Carroll College, Helena Montana

Department Highlights

Course Descriptions

TH 101 Theological Foundations 3 Cr
An introduction to the study of theology in the Roman Catholic tradition. Core aspects of theological inquiry—the Bible, the Creed, moral theology—enable students and faculty to jointly explore the nature of Christian faith and the embodiment of Christian faith in concrete historical contexts. This course is a prerequisite for all theology courses. Each semester.

TH 201 Church and Worship 3 Cr
An analysis of the Church as a community of believers and a social institution; a study of church liturgy and sacraments. Offered every other year.

TH 202 Gospel According to Harry Potter 3 Cr
Is the wizarding world of Harry Potter incompatible with Christianity as some have suggested? This class will explore how the Harry Potter novels are useful guides to examine and reflect on Christian themes like love, grace, sacrifice, power, evil, sin, community, sacraments, and faith. Summer semester. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 205 Theology and Film 3 Cr
In this course students will study the various ways that theology and film interact with one another; the manner with which film has been studied for theological themes as well as the influence of the religious imagination in the cinema. Students will view and analyze a variety of films from a cross-section of world cinema. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 206 American Cinema and the Catholic Imagination 3 Cr
In this course students will study four American filmmakers (Frank Capra, John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese) and how their films express a Catholic imagination formed in their childhood. Not all of these filmmakers retained an active Catholic faith into adulthood. However, students will explore how Catholicism as a culture continues to resonate in their films through ideas such as sacramentality, mediation, and communion. Students will also study how these concepts are shaped by the distinguishing cultural expressions of Catholicism brought to America by the Italian and Irish forebears of these filmmakers. By viewing such classic movies as The Searchers, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Godfather, and Taxi Driver students will study how these directors present a distinctly Catholic vision of America. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 210 Catholicism: An Exploration of Catholic Identity from Vatican I to the Present 3 Cr
This course explores, through ecclesial texts and some Catholic fiction and film, distinctive themes and issues that mark Catholic identity in the 20th century, including sacramentality, tradition, the faith and reason relationship, and Catholic understandings of authority and community. Offered at the discretion of the department. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 211 Comparative Religion 3 Cr
A study of the origins and beliefs of major world religions in historical contexts. Fulfills global diversity requirement. Offered every other year.

TH 212 Medieval Women Mystics 3 Cr
The course explores the development of a theology of mysticism that emerged in the context of neo-platonism and its chief proponent within the Christian context, Pseudo-Dionysius. Following that, the course explores several texts by women mystical writers of the High Middle Ages as one access point to the interconnections that exist between mystical experience and lay piety. Offered every other year.

TH 215 Exploring Christian Spirituality 3 Cr
What is spirituality? What is Christian spirituality? What is its role in the lives of Christians today? These are just a few of the questions this course will take up. The course explores the various spiritual traditions and practices that have shaped the lives of Christians over the centuries. The first part of the course will seek to define spirituality, both as a lived experience and as an academic field. The second part of the course will engage selections from a variety of classic Christian spiritual sources including Sacred Scripture, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, St. Francis and St. Clare, Julian of Norwich, St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. The final part of the class will examine the ways that Christian spirituality can inform our understanding of contemporary issues; these include sexuality, ecology, interreligious dialogue, and political action. Students will engage texts from a variety of contemporary Christian spiritual writers such as Thomas Merton, Desmond Tutu, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther addition, students will reflect critically on the possibilities and limitations of the various spiritual traditions and practices so that they might be able to determine for themselves the value and role of Christian spirituality in today’s world. Offered every other year.

TH 220 Moral Theology 3 Cr
An introduction to moral decision making and moral action in light of biblical principles and changing contexts. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 222 Heath Care Ethics 3 Cr
In this course, we will examine fundamental ethical theories, the basis of these theories in the Judeo-Christian understanding of the nature of the human person, and the application of these theories to practical matters within medicine and health care. The approach to ethics we pursue in this course will be grounded primarily in a Western philosophical and theological context, and will focus especially on the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Not currently offered.

TH 231 Introduction to the Old Testament 3 Cr
This course surveys the historical, literary, cultural and theological heritage in ancient Israel from its earliest beginnings to the start of the Christian era. Attention will be paid to the geographical and historical contexts in which the Jewish scriptures arose, their social setting, political contexts and theological message. Special attention will be devoted to developing the skills necessary to interpret the texts within their own historical context as well as the possibilities that emerge from the text as a literary creation. Students will engage the multiple readings that emerged in subsequent Jewish traditions, New Testament texts and Christian traditions (Roman Catholic and Protestant). Students will acquire the skills to critically engage and interpret some of the most influential sections from the Old Testament based on the ancient context as well as appreciate the multivalent interpretations available to the contemporary reader. Fulfills Writing Intensive (WI) requirement, thus writing is an integral aspect of the course. Offered every other year.

TH 236 Introduction to the New Testament 3 Cr
An overview of the origins, themes, and continuing relevance of the books of the Christian Scriptures, with an emphasis on the four Gospels. Fulfills writing intensive requirement. Offered every other year.

TH 251 The God Question 3 Cr
This course examines how ‘the question of God’ has taken shape in the history of Christianity and how this question is being asked and re-framed in contemporary thought, especially in the context of suffering. Particular attention is given to how the tradition has forged ‘the God question’ in terms of ‘transcendence’, ‘immanence’ and how since modernity this has come to situate contemporary Christian belief in a new and deeply challenging way. In this context, the course particularly explores contemporary ways of thinking about God and human suffering—through theology, philosophy and literature—that draws out the radicality of faith and its existential imperative to live/engage the God question in the challenges and ambiguities of the post-modern world. Offered every other year.

TH 252 Theology of the Land 3 Cr
A study of the relationship of people and the earth, with a focus on issues of land stewardship as understood in the Bible, in the religious traditions of native peoples, and in the U.S. sociopolitical tradition. Offered at the discretion of the department. Not currently offered.

TH 254 Theology and Science 3 Cr
This course examines how and why the relation of Theology and Science has taken shape in the history of Christianity, particularly in its becoming problematic since the rise of modernity. This requires a critical reflection upon philosophical positioning of these disciplines, drawing out important differences in “truth and method” while seeking a non-reductive dialogue. Based on these philosophical underpinnings, a theological re-thinking of God (“after Darwin”) and of creation will be explored, both in its opportunities and challenges for contemporary Christian faith. Offered every other year.

TH/GNDR 258 Theology and Gender 3 Cr
This course examines how gender—with its pervasive historical-cultural meanings—has given shape to and challenged Christianity. It studies how biblical texts, religious practices and traditions, and theological discourse have been skewed through a “patriarchicalization” of Christianity. It critically examines how becoming androcentric has eclipsed the experiencee of women and even led to their oppression. Finally the course explores how various forms of feminist theologies attempt to incorporate the experiencee of women, to retrieve their contributions, and to enrich Christianity with many new and life-giving symbols, forms of thought, and ways of living. Prerequisite: TH 101. Offered every other year.

TH 261 Wealth & Poverty in the Bible & Early Church 3 Cr
This is an exploration of the biblical theme of justice as it relates to wealth and poverty with an attention to the importance of this theme for modern Christian social ideas. Based upon readings of primary texts from the Bible and early Christianity, the course explores the potential contributions and limitations of early Christian social thought to contemporary socio-ethical discourse. Offered at the discretion of the department.

TH 263 Modern Catholic Social Teaching 3 Cr.
A study of the cultural, political, and economic spheres of social life in the light of Catholic moral teachings, theologies, and action. Magisterial and scholarly writings from 1891 to the present receive primary emphasis. The course also includes a service learning component. Offered every other year.

TH 264 Theologies of Liberation 3 Cr.
This course first examines the beginnings of Liberation Theology in Latin America and critically considers how this has both challenged and nourished the Christian tradition and the fundaments of theology therein. The course will then examine how this has begun to blossom into a rich variety of ‘theologies of liberation’ in diverse contexts throughout the world. In this context, the course explores new ways of (re)thinking Christianity as fruitfully engaging the world by ‘building of the Kingdom of God’ in and through the ‘option for the poor’. Fulfills Global Diversity requirement. Offered every other year.

TH 327 Sin and Grace in Theology and Literature 3 Cr
An exploration of the theological questions of sin and grace as raised in the works of important 20th century novelists. Not currently offered.

TH 341 History of Christian Thought: Early Church & Patristics 3 Cr
A study of major Christian doctrinal developments in their historical contexts, from the New Testament era through the Patristics. Offered every other year.

TH 342 History of Christian Thought: Middle Ages through the Reformation 3 Cr
A study of major Christian doctrinal developments in their historical contexts, from the Middle Ages through the Reformation. Offered every other year.

TH 343 History of Christian Thought: Modernity through Postmodernity 3 Cr
A study of major developments in Christian thinking in their historical contexts, from Modernity through the challenges of Postmodernity. Offered every other year.

TH 352 Christology 3 Cr
An analysis of interpretations of Jesus Christ’s humanity and divinity, from biblical statements to contemporary explorations. Offered every other year. A discussion of selected theological themes and important theologians, with a focus in systematical/philosophical theology. While required of all theology majors and minors in their junior or senior year, it will also be open to other upper-level students who are non-majors upon the consent of the instructor. Offered every other year.

TH 496 Theology Research Paper or Theology Research Project 1 Cr
Theology majors must develop and present for the Department of Theology a theology honor’s thesis or a departmental research paper /project. The student will work with a professor in developing and fulfilling this requirement. The paper or project should provide evidence of scholarship in biblical studies, moral theology, church history, doctrine/systematics, or in another field of study as appropriate and approved by the department chair.