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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)

The Department of Theology has changed the course number and, in some instances, title of many of their courses, to be effective Fall 2012.  The information below is correct for Fall 2012.  Current numbers, which will be retired in Fall 2012, are shown in parentheses.

CLST 241: Religions of Ancient Greece
This course examines the beliefs and practices in ancient Greek religion by studying the written, artistic and archaeological evidence for their forms and functions and the environment in which they flourished.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of ancient Greek religion.
SOCL 245: Religion and Society
This course examines how religion and society interact.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of how individual behavior, organizations, and society as a whole are affected by religious ideas and institutions, and how religion is itself changed by its encounter with changing social circumstances.
THEO 100: Introduction to Christian Theology
This course examines 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 101: The Theology of Faith
This course studies multiple dimensions of religious belief as a phenomenon.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the nature, grounds, and implications of Christian faith as a particular form of belief, and consider this phenomenon in light of questions posed in a variety of eras about the meaning and credibility of religious belief.
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 110: Introduction to the Bible
This course provides an introduction to the literature and thought of both the Old and New Testaments. Among the issues treated are the appropriate methods used for interpreting the Bible.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of central texts, beliefs, ethical understanding, and practices of Christianity.
THEO 114: Introduction to the Qur'an
This course provides an introduction to the central Islamic scripture, the Qur’an. This course will consider the Qur’an as a basis for the theological and ethical teachings for Muslims, as well as a source of literary inspiration.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the main Islamic scripture, the Qur’an, and its influence on Muslim beliefs, ethical understandings, and social and religious practices.
THEO 157: Human Rights in Latin America
This course engages students in both scholarly study and personal reflection on issues related to social responsibility, global citizenship, and personal calling to civic engagement and leadership in advocacy for human rights at both local and global levels.
THEO 171: Great Christian Thinkers
This course studies the ideas and contributions of a select group of writers, thinkers, artists, and activists, all of whom have been significantly shaped by their encounter with Christianity, and have, in turn, created lasting testimonies of significant cultural value because of that encounter.

Outcome: Students will be able to assess how various configurations of a religious worldview can both expand and foreshorten the way human thinking has gone on.
THEO 173: Orthodox Christian Tradition
This course provides an introduction to Orthodox Christianity.

Outcome: Students will be able to name and discuss some of the most important Orthodox Christian scriptures, articulate the general outline of the historical evolution of the Orthodox Christian Tradition, and define and discuss concepts, terms, values, and religious practices foundational to Orthodox Christianity.
THEO 174: Religion in America
This course provides an introduction to religion in the United States of America and explores the impact of the American culture upon very diverse religious traditions and religious movements as well as the contributions of various faith traditions to the American culture.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the numerous religions practiced in the United States of America, as well as the American context and the ways "world" religions have adapted to this context. Students will also be able to demonstrate understanding of the relationship between religion and politics and culture in the contemporary U.S.
THEO 175: Contemporary Protestantism
This course provides an introduction to contemporary Protestantism.

Outcome: Students will be able to articulate the general outline of the historical evolution of the Protestant tradition, including key individuals, transitions, and points of controversy, and define and discuss key Protestant concepts, ideals, and values, as well as Protestant debates about these.
THEO 176: African American Religious Experience
This course is an introduction to the study of African American religious traditions. Specifically, this course will examine, the religious experiences of the African-American community as modeled and expressed by several of its most prophetic leaders.

Outcome: Students who take this course will be able to analyze and interpret the lives, beliefs and practices which are shaping the development of African-American religious traditions. They will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of these religious traditions, as well as knowledge of the intersections between the religious experiences of the African American communities and various social, political, economic, cultural and ethical issues.
THEO 176b: Early African Christianity
This course offers theological Egyptological, and Black World perspectives on the formative development of Christianity in Africa's Nile Valley during the third, fourth, and fifth centuries.

Outcome:  Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge about early African Christianity and its intersections with both contemporary spirituality and the liberation movements of African descended peoples.
THEO 177: World Religions
This course will provide introduction to major world religions.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of at least four important world religions, including at least one Western (Abrahamic) and one Eastern (Indian or Chinese) tradition.
THEO 180: Theology & Interdisciplinary Study
There are two guiding features of this course: a) that it's present knowledge from the field of theological and/or religious studies focused on a topic of importance to an undergraduate student body; b) that in the consideration of this topic it take an interdisciplinary approach.

Outcome: The student who successfully completes this course will be able to demonstrate knowledge about religion and it's intersections with selected contemporary ethical, social, political, economic, or cultural 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 provides an introduction to theological and religious ethics through attention to ethical issues regarding war and peace.

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 184: Moral Problems: Ecology Crisis*
This course provides an introduction to theological and religious ethics through attention to ethical issues regarding ecology.

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 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 in at least two major religious traditions.
THEO 192: Topics in Moral Problems*
This variable topics course provides an introduction to theological and religious ethics through attention to a select number of moral problems.

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 198: Jews and Judaism in the Modern World
This course examines the reshaping of Judaism in response to the challenges of modernity, focusing primarily on one hundred and fifty years of European Jewish history, from the mid-eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, in order to study the foundations of religious, intellectual, and social trends characteristic of modern Judaism.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of Modern, as distinct from Classical, Judaism. In particular, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the nature of "modernity" and Jewish responses to it, the changes that Judaism underwent in the Modern period, and some of the most important individuals and ideas of Modern Judaism.
THEO 199: Religions of Asia
This course provides an introduction to Asian religious traditions.

Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of at least three Asian religions.
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 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
This course provides a 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
This course is 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
This 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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