Theology as Biography

Course Code: RGT3712HF



Spring 2017
Monday and Thursday: April 20 – June 1

17:30 – 19:30



Course Description

This course will investigate the relationship between (auto) biography and theological reflection by looking at the living examples of several significant thinkers.  The course begins by summarizing the foundations for such a presupposition as rooted in Lonergan’s claim that “objectivity (truth) is the fruit of authentic subjectivity.” Secondly, the course looks at some paradigmatic examples from Christian history such as St. Augustine.  Third, a large portion of the course will emphasize the life and thought of Thomas Merton, but will also include other examples some of which he admired such as Simone Weil, Catherine de Heuck Doherty, and Dorothy Day.

Course Objectives

Readings will be assigned each week as obligatory preparation for class discussion.  Written assignments will also act as a basis for class discussion.


Please note that Regis College offers critical reading and writing seminars and writing tutors each year for Regis students.  Please make use of this excellent service.


Please, papers should be type-written, doubled spaced, left-justified, and one inch margins on all sides and no more than 12 characters per inch (i.e., standard font size 11-12 is acceptable).  Do not exceed page limit.  Extensions for assignments are to be negotiated with the professor prior to the due-date.  All sources must be documented in accord with accepted academic practices such as that described in Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.  5th Edition.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.  For additional assistance, consult http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/

Course Schedule

A detailed course schedule is available for download.

Week 1

Course Introduction: Broad Sketch Of Interpretive Framework

Week 2

Categories For Understanding The Relationship Between Theological Reflection And Personal Authenticity

Week 3

Categories For Understanding Personal Authenticity: Development

Week 4

Categories For Understanding Personal Authenticity: Conversion

Week 5

The Confessions Of St. Augustine/Introduction To Merton

Week 6

Early Merton: The Seven Storey Mountain Merton/Sign Of Jonas

Week 7

Later Merton: Conjectures/Asian Journal

Week 8

Class Presentations

Week 9

Class Presentations

Week 10

Class Presentations

Week 11

Class Presentations

Week 12

John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks