CATH-112-01 Intro Cath St: Explorations in Cath Culture
Spring for 2017-2018
The central topic considered in the course is this: how does Catholic faith (as a religion of both/and,” not “either/or”) interact with various forms of human culture. The class will investigate Catholic tradition to see how it emerged from earlier, existing cultures and how it developed its own forms of cultural expression. We will in addition probe its relevance for contemporary society. We begin with narrative: creation accounts, the history of the people of Israel, the earliest stories about Jesus of Nazareth, the problems in reading them, and the central beliefs of Catholicism as they are derived from these accounts. After this overview, we look at four ways in which Catholicism has found expression within human cultural traditions. 1. Personal narratives. What meaning have people found in Catholicism in their own personal lives? Here we will read the autobiographies of Ignatius of Loyola [16th C.] and Dorothy Day [20th C.]. 2. Catholicism and society. How does Catholicism relate its faith to public policy? How should Catholics act as members of society? Here we will read some chapters from Francis’ “Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium.” 3. The fine arts. How has Catholicism shaped aesthetic imagination? We will study the architecture, painting, and sculpture of Michelangelo. 4. The physical world. What does Catholicism envision about nature, science, and the experience of being human? We will read the Encyclical by Pope Francis Laudato si’ .
Required Texts
“Required” means students must bring these specific texts to each relevant class session in order to use them during class discussions.
• Monika Hellwig. Understanding Catholicism. Second Edition. Paulist Press.
• St. Ignatius of Loyola. A Pilgrim’s Journey. Tr. J. Tylenda. Ignatius Press.
• Dorothy Day. The Long Loneliness. Harper SanFrancisco.
• Francis, “Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium” on Blackboard. Also available at:
• Francis, Laudate si. On Blackboard. Also available at:
• Anthony Hughes. Michelangelo. Phaidon.
Articles written by faculty members uploaded into Blackboard that supplement the following textbooks.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


CATH-112-02 Intro: Vatican II to Pope Francis
Fall for 2017-2018
Michelle Siemietkowski
This course will provide students with a broad historical framework of the Catholic Church's rich intellectual tradition, with an emphasis on Vatican II and our Jesuit Pope. We will consider the question, "How do the various movements in the Church's history and tradition impact culture and inform the way we live our lives?" Topics will include Catholic social teaching, inter religious dialog, Ignatian spirituality, the call to environmental justice, and the role of women in the Church.

Texts will include:

John W. O'Malley, SJ. What Happened at Vatican II? Harvard University Press.

Richard Gaillardetz and Catherine Clifford. Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II. Liturgical Press.

Mark Mass, SJ. Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team. Crossroad Publisher.

Pope Francis. The Joy of the Gospel - Evangelii Gaudium.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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