2021 Spring Course Offerings

Note: TRS 097 and TRS 189 fulfill the "Christian Foundations" requirement of the Core Curriculum. All other TRS courses listed below except for TRS 129 and TRS 179 satisfy the "Theological Explorations" requirement.

All upper-division TRS courses (except for TRS 189) require either TRS 097 or TRS 189 as a prerequisite.

Many Saint Mary's College courses will look a little different for Spring 2021 (as they have been for Fall 2020), due to the current pandemic. See descriptions below for each course.

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TRS 097: The Bible & Its Interpretation

The focus of this course is not simply on the Bible, the sacred texts for Jews and Christians, but also methods of biblical interpretation.  While this course will introduce students to some of the most important biblical themes, characters, and events, this course will also introduce students to how the biblical text might be interpreted from a number of angles or lenses, tools of interpretation that enable us to see and hear things in the text that we might have neglected without their aid.  Since the text is inevitably interpreted, even by those who say they are simply letting the text speak for itself, this course will help students learn to identify the interpretive assumptions used by various communities.  This course will also teach students to employ critical, scholarly tools for reading and interpretation such as historical and literary criticism.  These methods and tools for reading and interpretation, besides offering greater insight to the Christian and Jewish faiths, should help students develop critical reading skills that will serve them well in many areas of study and thought.  

And the text itself?  This diverse collection of writings called the Bible has served as inspiration and catalyst for a great number of events in human history – from the movements of liberation led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to the great human tragedies of slavery in the Old South and the medieval Crusades.  These texts have also had a profound influence on art, literature, philosophy, and politics for over two thousand years of history, particularly in the West.  As such, an understanding of the Bible is essential for a well-informed perspective on the world and especially important in a College that values the Great Books.

Ten or more sections of this class are offered every semester in a wide array of time-slots. This course satisfies the Christian Foundations requirement of the Core Curriculum.

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TRS 101: Origins of Christianity 

T/Th: 11:30-1:05pm, Zach Flanagin

This course examines the rise of the Christian movement, focusing on such topics as Gnosticism, martyrdom, and the development of Christian ideas about Jesus.

TRS 121: Belief and Unbelief

M/W/F: 11:45-12:50pm, Paul Giurlanda

An investigation, theoretical and existential, on the challenge of faith today, with special attention to the "new atheists" and Christian responses to them. Fulfills the Theological Explorations requirement of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 125: Theologies of Liberation

M/W/F: 8:00-9:05am, STAFF
M/W/F: 9:15-10:20am, STAFF

This course introduces students to the intersection of theology and social justice by way of various theologies of liberation, resistance, and decolonization.  A particular focus of this class is how these politically and socially conscious theologies emerged in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s, insisting that the Word of God is mediated through the cries of the poor and oppressed, and asserting that through our participation in the struggles of the poor we can begin to understand the implications of the gospel message and its call for the liberation of oppressed people from unjust political, economic, and social subjection.  By focusing the lens of theology on the injustices faced by those on the margins of modernity, this course is concerned with the ways in which Christian theology inspires compassion, critical reflection, and resistance to social injustice and ecological damage.  PrerequisiteTRS 097 or 189.  This course satisfies the Theological Explorations and The Common Good requirements of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 126: Theology of Creation

M/W: 7:00-8:35pm, Fr David Gentry-Akin

Explores a theology of Creation that understands Creation to be the outpouring of the love of the Trinitarian God, examining the emerging new scientific story of the universe, and harvesting insights from various sources.

TRS 134: The Catholic Imagination

M/F: 1:00-2:35pm, Fr. David Gentry-Akin

This course explores the unique way of looking at the world found in Catholic teaching, art, music, social justice, and the stories of individual men and women of faith.

TRS 142: Medical Ethics

T/Th: 6:00-7:35pm, Tom Poundstone

This course explores the relation between religious and moral values and the choices we as individuals and as a society make about health care: e.g., research on human subjects, reproductive technology, physician-assisted suicide, and proposals for health-care reform. This course fulfills the Theological Explorations and the Common Good requirements of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 151: Judaism

M/W/F: 10:30-11:35am, Rabbi Harry Manhoff

Modern Jewish life is the product of more than 3,000 years of evolving thought, worship, traditions, theology, history, and civilization. This course investigates the dynamic role Judaism plays for its adherents then and now. This course fulfills the Theological Explorations requirement of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 152: Islam - Beliefs & Practices

M/W: 4:00-5:35pm, STAFF

Introduces the students to the ideas that shaped Islamic history, from the early pre-Islamic period and the conditions prevalent at Islam's inception all the way to the present. The basic belief system, rituals, mystical traditions, and Islamic societal interaction will be studied with ample references from the Qur'an and prophetic statements. This course satisfies the Theological Explorations and Global Perspectives requirements of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 153: Eastern Religions

T/Th: 8:00-9:35am, Norris Palmer
T/Th: 9:45-11:20am, Norris Palmer

Introduces the study of religion by way of four of the world's major traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Chinese religious field (Confusianism and Taoism). The emphasis will be on each tradition's views of the nature of ultimate reality, human nature, the highest good that life can attain, and the conduct that leads to that attainment. This course fulfills the Global Perspectives requirement of the Core Curriculum.

TRS 176: Spirituality in Practice

T/Th: 8:00-9:35am, Marie Pagliarini
T/Th: 9:45-11:20am, Marie Pagliarini

DESCRIPTION NEEDED.

TRS 179: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

T/Th: 1:15-2:50pm, Norris Palmer

DESCRIPTION NEEDED.

TRS 181: Jesus and His Teaching: Intensive Inquiry in Scripture/WID

M/W: 3:00-4:35pm, Michael Barram

DESCRIPTION NEEDED.

TRS 189: The Bible & Its Interpretation - Great Themes: Women and the Bible 

(exclusively for transfer students with 16.0 or more credits at the time of entrance)

M/W/F: 10:30-11:35am, STAFF
M/W/F: 11:45-12:50pm, STAFF

The focus of this course is not simply on the Bible, the sacred texts for Jews and Christians, but also methods of biblical interpretation.  While this course will introduce students to some of the most important biblical themes, characters, and events, this course will also introduce students to how the biblical text might be interpreted from a number of angles or lenses, tools of interpretation that enable us to see and hear things in the text that we might have neglected without their aid.  Since the text is inevitably interpreted, even by those who say they are simply letting the text speak for itself, this course will help students learn to identify the interpretive assumptions used by various communities.  This course will also teach students to employ critical, scholarly tools for reading and interpretation such as historical and literary criticism.  These methods and tools for reading and interpretation, besides offering greater insight to the Christian and Jewish faiths, should help students develop critical reading skills that will serve them well in many areas of study and thought.  

And the text itself?  This diverse collection of writings called the Bible has served as inspiration and catalyst for a great number of events in human history – from the movements of liberation led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to the great human tragedies of slavery in the Old South and the medieval Crusades.  These texts have also had a profound influence on art, literature, philosophy, and politics for over two thousand years of history, particularly in the West.  As such, an understanding of the Bible is essential for a well-informed perspective on the world and especially important in a College that values the Great Books.

Each section of this course will focus on a special issue, theme, or question that appears in a diversity of biblical texts and that moves beyond the Bible to modern relevance or implications (e.g., justice, politics, liturgy, theodicy, art).

Prerequisite: Transfer students with 16.0 or more units at time of entrance. This course fulfills the Christian Foundations requirement of the Core Curriculum, not the Theological Explorations requirement.  May not be taken by students who have completed TRS 097.

 

 

 

 

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