Catholic Studies Minor Requirements

Program Director:Peter Beisheim

Office: Student Union 201

Phone: 508-565-1371
pbeisheim@stonehill.edu



The wide array of interdisciplinary courses in Catholic Studies allows students majoring in Spanish culture and language to create a Catholic Studies minor with a Hispanic focus. Similarly, students can create a Catholic Studies minor with a concentration on Catholic Social Teachings.

The minor in Catholic Studies requires the completion of six courses.

Complete Two Required Courses

Code Course Credits

REL 256

Church and Social Justice

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An examination of the Catholic Church's relationship to society and its responses to a variety of social, political, and economic issues.

3

REL 300

The Catholic Tradition: Past and Present

Offered: Spring 2019

A study of Catholicism from historical and theological perspectives to aid students in attaining an appreciation for the richness of the Catholic Tradition in the past and present. Scripture, sacramental life, doctrinal teachings and development, moral issues, and the future Church direction are explored.

3

Complete Four Elective Courses

In choosing elective courses, a student may select one course from each of the following categories; two courses from two of the following categories; or any four courses in consultation with the Program Director of Catholic Studies.

Historical Roots & Development

Code Course Credits

CAT 490

Directed Study: Catholic Studies

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An in-depth study of a Catholic Studies question under the direction of a faculty member.

3

HIS 227

Renaissance and Revolutions: Early Modern Europe

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

This course examines the major developments of a pivotal time in European history known as the Early Modern Era (1400-1800). These developments include the educational reforms of the Renaissance, the religious change and violence of the Reformation, the rise of centralized monarchies, European expansion overseas, the Enlightenment, and democratic revolutions.

Considered a European History.

3

HIS 262

Medieval Europe, 400-1500

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

Rise of Medieval Europe through the "barbarization" and Christianization of the Roman Order. Idea of Empire and Christendom, the conflict of Papacy and Kingship. Feudalization of Europe and the rise of cities, popular religious movements. The culmination and crisis of this order in Renaissance cities and its fragmentation in the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation Era.

Considered a European History.

3

HIS 263

Religion in America

Offered: Fall Semester

An examination of a variety of religious ideas, institutions, and traditions in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is placed upon questions of religious pluralism, religion and cultural identity, and religion in public life.

Considered a United States History. Cross-listed with REL 262.

3

HIS 221

Ancient Mediterranean Greece and Rome

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

A study of the ancient civilizations that coalesced into Hellenistic Culture with a focus on the political, institutional, and intellectual movements, which provided the context for the development of European Civilization.

Considered a European History.

3

HIS 349

The Inquisition: Myth and History

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

Explores the myths and history of the Inquisition as a social, political and religious institution in Europe, the Americas, and in Goa, India, from its Medieval inception to its final abolition in the nineteenth century. Students will seek to understand why it was created, how it functioned, the impact it had on the societies that sustained it, and why it was finally abolished.

Considered a European and World History.

3

REL 226

Women, Slaves & Sin: Paul and the Creation of Christianity

Offered: Fall 2018

An investigation into the life, writings, and legacy of the Apostle Paul. The course will uncover the historical, philosophical, social, and religious forces that shaped the beliefs, practices, and experiences of the earliest Christians.

3

REL 251

Introduction to the Old Testament

Offered: Spring 2018

Literature of the Hebrew Bible. Survey of the religious, literary, and political history of ancient Israel. Students may not receive credit for both this course and REL 260.

3

REL 252

Introduction to the New Testament

Offered: Fall 2019

Literature of the New Testament in its religious and historical context. Life and ministry of Jesus, origins of earliest Christianity, the role of Paul, and the development of the Church.

3

REL 255

Religions in the Roman Empire

Offered: Spring Semester

A study of ancient world views, mystery religions, gnosticism, and the rise of Christianity.

3

REL 262

Religion in America

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

An examination of a variety of religious ideas, institutions, and traditions in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is placed upon questions of religious pluralism, religion and cultural identity, and religion in public life.

Cross-listed with HIS 263.

3

Intellectual Heritage

Code Course Credits

CAT 490

Directed Study: Catholic Studies

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An in-depth study of a Catholic Studies question under the direction of a faculty member.

3

ENG 248

Catholic Literature and the Modern World

Offered: Spring Semester

Through literature and film this course will introduce students to the development of the Catholic imagination from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries. We will examine the struggle between the Catholic Church and modernity, which developed into a more cooperative relationship by the time of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and which continues to evolve into the contemporary period.

3

PHL 353

Medieval Philosophy

Offered: Spring Semester

Encounter of Greek philosophical theories with Christianity as seen through the works of representative medieval thinkers, especially Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham.

3

REL 334

The Mystery of Evil

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

In a world of violence and vengeance, enmity and injustice, disease and natural disaster, the problem of evil is an ever present reality prompting the deepest and most urgent questions for humanity. This course introduces important philosophical and theological perspectives on evil, considers the persistent challenge of theodicy, as well as the inherent limitations of theodical projects, and examines questions on the origin of evil, the possibility of human evil, the ability to name evil in the context of cultural pluralism, and the possibility of hope for overcoming evil.

3

REL 337

The God Question: Modern Challenges to Faith and Christian Responses

Offered: Fall Semester

This course traces the historical development of the character of both modern theism and atheism in response to certain views about human knowing that arose in the age of modern science and in confrontation with particular strains of Western Enlightenment thought. It also considers some of the changing perspectives on the divine mystery that have arisen from certain significant theological projects of recent time, among them liberation, feminist, ecological, political, and various contextual theologies.

3

REL 267

Liberation Theology: Latin American Perspectives

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

An examination of the development of liberation theology in the historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts of Latin America's struggle to move from colonialism to freedom. The course also explores feminist theology, ecological theology, and indigenous people's theology that are rooted in liberation theology.

3

REL 327

Vatican II: Revolution or Reform

Offered: Fall 2018

An in-depth reading and analysis of the principal Vatican II documents to demonstrate how Catholicism today is transformed from earlier history. Contemporary issues, as understood in the light of the Vatican II Church, are explored.

3

REL 411

Approaches to the Study of Religious Traditions (WID)

Offered: Alternate Years: Fall 2017, 2019

An exploration of the basic questions and themes in the academic study of religions, with a focus on how the discipline of Religious Studies developed and how it continues to change.

4

Catholicism in Praxis

Code Course Credits

CAT 490

Directed Study: Catholic Studies

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An in-depth study of a Catholic Studies question under the direction of a faculty member.

3

HIS 326

The Christian Churches in Nazi Germany

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

An examination of the choices that the Catholic and Protestant churches made under the impact of National Socialism. The course will also examine the reaction of the churches to the persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust.

Considered a European History.

3

POL 348

Peace and Conflict Studies

Offered: Spring Semester

As an introduction to the field of Peace and Conflict Studies, the course examines sources of war and violence as well as the conditions of sustainale, just or positive peace. Some of the sources of violent conflict covered include the nature of political systems, levels of economic development, ethnic and racial identities. Specific cases of international conflicts will be examined.

3

REL 238

Migrants, Immigrants, Refugees: Justice Issues and Catholic Responses

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

An examination of the "immigrant" dimension of the American Catholic Church, past and present, exposing the injustices experienced by the marginalized outsider/newcomer, exploring the Catholic Church's responses to these injustices utilizing Catholic social thought, and focusing on Hispanic culture and presence in the Catholic Church and American society.

3

REL 329

Justice, Peace, Ecology

Offered: Spring 2019

The local and global environmental crisis is examined from the perspective of contemporary theological developments, recent biblical scholarship, ecumenical statements, and Roman Catholic social teaching communicated in various papal and episcopal statements on the current crisis.

3

REL 340

Jesus and Moral Decisions

Offered: Spring 2019

Jesus and Moral Decisions challenges students to ask, "What would Jesus do?" when faced with contemporary moral decisions. Using Gospels, and secondary sources, students will lead discussions and write essays that address Jesus' answer(s) to moral decisions today.

3

Catholic Life & Culture

Code Course Credits

CAT 490

Directed Study: Catholic Studies

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An in-depth study of a Catholic Studies question under the direction of a faculty member.

3

HIS 233

American Catholic Social History

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

An historical presentation of the numerous social issues, conflicts, and varied solutions in American Catholicism from the late 19th century forward with emphasis on how the many issues of society impacted Catholicism. The course demonstrates how the application of faith and various theological and philosophical theories were used in resolution of social conflict.

Considered a United States History. Cross-listed with REL 233.

3

HIS 333

The American Catholic Experience

Offered: Fall Semester

A critical examination and analysis of the peoples, events, and ideas that shaped American Catholicism from the era of discovery to the 21st century. Catholicism's minority status and the perennial tension being American and Catholic are used as guiding principles in this study.

Considered a United States History. Cross-listed with REL 333.

3

REL 233

American Catholic Social History

Offered: Fall 2018

An historical presentation of the numerous social issues, conflicts, and varied solutions in American Catholicism from the late 19th century forward with emphasis on how the many issues of society impacted Catholicism. The course demonstrates how the application of faith and various theological and philosophical theories were used in resolution of social conflict.

Cross-listed with HIS 233.

3

REL 248

Christian Prayer, Liturgy and Sacrament

Offered: Fall 2018

An introduction to the fundamentals of Christian liturgy, including the meaning of the assembly, ritual symbol and gesture, proclamation of sacred scripture, and blessing prayers in the context of relating liturgy to life.

3

REL 253

Models of the Church: Historical Developments

Offered: Fall 2019

A study of various forms of the Church from its Apostolic beginnings, through the institutionalization process and Vatican II reforms, up to the present development of Base Christian Communities.

3

REL 263

Women's Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Offered: Fall 2018

This class will explore the critical roles played by women in the religious traditions of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as Judaism and earliest Christianity. It will introduce factors that led to the decline of women's influence as Christianity developed a more institutionalized religious system.

3

REL 303

The Virgin Mary and Visions of the Feminine in Christianity

Offered: Spring 2019

The development of the Church's understanding of the Virgin Mary and of other feminine aspects of the transcendent in Christian spirituality. The course begins with Mary's ideological antecedents and the issue of the "historical Mary." It explores the relationship between images of the Virgin and theologies, controversies, and heresies, as well as contemporary feminist understandings of Mary and of the divine as feminine.

3

REL 333

The American Catholic Experience

Offered: Not Offered 2017-2018

A critical examination and analysis of the peoples, events, and ideas that shaped American Catholicism from the era of discovery to the 21st century. Catholicism's minority status and the perennial tension of being American and Catholic are used as guiding principles in this study.

Cross-listed with HIS 333.

3

REL 346

Feast or Famine? The Mass in the Modern Age

Offered: Fall 2019

An exploration of the theological study of the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass, with a focus on the historical development of the Eucharist, various models of eucharistic celebration, and, the writings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI as a window on critical ecclesial and social issues that surface regarding the Mass in the modern world.

3

VPH 214

The Age of Cathedrals

Offered: Fall Semester

Examines the rise of the Gothic Cathedral from its roots in the Ottonian and Romanesque periods. Great European Cathedrals like Chartres, Notre Dame, Strasbourg, Salisbury, are discussed in detail.

3

A student may substitute one course in the area of Catholic Life & Culture with one of the following internships

Code Course Credits

REL 476

Internship in Campus Ministry     (Catholic High Schools)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Familiarizes students with campus ministry fundamentals beyond Stonehill. Based on the particular host institution's faith tradition and goals, students will plan retreats, justice and peace initiatives, liturgical practices and similar functions.

Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 477

Internship in Parish Ministry

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

A parish internship provides the opportunity to be involved in planning and carrying-out a multi-level religious education program, youth ministry activities, community service projects, and spiritual/liturgical events.

Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 478

Internship in Catholic Ministry

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

This internship provides experience with the practical aspects and operations of a Catholic campus ministry program. Working with campus ministers, and applying theological and social principles, students will be introduced to retreats, liturgical ministry, service (local and overseas), and student ministry.

Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3