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  Theology

The theology program is a four-year required course sequence. Its overall goal is to enable students to think theologically and to reflect upon their own faith. The first three years are foundational and consist of Theology 1 in the ninth grade year, Theology 2 for sophomores, and Theology 3 for juniors. The Theology 4 couses taken in the senior year build upon the foundation. Theology 4 couses are one semester in length and some are coed.

Faculty
Art Buckley
Tommy Calais
Julie Donati
Anne Doyle
Matthew Garrett
Christine Hernandez
Krystle Powell
Becky Rushing
Eleanor Todd
Diana Turney, Department Chair
Dan Westerman

Theology Courses

300 THEOLOGY 1    GOD'S REVELATION: JESUS CHRIST (1 credit)
The ninth grade theology course is focused on God's revelation as known through Scripture.  This yearlong course of study examines God's invitation to all people to relationship as revealed in salvation history and pre-eminently in the person of Jesus Christ.  Students will develop a general knowledge and appreciation of the sacred Scriptures, including the development of the Bible, the study of the historical and cultural influences which helped to shape the Bible and the major themes of the Scriptures.  Through Scripture, we encounter Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Revelation to us from God.  In learning more about the person of Jesus Christ, the students will also learn who He calls them to be.

306 THEOLOGY 2    CATHOLICISM (1 credit)
This sophomore level course examines various aspects of Catholicism as the continuation of Jesus Christ's mission on earth.  Students will study the historical development of the Church from biblical times to present.  Major beliefs, doctrines, and practices will be studied, including explanation of how such beliefs have developed and their relevance for Catholic believers today.  Our goal is that students have a clearer understanding that in and through the Church they encounter the living Jesus Christ and grow in appreciation of Catholicism.

310 THEOLOGY 3    LIFE IN CHRIST (1 credit)
This junior level class is designed to help students understand that through Christ they can fully live out God's plans for their lives.  In this course, the sacraments are explored as privileged encounters with Christ.  Students will examine the nature and meaning of each sacrament.  In addition, students will examine Catholic moral principles and how to apply them.  We will explore the nature and role of conscience and conscience formation.

315 THEOLOGY 4    DISCIPLESHIP AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (1/2 credit)
This required senior one-semester course is to address social issues of today in light of the Church’s social teaching.  In this course, students will explore how Christ’s concern for others, especially the poor and needy, is embodied in our Dominican heritage and how we are called to act as disciples of Christ in the world today.

THEOLOGY 4: SENIOR LEVEL ELECTIVES IN THEOLOGY

321 HEALING RACISM (1/2 credit)
This course provides a forum for discussing racism.  We study racism in our country's past in our search to answer the question of why there is so much prejudice and racism in our society.  We will also look at how racism manifests itself in more subtle and destructive ways today. Through this dialogue, study, and prayer, it is hoped that we will work on healing the damage racism has caused in our own lives and in our communities.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

325 PEACE: PATHWAY TO WHOLENESS (1/2 credit)
This course will use the New Testament to present peace as a pathway to wholeness in relationship to self, others, the world community and the environment. Students will examine the power of peace to resolve conflict and to create justice in family, friendships and world relations. This peace is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ in his teaching and his life. There will be exploration of other historical people and events that are examples of gospel peacemaking. This course will present the peace of Christ as the foundation and focus of a life dedicated to promoting universal justice and human rights.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

336 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (1/2 credit)
Philosophy (literally--"love of wisdom") is a discipline which attempts to answer the ultimate questions about God, humanity, and the universe by means of human reason without resorting to religious faith.  Can we really know anything with certainty?  Can we prove the existence of God?  Can we prove the existence of the soul and its immortality?  What is the purpose, if any, of the universe?  Human destiny?  What is evil?  The first quarter attempts to answer the ultimate questions in the context of both Ancient and Christian philosophy with an emphasis on the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle & St. Thomas Aquinas.  The second quarter attempts to answer such questions in a modern philosophical context.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

357 SEEKING GOD THROUGH FILM (1/2 CREDIT)
This class will explore, through film, theological themes such as love, forgiveness, goodness, evil, salvation, the meaning of life, God's relationship with humanity, suffering and the trials of everyday life. Students will view, analyze, and discuss selected films in light of scripture and Catholic teaching. This course will help students to approach film more critically and attentively, becoming aware of how film can be a medium for reinforcing gospel values, and not just a medium that presents values contrary to the gospel.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

365 AUGUSTINE AND AQUINAS (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will explore the philosophical and theological contributions of these thinkers in dialog with contemporary issues and challenges. The course will emphasize their understanding of the relationship between reason and faith, God, the human person, knowledge, human destiny, and morality. In addition to a textually-based study of Augustine and Aquinas, the course will require considerable interaction with ancient Greek philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Study of Augustine is grounded primarily in his autobiographical work, Confessions, while the study of Thomas Aquinas is grounded in a selection of texts primarily drawn from the Summa Theologiae. Classes include lecture and discussion formats.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

367 COMPARATIVE CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will cover the Orthodox Church, the mainline Protestant churches of Episcopalianism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Presbyterianism and select other denominations such as Baptist, Mormon, and the Pentecostal movement.  In addition to studying the beliefs of each denomination, they will examine their origin, development, structure and forms of worship.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

372 RELIGION IN FICTION (1/2 CREDIT)
This class will explore religious themes found in secular fiction and writing. We will primarily read short stories, but will also use novels, plays, poems, and lyrics. Our authors include Graham Greene, Flannery O'Connor, Saul Bellow, Robert Stone, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walker Percy, Andre Dubus, and others. We will look at the way authors have used their writing to examine themes such as: belief and unbelief; temptation, sin and forgiveness; grace and the sacredness of the world; suffering and death; redemption and salvation; and more.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

374 POLITICS AND RELIGION (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will examine current American political issues, especially the 2008 elections, and explore how religious beliefs impact how we vote and who we support. We will analyze how political issues are presented in the press, literature, film, and music. We will also look at the different ways high school and college students can become politically involved to help bring about meaningful change. We will meet with representatives of political parties and political candidates, people involved in Catholic justice and peace efforts, college campus activists and other local activists, politically-oriented artists, and others.
Taken at Strake Jesuit.

379 HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will provide students with a general knowledge of the Church’s history from apostolic times to the present. Students will examine the founding of the Church by Jesus Christ through the apostles, and how the Church is sustained throughout history by the Holy Spirit. This course emphasizes the Church as the Living Body of Christ, composed of both divine and human elements, its rich history and role in the contemporary world.

382 SACRED SCRIPTURE (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will give an overview of Sacred Scripture with an introduction to the basic principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible. In this course, students will examine Scripture’s purpose and religious significance. They will study the major themes of Scripture and the essential unity throughout the diverse books of the Bible in the revelation of God’s love, mercy, and plan of salvation.

384 RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF CHRIST (1/2 CREDIT)
Theologian Frederick Buechner wrote, “Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.” This course offers and opportunity for students to consider how God is inviting them to live their unique call to holiness in their daily lives, now and into the future, whether in single, married, consecrated life, or ordained ministry. Using the example of Jesus Christ, the Saints, and spiritual leaders of past and present, students will explore who God is calling them to be and how their gifts can change the world.

386 ECUMENICAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS ISSUES (1/2 CREDIT)
This course will help students understand how the Catholic Church relates to non-Catholic Christians as well as to other world religions. While based on the foundational truth that Jesus Christ entrusted the Catholic Church with the fullness of God’s Revelation, the course examines ways in which important spiritual truths can be found through other Christian faith communities and in major world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam. Students will also examine how the Catholic Church is both similar to and different from these other faith communities and traditions.

 
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