This course will provide an introduction to the theology of the Church and the Church’s understanding of itself as a principal mediator of the mystery and grace of God in the world.
The approach of the course will be threefold: 1) a study of the historical development of ecclesial structures with special emphasis on understanding the ecclesiology of the second Vatican Council. This will include, a discussion of some pertinent issues arising from the Council such as the magisterium, collegiality, and ministry; 2) an understanding of the diverse ‘theologies’ of Church through some of the primary images and models in which it understands itself; and 3) an attempt to understand the ecumenical emphasis of Vatican II that has given rise to a renewed interest in interdenominational—interreligious dialogue, mission and inculturation, and the emergence of contextual approaches such as the feminist and liberationist methodologies.
Students will be able to identify basic terms and themes in ecclesiology for students moving toward comprehensive exams and those wanting a basic introduction to the theology of the Church
Students will become familiar with some of the principle players in contemporary ecclesiological reflection
Students will be able to reflect critically on the foundations for a systematic ecclesiology
Students will be able to identify some of the methodological issues involved for a post-Vatican II theology of Church and the advancement of the social teaching of the Church
Students will begin to understand the historical and theological underpinnings of the Church’s self-constitution, nature and mission
Student’s will be able to critically engage principal authors in ecclesiology
Students will creatively engage some of the tensions arising from this paradigm shift in the Church’s self-understanding at Vatican II
Students will learn various methodologies of some of the prominent ecclesiologies
Students will be able to write a book review and work towards a scholarly published research
A detailed course schedule is available for download.