graduate program: Theology Graduate Program
Spring 2012 Offerings (Jan 9 - May 4)
MONDAY, 6:00-8:30 PM: THEO 538 Religious Education and Youth Ministry taught by John Norman (John is a Religion Teacher at McNicholas High School; parent of four adult children, moderator of retreats and mission trips). Do you love young people? Do you see yourself one day being in a relationship with teenagers as a: parent, coach, teacher, youth minister or employer? Do you want to mentor young people in their spiritual journey? If you answered “yes” to these questions then this class will give you the opportunity to explore the “adolescent life-journey” as well as practical ways to effectively “mentor” these young people on their “life-journey in Christ.”
Here’s what Annie Huey, current XU graduate student, said about this course: “‘Religious Education and Youth Ministry’ is essential, not only for teachers, but also for anyone who cares about the future of Christianity. The future of the Church is in the hands of these teenagers and all of us should make the effort to not only find out what the young people think about the Church, but also, to talk to them and become mentors to these young adults (be they your own children, nieces, nephews or students) because they want to be heard and need intelligent yet caring guidance. This course helped me put into words everything teenagers and young adults have been telling me about religion. Today, among too many Catholic teenagers there is a negative attitude towards religion. This course provided me with tools to effectively work with these young people.”
TUESDAY, 6:00-8:30 PM: THEO 524 Survey of Christian Doctrine II, taught by Kristine Suna-Koro, explores the development of Christian theological thought from the so-called “Age of Discovery” and the Reformation period in the 16th century all the way to the 20th century through theological analysis within the broader horizon of intellectual, cultural, and social history. The focus of this course is the Christian theological thought and imagination in modernity. Although emphasis will fall upon "Western" Christian traditions during the modern era, we will make a robust effort to place modern Western theological ideas in a vigorous conversation (given the constraints of time) with contemporary global and particularly postcolonial contexts.
Throughout the course we will:
1) Identify and assess the foundational Christian theological questions and ideas that emerged as hallmark doctrines and spiritual dispositions during various stages of modernity – such as nature and grace, reason and revelation, historical consciousness and eternal truth, religious experience and moral action, etc.
2) Increase the understanding of the interaction between Christian theological reflection and diverse historical and cultural contexts in which doctrines and theological sensibilities emerge and function
3) Explore both principal theologians and ideas to facilitate the ability to recognize and discern the impact of these modern and predominantly Western theologians and their ideas on the development of contemporary theological inquiry and Christian spirituality in our increasingly globalized world.
WEDNESDAY, 6:00-8:30 PM: THEO 530 Contemporary Christologies taught by Karen Enriquez. This seminar involves theological reflection on the person and work of Jesus Christ especially through the lens of contemporary social and cultural realities, i.e., the “signs of the times.” In light of this, we will 1) explore the challenges posed to Christology by contemporary realities, such as historical consciousness, social injustice and religious pluralism, and 2) offer the opportunity to examine our own christologies in light of the Church’s tradition and contemporary theological speculation within particular cultural contexts.
Given the considerations above, our seminar will include the exploration of the images of Christ within liberation and feminist theologies (e.g. Jesus the Liberator or Christ as Wisdom/Sophia) as well as images of Christ within specific cultural contexts such as U.S. Hispanic or Latin@ culture (Jesus and the mestizaje or mujerista theology), or Asian/Asian American reflections on who Jesus is, and African images of Jesus as Elder or Ancestor.
Finally, we will also discuss issues of Christology and religious pluralism. We will trace the Church’s teachings on the relationship of Christ and other traditions in Nostra Aetate and Dominus Iesus and the various responses to these documents. We will also explore the various ways of re-interpreting Christ in light of other religious traditions such as Christ as Guru (Hindu influence) or Christ as a Bodhisattva (Buddhist influence).
The hope is that through this exploration of the various issues and images of Christ, we can begin to have a deep appreciation of the depth and riches of the reflections and responses to the Christological question of “who do you that I am?” Such answers can then assist in our own attempts to construct a Christology that is both faithful to the Christian tradition, yet relevant and practical for our own context.
THURSDAY, 7:00-9:30 PM: THEO 518 Prophets of the Hebrew Bible taught by Andrew Riley. The phenomenon of prophecy undergoes considerable transformation from the beginning to the end of the Hebrew Scripture canon. Theology 518 evaluates both this larger development and several smaller topics: the basic features and ancient Near Eastern context of Israelite prophecy, the behavior and idiosyncrasies of certain prophets, the primary contributions of the prophetic phenomenon to the Judeo-Christian heritage, and much more. This class also considers several debated topics, for example, the prophet as fore-teller or forth-teller, some of the prophets’ historical settings, and more. Abraham Joshua Heschel’s classic The Prophets along with Scripture will fuel class theological discussion, and other readings will guide our conversation vis-à-vis issues of scholarly debate.