Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Theo 100 Introduction to Christianity

Fall 2013

THEO 100    Introduction to Christianity

Instructor:  G. Ted Bohr, SJ

E-mail: tbohr@luc.edu

 

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO, JFRC—ROME

 

Fall 2013  Mon/Wed 10:00 to 11:15

 

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.

 

            +Knowledge Area Satisfied: Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge

            +Skills Developed: Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions

            +Values Area: (Understanding Spirituality or Faith in Action in the World)

 

Required  Readings:  (Please purchase etext before arriving)

 

e-Text:  Daniel L. Migliore. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian TheologyKindle Price: $14.85

Other sources:

James Martin. The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything:

A Spirituality for Real Life.  Kindle edition: $9.99

The Holy Bible (any translation, available free online).

 

 

 Course Schedule:

Week 1     MW Sep 3,5

 

Introduction / Syllabus

The Task of Theology (DM  Ch 1)

Jesus of Nazareth

(Mark 1-16)

 

Week 2      MW 10,12

 

What is Revelation?

(DM Ch 2)

Paul the Apostle

(Acts 15; Romans 1-8)

 

Week 3      MW 17,19

 

Authority of Scripture?

(DM Ch 3)

The Bible and Tradition (See Quadriga)

 

Week 4      MW 24,26

 

  Quiz or Paper One

Trinity?

(DM Ch 4)

(See  Pelagian Controversy)

 

Week 5     MW Oct 1,3

 

Creation(ism?)

(DM Ch 5)

Sacraments

 (See Augustine on City of God)

 

Week 6      MW 8,10

 

Problems

of Evil and Good

(DM Ch 6)

Dissent and Dispute

 

Week 7     MW 15,17

 

     Mid-Term Review

 

 

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

Week 8

 

 

 

 

     Mid-term  Break

 

 

Week 9     MW 29,31

 

High/Low Christology?

(DM Ch 7)

Historical Christology

(DM Ch 8)

 

Week 10   MW  Nov 5,7

 

Jesus in Context

(DM Ch 9)

Life in the Holy Spirit

(DM Ch 10)

 

Week 11     MW 12,14

 

Christian Unity?

(DM Ch 11)

Sacramental Life

(DM Ch 12)

 

Week 12     MW 19,21

 

  Quiz or Paper Two

Hot Topics in Religion

(DM Ch 13)

American Exceptionalism

(Do a web-search)

Week 13      MW 26,28

 

Hope in chaos?

(DM Ch 14)

Are you theologically orthodox?

(Web-search)

         Essay Due

 

Week 14   MW Dec 3,5

 

Images of Jesus in Theology and Art

 (Web-search Jesus images)

 

    Review for Final

 

Week 15 

 

 

 

      Final Exam  

 

 

 

 

 

Departure

From the

Eternal City

 

 

 

Course Requirements:

      Regular attendance (unless you have prior permission from the instructor, the Rome Center director, or a documented medical condition) and active participation in class discussions are expected. More than ONE unexcused absence must reduce your grade. Active participation in discussions depends on the completion of the weekly reading assignments. Class will consist of an introductory lecture and the discussion of the primary texts and secondary literature.

      Mid-term exam, plus quizzes         33 %

      The Final Examination                    33 %

      Writing assignments*                      33 %

[Writing assignments (10 pages total, bibliography not counted) are to be submitted by hard copy on the due date.]

 

 Grading  Scale: A: 94-100,  A-: 90-93, B+: 88-89, B: 83-87, etc.   Please see the JFRC Policy at:  http://www.luc.edu/romecenter_old/academics_policies.shtml

 

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.

 

      Determination of grades ultimately resides in the judgment of the instructor; however, if you ever feel that you have been graded inaccurately, please come to see me.

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

      Failure to comply with the standards and regulations of academic integrity will be reported and Loyola University Chicago’s policy will be enforced.

By taking this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of Roman Catholicism. By way of example, students who take this course should be able to: (1) name and discuss some of the most important Roman Catholic beliefs; (2) Articulate the general outline of the historical evolution of Roman Catholicism and, in particular, the impact of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965);  (3) Define and discuss key Roman Catholic concepts, terms, values, and religious practices; and (4) recount and analyze the main lines of current Roman Catholic debates about its identity in today's world.

The course also addresses other competencies as well.  By taking this course, for example, students should be able to analyze and interpret Roman Catholic religious texts, beliefs, and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools (competency a). For example, students should be able to analyze and interpret some papal and conciliar statements and discuss the role of these texts in the lives of believing Roman Catholics. Students taking this course will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of the central ethical teachings and perspectives of Roman Catholicism  (competency e), e.g., the role and meaning of "natural law."

Finally, students taking this course will be able to evaluate the religious perspectives of Roman Catholics (competency d) in light of what they learn about the teachings and practices that are foundational to Roman Catholicism.

Skills (Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions):

      Students will: 

      1. "comprehend, paraphrase, summarize, and contextualize the meaning of varying forms of communication." In class discussions, quizzes, and/or examinations, students will demonstrate the ability to comprehend, paraphrase, summarize, and/or contextualize a variety of religious texts, histories, and ideas, as well as scholarly arguments about those texts, histories and ideas.  

      2. develop "strategies for seeking and synthesizing information to support an argument, make a decision, or resolve a problem." In class discussions, quizzes, and/or examinations, students will be encouraged to articulate reasoned arguments about materials studied in the course or to critique arguments to which they are exposed in the class. 

      3. monitor students' own "individual thinking or behavior" in relationship to Roman Catholicism "in order to question, confirm, validate, or correct" their presuppositions and prejudgments. Class discussions will require students to reflect on their own presuppositions and correct erroneous opinions by appealing to data and reasoned argumentation.

Values Area (Understanding Spirituality or Faith in Action in the World):

      1. Students who identify themselves as Roman Catholic or claim a Catholic heritage in some way will be enabled to "demonstrate knowledge of and . . .  to articulate the foundations of one's own. . .  beliefs or faith traditions." Similarly, non-Catholic students will be enabled to "demonstrate knowledge of and . . . to articulate the foundations of . . . others' beliefs or faith traditions" (competency a). Such competency will be promoted by the required reading, class discussions, student writing, and examinations.

      2. In the Roman Catholic ethos, belief and worship are gradually but surely to shape one's way of life. Thus, a study of Roman Catholicism will enable students to "demonstrate how faith traditions or belief systems have been or can be related to intellectual and cultural life" (competency b).  Such competency will be promoted mainly by class discussions and student writing.

      3. Since Roman Catholicism focuses upon fundamental issues of personal identity and meaning, the study of Roman Catholicism in this course will "develop an ability to reflect upon the applications of one's beliefs or faith traditions to decisions in one's personal, professional, and civic life" (competency c). Such competency will be promoted mainly by class discussions and student writing.