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THE 3215 THEOLOGY OF MARY AND THE SAINTS

St. John’s University, Queens Campus, Fall 2011

Section 72404: 3:25pm – 4:50pm Tue and Fri, Classroom SJH 315

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Undergraduate Bulletin: “Prerequisite: THE 1000C. The genesis, historical development and current manifestations of the theology of Mary and the saints and Christian liturgical and devotional practices associated with honoring them. Credit 3 semester hours.”

This course provides the student with a detailed analysis of the history of ideas, doctrines, and devotions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Communion of Saints. From the Bible throughout every century of Christian history, the Mother of Jesus, the martyrs, and the holy men and women of heroic virtue have had a special, honored place in Christian life and thought.

In this course, we will explore how they teach the way of Jesus Christ as the essential witnesses of the fruits of Christianity. These exemplary figures will be approached as biographies of Christian spiritual heroism and more importantly as lives witnessing to the theological understanding of the Christian quest for union with God through Jesus Christ in his Church. Above all, the student will gain a great appreciation of the historical, cultural, and theological foundations of the Catholic Christian faith in Mary and the Saints.

By the conclusion of the course, the student should be able: - to identify and interpret Old and New Testament passages that provide information and theological reflection about Mary and saintly life - to trace the significant development of theological reflections on Mary and the communion of saints in various Christian traditions - to identify and interpret Christian liturgical and devotional practices associated with Mary and the communion of saints

Course Texts: Required

  • Bible, must be an appropriate translation for academic work, such as RSV, NRSV, NAB, NIV, NKJV. I recommend the translation The Ignatius Bible (RSVCE - Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). Second Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007. Paperback. ISBN: 9780898708349). If you have questions about your translation, please see me.

  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture. New Haven, Conneticut: Yale University Press, 1996. Paperback. ISBN: 9780300076615

  • Von Speyr, Adrienne. Mary In the Redemption. Translated by Helena M. Tomko. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003). Paperback. ISBN: 0898709555

  • Augustine. Confessions. Translated by Henry Chadwick. (Oxford World’s Classics; New York: Oxford University Press, 1991). Paperback. ISBN: 0192817744

Course Structure

The course will be structure into three learning units. The first will be on the history of Mary, the Mother of Jesus in theology, culture, and spirituality. The second will be on the mystical theology of Mary. The third will be a detailed study of a saint archetype that is deeply fluential in Christian theology of sanctity. Each unit will have assignments and assessments designed to give you an overall understanding and initial mastery of the thought and development of the Catholic Christian faith of the theology of Mary and the saints.

Learning Assessment

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

  1. Class Participation: active engagement (questioning, answering, and discussing) = 10 points
  2. Encountering Mary and the Saints Assignment Sheets (graded orally or handed in) = 23 points (1 points for each assignment)
  3. Occasion of Joy Exams = 32 points (3 exams)
  4. Occasion of Preparation for Jubilation Final Paper = 10 points
  5. Occasion of Jubilation Final Paper on the Theology of the Saints = 25 points

Progress reports will be emailed to you at the beginning of every month.

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 original expressions of another person as your own without giving credit to the person who created it. I will follow the university’s procedure for plagiarism and discipline to the highest extent allowable by this procedure, which can include an “F” for this course and the act of plagiarism noted in your academic file. Any further offences entail suspension or expulsion. You need to read the libraries’ webpage on proper citation.

  • 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 outside of class for encouraging, listening, and guiding so that you excel in your education. St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences mandates that “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 during class time such as cell phones, text messaging, mp3 players, or laptops unless the professor gives clear approval. If you do so, 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 FOR NOTE TAKING.

  • 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 by 10% for each day that it is late.

  • We attend prepared for all Exams and the Final Cumulative Exam and these should not be missed. If you cannot make 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 from me beforehand or as determined by the professor. 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 above all for Excellence without Excuses.