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An inter-faith book sharing project

This course is designed to acquaint the beginnning student with the variety of methods used to interpret the Scriptures within the wider Church community today. We will examine how the Church has understood the Bible throughout history. We will also examine the question of literal and fundamental interpretations of Scripture as well as the concepts of inerrancy and divine inspiration. Through an analysis of select passages we will look at methods used by the Church to develop its theological and pastoral understanding of today's world.

This course examines the nature of the Christian God as Trinity. It focuses on God's reality as creator, as redeemer in the person of Jesus who we proclaim the Christ, and as unifier and advocate in the person of the Spirit. Since the very nature of God implies "communion” the social implications of Trinity are a focal point for the course. Other contemporary questions pertaining to the historical Jesus, God-language, suffering, liberation, and cultural diversity are explored as well.

From their earliest recorded moments Christians have celebrated their faith in the risen Lord Jesus with a meal which was both physical and spiritual.  This course examines the development of this uniquely Christian ritual meal tracing its roots from the earliest biblical record through its late antique, medieval and modern forms.  We will also explore the varied Eucharistic theologies and liturgical expressions evident in contemporaray Christian communions today, but special attenetion will be paid to the theological and historical dimensions connected with the Eucharistic practice as evidenced in the Roman Catholic Mass. Half-Course  (Option to upgrade to full credit with additional readings and coursework to be specified by the instructor).

An historical, anthropological and theological investigation of Christian worship and sacrament with special attention to the Roman Catholic Sacraments of baptism and eucharist; historical overview of liturgical practices, texts, and theology from Jewish and scriptural origins to the 20th century Vatican II reforms; basic principles of liturgical and sacramental theology; and groundwork for interpreting liturgical documents and ritual texts from pastoral practice, multi-/inter-cultural concerns, and ecumenical considerations.

An in-depth exploration into the socio-historical events that shaped early Christianity from the first through the fifth centuries. Utilizing primary resources (in translation), this course will chart the dynamic growth of the Christian movement from its Jewish origins within the Roman Empire to its dominance throughout the Mediterranean world. We will explore the Church's theological growth, the impact of the Second Sophistic and Neo-Platonism, the origins of desert monasticism, the Great persecution, Constantinian toleration and early conciliar formulations.

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