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Courses that receive Catholic Studies designation will devote substantial class time and assignments to the study of the Catholic intellectual tradition and the experience of Catholics and would typically meet several of the following criteria:

  • Examine topics, themes, or questions pertinent to Roman Catholic doctrine and faith in its various aspects, illuminating the principles and teachings of Catholicism as expressed in literature, art, philosophy, the natural and social sciences, historical study, business disciplines, theology, and Sacred Scripture.
  • Explore the historical, social, cultural, religious, scientific, and/or economic background of the dimensions of Catholic intellectual life, highlighting the contribution of the Catholic thinkers and artists as well as the influence of culture upon those thinkers and writers.
  • Emphasize the Church-historical framework of a topic, thereby enabling students to develop a sense of the historical development of a particular theme in Catholic intellectual life, with an assessment of its continuing value for the present and the future.
  • Illuminate the distinctive characteristics of the Catholic tradition within Christianity, for example: belief in the unity between faith and reason; a theory of Christian virtues; sacramental theology; devotion to Mary; emphasis on institutional and hierarchical structure; concern for corporeality; characteristic pious practices; tradition of Christian education and humanism; monasticism.
  • Relate the dimensions of Catholic intellectual life to ongoing concerns, discussions, or debates in the discipline(s) in question or investigate a variety of perspectives, in light of magisterial teaching, to insure that students have a critical appreciation of the central points of disagreement among scholars of the topic.

PLEASE NOTE: It is highly desirable that courses fulfill core requirements in the various divisions (particularly for lower division courses) or major requirements in the particular discipline.