University of Notre Dame

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THEO 180G Theology University Seminar
Spring Semester, 2000

Course Description

This university seminar in Theology offers an introduction to the historical and critical study of select biblical texts and topics in both Testaments; a survey of the early theological development of Christian doctrine (i.e., Trinity and Christology); and select snapshots of the developing structures of liturgy, ministry, and ecclesial life in early Christianity with an eye to the questions of today. The Niceno-Constantinopolitan (or Nicene) Creed will serve as the outline and organizing format for the course.

Goals and Objectives

Through this course students will demonstrate:

  1. a critical understanding of select biblical texts within their historical context;
  2. an understanding of principal theological ideas and doctrinal issues (i.e., Trinity, Christology, Church) in their early historical development;
  3. a Foundational-level understanding of Theology in preparation for future courses in
    the Department.

Course Requirements

The above goals and objectives will be met by:

  1. Attendance at all class sessions. Unexcused absence will automatically lower the final grade by one letter grade.
  2. Full, active, and conscious participation in class meetings through preparation of assigned readings, discussions, Q/A (as assigned for each class session), short reflection papers, announced and unannounced quizzes, etc.
  3. Three Short Papers (5 pages each) on assigned topics due as indicated on the syllabus;
  4. A major research paper (15 pages in length) written in stages (bibliography, outline, first draft, final draft); the final draft is due no later than Tuesday, May 2. A list of paper topics will be distributed during the second week of the course.


Grading for this course is based on the successful completion of Numbers 1-4 above.

  • The grade A is reserved for "exceptional work," (95 - 100%) a level significantly above what is required;
  • A- (92-94%);
  • B+ (89-91%) = very good work, the excellent completion of the necessary requirements;
  • B (85-88%) = good work in successful completion of what was expected and required;
  • B- (80-84%);
  • C+ (77-79%);
  • C (74-76%);
  • C- (70-73%);
  • D (65-69%);
  • F (below 65%).

Grades will be computed according to the following point system:

  • Short Papers = 50 points each (150 points total)
  • Class Participation = 100 points total
  • Quizzes = Variable points
  • Research Paper = 150 points

Required Books (and abbreviations)

  • New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (New Revised Standard Version) (NOAB)
  • B. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology (The Creed)
  • R. Brown, An Adult Christ at Christmas (Adult Christ)
  • R. Brown, A Crucified Christ in Holy Week (Crucified Christ)
  • R. Brown, Reading the Gospels with the Church (Gospels)
  • E. Wiesel, Night
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict (RB)
  • Packet of Supplementary Readings available in the Copy Shop, Third Floor, O'Shaugnessy (ask for Johnson, THEO 100/200)

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