Fordham's theology department is a national leader in theological education, rooted in the Jesuit vision of social justice and committed to forming teacher-scholars for the 21st century. As a graduate student in theology at Fordham, you'll work alongside distinguished faculty who are dedicated to student mentoring, original research, and professional development. Our programs provide experiential opportunities and partnerships with institutions in the greater New York City metropolitan area.
In addition to having the largest number of undergraduate majors/minors of any Jesuit college or university, the Department of Theology offers three graduate degrees:
Whether pursuing undergraduate or graduate education, Fordham students work alongside distinguished scholar-teachers committed to student mentoring and development..
The M.A. provides a general, two-year, graduate-level introduction to theological study with an emphasis on Biblical, Historical, and Systematic approaches. Degree requirements include a six-course core sequence, four electives, and a final project. Typically pursued as a terminal degree, Fordham's M.A. in Catholic Theology may be completed on a part-time basis.
The M.T.S. offers students the opportunity to engage in critical and constructive theological research as part of the department's vibrant community of inquiry. Aimed primarily at students aspiring to deep theological competence and to doctoral education at the highest level, the program provides students both comprehensive grounding in the theological disciplines and rigorous preparation for advanced studies in a concentration of the student's choice.
Upon entry, students in Fordham's M.T.S. program select one of two concentrations:
- Studies in Ancient and Medieval Christianity
- Studies in Modern and Contemporary Christianity
The Ph.D. is designed for the preparation of scholars: not simply competent teachers of theology, but ones who can also communicate with and contribute to the academic community more broadly. Upon entry, students in Fordham's Ph.D. program select one of five "Fields of Study":
- Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity
- History of Christianity
- Systematic Theology
- Theological and Social Ethics
All doctoral students receive five years of full funding (tuition remission and living stipends) to support their work, and all students are eligible to compete for internal and external fellowships for additional support. Fordham doctoral students are active scholars, presenting at major conferences and publishing their work on a regular basis. During their third year of study (and with the supervision of a faculty mentor), they begin teaching their own undergraduate courses.
Preparing for Ministry?
As part of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Fordham's graduate programs in the Department of Theology prepare students for academia and related careers, with an emphasis on original academic research and critical engagement with the scholarly tradition. A separate school within the university, Fordham's Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE), also pursues academic theological inquiry, but with an emphasis on practical preparation for careers in ministry, counseling, and other related fields.
For more information about graduate-level theology, please visit our page on the Fordham website.
Candidates for the Department's master's degrees are expected to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, while candidates for the Ph.D. are expected to have a GPA of 3.5.
Completed applications will include each of the following items:
- Official Degree Transcripts: confirming prior degree conferral should be ordered at least one month prior to the application deadline. You may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts to your application while the Office of Admissions awaits receipt of your official transcripts. Please ensure that all official transcripts from previously attended post-secondary institutions are submitted in English, or are accompanied by a certified English translation.
- Official GRE Scores: sent directly by the testing service (Code #2259)
- Statement of Intent: up to 1000 words
- Writing Sample: 5 - 20 pages
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- English Proficiency: International applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete and submit to GSAS prior to matriculation their official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). GSAS will also consider a student’s International English Language Testing System (IELTS)—Cambridge English Proficiency Level language testing results. Exemptions from this requirement can be requested by the applicant in her/his application.
For more information about admissions to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, please visit their page on the Fordham website.
- M.A. in Catholic Theology
- M.T.S. in Theological Studies
- Studies in Ancient and Medieval Christianity Concentration
- Studies in Modern and Contemporary Christianity Concentration
- Ph.D. in Theology
- Bible Field of Study
- Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity Field of Study
- History of Christianity Field of Study
- Systematic Theology Field of Study
- Theological and Social Ethics Field of Study
THEO 5000. Biblical Hebrew Intro. (4 Credits)
This course is an intensive introduction to the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew. By the end of the course students will be able to read passages from the Hebrew Bible with the help of a dictionary, and will have learned sufficient vocabulary to ensure a rewarding reading experience. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.
THEO 5015. Teaching Theology. (0 Credits)
Classical and contemporary discussions on the practice of teaching theology, particularly as understood in the Roman Catholic tradition, introducing the field of professional theology and its relationship to other disciplines, and engaging in careful, critical reflection on the vocation of the teaching theologian.
THEO 5017. Theology Dissertation Seminar. (0 Credits)
A colloquium for workshopping dissertation chapters in progress.
THEO 5025. Exodus in Hebrew. (3 Credits)
This course combines exegesis of Exodus in Hebrew with intermediate-level study of biblical Hebrew. We will read chapters 1-24 and 32-34 of Exodus in Hebrew. Our study of the Hebrew language will progress from a review of grammatical forms to a more advanced understanding of the syntax of biblical Hebrew.
THEO 5070. Elementary Coptic I. (3 Credits)
The course introduces students to Coptic, the latest stage of the Egyptian language, by acquainting them with the script, providing them with grammatical foundations, and exposing them from early on to the reading of texts.
THEO 5071. Elementary Coptic II. (3 Credits)
Completion of Coptic grammar and reading of Biblical texts in Sahidic Coptic. Continuation of Elementary Coptic I. Other students welcome subject to instructor approval.
THEO 5072. Christian Texts in Coptic. (3 Credits)
Intermediate and advanced readings in Coptic, which may include biblical, monartic, and Gnostic texts.
THEO 5075. Syriac Language and Literature I. (3 Credits)
This course is the first of a two-semester introduction to Syriac, a dialect belonging to the Aramaic language branch. The first semester will introduce the Estrangela and the Serto scripts, cover grammatical foundations, and expose students from early on to the reading of texts. The second semester will be mostly spent reading Syriac literature, but some time will be devoted to select special topics in Syriac grammar.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG, OCST, REST.
THEO 5076. Syriac Language and Literature II. (3 Credits)
This course is the second of a two-semester introduction to Syriac, a dialect belonging to the Aramaic language branch. The first semester introduced both the Estrangela and the Serto scripts, covered grammatical foundations, and exposed students from early on to the reading of texts. The second semester will be mostly spent reading Syriac literature, but some time will be devoted to select special topics in Syriac grammar.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 5080. Introduction to Biblical Greek. (3 Credits)
This course an intensive introduction to the grammar and syntax of New Testament Greek. Sufficient attention will be devoted to vocabulary to enable rewarding experience in reading an exegesis.
THEO 5090. Biblical Aramaic. (3 to 4 Credits)
An introduction to the language through comparison with Hebrew morphology and readings from the Aramaic sections of the Old Testament.
THEO 5230. Advanced Greek. (3 Credits)
This course includes both a rapid review of Greek grammar and syntax, and also intermediate/advanced readings from Hellenistic and/or early Christian texts.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 5300. History of Christianity I. (3 Credits)
This course covers the development of central concepts of Christianity from the Apostolic Fathers to the Reformation.
THEO 5301. History of Christianity II. (3 Credits)
This course covers Catholic and Protestant theologies after the first century of the Reformation, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, including both European and U.S. theological developments.
THEO 5400. Topics in Islam: Texts and Traditions. (3 Credits)
This course explores major topics in Islam, including notions of revelation, God, law, thological speculation, gender issues, philosophy, mysticism and science. Comparisions with Jewish and Christian materials will be brought to bear on the topics for discussion when relevant.
Attributes: HHPA, HUST, MTAM, MTMC.
THEO 5401. Introduction to Islam. (3 Credits)
This course provides a basic introduction to Islam through close readings of the Qu'ran as well as theological, philosophical, legal, exegetical and literary writings. Special focus will be given to comparative themes, such as God, revelation, prophecy, reason, ritual, and ethics. Attention will be paid to sources and pedagogical concerns involved in the creation of undergraduate courses on Islamic topics and themes.
Attributes: MTAM, MTMC, MVSG.
THEO 5405. Teaching Buddhism. (3 Credits)
This course will provide short units on Buddhist thought, Buddhist practice, and Buddhism in America, and it will emphasize strategies for incorporating elements of these units into undergraduate religion courses.
Attributes: MTAM, MTMC.
THEO 5500. Religion and American Public Life. (3 Credits)
This course introduces students to the intricate and delicate topic of how religious voices and institutions interact with the public life of the United States. Topics include church-state relations in the courts, voting according to religious conscience, the influence of civil religion, secularization, public theology, culture wars, faith-based lobbying, and religion in the media and popular culture.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC, PSNM.
THEO 5550. New Methods: American Religion History. (3 Credits)
The past thirty years have produced significant changes in the ways historians, theologians, and ethnographers describe, explain, and theorize Americans' religious worlds. Problems include how to account for the experiences of women and racial and ethnic minorities, the relationship of doctrine to practice, the legacy of the enlightenment, the religious meanings of objects and places, the importance of borders and identity, and the significance of class in theological expression. This course investigates new answers to these and other questions, assessing them in light of their contributions and limitations in the effort to make sense of North America's past and present. The work of the semester involves close reading of contemporary historical and ethnographic texts, covering periods from the colonial era to the present. The emphasis rests both on American religious history and on new ways of making sense of religious lives, which may be applicable beyond the North American context.
THEO 5620. Introduction to Systematic Theology. (3 Credits)
An introduction to major schools and methods in contemporary systematic theology.
THEO 5630. Systematic Liberation Theology. (3 Credits)
The course will examine theologies of liberation originating among marginalized peoples of the Americas. In addition to studying their origins and major figures, the course will focus on how liberation theologies rethink a range of themes in systematic theology including: Christology, anthropology, soteriology , and ecclesiology.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC.
THEO 5640. Introduction to Theological Ethics. (3 Credits)
This introductory course will examine the sources and methods of Christian ethics, as well as contemporary questions in the discipline including gender and identity, racism, and bio-and environmental ethics.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT.
THEO 5690. Graduate Seminar: Church in Controversy. (3 Credits)
This master's level course traces the Catholic Church’s negotiations with the revolutionary challenges inaugurated by modernity. Topics will vary according to the instructor but may include the colonial missions, the Enlightenment, the Holocaust, the Second Vatican Council, the rise of feminism, changing notions of normative sexuality, and more recent developments, such as the unprecedented numbers of religiously “unaffiliated” or “nones,” the majority of which have come from the Catholic Church. How did the Catholic Church (its theologians, the millions of everyday faithful, and the Vatican) respond to—sometimes deepening, sometimes informing, and often critiquing—these challenges? Controversies forced the Church not only to make pronouncements on the crises of the moment, but to refine and sometimes revise some of its basic foundational beliefs about human nature, revelation, reason, truth, and God.
THEO 5820. Old Testament Interpretation. (3 to 4 Credits)
Introduction to the multi-faceted project of interpreting the religious literature of ancient Israel and the sacred Scriptures of the church, in order to develop competence in a variety of exegetical approaches to the Old Testament. These include patterns of patristic and medieval interpretation, the classic modern methods of scholarly analysis, and selected contemporary approaches.
THEO 5890. New Testament Interpretation. (3 to 4 Credits)
History, literature, and religion of the New Testament, studied in the context of the time and circumstances that produced them.
THEO 6000. History, Theory, and the Study of Religion. (3 Credits)
This course provides a thorough introduction to recent developments in historiography and critical theory as they bear upon the discipline of religious studies and the critical study of theology.
THEO 6014. Ancient Theological Controversies. (3 Credits)
This course will aim at providing students with a historical understanding of the ancient development of Trinitarian and Christological doctrine while also reflecting on the ancient and modern historiographic constructions of the controversies that surrounded those topics through theoretical and methodological readings in intellectual history, the sociology of scientific knowledge, and discourse analysis. After a survey of some early understandings of Christ’s identity and of crucial early disputes, the seminar will focus on the Trinitarian, Christological, and anthropomorphic controversies. Emphasis will be placed on the philosophical underpinnings of the various theological postures, on the late ancient emergence of theological discourse as a field of knowledge sustained by a new set of intellectual practices, and on the link between theological debates and imperial power. Whenever possible, particular attention will be devoted to Syriac and Coptic sources for the controversies under examination.
THEO 6026. Ancient Judaism. (3 Credits)
This course provides a survey of the literature and history of both Palestinian and Diaspora Judaism, including late biblical texts, apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, the Qumran Scrolls, Philo, and Josephus.
THEO 6031. The Psalms. (3 Credits)
This course is an introduction to the Psalms that examines their historical origins in ancient Israel, their distinctive poetics, and their continued theological interpretation and use in Jewish and Christian traditions.
THEO 6039. Biblical Ethics. (3 Credits)
This course will explore a number of ways that the Bible has been used to inform ethical behavior. Special attention will be paid to the ethical implications of different interpretive approaches to the biblical text, as well as to the fact that the Christian Bible has two testaments, each of which contains a variety of approaches to ethics.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTAM.
THEO 6040. The Neighbor: Biblical Witness and Contemporary Ethics. (3 Credits)
With the rise of nationalism and xenophobia, "the neighbor" has reemerged as a category of thought among philosophers and theologians who are seeking a path beyond the polarization of "friend" vs. "enemy." The course will explore the biblical roots of the disclosure about "the neighbor" in the writings of Levinas, Derrida, Badiou, Santner, Reinhard, Zizek and others. Special attention will be devoted to biblical texts from Leviticus, Ruth, Jonah, the Gospels, and Paul.
THEO 6042. The History of Jerusalem: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives. (3 Credits)
In this course, students will learn about the ancient and medieval history of Jerusalem, from its Jebusite inhabitants before the time of King David through Suleiman’s construction of the modern city walls in the 1540s and the later Ottoman years. Students will gain experience analyzing a variety of sources—biblical and qur’anic texts, exegetical materials, travel narratives, legal documents, maps, poetry, literature, art, archaeology, and architecture—and use a range of different (inter)disciplinary and theoretical lenses through which to study them.
Attributes: CEED, MTAM.
THEO 6048. Varieties of Biblical Reception. (3 Credits)
A select survey of privileged appropriations of the Bible and Christian ideologies.
THEO 6130. Matthew Mark and Method. (3 Credits)
This graduate seminar offers both detailed analysis of Gospels of Matthew and Mark and a survey of contemporary critical methods as applied to these Gospels. Sessions will examine the two texts through the lenses of Christology; Discipleship and Ethics; Feminist Criticism; Form Criticism; "Historical Jesus"; Literary Criticism; Political Theology; Postcolonial Criticism; Redaction Criticism; and Text Criticism.
THEO 6192. The Greco-Roman Context of Early Christianity. (3 Credits)
This course creates a context for understanding the encounter of early Christianity with Greco-Roman culture by exploring Hellenistic and Roman history, politics, religion, social relations, economics, education, rhetoric, philosophy, literature, and the theatre.
THEO 6194. History, Theory, and Christianity. (3 Credits)
This course will provide a thorough introduction to recent developments in historiography and critical theory in light of the so-called “linguistic turn.” It will also explore the methodological relevance of these theoretical shifts from the study of pre-modern Christianity/historical theology.
THEO 6195. Inventing Christianity: Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, and Martyrs. (3 Credits)
A seminar on the literature produced by Christ believers during the second and third centuries CE—the so-called “Apostolic Fathers,” defenses of Christian faith and life, and accounts of the deaths of martyrs. The course seeks to comprehend the diverse ways in which Christian identity was shaped and to reconstruct the social experience of the early Christians.
THEO 6196. Early Christian Ritual. (3 Credits)
This graduate seminar surveys the evidence for ritual practices in the first few centuries of Christianity. Through engagement with theoretical literature on ritual and identity formation, we will explore what can be known about early Christian practices and interrogate our means of knowing it. Much of the course will focus on the rituals of initiation and their diverse interpretations in ancient sources, but other topics will be covered as time allows. Prior study of early Christian history and/or New Testament is recommended.
THEO 6198. Self in Early Christianity. (3 Credits)
An examination of different notions of "the self" in early Christianity with particular attention to ancient ideas about status, gender, ethnicity, and cultural identity, as well as their implications for Christians in the pre-Constantinian era.
THEO 6211. Paul, Prisoner and Martyr: Political Theology in Early Christianity. (3 Credits)
A close reading of the authentic letters of Paul from prison (Philippians and Philamon), supplemented by an investigation of the image of Paul as the "prisoner of Christ" in Calossians, 2 Timothy, 3 Corinthians, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Acts of Paul.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6214. Old Testament Theology. (3 Credits)
An examination of recent attempts to use the Old Testament as a resource for systematic theological thought. Among the topics to be considered are the nature of devine revelation in creation and history and the implications of the human response to that revelation.
THEO 6300. Apostolic Fathers. (3 Credits)
A seminar in the body of first and second century Christian literature known as the "Apostolic Fathers," so as to gain an understanding of this literature as an expression of the life and thought of its authors and the churces in which it arose and was preserved. A secondary concern of the course involves the use of the Apostolic Fathers as histoical sources for the reconstruction of the social experience of the early Christians.
THEO 6305. Introduction to Rabbinic Literature. (3 Credits)
In this course, students will explore the vast corpus of rabbinic literature and the historical, intellectual, religious, social, legal and political circumstances in which rabbinic Judaism developed in Palestine and Babylonia between the first and seventh centuries C.E. Students will gain experience reading different genres of rabbinic texts; become familiar with cutting-edge scholarship in the field; experiement with various methodologies in the study of late antiquity; and learn about a formative period in Jewish history.
THEO 6360. Alexandrian Theology. (3 Credits)
Reading and interpretation of selected writings of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, and Cyril of Alexandria, against the background of the pagan and Jewish traditions of Alexandria.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6365. Cappadocian Fathers. (3 Credits)
A wide-ranging but analytic reading of the most important writings of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, with particular attention to the doctrine of the Trinity, to Christian anthropology, and to spirituality.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6367. Byzantine Christianity: History and Theology. (3 Credits)
The graduate-level survey course introduces students to the theological ideas and historical transitions that captivated the minds of Eastern Christians from the 8th to the 15th centuries. Through a careful reading of primary sources (in English translation) and the scholarly debates about those sources, we will explore the Iconoclastic controversies, the expansion of Christianity to the Slavs, the experience of Christians living under Islamic authority, and a host of issues related to rupture between Eastern and Western Christianity. In most circumstances, successful completion of this course authorizes doctoral studnts in Theology to teach the undergraduate cognate course.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6400. Theological Anthropology and Human Diversity. (3 Credits)
As the subdiscipline of "theological anthropology" speaks about the nature of our being human, how does it take into account the great variety in evidence among human beings? Particularities of race, religion, culture, disability, sexual orientation and gender iwll be placed in conversation with classic text.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, PSTG.
THEO 6425. St. Augustine in Context. (3 Credits)
This course investigates the life and writings of Augustine of Hippo in the context of late antiquity including philosophical and religious influences upon him as well as the controversies and archeological remains of his ministry.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6426. St. Augustine of Hippo. (3 Credits)
An introduction to the life and thought of St. Augustine that will include an examination of his principal theological controversies (e.g. against Manichaeism).
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6444. Medieval Modernists: Modern Appropiations of Medieval and Ancient Christianity. (3 Credits)
In twentieth century Europe, an astonishing range of intellectuals were animated and energized by the study of pre modern and early modern Christianity. For theologians, historians, philosophers, and literary figures, Christian medieval and patristic sources were galvanizing forces of transformation, and harbingers of ethical, theological, and political renewal. This course investigates the various appropriations of medieval and ancient Christianity from the Catholic nouvelle theologie movement (Henri de Lubac, M.D. Chenu, and Jean Danielou in particular), literature (Charles Peguy), philosophy, (Hannah Arendt and Luce Irigaray), and historiography (Michel de Certeau), along with secondary works by Amy Hollywood, Joan Wallach Scott, and others.
THEO 6445. Affect, Emotion, and Religious Experience. (3 Credits)
This course examines recent work in affect theory and the history of emotions (and their philosophical antecedents) as potential resources for historical and theological accounts of religious experience.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6461. Mystical Theology. (3 Credits)
Examines the influences of Neoplatonic philosophy and the writings of Pseudo-Dionvsius on medieval Latin Christianity, with attention to both "negative" theological language and reflection on the paths to and modes of union with God. Modern deconstructive, psychoanalytic, and feminist approaches to mysticism will also be considered.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6463. From Lollards to Luther. (3 Credits)
This course offers an introduction to the key themes, events, and thinkers of Christianity during the transition from what historians refer to as the late medieval to whtat they call the early modern period. Topics will include theological method; humanism; heresy and reform; gender; scripture; and the realtionship between the church and civil society.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6465. Asceticism and Monasticism. (3 Credits)
Early Christianity was an ascetic religion, but the practice of asceticism varied greatly. This course explores the ideas, practitioners, and controversies surrounding early Christian asceticism from the New Testament, through the introduction of organized monasticism in the fourth century, up to the advent of Islam. The course will also introduce students to the scholarly debates concerning various dimensions of early Christian asceticism and monasticism, including the impact of Jewish and Greco-Roman ascetic practices and how ascetic practices relate to questions of gender and sexuality in Early Christianity.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6466. Hagiography. (3 Credits)
Although the hagiography genre employs elements of biography, its purpose was to inspire the pursuit of holiness rather than convey the "facts" of a sainted person's life. This course examines the production, stylization, and reception of hagiographic texts in multiple linguistic and cultural settings (Coptic, Greek, Latin, Syriac) in the premodern period.
Attributes: MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6467. Mysticism and Modernity. (3 Credits)
This graduate seminar will explore the global turn to the mystical or the spiritual by analyzing writings from 20th-century Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic traditions.
THEO 6480. Christianizing the Barbarians. (3 Credits)
This course examines the "Christianizing" of pagan peoples (Roman, Germanic, Slavic) during the late ancient and medieval periods. We begin with two basic questions: What evidence is there for the "Christianization" of Europe? And how do we explain it?.
Attributes: HGOH, MTAM, MVSG.
THEO 6485. Doing Theology with Gustavo Gutiérrez: 50 years (1971–2021). (3 Credits)
The years 2021 and 2023 mark, respectively, 50 years since the Spanish and English publication of Gutiérrez’ “A Theology of Liberation.” While the book is central for understanding Gutiérrez’ theological contributions, a fuller appreciation of his theology, its evolution, and the refinement of key ideas requires an examination of his theological thought across 50 years. This class will examine the roots and context (pastoral; ecclesial) that gave rise to Gutiérrez’ initial essays in the 1960s, the reception and impact (not only theological but also social and political) of “A Theology of Liberation” in the 1970s, the growing emphasis on spirituality and biblical theology in the 1980s (e.g. “On Job”; “God of Life”; “We Drink from our Own Wells”), the focus on the colonial context of Latin America and on Bartolome de Las Casas in the 1990s, and his ongoing reflections on the poor and insignificant in light of the challenges of the 21st century (e.g. “On the Side of the Poor”).
Attributes: MTMC, PSJH.
THEO 6490. Christianity and Violence. (3 Credits)
This course explores the often ambivalent relationship between Christianity and violence in the pre-modern world. Readings include a broad range of primary sources including martyr acts, liturgical hymns, canon law, and Crusader chronicles as well as influential scholarly assessments of the history of Christianity and violence.
THEO 6505. Histories of Colonialism, Empire, Theology. (3 Credits)
This interdisciplinary course traces the interconnected histories of colonialism, European empire, and Christian theology in the 15th-20th centuries, with focus on the 18th-20th centures. Special attention will be given to questions of historiography and theoretical method: the pairing of material history and philosophical/theological inquiry, the creation of "religion" as a discursive category, the role of Christian theology in funding, resisting, or augmenting imperial projects, and the diversity of Christian forms of like birthed in the circum-Atlantic world.
Attributes: MTMC, PSJH.
THEO 6509. Theology and Religious Pluralism: Christian Tradition in a Religiously Plural World. (3 Credits)
This is a course on theological method in light of our contemporary context of religious diversity. The central question of the course is how Christian systematics is impacted by an awareness of religious difference. The investigation will explore Theologies of Religious Pluralism, Comparative Theology and Interreligious Dialogue, among other topics.
THEO 6510. Socially Engaged Theology. (3 Credits)
This course will examine the tradition of theology engaged with social concerns and emerging from within broader social movements. Students will be invited to participate in current social projects with local organizations as part of our exploration.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC.
THEO 6530. Modern Catholicism & Difference: Negotiating With Cultural & Religious Others (From 1534-Present). (3 Credits)
This course explores the ways in which Catholics -- laity, monks and nuns, theologians, Church officials -- have adapted to change, appropriated and resisted the presence of new neighbors, and built their own complex identities in negotiation with others. What difference does a deep, historical knowledge of modern Catholicism bring to the questions of difference in history we all ask today in the creation of social, political, and religious communities? Starting with the founding of the Jesuit order in 1534, themes will include efforts of the Dominicans in the Middle East, Jesuit missions, Catholic acquiescence and resistance to antisemitism during WWII, racism and racial justice, and more.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC.
THEO 6543. Aesthetics, Religion, and Modernity. (3 Credits)
This course will explore the rise of "aesthetics" as a category to supplant, explain, enrich, and/or revive religious discourse within the philosophical and economic projects of Western modernity. Focus will be given to the historical conditions that made aesthetics a compelling rival or reviver of traditional religious belief and practice in the 18th-20th centuries.
THEO 6544. Belief and Unbelief, Tolerance, and Intolerance. (3 Credits)
This graduate seminar explores two related phenomena: the historical development of varieties of religious belief and unbelief; and the practice of religious tolerance and intolerance in modern Europe and North America. Since course readings focus on major historical transitions in theological, social, cultural, political, and intellectual life, students will encounter a range of methodological approaches and source materials and will develop a broad interpretive framework for understanding Western religious history since the sixteenth century.
THEO 6551. U.S. Religious History. (3 Credits)
This course consists of two parts: a survey of classic works in American religious history, followed by student immersion in archival work at manuscript collections in the New York City area. Students will conduct original historical research on sites of religious significance located in Metropolitan New York.
THEO 6553. Readings in American Religion. (3 Credits)
This course offers an historical study of theology in America that is attentive to contemporary discussions of theory, method, and historiography. Readings include primary and secondary sources in American theology and religious history from the coming of the Europeans to the 1980s. Topics may include: Colonialism and Borderlands Theologies, Puritanism, the American Enlightenment, Slave Religion, Evangelicalism, Transcendentalism, the Black Church, Immigrant Catholicism, New Thought, Mormonism, Social Gospel, Fundamentalism, U.S. Catholic Counterculture, Neo-Orthodoxy, U.S. Buddhism, Civil Rights, Liberation Theology, the Nation of Islam, and Eco-Theology.
THEO 6600. Modern Orthodox Theology. (4 Credits)
Examination of Twentieth-Century Orthodox Theological Texts. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.
THEO 6606. Theological Anthropology. (3 Credits)
This course will examine Christian understandings of the nature of the human person. In conversation with diverse anthropological, philosophical, cultural, and religious frameworks, a range of theological anthropologies in the modern and contemporary periods will be considered.
THEO 6607. Christian Theologies of Salvation. (3 Credits)
The course will examine the Christian doctrine of salvation including themes such as atonement, grace, redemptive suffering, and the hope for liberation. The course will focus on how contemporary theologians critically and creatively dialog with traditional soteriologies to articulate salvation in light of the challenges of our times.
THEO 6612. New Methods in Constructive Theology. (3 Credits)
This course explores current approaches that distinguish the field of constructive theology. Possible topics include: ethnographic research, theopoetics, interreligious theology, techniques for new media and public theology, activism and advocacy, critical theories, and interdisciplinary approaches.
THEO 6615. Rahner, Lonergan, and Transcendental Method. (3 Credits)
Lonergan and Rahner represent two distinctive approaches to what is frequently called "transcendental method" (although Lonergan had reservations about the term as applied to him). This course will examine Lonergan's often neglected but crucial philosophical work insight, along with Rahner's more specifically theological writings. The two will be compared with each other as well as with contemporary and post-modern critics.
THEO 6616. Contemporary Theology of the Trinity. (3 Credits)
An introductory survey of the historical development of the doctrine and an exploration of contemporary interpretations of the Trinitarian mystery in Lonergan, Rahner, and Muhlen.
THEO 6620. God in Contemporary Theology. (3 Credits)
This course will offer a contemporary rethinking of the doctrine of God in the context of modern atheism, secularism, and the encounter of world religions, seen in the light of the history of theology. Topics covered will include the doctrine of the Trinity, human knowledge of God, and God and the world.
THEO 6621. God in Comparative Theology. (3 Credits)
Examination and comparison of notions of God or the Absolute (Brahman, Dharmakaya, etc.) in major theological traditions: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Classic texts will be read.
THEO 6630. Church in Contemporary Theology. (3 Credits)
Some contemporary ecclesiologies from the point of view of the Church's relationship with the world.
THEO 6631. Missiology: Mission of Church in Age of Turmoil and Strife. (3 Credits)
The theology of the Church's Mission and its practice will be explored from global perspectives.
THEO 6634. Black Theologies and the Decolonial Option. (3 Credits)
This course examines how black American constructive theologians engage with people’s struggles for decolonization and racial freedom. Special attention will be given to recent insights in decolononial theories and the analysis of epistemology, race, gender, being, and economics.
Attributes: MTMC, PSRR.
THEO 6642. Political Theology. (3 Credits)
This course will discuss and critically analyze contemporary theologies of the political, with attention being given to the recent debate over political liberalism. Texts from a variety of theologians and theological perspectives will be examined, as well as recent attempts at political theology by non-theologians.
Attributes: MTMC, PSJH.
THEO 6651. The Liturgy: How Christians Worship. (3 Credits)
This course will focus on the Roman Catholic liturgy – leitourgia – the people’s work for God. We will draw a list of topics concerning three areas: the theory of liturgical reform, the history of the “Mass,” and related concerns for the liturgy, e.g., the role of justice, inculturation, feminist worship, music, and architecture.
THEO 6652. The Liturgy: A Work of Praise and Justice. (3 Credits)
This course focuses on the Christian liturgy as the work of the people in praise of God. The fruit of this work is for the faithful to stand in right relationship with God and with one another, creating a just community.
THEO 6653. Church as Sacrament: A Study in Christian Sacraments and Ecclesiology. (3 Credits)
This course is a study of the life of the contemporary church through the sacraments, the liturgy, and ecclesiology—its structural organization and ritual celebration. In light of the recent Amazon Synod (cf. Pope Francis, Querida Amazonia, Feb. 2020), special emphasis will be given to: 1) ecumenical issues, i.e., developing points of contact between churches while not diminishing doctrine; 2) inculturation, facing the current challenge of how we might “sing our song in a foreign land”; 3) promoting the liturgy that does justice so that the Eucharist becomes a true sign of Christian unity.
Attributes: MTMC, PSNM.
THEO 6657. Eucharist and the World Today. (3 Credits)
This course will put Eucharistic theology and practice in dialogue with concerns regarding hunger, violence, and exploitation in our contemporary world.
THEO 6659. Latinx Theology. (3 Credits)
This class will analyze the diverse ways in which Latina and Latino communities in the United States have sought to speak of God and God’s relationship to their marginal existence. The course will examine the origins of Latinx theology, the particular questions that have guided theologians working with Latinx communities, and the critiques and growing edges of the field.
Attributes: MTMC, PSRR.
THEO 6671. Contemporary Christology. (3 Credits)
Current trends in Christological theology, including those of the post-Vatican II era (e.g., Rahner, Schillebeeckx, et. al.)
THEO 6674. Ecological Theology. (3 Credits)
In the light of contemporary scientific understandings of the cosmos and attendant ecological concerns, this course will study reinterpretations of Christian doctrine and ethics of the last 40 years that have been in dialouge with these developments.
Attributes: MTMC, PSEV.
THEO 6676. Sexual Ethics. (3 Credits)
An in-depth examination and critical appraisal of current discussions in Christian theological reflection relating to human sexuality. Specific attention will be given to emerging paradigms for the ethical evaluation of sexual behaviors, identities, and relationships being advanced in light of developments in social mores and ecclesial consciousness.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC, PSTG.
THEO 6710. Issues in Fundamental Moral Theology. (3 Credits)
Fundamental moral theology has undergone dramatic shifts in understanding since the moral manuals. It is now characterized by a pluralism in method and perspective that would have been inconceivable. This advanced seminar will examine several issues in the field of fundamental moral theology that have received recent critical attention. Among these will be topics such as conscience and its formation, culturally entrenched social evil, change in magisterial teaching, the concept of natural law, the influence of cultural pluralism on moral formation and reasoning, and the role of the “sensus fidelium” in moral doctrine.
Attributes: CEED, CETH, MTMC.
THEO 6721. African American Theological Ethics. (3 Credits)
This course, which surveys African American theological and social ethics, is open to both M.A. and Ph.D. students.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC, PSRR.
THEO 6731. Christian Ecological Ethics. (3 Credits)
This course examines distinctly Christian approaches to ecological ethics, including comparative historical perspectives, methods, and key topics.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC, PSEV.
THEO 6732. Ethics and Economics. (3 Credits)
An examination of contemporary economic social issues with the aid of Catholic social teaching, and with a critical use of economic science. The social issues examined include-but are not limited to-poverty, pollution control, protectionism, unemployment, and inflation.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, HULI, MTMC.
THEO 6733. Theology and Science. (3 Credits)
This graduate-level course attends to the history, methodologies, content of conflict, and major questions that have occured at the intersections of scientific and theological inquiry.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, HECH, MTMC.
THEO 6735. Ecological Ethics. (3 Credits)
This course considers the rise of ecological consciousness, environmental history, and ethical reflection in light of western philosophical and theological traditions. It aims to provide students with substantial, foundational knowledge in twentieth and twenty-first century environmental thought as well as emerging approaches to global environmental problems.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, HECH, HULI, MTMC, PSEV.
THEO 6736. Feminist Theological Ethics. (3 Credits)
This course introduces students to womanist, mujerista, and feminist religious ethics in Protestant and Catholic traditions since 1970. The syllabus will contain texts on many topics, including sexuality, reproduction, ecology, violence, methodology, and others. Students are invited to bring their own topical and methodological questions to their research and to make suggestions about auxiliary readings.
Attributes: CEED, MTMC.
THEO 6737. God and the Mystery of Suffering. (3 Credits)
David Hume has articulated what many consider to be the problem of evil for Western theistic traditions. Indeed, for nearly 300 years, philosophers of religion and philosophical theologians have attempted to resolve the problem of the alleged inconsistency of God's infinite goodness, power, knowledge, and the reality of human suffering—especially the suffering of innocents. The presumption of the present seminar is simple. Hume's pithy rendering does not articulate the problem—or at least not the whole problem. In light of this presumption, this seminar shall critically examine the ways Christians have responded to suffering. The goal of this seminar will be to survey the history of responses to the problem of evil in Christian traditions and to evaluate those responses.
THEO 6738. The Mystical-Prophetic Turn in Modern Catholic Theology. (3 Credits)
The course analyzes the thought of Johann Metz, Gustavo Gutierrez, and David Tracy as responses to the challenges of late modernity. By identifying the authors' contexts and influences, investigating their central ideas, and engaging their critics, the course explores the philosophical and theological implications of the mystical and prophetic traditions of Christianity retrieved by political, liberation, and public theologies for contemporary thought. Other thinkers to be considered include: Rahner, Lindbeck, Ratzinger, Balthasar, Gadamer, Adorno, Ellacuria, Johnson, Goizueta, Dionysius, John of the Cross, and various biblical authors.
THEO 6740. Catholic Social Thought. (3 Credits)
Catholic social thought as found in the social encyclicals, emphasizing their theological contexts, social scientific constructs, historical backgroundm and philosophical presuppositions.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, MTMC, PSJH, SOIN.
THEO 6745. Sociology of Religion. (3 Credits)
In this advanced seminar, students will analyze original texts of the classic theorists of religion—including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Clifford Geertz, Peter Berger, Mircea Eliade, Mary Douglas, and Robert Bellah. Topics will include secularization theory, theodicy, ritual, symbolism, religious evolution, and the religious roots of social change. Our investigation of religion in the contemporary world will lead us to investigate religious congregations and phenomena, including civil religion, generational change, popular religiosity, and spirituality.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, CETH, MTMC.
THEO 6757. The Interplay of Ethnography and Scripture in Religion/Theology. (3 Credits)
When theologians conduct ethnography, do they become anthropologists? This course takes it as a starting point that the answer is “not exactly,” and explores the differing theoretical and practical insights that emerge when theology and religious studies scholars try to understand what it really means to animate sacred, over-determined texts in contemporary contexts.
THEO 7222. New Perspectives on Paul. (3 Credits)
This course will examine contemporary interpretations of Paul from the post-World War II period to the present. Topics will include the so-called "New Perspective" and recent engagements with Paul in continental philosophy.
THEO 7731. Religion and Revolution. (3 Credits)
Using El Salavador (1975-1995) as a case study, the course will examine theological and socio-political questions that emerge when believers engage in revolutions. Primary focus on theological figures and themes such as Oscar Romero, Jean Donovan, Ignacio Ellacuria, comunidades de base, the preferential option for the poor, and Christology, will be supplemented with interdisciplinary reflection on critical theory (Marx et al.), postidealist epistemology (Zubiri), and postcolonial identity (Bhabha).
THEO 7736. Bioethics. (3 Credits)
This course attempts to put the Roman Catholic and broadly Christian bioethical traditions in conversation with their secular interlocutors -- toward the end of examining whether or not these traditions have a place in public bioethical discourse and what that contribution might look like. Among the issues to be examined are distribution of healthcare resources, reproductive and other biotechnologies, the moral status of 'the other' in bioethics, and withdrawal/ refusal of medical treatment.
Attributes: CEED, CEMT, HECH, MTMC, PSEV.
THEO 7738. Animal Theology and Ethics. (3 Credits)
A study of the theological, philosophical, and moral status of non-human animals—particularly in the context of a Western throwaway culture.
THEO 8998. IUDC Consortium Tutorial: Advanced Syriac Readings. (3 Credits)
This course is an independent study/tutorial for IUDC Consortium students from member schools, and offers an exploration of linguistic and theological aspects of Syriac writings from Late Antiquity.
THEO 8999. Independent Study. (0 to 4 Credits)
THEO 9000. Professional Development Seminar. (0 Credits)
The seminar introduces advanced doctoral students to the job search process, provides help in compiling a strong application dossier, prepares students for interviews and job talks, advises students about negotiating offers, and assists students in strategizing their career paths within and beyond the academy. In addition to a number of seminar meetings, students will receive individualized attention, help editing their application materials, and practice with interviews and job talks.
THEO 9999. Dissertation Direction. (1 Credit)