Fall 2022, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 8:20-9:10 (section M), 9:20-10:10 (section K), and 10:20-11:10 (section E) in Charles Francis 008
Instructor: Dr. Todd Hanneken, firstname.lastname@example.org, 210-431-8050 Office hours in Zoom (https://stmarytx.zoom.us/my/thanneken) and Reinbolt 303a, Mondays 11:15am-1:15pm, Wednesdays 11:15am-1:15pm, Fridays 11:15am-12:15pm, and by appointment through RattlerNavigate, email, or Canvas messaging.
This course provides an introduction to the academic study of theology in Christian traditions, engaged with other traditions. The course introduces students to fundamental ideas, terminology, cultural contexts, literature, and texts that hand down human questions and understandings of God and what it means to be God’s people. This course fulfills the core requirement for a first theology course. Dr. Hanneken’s sections in particular explore the enduring questions of the Jewish and Christian traditions, from ancient Israel to the world today. The variety of views will be explored in their historical contexts. We will also explore the variety of ways in which we go about asking questions and seeking meaning.
Todd R. Hanneken, Theological Questions (Atla Open Press 81; Chicago: Atla, 2022). https://thanneken.github.io/TheologicalQuestions/
By the end of the course the student should be able to:
Social responsibility, flexibility, and communication: Responsibility to the common good supersedes all other responsibilities associated with this course. The course never requires you to endanger others by violating health guidelines from the University or government. Situations may arise that take priority over following the prescribed plan of learning. Please be in communication with the instructor early and often if adaptations are necessary.
Quizzes: The eleven quizzes are designed to gauge comprehension, analysis, and retention of readings and lectures. There is emphasis on learning from your mistakes, so there will be opportunities to answer questions again (or modified versions). Whenever you don’t know something, go back to your notes or the reading to identify what you misunderstood and how to avoid making a similar mistake again. Quizzes can be rescheduled if missing the regular time is unavoidable and the quiz is rescheduled as soon as possible, no later than when the quiz is reviewed in class. For planned absences this generally means taking the quiz earlier than the scheduled time. Quizzes must be taken in the classroom unless alternative arrangements are made.
Exams: The midterm and final exams will be cumulative and will focus on retention, comprehension, and synthesis of points from the quizzes.
Presentation: Each student will make one ten-minute presentation on a topic drawing from a religious tradition other than Christianity. See the Presentation Rubric for expectations and grading scale. The topics are randomly assigned. Switching topics is allowed, but extensions will not be possible. See the Presentation List for assignments, dates, and a brief description of each topic. Note that the presenter should meet with the instructor a week in advance of the presentation.
Reading Responses: After completing each reading, students should submit in Canvas a brief response to the reading no later than 6:00am the day for which the reading is assigned (earlier is appreciated). The responses can raise a question about the reading, engage with the ideas presented in the reading, explain why you found a point interesting, or identify a point you found difficult or challenging. The responses should reflect having read the entire chapter carefully.
The quizzes are the most challenging part of the grade. Think of the goal as eight out of ten on a weekly quiz and four out of two on the two readings responses each week. That comes out to 100%.
In addition to the extra credit available on the reading responses, five points of extra credit are available for engaging with the public lecture at 7:00pm on November 17.
What follows until the schedule should be standard for all your classes at St. Mary’s.
All university policies apply to this course, including the following.
This course adheres to the University grading scale.
This course adheres to University academic policies and procedures.
This course adheres to the policies for academic dishonesty and misconduct, as described in the Student Code of Conduct.
This course adheres to the University attendance policy.
This course adheres to the University diversity statement. St. Mary’s University embodies the Marianist spirit of educating the heart and mind. The University draws on the example of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary, to create an environment that lets students thrive and where diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential. The intersectionality of our diverse experiences and characteristics are valued in all spaces within our community. Thus, we all must be committed to building an inclusive learning environment that values the individual experiences of every student in this course and where each has an opportunity to learn, engage in dialogue, question, and contribute to their fullest potential.
This course adheres to the policies for study days and final exams.
There will be two study days, Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1, during which students prepare for final exams. No classes are scheduled on study days.
Final exams will be held on Friday, December 2 and Monday-Wednesday, December 5-7.
The final exam schedule can be found at
St. Mary’s University is committed to providing a safe, equitable, and fair environment where students can pursue academic excellence. Policies and procedures have been developed to foster and sustain such an environment and apply to all courses offered at the university. Students need to be aware of these policies and procedures, which can be found at https://www.stmarytx.edu/policies/.
Please become familiar with these important policies and procedures, which include:
This course adheres to the University Disability Statement. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act, Student Accessibility Services is the designated office responsible for coordinating all accommodations and services for students with disabilities at St. Mary’s University. St. Mary’s University supports equal access of qualifying individuals with documented disabilities to all educational opportunities, programs, services and activities. If you have a documented disability, or a condition which may impact your performance and want to request disability-related accommodations, you must first register with the Office of Student Accessibility Services, located in the Student Counseling Center (in the Center for Life Directions Building) in room 139. Please stop by the Student Accessibility Services Office, call 210-431-5080 or email email@example.com to set up an appointment to meet with the Student Accessibility Services staff.
This course adheres to all emergency adaptations declared by the University.
Theological Questions 1.1 What is Theology and What Do Theologians Do?
Reading: Theological Questions 2.1 Who are the Israelites?
Reading: Theological Questions 2.2 What kind of god do we have?
Presentation: The Life of the Buddha
Reading: Theological Questions 2.3 If there is only one God and that god is good, how does evil exist?
Reading: Theological Questions 2.4 How should we live our lives?
Presentation: The Four Noble Truths
Presentation: The Eightfold Path
Reading: Theological Questions 3.1 What changed with Hellenistic and Roman rule?
Reading: Theological Questions 3.2 What does God have planned for this world?
Reading: Theological Questions 3.3 Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
Reading: Theological Questions 3.4 Why did Jesus die?
Presentation: Reincarnation and Moksha/Nirvana
Presentation: Life of Muhammed
Presentation: Homer, Odyssey Book 11
Reading: Theological Questions 3.5 What will Jesus do in the future?
Reading: Theological Questions 3.6 How should God’s people live their daily lives?
Presentation: Islamic Eschatology
Presentation: 5 Pillars of Islam
Presentation: The Jewish Liturgical Year
Reading: “Mary, Mariology, and Marianists” in Theological Questions Supplements (LINK)
Presentation: Mary in Islam
Reading: Theological Questions 4.1 What changed when the Roman Empire went from persecuting to endorsing Christianity?
Reading: Theological Questions 4.2 What is the Church?
Presentation: Early Caliphates
Reading: Theological Questions 4.3 What is our relationship to the Jewish scriptures and people?
Reading: Theological Questions 4.4 How should religious life be practiced?
Presentation: Muhammed and the Jews of Mecca and Medina
Presentation: Sufism and/or Kaballah
Reading: Theological Questions 5.1 What changed with the Renaissance leading to the Reformation?
Reading: Theological Questions 5.2 Whom do you trust with big decisions?
Presentation: Sunni and Shi'i
Presentation: Hadith and Fiqh
Reading: Theological Questions 5.3 What do I have to do to be saved?
Reading: Theological Questions 5.4 The practice of the Christian faith and individual conscience
Reading: Theological Questions 6.1 The historical context of 20th century Christian theology
Reading: Theological Questions 6.2 Faith and/or reason?
Presentation: Karl Marx
Presentation: Richard Dawkins
Reading: Theological Questions 6.3 How is Christian faith relevant to the poor and oppressed today?
Reading: Theological Questions 6.4 How should Christians practice their faith in the 20th and 21st centuries?
Dr. Anathea Portier-Young, “From the Throne to the Cross: Mediating Bodies in the Prophetic Illuminations of the Saint John’s Bible”
Presentation: Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
Presentation: Jews in the Civil Rights Movement
Presentation: Abortion in Other Religions