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Catholic Studies News & Events

Check out Catholic Studies Courses Spring 2022

CATH 206: Catholic Anthropology
T/Th 11:00-12:15; Dr. Hemphill

“What is man that you are mindful of him?” - Psalm 8:4  What does the Catholic tradition have to say about being human? And, at this point in the Church’s pilgrimage, what voices (insights and challenges) does the Church hear? This course will provide an introduction to Catholic anthropology: understandings of the origin, journey, and end of the human person. We will read a selection of ancient through contemporary thinkers in order to investigate three central areas of inquiry about the human. CreationWhat does it mean to be created? To be made in God’s image? Sin and RedemptionWhat does it mean to be creatures marred by sin and redeemed by Christ? What is the role of grace? Sanctification and Salvation: What is the end for which we hope, and what does the full flourishing of the human entail? We will use our investigations to consider challenging issues which, although perennial, involve discernibly pressing questions as, in the phrase of Gaudium et Spes, “signs of the times” (#22). We will look at sex and gender, race, disability, suffering, and the social dimension per se of being human, and ask how the Catholic Tradition’s resources help us to think about these different aspects of being human, as well as how these issues may challenge us to clarify and enrich our grasp of what it means to be human.

CATH 289 Catholic Faith and Culture
M 5:30-6:30 pm (Six weeks during Lent); Bishop Vetter and Fr. Tolleson

This course proposes to show the effect that living faith has and can have on human life and culture. The class assumes that the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ makes a difference individually, and socially, to every human being on this planet. That difference will be studied in the past, considered in the present, and anticipated for the future. The course continues the progress begun in the Catholic Thought and Culture course, but this is not a requirement for attendance. P/F for 1 credit.

CATH 307 Lives of the Saints: Saint John Paul II
T/Th 9:30-10:45; Fr. Marc

This course will examine the life, spirituality, and thought of St. John Paul II.  His magisterial teachings will provide the essential content of the course material.  Particular attention will be paid to his teaching on the Person of Jesus Christ, the nature of the Church (especially in Her Marian dimension), and his understanding of the human person (with emphasis given to the Theology of the Body).   

CATH 308-A Catholic Artistic and Intellectual Tradition: Icons, Iconoclasms, and the Likenesses of God
T/Th 2:15-3:30; Dr. Hemphill

This course will study visual art in the Catholic Tradition, examining the thought and art of two periods in which controversy about the fittingness of images in the life and worship of the Church led to moments of artistic flourishing. In the East the Iconoclast Controversy of the 8th-9th centuries catalyzed a renewal of Byzantine iconography and the veneration of images of Christ. In the West a new era of iconoclasm arose during the Reformation. Counter-Reformation artistic representations of Christ again emerged as part of a renewal of worship and catechesis. The course will study closely several icons and paintings from these periods, as well as the biblical and conciliar texts at play in the controversies, all within their historical contexts.

CATH 308-B Catholic Artistic and Intellectual Tradition: Flannery O'Connor and the American Catholic Imagination
M 6:30-9:00; Dr. Barrett

Flannery O'Connor wrote bracing stories for a society "haunted" by Christianity. This course will study O'Connor's place in the Catholic literary revival in America amid the momentous social changes of the mid-20th century. We will read her two novels, most of her short stories, as well as her letters and other non-fiction writings. Throughout, we will attend to how O'Connor understood her Catholic faith to bear on the exigencies of her context: the contribution of a highly literate Catholic faith in the Protestant South; the fact that she wrote as a person and observer of white privilege in the Jim Crow and civil rights eras; that she wrote "serious fiction" in the predominantly male world of writing and publishing; and, above all, how her affliction with lupus informed her unique sense that disability and the "grotesque" are the means of our encounter with transfiguring grace.

 CHECK OUT THIS STORY about Father Marc Lenneman in Signature Montana Magazine!  Here's the link:  Father Marc Lenneman. Fr. Marc will be teaching CATH 308: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition this semester (Spring, 2021)!