St. John’s University, Queens Campus, Fall 2017

Section 75364: 9:05am - 10:30am Mon and Thu, SJU 315

Dr. Matthew Lewis Sutton

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology

Office: St. John’s University, Queens Campus, St. John’s Hall B20–27

Student Hours: 8:30 - 9:00am; 1:45 - 2:45pm Mon and Thu, or by appointment

718.990.5052 | suttonm@stjohns.edu | doctorsutton.net | @doctorsutton

Your Course Website: doctorsutton.net/the3000

Undergraduate Bulletin: “Prerequisite: THE 1000C. A broad historical and theological perspective on contemporary trends shaping global Catholicism and how the Catholic Church could shape the world in the Third Millennium. Credit: 3 semester hours.”

The Catholic Church during the past three centuries has been dramatically transformed in size and global distribution as well as ethnic composition. Two-Thirds of Catholics now reside in the developing world and the demographics continue to point to Catholicism’s growth in Africa and South America as well as South East Asia. The course examines the vast and varied manifestations of Christianity that began two thousand years ago in the Ancient Near East and is now anchored in every region and every country throughout the globe and whose future growth appears to be in the developing world and the Global South. The course focuses on the theological study of Catholicism in dialogue with issues that are studied in many other departments in our college, such as economic and cultural globalization, history of colonization, human development, and systemic change. This course will help students see Catholic theology as an integrating lens for seeking understanding of the twenty-first century and the Catholic Church’s vital role in authentic human and cultural development.

By the conclusion of the course, the student should be able:

  • to appreciate the new global trends shaping the Catholic Church and understand the implications of this new stage in the Church’s history for its mission of evangelization
  • to analyze specific effects of economic and cultural globalization and how Catholicism can help promote proper integral human development
  • to learn about the history of Catholicism’s translation of intellectual, religious, and cultural traditions into new cultures and learn the theological foundations of these inculturations
  • to identify and analyze specific activities of systemic change based upon the Catholic Church’s understanding of authentic development

Course Texts: Required:

Purchased by Student

  • Bible, must be an appropriate translation for academic work, such as the RSV, NRSV, NAB, NABre, NIV, ESV, NKJV. (recommended translation The Ignatius Bible (RSVCE -Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). Second Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780898708349 Paperback or Kindle. If you have questions, please see me.
  • Philip Jenkins. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780199767465 Paperback or Kindle
  • John Allen. The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. New York: Image, 2016. ISBN: 978-0770437374 Paperback or Kindle

Provided by Professor

  • Pope John Paul II, The Mission of the Redeemer: Redemptoris Missio. Vatican City: Vatican, 1990. Online
  • Pope John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Vatican City: Vatican, 1994. Online
  • Pope Francis. The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium. Vatican City: Vatican, 2013. Online
  • Vatican II. Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium. Vatican City: Vatican, 1964-65. Online
  • Joel Cruz, The Histories of the Latin American Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Selections
  • Makoto Fujimura, Silence and Beauty. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2016. Selections

N.B. During the course, it would be helpful to have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition (New York: Doubleday, 1997). ISBN: 978-0385479677 Paperback or Online.

Course Structure:

The course will be structured with three major units that are critical for understanding Global Catholicism. The first unit will focus on understanding the biblical and theological foundations for Catholicism’s mission to and among all people of all nations. The second unit will focus on understanding the Second Vatican Council and papal leadership after the council, especially with regard to the topic of evangelization. We will complete an in-depth study of Pope Francis’ encyclical Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel as the program for his current mission for the global church. The third unit will focus on the dramatic demographic changes occurring in Christianity, particularly Catholicism, during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We will do an important study of the consequences of these dramatic changes, particularly the growth of anti-Christian persecution. As a last section, we will discuss a few regions and the vital role the Catholic Church plays in developing these societies.

Learning Assessment:

In this course, you can earn 100 points. You earn these points by successfully completing the following:

  • Class Participation: active engagement = 10 points
  • Encountering Global Catholicism Assignment Sheets = 25 points (1 point each)
  • Encountering the Psalms Assignment = 2 points
  • Occasion of Joy Take Home Exam = 10 points (1 exam)
  • Occasion of Exploration Papers = 28 points (2 papers 14 points each)
  • Occasion of Knowledge Research Paper = 25 points

Grading Scale:

A = 100 - 93 points (100 - 93%); A- = 92 - 90 points (92 - 90 %); B+ = 89 - 87 points (89 - 87%); B = 86 - 83 points (86 - 83%); B- = 82 - 80 points (82 - 80%); C+ = 79 - 77 points (79 - 77%); C = 76 - 73 points (76 - 73%); C- = 72 - 70 points (72 - 70%); D+ = 69 - 67 points (69 - 67%); D = 66 - 60 points (66 - 60%); F = 59 - 0 points (59 - 0%)

We are at our best when:

  • We act with Academic Integrity, which means no plagiarism, no cheating, no damaging of other people’s work, and no assisting someone else’s dishonesty. Plagiarism is the act of appropriating and using the ideas, writings, or works of another person as your own without giving proper citation to the person who created it. I will follow the university’s procedure for plagiarism and discipline to the highest extent allowable, which can include an “F” for this course and the act of plagiarism noted in your academic file. Any further offenses entail suspension or expulsion.
  • We are Actively Engaged with each other. As a student, you must attend class regularly, attentively, and promptly with readings and assignments completed. As a professor, I must be available to you for encouraging and guiding you to excel in your education. St. John’s College mandates “Regular and prompt attendance is expected of all students and is an individual student’s responsibility. Absence from class does not excuse a student from any work missed. There is no penalty for absence from class considered in itself. Students are, however, responsible for all announced exams and for submitting all assignments given in class at the proper time. Ignorance of such exams and assignments is not an acceptable excuse for failure to complete them.”
  • You are Responsible for Everything said in class. You are responsible for getting class notes from another student. Only after you have received and read those notes can you contact me with further questions about the class.
  • We do not use any Digital Devices inappropriately during class time such as cell phones, text messaging, mp3 players, tablets, or laptops. If you do not follow this policy, you will not be able to earn participation points for the class meeting. If it continues to be a problem, your overall point total will be reduced according to the severity of your lack of engagement. ASK PERMISSION IF YOU NEED TO USE A LAPTOP OR TABLET FOR NOTE TAKING AND READING ASSIGNMENTS.
  • We turn in our Assignments and Papers promptly as directed by the professor. Even if you are absent, you are still responsible for turning in your assignments by the beginning of class or as directed. If your assignment is late, your grade for that assignment will be lowered at least by 10% for each day that it is late. Your grade will continue to be lowered to zero at my discretion until it is submitted.
  • We attend Prepared for all Exams and these should not be missed. If you cannot attend an exam, you must consult me in advance and receive clear approval from me. No make-up exams will be given unless you receive clear approval beforehand or as determined by me. Since the dates of the exams are clearly communicated to you, it is unlikely that you will receive approval.
  • We learn because We Are Human and we desire to know the truth about the divine, the world, and ourselves. We strive for Excellence without Excuses.