Theo 43203/Phil 43801 -- Joint Phil/Theo Seminar: Ratzinger

Freddoso and Heintz

304 Malloy and  Malloy 

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Purpose----Texts----Requirements---- Syllabus----Online Handouts----Next Paper Assignment

Purpose of Course: 

A close study of some of the most important works of Joseph Ratzinger, both before and after his elevation to the Papacy as Pope Benedict XVI.  What follows is a tentative description of the course contents.  We will begin with Ratzinger's assessment of the state of Catholic thought before and after Vatican II, concentrating on the distinction between calls for aggiornamento and calls for resourcement and exploring his thoughts about the relationship of faith and reason and the relationship between theological inquiry and the Church.  Then we will explore the situation, according to Ratzinger, of the Christian believer in the intellectual milieu of contemporary Western culture by looking at the themes contained in What it Means to be a ChristianIntroduction to Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives and Truth and Tolerance.  We will end with his profound ruminations on the sacred liturgy by reading The Spirit of the Liturgy, which title he took from Romano Guardini's 1908 classic of the same name.  The Holy Father's encyclicals Deus est Caritas and Spe Salvi will constitute the subject matter for two of the the three short (6-7 pp.) papers the students will write; the other paper will be on his Regensberg Lecture.  All in all, there is a lot of good stuff in this course.

  • Joseph Ratzinger, Nature & Mission of Theology (Ignatius Press)  ISBN : 9780898705386
  • Joseph Ratzinger, What It Means To Be A Christian (Ignatius Press)  ISBN : 9781586171339
  • Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (Ignatius Press)  ISBN : 9781586170295
  • Joseph Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance (Ignatius Press, paperback edition) ISBN: 978-1586170356
  • Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, part 3: The Infancy Narratives (Ignatius Press, hardcover edition) ISBN:  978-0385346405
  • Joseph Ratziner, The Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius Press) ISBN: 978-0898707847
You will also be looking at the two encyclicals Deus est Caritas and Spe Salvi, the Holy Father's Regensberg Address, which will serve as the basis for the writing assignments.  In addition, you will be reading two essays, one on conscience and one on hermeneutics, that will be made available on electronic reserve.

  • Three Short papers (60% of course grade).  Each student will be required to write three 6-7-page papers.  The first paper, on the Holy Father's address at Regensberg, will be due on 2/27.  The second paper, on the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, will be due on 3/27.  The third paper, on the encyclical Spe Salvi, will be due on 5/1. 

  • Class Participation (40% of course grade).  This consists of two separate things:  

    (a) You must submit to us by email, before 9:00AM on each class day, a question/comment based on the readings assigned for that day.  We expect the questions/comments to be well thought out and well articulated, though fairly short.  They will serve as a partial guide for our class comments on the day in question.  (We pay close attention to the quality of these questions in determining the participation component of the grade.)

    (b) Active and intelligent participation in seminar discussions.  In general, student initiative and signs of self-motivation will be rewarded in this course.

  • 1/16:   "Faith, Philosophy and Theology," pp. 13-29 in The Nature and Mission of Theology + Alfred J. Freddoso, "Two Roles for Catholic Philosophers" 

  • 1/21:  "The Spiritual Basis and Ecclesial Identity of Theology," pp. 45-72 in The Nature and Mission of Theology 

  • 1/23:  "On the 'Instruction concerning the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian'," pp. 101-120 in The Nature and Mission of Theology
  • 1/28:  "Pluralism as a Problem for the Church and Theology," pp. 73-98 in The Nature and Mission of Theology 
  • 1/30:  First Sermon, "Are We Saved?, or Job Talks with God," pp. 15-40 in What it Means to Be a Christian
  • 2/4:   Second Sermon, "Faith as Service,"  pp. 43-62 in What it Means to Be a Christian

  • 2/6:   Third Sermon, "Above All:  Love," pp. 65-86 in What it Means to Be a Christian
  • 2/11:  Introduction, Belief in the World of Today, pp. 39-81 of Introduction to Christianity

  • 2/13:  Introduction, The Ecclesiastical Form of Faith, pp. 82-100 of Introduction to Christianity
  • 2/18:  Part Two:  Jesus Christ, The Problem of Faith in Jesus Today, and Jesus the Christ:  The Basic Form of the Christological Profession of Faith, pp. 193-209 of Introduction to Christianity
  • 2/20:  Part Two:  Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ--True God and True Man, and The Different Paths Taken by Christology, pp. 210-243 of Introduction to Christianity
  • 2/25:  Part Two:  Jesus Christ, Excursus:  Christian Structures, pp. 243-271 of Introduction to Christianity 
  • 2/27:  "Biblical Interpretation in Conflict," pp. 91-126 in God's Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office, Electronic Reserve
  • 3/4:  Foreword and chapters 1-2, pp. xi-57 of Jesus of Nazareth:  The Infancy Narratives
  • 3/6:  Chapter 3, pp. 58-88 of Jesus of Nazareth:  The Infancy Narratives

  • 3/18:  Chapter 4 and Epilogue, pp. 89-127 of Jesus of Nazareth:  The Infancy Narratives

  • 3/20:  "Conscience and Truth," pp. 11-41 of On Conscience, Electronic Reserve
  • 3/25:  Part One, Chapter One:  "The Unity and Diversity of Religions:  The Place of Christianity in the History of Religions," plus Interlude, pp. 15-54 of Truth and Tolerance
  • 3/27:  Part One, Chapter Two:  "Faith, Religion, and Culture," pp. 55-79 of Truth and Tolerance

  • 4/3:  Part One, Chapter Two:  "Variations on the Theme of Faith, Religion and Culture," pp. 80-109 of Truth and Tolerance

  • 4/8:  Part Two, Chapter One:  Foreword and "The New Questions that Arose in the Nineties:  The Position of Faith and Theology Today," pp. 115-137 of Truth and Tolerance

  • 4/10:  Part Two Chapter Two:  "The Truth of Christianity?", pp. 138-209 of Truth and Tolerance 

  • 4/15:  Part Two, Chapter Three: "Truth -- Tolerance -- Freedom," pp. 210-258 of Truth and Tolerance

  • 4/17:  Part One:  "The Essence of the Liturgy, " pp. 13-50 of The Spirit of the Liturgy

  • 4/22:  Part Two:  "Time and Space in the Liturgy," pp. 53-111 of The Spirit of the Liturgy

  • 4/24:  Part Three:  "Art and Liturgy," pp. 115-156 of The Spirit of the Liturgy

  • 4/29:  Part Four, Chapter 1:  Liturgical Form: Rite, pp. 159-170 of The Spirit of the Liturgy

  • 5/1:  Part Four, Chapter 2:  Liturgical Form: The Body and the Liturgy, pp. 171-224 of The Spirit of the Liturgy