Wendy M. Wright, Ph.D.
Seminar Theme: Christian Holiness
Description: This course is designed to be the culminating class of the undergraduate theology major and to give students an opportunity for pre-professional experience in theological research. Students will produce a major research paper related to the course theme and chosen in consultation with the professor. Their research will be presented publicly.
Healy, Charles. Christian Spirituality: An Introduction. Staten Island: AlbaHouse, 1999.
McGrath, Alister. Christian Spirituality. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. 6th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1996.
Regular attendance (absences must be cleared with professor)
A twenty page, double spaced research paper
Formal presentation of the paper
Participation in the final public defense of the class papers
Students will be expected, through their preliminary reading and discussion, to become familiar with the basic themes and history of the Christian spiritual traditions. Then in consultation with the professor, they should choose an historic period on which they intend to focus, then choose a particular primary text that will form the basis of their paper. Texts may be saints lives, manuals of devotion or prayer, spiritual autobiographies, treatises, rules and constitutions, poetry, admonitions, sayings etc. Whatever form they take these texts should represent a particular perspective on the question: What is Christian holiness?
The University policy on academic honesty will be upheld. (See student handbook). DO YOUR OWN WORK. Infractions of this policy will result in a lowered grade and will be referred to the appropriate University offices and committees and incorporated into the student’s file.
Weight of components in course grade: Weekly participation, ¼; Research activity, drafts, revisions, ¼; Final research paper ¼; Public presentation, ¼.
Grades will be assigned according to the following criteria: Grade of A: exceptional quality of research, written and oral work, originality and creativity of work, leadership in class; Grade of B+: excellent quality of research, written and oral work, active participation in class; Grade of B: well prepared research, written and oral work, participation in class; Grade of C+: above average quality of research, written and oral work, participation in class; Grade of C: average quality of research, written and oral work, some participation in class; Grade of D: submission of paper, presentation of paper.
August 23: Introduction to the class
Lightening overview of the history of Christian holiness
Introduction to Turabian and research methods
August 30: The Christian Spiritual Tradition: Its History and Its
September 6: Beginning the research
Writing assignment (due Sept. 13): Prepare a preliminary
bibliography on the period and/or primary source on which you are
September 13: History of Christian Holiness: Early Voices
September 17 (Sunday) Recommended field trip to Schuyler, NE Benedictine Mission Monastery to view presentation by Ellen Oakes on Hildegard of Bingen
September 20 (No class)
September 27 History of Christian Holiness: Medieval World
October 4 History of Christian Holiness: Early Modern Era
October 11 History of Christian Holiness: Modern World
October 18 Fall Break
October 25 History of Christian Holiness: Contemporary World
November 1 Polishing the paper
In class assignment: Group discussion of bibliographies, grammar, style etc.
November 8 Student presentations #1
November 15 Student presentations #2
November 22 Thanksgiving Break
November 29 Student presentations #3
December 6 No class
December 8 Final Defense of papers, Friday, 4 p.m., Union Pacific
December 13 Finals
On Line Resources
Creighton Reinert Memorial Library http://reinert.creighton.edu/
Internet Theology Resources http://www.csbsju.edu/library/internet/theochht.html
Online Sources/Medieval Spirituality
Christus Rex http://www.christusrex.org/
Christian Classics Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/
1913 Edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia http://newadvent.org/cathen/
Documents of the Roman Catholic Church
Lives of Saints
Catholic Online Saints http://saints.catholic.org/index.shtml
Saints Biographies http://www.carr.org/stjohn/saints.htm