Theology majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad. Specific courses taken abroad may substitute for St. Thomas requirements. The exchange with Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia is particularly suitable. See the chair of the department, Dr. Bernie Brady, or a study abroad advisor in the International Education Center for program options.
Students taking general requirements in Theology (i.e. non-majors/minors) also have the opportunity to study abroad, usually in short-term programs offered in January. Among the regular course offerings are:
The Christian Theological Tradition (Rome)
Consult the International Education Center's web page for information about courses being offered in the coming year. J-Term 2015 courses will include:
It is no mere coincidence that President Obama chose Turkey as the first Muslim country to visit and as a site for an important address to what gets referred to as the Islamic world. As it seeks its soul, its identity, between the European Union and the Islamic world, Turkey is both a battleground and a learning ground. New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer declares that it is poised to be “the most audaciously successful nation of the twenty-first century.” Turkey stands in a pivotal position, with the Bosphorus Bridge its great symbol of the geographical, political, and social spanning of both Europe and Asia. Islam is central to both the political significance and the mystery of Turkey. For centuries visitors have been struck with wonder at its remarkable tauheed, or unity, tolerance and hospitality. This course familiarizes students with the basic beliefs and practices of Islam in Turkey, including worship, family life and intellectual and artistic traditions. We will perceive Islam from both “insiders’ perspectives” (reading the Quran and works on the Prophet Muhammad and challenges facing Muslims in contemporary Turkey), and from “outsiders’ perspectives” (reading British, American, and secular Turkish writers who are imagining or describing Turkey and Muslims). Site visits include Mosques, churches, madrasas, palaces, museums, ancient towns including the underground city of Kaymakli, volcanic formations, deep valleys and rock dwellings in Cappadocia, Sultanhan Caravanserai, Mevlana Museum, Selimiye Mosque, Aladdin Mosque, Konya Karatay Ince Minare, Karatay Madrasa in Konya. Ephesus in Selcuk. Muradiye, Burda Koza Han, Grand and Green Mosques in Bursa, Bursa center. Edirne Selimiye Mosque, Eski Camii, Beyazit Medrese. The stunning Blue Mosque and historical Eyup Sultan Mosque, the world-famous Byzantine Hagia Sophia, lavish Ottoman Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. To experience Turkish friendship we also engage in interfaith and intercultural dialogue over dinners in the homes of local families.
Through analysis of works of artistic resistance, students in this course will examine the interrelationships between two catastrophes of the modern era in South Africa: Apartheid and AIDS. Students will approach works of art with theological lenses to explore such themes as lament, imago Dei, prophecy, theodicy, justice/charity, memory, storytelling, covenant, forgiveness/reconciliation and hope. Artistic examples will be drawn from the visual arts (both "fine-" and "folk-" styles), music, literature (novel and poetry) and film. Students will learn about the arts of resistance through guest presentations and through visits to selected sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town and their surrounding areas. Students will participate in the arts of resistance by service work conducted at the Central Methodist Mission church in Johannesburg and the Scalabrini Center in Cape Town. Students will integrate the dimensions of the course by reflecting on a theological theme by reference to works of visual art, music, literature and film.
Study Christian theology and practice in a context of the great struggle for human dignity. From on-location in the Guatemalan highlands, students will study the experiences of Guatemalan churches in the twentieth century. These churches serve as a lens for analyzing the various forms that Christianity has taken in Latin American history since the Spanish Conquest. Students will study the politics, history, culture and economy of Guatemala in order to join with Latin Americans in reflecting theologically on the meaning of the gospel in its historical context. Theological topics explored may include evangelization, Christology, sin, martyrdom, poverty, the nature of the Church, the Eucharist and the Church’s role in Guatemala’s peace process. Practical service activities will be combined with academic study. The class will also follow the VISION Program’s six-point philosophy.
This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Through careful reading of a core of common texts, a variety of site visits and guided tours, as well as written assignments, students are expected to attain a basic understanding of human experiences as interpreted by major areas of Christian theology (including revelation, God, creation, Jesus, and the Church). Emphasis will be placed on the city of Rome, its role in Christian history, and the cultural expressions of Christianity found in its environments.