Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective (Challenges in Contemporary Theology)

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Studies the emergence of existential phenomenology in Sartre, the process philosophy of V. Whitehead, and emerging contributions of contemporary Asian, African, and Latin American philosophical movements. P History of Medieval Philosophy Focuses on the interaction between philosophy and theology in the construction of major styles of logic and theology from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries.

Questions are viewed from the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian perspectives with a study of key representatives of these traditions. Vital for students considering further studies in patristics. P Philosophy for Future Theologians Traces the history of the relationship between theology faith and philosophy reason or the intellect.

Studies the impact of key philosophical thinkers on the methods and history of theology. Introduces students to the growing convergence between philosophers and theologians in the face of contemporary issues. Special attention given to the role of scientific methodologies and their consequences for the future study of systematic, biblical, and pastoral theology.

P Critical Thinking and Applied Logic Introductory course focuses on the problem of human knowledge and cognitive claims as responses to skepticism. Covers the structure of argument, fallacy detection, and truth analysis. Considers the role of logic in shaping worldviews, text books, media coverage, and intercultural epistemology. P Philosophy of the Human Person Beginning with Socrates up to Simone De Beauvoir and the cyber-post moderns, explores historically the various dimensions of what it means to be human and to know humanity.

Considers topics such as the will, body-mind dualism, conscience, the ego, sexuality, individual as person, action, and the structure of community.

P American Philosophy and the History of Social Institutions Explores the relationship between American theorists Peirce, James, Royce, and Dewey and the shaping and maintenance of American cultural and social institutions. Interaction with various art institutions and artists in Chicago is expected. P Philosophical Ethics Traditional Catholic ethics has based itself on the history and development of the natural law theory.

This course traces the development of the human person as ethical subject. Various contemporary positions of ethics are also present. Special attention to the thought of Bernard Lonergan and his influence on ethical decision making. P Perspectives in the Philosophy of Death Starting with the death of Socrates, Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed, philosophers have considered the question of death and afterlife to be a core metaphysical question.

P Issues in Philosophical Hermeneutics Surveys the history of hermeneutics and addresses such concepts as the canon in conflicting meanings, the role of interpretation, feminist and contextual hermeneutics, the hermeneutics of suspicion and generosity, and participatory hermeneutics. Presents the repercussions of the history of hermeneutics of contemporary theology.

Using the phenomenological method, explores the philosophical structure of thought which underpins the study of theos and logos. P The Phenomenology of Religion An introduction to the method of phenomenology as applied to the manifestation of religion.

Topics such as myth, taboo, the holy, the sacred, the ritual, and sacred texts are presented. Opportunity to interact with the various religious organizations in Chicago. P Philosophy of Science Examines the basic structure of scientific method and the major theories of modern physics within that context. This is treated with a view to the historical, philosophical and social implications of the practice of science in its contemporary form. Special attention is given to the several key contemporary scientific theorists, especially Thomas Kuhn. P Philosophical Texts: Thomas Aquinas A detailed study of the key concepts and texts of this important philosopher and theologian.

The movements of original Thomism and neo-thomism are presented. P Political Philosophy This course explores, in both topical and historical manners, central themes, concepts, and reasoning strategies in political philosophy. Included are investigations into the justification and scope of governmental authority and the application of philosophical theory to past and current topics, e.

P Philosophical Texts: International Readings in Political Philosophy Analyzes key texts and thinkers that continue to shape the political and socioeconomic thinking of western and non-western countries. Considers the relationship between philosophy and democracy, culture, methods of social liberation, development, international conflict and peace, minority and majority rights.

This course is an introduction to Christian spirituality and the practices and values that comprise it. The course offers a survey and a taste of the components that are included in the five aspects of the spiritual journey: context, participants, content, process and aspiration.

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These will be considered in both their traditional and contemporary expression. Special attention will be on spiritual practices and disciplines, discernment, the spiritual journey and health as one journeys in the spiritual life. Both in daily life and in explicit ministry, Christians are frequently called upon to offer a companioning presence to people who are concerned about spiritual issues.

Themes include how to listen well, presence to those different from oneself, varieties of religious experience, working with images and stories, and discernment. The course design includes input, discussion, and practicum. This course proposes an alternative to individualistic understandings of spirituality by examining the theological relationship between Christian spirituality and justice.

Two distinct yet fundamentally related questions are considered: 1 what is meant by an authentic Christian spirituality? In order to unpack these questions, primary sources including, but not limited to, biblical texts, magisterial documents, and key figures in the development of spirituality are critically engaged. What is our pastoral responsibility in accompanying survivors on their journey to healing and reconciliation?

What are the possibilities and limitations of this ministry personally and collectively? What is a spirituality of accompaniment? What is a spirituality of reconciliation? What is beyond reconciliation? How does this process inform and challenge our theology, mission and ministry? How do we attend to our own healing process? These are the questions and concerns that our class-community will address during this semester.

Admission by consent of instructor. In this course students will be introduced to the context, participants, content, process and aspiration of Christian spirituality. These will be considered in both their traditional and contemporary expressions. The course will familiarize students with Christian Traditions like the Three-Fold Way, asceticism, prayer, charity, and justice. Students will be encouraged to consider how their own spiritual life is progressing.

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Latin contexts are a more recent and evolving synthesis within Christian Spirituality. This course proposes an exploration of the Christian spiritual tradition in the light of the Latin experience.


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The first part of the course considers themes and issues involved in the creation and description of a Latin Spirituality of Liberation. The second part of the course examines how Latin theologians have expressed this liberating spirituality for Christian life through their proposals for Christology, worship, evangelization, and social justice. This course considers the theology and spirituality of Catholic Priesthood within a Religious community. The course is geared primarily for Religious who are seeking ordination but can be very helpful to lay ministers who collaborate with Religious Priests.

This course explores the still-relevant contributions of the Trappist monk and best-selling author Thomas Merton, who was one of the most influential voices in Christian spirituality during the twentieth century. This course addresses the concept of vocation and ministry as it impacts all who identify themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, with special emphasis on the role of the laity in the Roman Catholic Church.

Explore the history of the laity in the church and develop both a theology and spirituality of lay ministry based on contemporary scholarship and the lived experience of lay ministers in a variety of settings. The course is an introduction to traditional and contemporary methods of Christian prayer and its stages of development. The process entails learning from some of the great teachers of prayer within the Christian tradition, as well as drawing insights from the contribution of other religious traditions. Provides the theological grounding necessary to evaluate and critique prayer practices, and interweaves theory and praxis.

This course looks at several of the major perspectives or models of human maturity. What are the psychological and spiritual ingredients that contribute to the development of mature adults? How do psychology and spirituality contribute to the development of mature Christians?


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  • A lecture-seminar format is used. Explore the understanding of religious life in various historical and cultural contexts. Topics include 1 the various forms of religious life and the historical situations that gave rise to them, 2 the understanding of the vows and how these are expressed differently in different social-cultural contexts, and 3 religious life in the world and church today. The French spirituality of the seventeenth century has profoundly influenced the theory and practice of religious life, priesthood, and Catholic lay life down to the present day.

    This course studies major figures of that period as well as later developments, especially the impact of the French missions in Africa, Indochina, the Middle East, North America, and the Caribbean. This course examines the historical development, contributions, and spirituality of St. Clare of Assisi in the thirteenth century. Special attention is given to study of her life and contribution to the Franciscan movement, primary source material, and contemporary Clarian scholarship. This course explores the historical development, contributions, and spirituality of Third Order Franciscan women and men in the thirteenth century and beyond.

    Attention is given to both the Third Order Regular and Third Order Secular, focusing on their contributions to the Franciscan movement, primary source material, and contemporary scholarship. The French spirituality of the 17th century has profoundly influenced the theory and practice of religious life, priesthood, and Catholic lay life down to the present day. This course studies major figures of that period as well as later developments, especially those impacting on the worldwide missions. It also gives students a hands-on approach to giving personal witness and preaching of the kerygma in retreats, days of recollection and parish missions.

    A blended course online and onsite that will focus on the relationship between leadership and spirituality from a primarily Christian perspective. This seminar course will do an exploration of key movements and figures in the history and development of Christian spirituality over the course of years. Given the interdisciplinary nature of spirituality, this course will focus on the importance of history as a source for the study of Christian spirituality.

    This course will explore contemporary perspectives on such issues as: neuroscience and religious experience, differences and convergences between spiritual and scientific ways of knowing, human spiritual participation in ecospheres, theological and scientific views on the relations among body, mind, and spirit, etc.

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    This course will place in conversation the images of God, in postcolonial, liberation and classical theorists with those presented in writers of color including members from Latin , Black and Asian American communities. Attention will be given to how these God images influence the Christian spiritual life. This seminar course is designed specifically for students who are concentrating in Christian Spirituality as a theological discipline at the M.

    Min level. It will teach students the crucial work of appropriating spiritual classics for contemporary audiences. Christian discernment is a way of life in which one seeks constant attunement to the presence and communication of God, a gift of the Holy Spirit, and an art that one learns by participation and practice. It is also a theme upon which spiritual writers and theologians throughout the centuries have written extensively, with different foci depending on their culture and circumstances. This course is an exploration of historical Christian insights into discernment, in view of developing a discerning approach to contemporary dilemmas.