Theo 684

Fall 2000 - H 9:30-12:00
DeBartolo 204

Michael S. Driscoll

Decio office 175, tel. 631-7152
Office Hours - MW 2:00 -4:00 or by appointment.

Seminar Description

The general theme of the seminar will be penance and penitence and it will treat the interrelationship of the biblical notion of metanoia and the sacraments as expressed at key points in history both in liturgical practice and in theological discourse. Theologically we will examine such themes as sin, pardon, satisfaction, contrition, conversion, compunction, reconciliation, repentance, absolution, asceticism, healing, purgation, justification and mortification. The methodology will be fully ecumenical as we trace these themes in the various Christian traditions.


1. Since this class will meet only once a week, attendance is imperative. If you are unable to attend the seminar, by way of academic courtesy please let me know prior to the meeting, either personally or by telephone.

2. Given the seminar nature of our project, all participants will be expected to take turns presenting aspects of their work related to the topic of penance and penitence.

3. One paper of about fifteen pages will be due by the end of the term summarizing the work done throughout the semester.

4. There will be no exam. However an exit interview will be scheduled allowing for discussion of the term paper and the possibility of bringing closure to our work in the seminar.


Schedule - 1996

I. Aug 27
A. Introductions and organization of seminar
B. Metanoia and different modes of conversion

II. Sept 3
A. Penance in TaNaK
B. Yom Kippur

III. Sept 10
A. Christological basis for reconciliation
B. Reconcilation into Paschal Mystery

IV. Sept 17
A. Canonical Penance: Patristic sources
B. Penance in transition: Celtic sources

V. Sept 24
A. Scholastic Theology on Penance
B. Scholastic Theology on Justification

VI. Oct 1
A. Reformation: Luther
B. Reformation: Calvin

VII. Oct 8
A. Reformation: English
B. Counter-Reformation: Trent to Vatican II

VIII. Oct 15
A. Vatican II
B. Orthodox Penance

BREAK Oct 19-27

IX. Oct 29
A. Precursor of the Penitential Psalms in the Canon and Psalter
B. Medieval Development of the Seven Penitential Psalms

X. Nov 5
A. Conversion, Penance and Divinization
B. Reconciliation and Penance in the Church's Mission: 1983 Roman Synod

XI. Nov 12
A. State of the Question of Penance in the Lutheran Church
B. Making Corporate Confession Corporate: A Lutheran Response

XII. Nov 19
A. Traditions of Sickness and Healing Prior to the Penitential Psalms
B. Penance and Ongoing Conversion in the Process of Deification

XIII. Nov 26
A. The Notion of Corporate Sin and Ritual Adaptation
B. Ecclesiological Aspects of Penance in the Lutheran Tradition

XIV. Dec 3
Selected articles from Reconciliation: The Continuing Agenda

XV. Dec 10
Selected articles from Reconciliation: The Continuing Agenda and DINNER