Theology - The New Evangelization

The New Evangelization called for from within the Church needs to be understood in the perspective of Jesus Christ.  This course will help Christians as they live out the apostolic vocation inherent to their lives by focusing upon what is revealed, especially in Holy Scripture, as regards the nature of their mission.  The Holy Spirit also teaches us through the Church’s Tradition and her Doctors so, after looking at key texts of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas, this course will turn to more recent documents such as Gaudium et Spes, Lumen Gentium, Ad Gentes (1965) and Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975).  The course will look to face challenging questions like: What is the Church’s mission of Evangelization?  What light does Holy Scripture shine upon the mystery of the spreading of the Good News?  Are there certain tools and methods that have been revealed to us and that we can then wisely include in our efforts of evangelization?

 

  • Complexity of Evangelizing action
  • Renewal of humanity
  • Evangelization of cultures
  • Witness of life
  • Explicit proclamation
  • Methods of evangelization

Topics to be covered in this course

  • Mystery of Revelation
  • Fullness of Revelation in the Person of Jesus Christ
  • Nature of mission
  • Jesus Christ the Evangelizer
  • The Evangelizing Church
  • the "Spirit of Evangelization"

Course Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of Revelation, especially Holy Scripture, in a specifically Christian reflection.
  • Know where to find in Holy Scripture, and analyze, the key texts revealing the mysteries of Christian evangelization.
  • Discuss, through a selected few of their writings, theological contributions to this specific search for truth made by Church Doctors such as Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas.
  • Analyze key ideas about the course subjects as taught in Vatican II documents and encyclical letters.
  • Discuss through an analysis of Evangelii Nuntiandi what the Church calls the "Spirit of Evangelization" and relate the fundamental importance of a number of methods. 

Philosophy of Culture

Taught by Father Nathan Cromly, CSJ

In order to respond to the needs of the New Evangelization called for by the Successor of Peter, this course explores the philosophical questions surrounding the nature and experience of human culture. Students examine the major philosophical currents that influence Western culture as well as their presence and impact on modern American culture. All courses finish with an analysis of these currents of thought in the light of Aristotelian-Thomistic realism and the demands intrinsic to the Word of God for the New Evangelization.

Instruction in the Philosophy of Culture focuses on a particular subject each year. While the emphasis is placed upon evangelization, students will investigate the works of modern philosophers who have shaped our current cultural context. This year's class will focus on the impact of individualism in our American culture. In particular the thought of John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche will be analyzed. After throughly considering the thought of each philosopher, students each summer will study Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, papal encyclicals and speeches, as well as other philosophers and Catholic voices.

This course seeks to answer questions such as:

  • What role does culture play in shaping morality?
  • How do thoughts and ideas shape culture?
  • What is the relationship between culture, law, and morality?
  • What is Aristotelian realism, and what is its importance for the evangelization called for by the Catholic Church?
  • What is the relationship between radical materialism and political secularism?

 

Course Objectives

  • Analyze the basic content of various philosophical thoughts and the power of these philosophies present in our contemporary American society.
  • Understand the relationship between culture and human acts, and its importance for moral judgments.
  • Discuss the importance of philosophical reflection for the shaping of culture.
  • Apply the basic philosophical approach of Aristotle to the question of the human person.
  • Relate the place and importance of a realistic philosophy to the Catholic Church’s evangelization efforts.