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Loyola University Chicago

University Core

Knowledge Area: Theological and Religious Knowledge

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an understanding of theological and religious questions and traditions.

This area of study promotes critical thinking and informed reflection on theology and religion. Students ought to develop familiarity with the basic content of, and modes of scholarly inquiry into, selected theological and religious systems, including forms of religious ethics, and to develop productive intellectual attitudes to guide them in their search.

Competencies: By way of example, Loyola graduates should be able to:

Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Courses (2 courses required)

 

THEO 100: Introduction to Christian Theology
The sources of Christian religious tradition. A selection will be made from the following topics: revelation, inspiration, sacred scripture, Christ and God, authority and the Church, the nature of religious affiliation, its logic, its method and its purpose.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the tasks of Christian theology.
THEO 107: Introduction to Religious Studies
This course is an introduction to the contemporary field of religious studies, focusing on both the theoretical investigations of religious traditions, as well as on the study of selected religious texts and practices (such as creation stories, sacred biographies, sacred scriptures of a religious tradition(s) rituals, ritual taboos, religiously motivated behaviors.

Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and interpret various ways in which religious traditions intersect with contemporary issues.
 THEO 182: Moral Problems: Medical Issues*
This course offers both an exploration into U.S. healthcare and medical issues, especially as they relate to racial/ethnic and socio-economic disparities. It also offers an introduction to methods in ethics. In particular, the problem of U.S. healthcare quality and access disparities serves as a primary case study which provides practice in the steps of moral deliberation and the incorporation of various ethical theories that are possible to use.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of ethical comprehension, analysis, and decision-making within the context of select theological and religious traditions.
THEO 183: Moral Problems: War and Peace*
This course considers the racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities in U.S. healthcare and explores possible remedies from the viewpoint of Christian ethics.

Outcome: Students will examine the process of moral deliberation, will exercise effective writing and nuanced moral argumentation, will listen to the viewpoints and experiences of others, and will come to an appreciation of the complexities of U.S. healthcare.
 THEO 184: Moral Problems: Ecology Crisis*
This course considers traditional religious and ethical assumptions about humanity and our relationship to the non-human world.

Outcome: Students will examine a number of religious and philosophical traditions and learn how they describe nature, how they evaluate non-human nature's relationship to humanity, how they define "community" to include or exclude the non-human world, and how they relate or do not relate the sacred to the natural world.
 THEO 185: Introduction to Christian Ethics*
 Introduction to Christian Ethics is a core course that explores the major sources, methods, and insights of Christian social and theological ethics. Particular attention is given to Roman Catholic thought. The course will concentrate on the foundational sources in Christian ethics and examine the moral significance of major theological themes and affirmations.

Outcome: Students will identify the major sources of Christian ethics (Scripture, Church tradition, philosophy, the social and human sciences, and human experience), and gain practice in identifying how different thinkers use, interpret, and prioritize these sources.
 THEO 186: Introduction to Religious Ethics*
Religious Ethics explores fundamental moral sources and methods in religious ethics through comparing the ethical understandings of at least two religious traditions. In doing so, it explores moral issues faced by individuals and communities from comparative theological perspectives, being particularly mindful of how the economic, political, and cultural structures in a religiously plural world affect those issues.  The course will investigate shared areas of ethical concern that span the globe (e.g. globalization, poverty, human rights, church-state relations, economic justice, ecological degradation, health and health care inequities, war and peace).

Outcome: Students will demonstrate knowledge of religious ethics gained through comparative study of the foundational sources, doctrines, issues, and methods that guide ethical thinking at least two major religious traditions.
THEO 192: Topics in Moral Problems*
 A critical examination of one or more areas of moral concern from the viewpoint of Christian ethics. May include: medical ethics, professional ethics, social justice issues, racism, environmental concerns, and war and peace studies.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of ethical comprehension, analysis, and decision-making within the context of select theological and religious traditions.
 THEO 231: Old Testament
This course provides an introduction to the Old Testament / Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures).

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of of central texts, beliefs, ethical understanding, and practices of Judaism and Christianity.
 THEO 232: New Testament
 This course is an introduction to the historical and theological reading of the various documents of early Christianity known as the New Testament.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the various literary genres found in the New Testament and explain why the recognition of genre is essential to the interpretation of the New Testament, as well as the importance of how the New Testament documents have reached their present form.
THEO 265: The Sacraments
This course studies the realities of Christian faith life as expressed and celebrated in the concrete rituals of the Christian communities.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate how a sacramental system of aesthetics is often embedded in cultural artifacts such as poetry, music, painting, literature, and film, and recognize and interpret the impact of history and cultures on the development of Christian doctrine and practices.
 THEO 266: The Church in the World
 This course provides an introduction to ways in which the Christian churches, and primarily the Roman Catholic Church, understand and enact their identity in relation to the secular world of culture, economics, and politics, both nationally and globally.

Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and interpret contrasting Christian understandings of the notion of original sin, and demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of at least one religious tradition.
THEO 267: Jesus Christ
The study of the person of Jesus Christ.  

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ as both human and divine, what this might mean, how this formulation was derived, and the varieties of understanding of Christ within the Scriptures, the church, and modern scholarship.
THEO 272: Introduction to Classical Judaism
An investigation of the central affirmations of Judaism. 

Outcome: Students will be able to name and discuss some of the most important Jewish scriptures, articulate the general outline of the historical evolution of Classical Judaism, and define and discuss key concepts,terms, values, and religious practices foundational to Classical Judaism.
THEO 276: Black World Religion
This course explores the revelatory manner in which the divine comes to unique presence and expression among African peoples throughout human history. It will examine the religious experiences and traditions of: Africa's ancient Nile Valley civilizations, long recognized as cradling the world's spiritual and philosophical wisdom and as influencing the formative development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Outcome:  Students will demonstrate their knowledge of African peoples' religious experiences within their various historical and cultural contexts.
THEO 278: Women and Religion
This course will study the role of women in at least one (if not more) of the major world religious traditions.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the influence of religion on gender roles, and how women in the contemporary world are reinterpreting their religious traditions.
THEO 279: Roman Catholicism
This course provides an introduction to Roman Catholicism.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Roman Catholic beliefs, the historical evolution of Roman Catholicism, the key Roman Catholic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices, and the main lines of current Roman Catholic debates about its identity in today's world.
THEO 281: Christianity through Time
The course is a survey course in the history of Christian thought. Not a course in Church history, this is a course whose primary goal is to investigate the major interactions between Christian thought and practice and the cultures that it has been a part of in its two thousand year history.

Outcome: Students will learn to analyze and interpret religious texts, beliefs and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools.
THEO 282: Introduction to Hinduism
This course provides an introduction to Hinduism.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Hindu scriptures, the general outline of the historical evolution of Hinduism, the key Hindu concepts,terms, values, and religious practices, and the basic narratives and imagery associated with some of the most important Hindu deities.
THEO 293: Christian Marriage
This course examines the Christian understanding of marriage.

Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of historical & ethical principles used to evaluate particular issues relevant to the understanding of the Christian tradition of marriage.
THEO 295: Introduction to Islam
This course will provide an introduction to Islam.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Muslim scriptures, the general outline of the historical evolution of Islam, the key Islamic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices, and the diversity within Islam in terms of sectarian, regional, and historical developments.
THEO 297: Introduction to Buddhism
This course provides an introduction to Buddhism.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the most important Buddhist scriptures, the general outline of the historical evolution of Buddhism, including its different major branches, and the key Buddhist concepts,terms, values, and religious practices.

* Courses approved to satisfy Ethics requirement, as well as Theological and Religious Knowledge.

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