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Major in Theology and Religious Studies

Requirements for the Major

The Major in Theology and Religious Studies requires forty (40) credits of course work with at least one course chosen from each of the three thematic areas of the major: Theology and Spiritualities, Scriptures and Religious Traditions, and Religion, Society and Ethics. The remaining twenty-eight (28) credits of elective courses should be chosen by each individual student and approved by a Theology and Religious Studies Department advisor. In their senior year, students prepare a Capstone synthesis paper in connection with one of their final courses and in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Theology and Spiritualities

Courses in this area deal with three dimensions of "faith seeking understanding," a phrase that has classically described theology as a discipline. Theology seeks to articulate the truth of faith and ethics (especially regarding the implications of faith in human life and activity). Spirituality (the practice and understanding of the faith experience) is closely related to Theology but may also be highly individualized and isolated from institutional religion.

Choose a minimum of one course from the following:

  • THRS - 100 The Christian Village
  • THRS - 104 Mystery of God/Mystery of the Human Person
  • THRS - 220 Catholic Social Thought
  • THRS - 308 Who is Jesus? An Introduction to Christology
  • THRS - 310 Celebrating Sacraments
  • THRS - 312 Christian Marriage
  • THRS - 322 Liberation Theology
  • THRS - 363 Religion in Latin America
  • THRS - 366 Religion and Spirituality in Asia

Scriptures and Religious Traditions

Courses in this area focus on the sacred scriptures of the major religious traditions of the world such as Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, and Muslim traditions. The courses examine the historical and cultural backgrounds of these texts and gauge the way that beliefs developed in ancient times. They also look at the ways ideas about these ancient texts have changed over time and influence people's lives today.

Choose a minimum of one course from the following:

  • THRS - 202 Portraits of Christ: An Introduction to the Four Gospels.
  • THRS - 330 Biblical and Spiritual Drama
  • THRS - 371 Hinduism
  • THRS - 372 Jewish Christian Relationship
  • THRS - 373 Introduction to Islam
  • THRS - 376 Jews, Judaisms, and Jewish Identities

Religion, Society, and Ethics

Religion, society, and ethics can be studied from the inside, in terms of its scriptures, beliefs, ethical and moral systems of thought as well as concrete practices, but also can be studied as a phenomenon constructive of whole communities and societies. The courses in this area invite students to see how religion informs the cultural, political, and ethical debates and issues of our day, as well as how it has worked historically to shape societies and confront moral challenges.

Choose a minimum of one course from the following:

  • THRS - 195 Freshman Seminar
  • THRS - 360 Sacred Places, Sacred Times
  • THRS - 361 Religion and the Environment
  • THRS - 370 Zen Buddhism
  • THRS - 379 Buddhist Paths in Asia and North America
  • THRS - 384 Religion and Nonviolence
  • THRS - 388 Religion, Psychology, Modern Literature
  • THRS - 390 Religious Ethics
  • THRS - 397 Environmental Studies Internship
  • THRS - 404 Environmental Ethics
  • THRS - 470 Contemporary Moral Problems

Minor in Theology and Religious Studies

The Minor requires twenty-four (24) units of core and elective courses chosen to fit a program designed by each individual student, as approved by a Theology/Religious Studies Department advisor.

Requirements

The Minor in Theology and Religious Studies requires twenty-four (24) units of course work. Students are required to fulfill the Core course requirement in one of the three thematic areas of Theology and Spiritualities, Scriptures and Religious Traditions, and Religion, Society and Ethics and then take one additional course in each of the two remaining thematic areas not covered by the Core course, for a total of twelve (12 ) units. The remaining twelve (12) units of elective courses should be chosen by each individual student and approved by a Theology and Religious Studies Department advisor.

Learning Goals/Outcomes for the B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies

Program Outcomes

The aim of the program is to foster and deepen an engaged, critical, and integrated understanding of the disciplines of Theology and Religious Studies within the University's tradition of Jesuit liberal education. The program of study we provide for our students bridges three thematic areas:

*Theology and Spiritualities
*Scriptures and Religious Traditions
*Religion, Society, and Ethics

Classes are grouped with specific thematic areas, allowing both majors and minors a wide range of options in designing a course of study. The program will provide:

    • an understanding of fundamental issues posed by the world's religious and theological traditions:
    • inquiry into the diverse forms and expressions of religious experience;
    • emphasis on the Catholic Christian tradition as well as respectful engagement with other religious, theological, and philosophical traditions of the world.
Learning Outcomes
Human Dimensions of Religion, Theology and Spirituality
    • Students will be able to understand their own spirituality and recognize how religion, theology, and spirituality underlie and correlate with a broad range of human experience.
Religious Diversity
    • Students will be able to understand, differentiate, and appreciate various religious traditions, as encouraged by Vatican II's stance on the Catholic Church's relationship with other faiths. This understanding will entail the creedal vision, moral teachings, historical context, social expression, and key rites and symbols of these faith traditions.
Social Justice
    • Students will investigate and discuss how religious and theological traditions can work effectively for social justice and for the good of the entire human family and the environment that sustains it.