This course is a biblically grounded, historically conscious, and systematically disciplined exploration of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church and a traditioned introduction to her theology about the sacraments and their implications not just for believing participants but for the salvation of the whole world. The notion of a sacrament is one that is an expression (and continuation) of the central doctrine of our Faith, namely, the incarnation of the Son of God. This indicates that the basic meaning of “sacrament” as employed by the Church is one which is supernaturally derivative (both ontologically and symbolically) from the definitive revelation of God in History and the promulgation and extension of this revelation by the Church down through the ages.
Students successfully completing this course will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
(A) IN RESPECT OF GENERAL ACADEMIC SKILLS, students will develop an aptitude for (1) interpreting, (2) analyzing, and (3) appraising primary texts within the Christian theological tradition through a close (and sometimes guided) reading of texts and written assignments wherein students describe, compare, and evaluate the texts they have read.
(B) IN RESPECT OF THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONTENT OF ONE OR MORE THEOLOGICAL DISCIPLINES, students will learn to: (1) Distinguish and relate sign, symbol, and sacrament. (2) Identify and Evaluate the Analogical Character of the term “sacrament.” (3) Examine and illustrate the symbolic and causal character of the sacraments. (4) Demonstrate the relevance of other mysteries of the Faith (such as the Trinity and Incarnation) for sacramental theology.
(C) IN RESPECT OF PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, students will enrich their appraisal of the symbolic meaning and causal efficacy of the Sacraments by situating them in developing cultural and historical contexts. This written exercise will equip students to appropriate their own active participation in the liturgical celebration of the Sacraments.
(D) IN RESPECT OF MINISTERIAL AND PUBLIC LEADERSHIP, because students are able to describe and appraise the symbolic character of human existence and identify the various ways in which humans make meaning and are affected by meaning, they will be able to illustrate the significance of diverse liturgical settings and the correct implementation of the rites of the Church in the celebration of the Sacraments.
A detailed course schedule is available for download.