THEO 599. Italy: Crossroads of Christendom

3 credit course

While Christianity was born in the middle East, it was Italy that became, within a few decades after Christ’s resurrection, the Crossroads of the Christian world.  For two thousand years Christians from East and West, North and South, have come to Italy to serve Christ and his Church.  In this course, we’ll be examining the lives and work of many great Christians that spent part of their lives in central Italy.  The apostles Peter and Paul, the native Italians Sts. Benedict, Clare, and Francis, the Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Greek missionaries Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the great artists Michelangelo and Raphael, all these and more will be the subject of our study.  Our learning will primarily take place not online, but on site for ten days in Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Orvieto.  Prior to the trip, there will be some fascinating reading and online discussion which will be the basis for a term paper to be submitted after the trip.  The goal of this interdisciplinary course will be to give the student an appreciation of the depth and breadth of the Catholic culture represented by the abundant monuments to faith to be found in central Italy. For graduate students, the course could be counted toward a concentration in Scripture, Theology/Philosophy, Ecclesial Service or Catholic Culture or toward the certificate program in Scripture or Church History, provided one completes a research assignment appropriate to one’s area of study.  Approval is required, contact the Registrar.

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