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 Theology 492 Senior Seminar
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Theology 492
Syllabus
Senior Seminar
Fall 2000

Wendy M. Wright, Ph.D.
Dept. of Theology
HC 137
(402) 280-2611
email: wmwright@creighton.edu

Office Hours:
Wednesday 10-12 and Thursday 1-2

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.

Textbooks:

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.

Requirements:

Regular attendance (absences must be cleared with professor)

Class participation

A twenty page, double spaced research paper

Formal presentation of the paper

Participation in the final public defense of the class papers

Research Paper:

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?

Academic Honesty:

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.

Grading:

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.

Assignments

August 23: Introduction to the class

Lightening overview of the history of Christian holiness

Introduction to Turabian and research methods
Reading assignment: McGrath, sections

#1 (introduction),
#2 (types of Christian spirituality),
#3 (theological foundations)
#4 (case studies: choose one)

August 30: The Christian Spiritual Tradition: Its History and Its Study
In class assignment: Be prepared to discuss McGrath reading and to give a ten minute oral report of the case study you read, integrating knowledge from the previous sections into your discussion.
Writing assignment (due September 6): make a chart for yourself of the trajectory of the Christian spiritual tradition, under each of the eras place not only the notable figures but characterize the "style" of holiness that was cultivated in each era.
Reading assignment: McGrath, sections #5 (biblical images)
#6 (visualization and spatialization)
Healy, read overview sections and concluding sections of each chapter and take note of historical figures in each period
(i.e. pp. 1-9; 24-25; 27-37; 57-63; 65-65-71; 77-79; 85-89; 91-93; 96-117; 134-35; 137-141; 146-55; 171; 173-177; 204-217; 219-21; 229-30; 243; 245-46; 257-62; 275; 277-78; 311; 313-16; 339; 341-2; 369; 371-2.)

September 6: Beginning the research
In class assignment: Library visit.
From your reading be prepared to indicate the historical period of Christian spirituality in which you would like to focus. If you are able, identify a primary source on which you would like to focus.

Writing assignment (due Sept. 13): Prepare a preliminary bibliography on the period and/or primary source on which you are focusing.
Reading assignment: Healy, 1,2,3

September 13: History of Christian Holiness: Early Voices
In class assignment: Discussion of bibliographies, types of sources, primary sources. Be prepared to discuss McGrath and Healy reading and have five questions for group discussions.
Reading assignment: Healy, 4,5,6

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)
Writing assignment (due Sept. 27):
Prepare an annotated bibliography of the written sources you intend to use. Develop a thesis statement.

September 27 History of Christian Holiness: Medieval World
In class assignment: Critique of thesis statements. Be prepared to discuss Healy reading and have five questions from your reading for group discussion.
Writing assignment (due October 4): Prepare a preliminary outline of the argument of your paper.
Reading assignment: Healy, 7,8,9,

October 4 History of Christian Holiness: Early Modern Era
In class assignment: Bring a printed outline to class for class discussion. Be prepared to discuss Healy reading and prepare five questions from your reading for group discussion.
Writing assignment (due October 11): Prepare a first draft of your paper.
Reading assignment: Healy, 10,11

October 11 History of Christian Holiness: Modern World
First draft due.
In class assignment:
Critique each others drafts. Focus will be on the opening and closing sections and the structure of the paper. Be prepared to discuss Healy reading and five questions from your reading for group discussion.
Writing assignment: Work on second draft.
Reading assignment:
Healy, 12, Epilogue

October 18 Fall Break

October 25 History of Christian Holiness: Contemporary World
Second Draft due
In class assignment:
Discuss Healy reading.

November 1 Polishing the paper

In class assignment: Group discussion of bibliographies, grammar, style etc.

November 8 Student presentations #1
Final draft of paper due

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 Room.
Reception following.

December 13 Finals

     

  Resources
          

    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

       http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~degregor/spirituality.html

      Bollandists/Hagiography   http://www.kbr.be/~socboll/

        Christus Rex       http://www.christusrex.org/

         Christian Classics Ethereal Library     http://www.ccel.org/   

          Internet Medieval Sourcebook 

           http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html                    

     1913 Edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia    http://newadvent.org/cathen/     

         Documents of the Roman Catholic Church

       http://listserv.american.edu/catholic/church/church.html

            Lives of Saints

           http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/Saints/index.html

             Popular sites:

     Catholic Online Saints  http://saints.catholic.org/index.shtml

          Saints Biographies  http://www.carr.org/stjohn/saints.htm

 

 

 

 

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