THEO 503. The Catholic Theological Tradition

3 credit course

This course introduces the student to the history of Christian theology as fides quaerens intellectum ("faith seeking [deeper] understanding"). Our method will be to survey Christian theology as it developed historically from the end of the New Testament times to the Second Vatican Council. As we examine several of the key issues that were debated in each epoch, we shall meet some of history's most famous [and infamous!] theologians and come to understand their sometimes contradictory, sometimes complementary, ways of thinking about the things of God. Throughout our survey, special attention will be given to:

  • the development of a chronological framework which will give order and coherence to all the theological knowledge you acquire in the future.
  • the problem of "development of doctrine": how can we say that the faith of the Catholic Church today is the same as the faith of the New Testament Church if certain Catholic practices and beliefs seem not to be explicitly found in the Bible?
  • special critical moments in the history of theology, such as the period of the early Church Fathers, the Protestant and Catholic Reformation, and the theological revival leading up to the Second Vatican Council.


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