soteriology (3)
The central mystery of the Christian faith is Christ: who he is and what he has done for us. The first aspect of the mystery is studied in Christology in the proper sense; the second aspect is studied in the part of Christology called Soteriology or Theology of Redemption. A systematic approach to Christology guides this course's review of key historical moments in the Church's theological elucidation of the mystery of Christ and his salvific work. After the nature and method of the discipline is introduced, classical Christology is examined from the perspectives of a Catholic reading of Sacred Scripture, its development in the controversies, councils, and Fathers of the early Church, and St. Thomas Aquinas's synthesis in the Summa Theologiae's first tract on Christ. The problems that arose in the modern period are then identified ad critically addressed, and a brief look at contemporary approaches to Christology is undertaken. Christology proper concludes with a synthesis that attempts to offer the best Catholic thinking in terms of method and content with an eye toward outlining an adequate Christology for the future. Soteriology begins with introductory lectures that situate the discipline and provide a general overview of the questions to be addressed. Its career is photographed at key historical moments: emergence from the pages of Sacred Scripture, major developments in the Patristic period, the sharpened articulations of the medieval period, particularly those for St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas. and the Reformation teachings. Finally, contemporary developments and questions are approached through the teachings of John Paul II. The course concludes by attempting an adequate Soteriology that does justice to redemption as ontology, liberation, reconciliation, satisfaction, and redemptive love. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for Systematic Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.
SYST 707 Ecclesiology I (3)
This course will analyze the origin, nature, and mission of the mystery of the Church. There is a particular focus on the preparation for the church in the Old Testament and on the establishment of the Church by Christ and the holy Spirit. The course examines the essence and structure of the Church as the sacrament of salvation and the eschatological goal of the Church - union with the Trinity. In general, the course highlights the ecclesiological teaching of Vatican Council II and its subsequent development in Magisterial teaching. There will be a special emphasis on the marks of the Church of Christ: Unity, Apostolicity, Catholicity, and Holiness. The Universal Call to Holiness will be presented as the blueprint for Christian living in each of the Christian states of life. Finally, with Lumen Gentium VIII as guide, the Church's Marian doctrine and spirituality will be presented in a Christological and Ecclesiotypical format. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for Systematic Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.
SYST 801 Sacraments of Healing: Penance and Anointing(2)
An historical and theological study of the development of the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Penance. A thorough look at the rites for the celebration of these two sacraments and pastoral practicum sessions. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs. Ordination candidates also take ORDN 802 The Good Confessor (a penance practicum/0 credit).
SYST 802 Holy Eucharist (2)
An historical and systematic study of the Eucharist: the Scripture texts, patristic sources, theological development and contemporary conciliar and papal teaching, as well as a presentation of the appropriate Canons on the Eucharist from the Code of Canon Law. Emphasis on the Eucharist under four aspects: memorial sacrifice, sacramental presence, sign of unity, and eschatological banquet. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs. Ordination candidates also take LITY 802 Mass Practicum/1 credit.
SYST 803 Ecclesiology II (3)
The first portion of this class offers a theological and pastoral course on the foundation, principles, goals and practice of ecumenism and missionary activity in the church today. The course studies the major magisterial documents related to ecumenism and missiology, the major inter-religious dialogues, ecumenical dialogues, the various forms of ecumenical cooperation, and missionary work. The second portion of the course will consider the immediate and final eschatology, death, judgment, purgatory, heaven and hell in the context of their ecclesiological dimensions. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs.
M.A. (Theology) degree candidates concentrating in Systematic Theology, concomitant with the elective requirement, take an additional one-credit directed research course for inclusion in the Research Projects Portfolio required for the degree.
SYST 906 Themes in Systematic Theology (2)
This course will afford the opportunity for concentrators in Systematic Theology to study one specialized topic, or several interrelated topics, which are treated more generally in one of the core courses of Systematic Theology (Trinity, Christology, Ecclesiology, Grace, Creation and Man, Sacraments) in much greater depth, using primary resources (the writings of great theologians past and present). This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies. Recent offerings have included:
Evangelization and Conversion (spring 2011) This course will examine the realities of evangelization and conversion through the millennial writings of Pope John Paul II with reference to Paul VI's Evangelii Nuntiandi, and through the study of two classical works: St. Augustine's Confessions and St. Teresa if Avila's Interior Castle. In addition, the course will identify contemporary tools, methods, and initiatives in evangelization including the new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.
Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit (fall 2012/fall 2010)
Utilizing the insights of the Fathers of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, John of St. Thomas, and various contemporary theologians and spiritual writers, this elective will investigate the rich tradition of the Sevenfold Gift of the Holy Spirit. The students will consider the nature of the Gifts as well as the relationship of each gift to the theological and moral virtues and the Gospel Beatitudes. Special attention will be given to the nature of Christian mysticism, ecclesial charisms, and the role of the Holy Spirit in the various Christian states of life.
St. John of the Cross and the Eucharist (spring 2012)
After a brief and general introduction to the spirituality of St. John of the Cross, this course will be a study of the Eucharist in the life and the writings of St. John of the Cross. The testimonial evidence available from the 17th century eyewitnesses and textual and theological analyses of Eucharistic passages in St. John’s poetry, treatises, and minor works will be explored in depth. In this course, we will also examine the implications of the Mystical Doctor’s Eucharistic theology and practice for authentic Catholic spirituality.
SYST 907 Readings in Soteriology (2)
A study of Patristic texts and Medieval and Modern theologies of redemption, of the various ways in which the Fathers, Doctors, and other great theologians have understood the redemptive significance of the Mission of Jesus Christ and the salvific power of His life, death, resurrection, and exaltation; in short, of what it means when the Church confesses Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the World.
SYST 911 Mariology: Selected Questions (2)
This course provides a historical survey of modern Marian theology, examining 20th century development of Catholic theology of Mary in light of the Second Vatican Council. Contemporary systematic developments will be presented in an integrated fashion, with focus on Mary in her relation to, and her role in, the mystery of Christ and the church. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies. Required for the S.T.B. program. Recent offerings have included:
Mariology (fall 2011)
This course provides an historical survey of modern Marian theology, examining 20th century development of Catholic theology of Mary in light of the Second Vatican Council. Contemporary systematic developments will be presented in an integrated fashion, with focus on Mary in her relation to, and her role in, the mystery of Christ and the Church.
Mariology in the Writings of the Fathers of the Church (fall 2009)
This course will present the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of Christ and the Church as seen through the eyes of the Fathers of the ancient Church. The main areas of concentration will be the early articulation and development of the doctrine of Mary, especially in reference to her sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, Divine Motherhood, and assumption into Heaven. The course will include a consideration of the patristic teaching on St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Christ. Finally, we shall examine the role the writings of the Fathers of the Church played in the composition of Chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium as well as their influence in recent Marian Sacramentary.
Mary in the History of Salvation (fall 2007)
This course will provide a survey of the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the History of Salvation and, in particular, in the life of Christ and the Church. The main areas of concentration are Mary in the Scriptures, Mary in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the Marian Dogmas of the Church, the teaching of the contemporary magisterium, Mary in the Liturgy of the Church, the Marian orientation of Catholic spirituality, as well as contemporary approaches, questions, and controversies.
SYST 916 Great Theologians (2)
An in-depth study of the thought of a single great theologian or a theological theme as it is developed in a series of theologians over time, including such figures as St. Augustine, St. Anselm, Newman, DeLubac, Congar, Rahner and von Balthasar. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies. Recent offerings have included:
The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI (spring 2013)
Introduction to the life and theology of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Using both primary and secondary texts, the class will explore fundamental themes in his work, including: ecclesiology, liturgy, Biblical study, and the relationships between Biblical, Dogmatic, and Moral theology. The course will explore some primary texts written by Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and also some secondary literature on his work.
Hans Urs von Balthazar
An introduction to the life and theology of Hans Urs von Balthazar, one of the most preeminent and influential theologians of the 20th century. The course will explore fundamental themes in his work, including: beauty, eschatology, his encounters and collaborations with Henri de Lubac, Karl Barth, and Adrienne von Speyr, and his great theological debates with Karl Rahner and Neo-Scholasticism. The course will explore some primary texts written by von Balthazar, and also some secondary literature on his work.
The Theology of Ratzinger and von Balthazar (fall 2009)
An introduction to the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Hans Urs von Balthazar, one of the most preeminent and influential theologians of the 20th century, exploring fundamental themes in the work of each figure, including: ecclesiology, liturgy and the relationship between Biblical, Dogmatic, ad Moral theology in Ratzinger/Benedict's work, and beauty, eschatology, and great theological debates with Rahner an neo-scholasticism in von Balthazar's work.
SYST 917 Introduction to Patristics (2)
This course provides an introduction to the theological thought of the Fathers of the church, the historical context of their teaching, and the contribution of their teaching as privileged witnessed to the handing on of God’s revelation through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
SYST 920 Thomistic Seminar (3)
An in-depth study of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, including such topics as "The Nature of Theology," "Questions of Trinitarian Theology," etc. Prerequisite: basic Latin. Required for the S.T.B. degree program, and along with the concomitant research project may fulfill an elective requirement for Systematic Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program. Recent topics have included:
Knowing and Loving (spring 2013)
Knowing, loving, and their derivative acts represent the sole activities of God and angelic beings and the highest activities of the human person. This seminar-style course primarily investigates these activities in us human beings in the arenas of nature simply and nature graced against the backgrounds of divine and angelic knowing and loving. Knowing and loving are treated both separately and in terms of their interrelationship. While the thrust of the inquiry is speculative, practical concerns are also addressed in order to show the relationship between the contemplative and active lives, the metaphysical and moral spheres, and the theoretical and practical postures. In order to develop a contemporary Thomism that responds to recent interests, St. Thomas's thought is secondarily enriched by sources ranging from the ancient Greek philosophers to contemporary authors.
The Nature of Theology (spring 2012)
St. Thomas's conception of theology, or his theological method, is inextricably intertwined with the content of his theology. This seminar examines the development of his concept from his very early De Trinitate through his Summa Contra Gentiles to his mature teaching in the Summa Theologiae. Once this conception is in place, the seminar applies it to St. Thomas's overarching theological vision. With a view to contemporary systematic and pastoral concerns, the seminar concludes with some suggestions for present-day application.