Fall Courses 2014

16 credits plus non-credit Italian are required; you have the option of taking an additional elective for a total of 20 credits. If you wish to do so, please consult with Dr. John Boyle.

Art and Architecture (Prof. Elizabeth Lev)

This class presents an overview of almost two millennia of Christian art and architecture in Rome. Starting with the earliest images in the catacombs, students examine how the Christian community first expressed its beliefs and teachings through the visual arts, gradually mastering various media through the centuries up to our modern age. Classroom lectures explore the historical context of Christian art together with comparative views of the artistic production in other centers and religions, while site visits especially underscore the relationship between art and its liturgical function. Students learn to formally analyze works of art through an understanding of media and composition using the terminology proper to art history. The class also presents the rudiments of Christian iconography as seen through the consistent theme in Christian art of the visual expression of the Incarnate Word.

Spiritual Theology (Fr. Paul Murray, O.P.)

The invitation to spiritual communion with God as presented in the First Letter of St. John. Study of selected tests from the Christian spiritual tradition (eg. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans, St. Augustine, Confessions) with special emphasis on the following themes: God’s saving mercy, prayer, the ascetical life, growth in holiness and contemporary spirituality. Bibliography: Ample bibliography will be suggested during the lectures. Fulfills UST 300-level Theology requirement.

Church and Culture: Social Dimensions of Catholicism (Dr. Paul Niskanen)

The question that opens this course is Tertullian’s: “What has Jerusalem to say to Athens?” To engage the world in order to transform it in the light of Christ is not an option for Catholics. While the rich tradition of modern Catholic social thought arose in the late 19th century, its roots are in Scripture and its foundational concepts date from the earliest days of the Church. As a major Catholic thinker and writer, Dante Alighieri incorporates these concepts—the social, political, and cultural aspects of human engagement with the world—into his monumental work, The Divine Comedy. This interdisciplinary course first examines the foundational concepts of Catholic social teaching and then provides an in-depth study of the Comedy with particular attention given to its literary expression of aspects of Catholic social thought. Fulfills CATH 401.

Conversational Italian (non credit, pass/fail)

Two sections are offered each semester. Both meet six hours per week for the first eight weeks of the term.


History of the Ancient Church(Fr. Edmund Ditton, OP)

A historical and doctrinal survey of the patristic era concentrating on key individuals who helped to shape the Church as we know it today. The emphasis will be on the reading of primary texts.

History of Modern Philosophy (Fr. Trigueros, O.P.)

This course aims at introducing the students to an understanding of some central elements of modernity as they appear in the works of its founding philosophers.
1. Rationalism: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz.
2. British and Scottish realism and empiricism: Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume.
3. Rousseau.
4. Criticism: Kant.